Every Little Breeze…


On our wedding anniversary in May, sweet husband and I made plans to go to the Hayden Planetarium and the American Museum of Natural History to bask under the stars and walk with the dinosaurs.  Just as we were awakening to our lovely plans, I heard a knock on our door.  It was my friend, Jonellen, with an animal carrier.

J: I’m sorry to bother you.  I found this sick pigeon this morning and I have to go to work, can I leave it with you?

Me: Sure…?

J:  Great! Don’t let the cat get it.  I’ll call you from work.

So there I stood on my doorstep, in my nightgown, holding an animal carrier with a sick bird inside that I had to keep away from the cat!  It turned out that while Jonellen was walking Sammy, her dog, she saw this sick pigeon in the street on the side that was about to be cleaned by the giant sweeping machine.  Fearing it would be caught in the brushes and mangled, she scooped it up, took it home, put it in the carrier, and brought it to me so her own cat, Luna, would not be tempted to have the pigeon for lunch!  She made some phone calls and determined that the best thing to do would be to take the bird to the Wild Bird Fund over on Columbus Avenue. Since that was on the way to our own tryst, sweet husband and I took the pigeon in.

We got some strange looks and head-shaking on the bus when people saw the occupant of the animal carrier was a pigeon and not the expected dog or cat.  Pigeons don’t get a lot of respect in New York City, many considering them to be rats with wings.  I’m not sure how happy the pigeon was to be lurched about in the bus…but we made it.  At the Wild Bird Fund, I filled out an intake form, giving  Jonellen’s contact info, and the vet who saw the pigeon told us it looked like a very sick bird and did I want to hang around for the diagnosis.  I confessed at that point that I don’t do well with birds (old childhood trauma) and that Jonellen would be the one to call with updates.

Five weeks later, I get this phone call from Jonellen;

J: They called me about the bird! She’s all healed! Can you believe??!!

Me: What?!

J: The bird! The one you took to the sanctuary! I just got a message on my answering machine.  She had lead poisoning and she’s all healed now! They called her Louise. I can’t believe it!

Me: Wow! So what happens now?

J: I’m going to pick her up after work tomorrow.  She has to be released by six o’clock so she has enough daylight hours to orient herself and find her colony.  Are you going to be around?

Me (somewhat dazed and virtually speechless): Yeah!

On the following afternoon, I met Jonellen and Louise out on the street, close to the spot where Louise had been found.  Jonellen sprinkled some birdseed on the pavement, set the carrier down, opened the door, and, after a slight hesitation, Louise took her flight to freedom! She first perched on the building across the street, and then she flew to the top of the building on the corner, her movements strong and confident.  She sat up there for about five minutes, getting her bearings, and then she flew downtown to join her peeps…I hope!

As we watched her fly away, I heard Maurice Chevalier’s voice in my head singing Leo Robin’s and Richard A. Whiting’s song;

Every little breeze seems to whisper Louise,

Birds in the trees, twitter Louise…

‘Bye Louise! Have a happy life!

26 thoughts on “Every Little Breeze…

      1. Birds freak me out so you are one ahead of me there. Although I’m trying to understand birds better. I’m thinking of joining the Audobon society to at least know what I’m looking at.

      2. I’m with you on that, Maggie: birds freak me out, too! One of my hula sisters who is very much a bird enthusiast told me that birds are very social creatures and need to connect to their communities. Made me think of us on the blogosphere: each one perched on her/his branch, jabbering away at whatever comes into our heads! xoxoM

  1. Awww… 😉

    If I must say, I think those little fellows deserve to be respected more. They’re supposed to be rather smart. I find it absolutely amazing how they could be trained (Are they trained?) to deliver messages back in the days when there were no smartphones or good ‘ol internet.

  2. Well, I’m glad Louise survived her ordeal. Like you, I’m not so thrilled with pigeons, considering them somewhat dirty, but I don’t like to think of any animal suffering.

  3. We are also not fans of pigeons, as they made a huge mess of cars, balconies and pavements here,
    ….but few weeks back my daughter went down the street to a friend’s place and found a baby one that had toppled out of a tree and managed a head injury, so dashed back home and asked Himself if we have a box to put it in…
    …not wanting to see any creature suffer, the bird was duly taken to the bird sanctuary but news a few days later was that it didn’t make it.

    At least we have the knowledge that it didn’t lie on the street until it was discovered and mauled by some cat, that some effort was made to save it and that it’s end was made as peaceful as possible.
    Kudos to you and your hubby for doing your bit.

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