I was made aware of the group MickaCoo for Pigeons and Doves this morning. It's a group, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a volunteer-powered, donation-supported adoption agency for domestic (unreleasable) pigeons & doves that would otherwise be killed in San Francisco Bay Area shelters for lack of homes.
"We are always full and have a waiting list of at-risk birds waiting to come in to our foster care."
I really know nothing about birds, but it seems that these folks do good work and are overwhelmed and desperately in need of help. If you are a bird lover and can either foster, adopt or help get some birds adopted, check their web page to learn how you can volunteer or donate to help them with their work. There is also a page for upcoming events.
According to their volunteer page, they need:
- foster volunteers
- Outreach/Tabling assistance
- Grant writing and fund raising
- Bird care coaching and "hotline" response
To that I would also add web design assistance. I find their web site not very user friendly. I promised someone I would give them some publicity and I have now done it. If I were in the Bay Area, I might volunteer some time, but...can't. I have enough with that lady bird I'm dealing with at Atria.
We've never done birds -- dogs, cats, fish, rabbits, and all sorts of rodents, but no birds -- but I've always loved watching birds. When my mother was living in her house, to get there I drove through a 21 mile bird sanctuary and always saw lovely birds that I desperately wanted to photograph, but there are precious few places where you can go off the 2-lane road and park, and usually those places are far from the birds I wanted to photograph.
Driving down I-80 you often see giant hawks sitting in trees or on fence posts, but driving 65-70 mph you are long past the bird before you can stop your car. I have yet to take a really good picture of one of those beautiful raptors.
The best bird-photographing I did was in Australia. My favorite birds to photograph were the cute little gallahs (called "pink and greys") that you saw everywhere.
We would see them in flocks in what I called the "bird tree" where we took the dogs to run every morning. We saw them in the tree and could hear the cockateels and crows flying overhead (did you know that crows in Australia sound different from crows here? I decided they caw-cawed in an Australian accent!). Often we saw the parrots that some called "28s" (because of their multi colored feathers).
Those exotic birds are such fun. I remember a day when I was working at the Lamplighters office on Dolores Streeet, a street that has a row of huge palm trees down the center of it for many blocks. We heard this huge racket on the street and went out to look and there in the tree was a big flock of exotic birds. I had never heard that apparently birds which are taken in as pets and then escape banded together to become on flock. There was every color imaginable in that tree. They eventually ate their fill, flew on, and I never saw them again.
Years again the movie about the parrots of Telegraph Hill came out. I wondered if it was the same flock of birds I had seen years before, but no, this flock was all the same breed of escaped birds.
I have to admit that I never had a great love for pigeons (sorry, MickaCoo), but doves are something else. One of the cool things about my mother's house for several years was the basket that the doves commandeered, which hung just outside her living room window. Many families of baby birds were hatched in that basket and it was fun to be able to stand there, just about a foot from the nest, separated by the window, and watch those babies grow, from bald newborns to adolescents standing on the edge of the nest trying to get the nerve to take their first flight, while Mama and Daddy sat on the porch cooing encouragement to them.
Sadly, after about four years, cats discovered the porch and found the nest to be their own private cafeteria and several babies met their end in a neighbor cat's mouth. Not surprisingly, the parents never came back, but I did love having the opportunity to watch so many babies grow up there.
My mother, these days, often says "life is change" and as I look back over just my life "around" birds, I can see how that happens. The doves brought her so much happiness over the years, now she could care less. Birds nested in a tree right outside the upstairs window of Atria and she had a "ho hum...more birds" attitude. She forgot about them as soon as we left the window.
It's sad that she finds so little true "joy" and excitement in things these days, but "life is change." I sometimes feel like a cat has come into her apartment and stolen the mother I knew and left behind this very nice lady, who is not really the person I have known all my life.
Damn cats. :(