*There is a happy ending to this so please read on!*
Sunday morning and there was a commotion going on in the garden. Magpies and rooks and blackbirds screeching and swooping down over the ground. It sounded ominous. I went outside to discover a trail of feathers. Quite a few trails of feathers. I followed them to the greenhouse where I spotted Gizmo cornering a very wet and dishevelled pigeon, battle scarred and shaking. I grabbed Gizmo and put him indoors grabbing rubber gloves on the way back out.
I didn't hold out much hope for the pigeon. Most of its back feathers were missing, it was bleeding from the back and the chest and there was a droplet of blood forming on its beak. I put the bird into the greenhouse where it lay on its side momentarily before mustering strength to perch on my son's old pedal car residing there, whilst I was trying to figure out what to do for the best.
Thank goodness I still have the old wooden hen house. I did a bit of on line research about injured wood pigeons and it said to keep them in a quiet and confined space whilst they get over shock and injury and leave them for several hours. I placed the pigeon in the old house with a few freshly podded peas and made it a hydrating solution (1 litre water, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt) to drink should it wish to.
As the rainy day got progressively hotter I worried about the pigeon getting fly strike. I could see flies buzzing about the entrance to the hen house and knew that flies would lay eggs on the pigeons open wounds given half a chance. Throughout the day I checked in on the pigeon. It sat perched unmoving except for the occasional blink of an eye. That night I prayed that its death would be swift without suffering and comforted myself that it was safely sheltered with food and drink .
This morning I woke bright and early. I went straight to the hen house and with trepidation opened the door. A bright eyed pigeon greeted me. It shuffled along the perch, jumped out of the pop hole and waddled out onto the grass. It sat down. It stretched its wings to their full expanse and soared away up into the clouds.
I breathed a deep sigh of relief.