In the bird world Spring flings come early with mating and laying in January and February. It has to do with the increase in daylight. It is not unusual to find the “Rock Doves” in my loft going to nest even though temperatures do not very well support the tiny hatchlings survival in such cold weather. Nevertheless one day while doing my routine feed and watering, there on the floor of the loft not far from what was a makeshift nest was a naked featherless hatchling lying on the floor seemingly dead and quite cold. I picked up the small featherless apparently abandoned bird who was probably only maybe a week old old and put it in my hand discovering that there was still life in it. I held it for some 20-30 minutes until there was clearly a sign of life and blood flow returning.
Occasionally for whatever reason, of which I do not know or understand, a parent bird will abandon it’s young and this was one of them. There is no restocking of the nest for the parent had made it’s decision and sometimes for good reason. Most often I allow mother nature and mother bird to take their own course. Mother knows best and the strong survive. This may be one of those rules of the animal kingdom where we should not intervene. However, this time I did and the small helpless cold bird came back to life in my warm hand on that very cold February day.
Once the small bird was warmed, hand feeding began, usually twice daily in the first week. Now I have hand fed many birds in my history of bird-keeping over the years and I must say that it can be a long process depending on the avian species.
The pigeon variety is actually a much shorter period until weening maybe about 6-8 weeks. This I am grateful for!
That afternoon was the beginning of my relationship to Little Wing, LW for short. I will say one thing, she/he (not sure yet) is one of the most photographed Rock Doves in my bird world environment and this story has only begun.