We love birds!

Rita McMahon found a pigeon with a broken leg on her deck in New York City’s upper west side. The pigeon was otherwise quite fortunate. McMahon would go on to cofound the Wild Bird Fund, which cares for some 3,500 sick and injured birds every year. A veterinarian amputated the pigeon’s leg; while it recovered, it would rest on a cushion in McMahon’s apartment window. On the other side stood her mate, day after day, keeping her company until she was released and the couple rejoined.

“They were devoted to each other,” says McMahon, who also recalled how one of her volunteers once found a broken-winged robin in a depression in a snow bank, his mate nearby. The volunteer picked up the injured bird and put him in a bag for transport to the hospital. With little fuss she then gathered the mate—which was quite unusual, as healthy wild birds are uniformly skittish. “I understand being able to pick up a broken-winged robin easily, but not one who’s intact,” MacMahon says. At the hospital, they learned that the break wasn’t fresh. The robin was in surprisingly good health. His mate, believes MacMahon, had been taking food to him on the snowbank, “and decided to stay with her man.” …

Apparent grieving exists in the avian world, most notably among greylag geese, in whom individuals who’ve lost a partner display the classical symptoms of human depression: listlessness, a loss of appetite, lethargy lasting for weeks or even months. The same applies to pigeons. On Pigeon Talk, a website of pigeon-breeding hobbyists, anecdotes abound of birds sinking into a funk after losing their mates, and sometimes refusing to take another mate for up to a year afterward—no small time for a species that typically lives for less than a decade.

One of the most moving stories involves mourning doves. After a dove was eaten by a hawk in the backyard of a forum member called TheSnipes, the mate stood beside the body for weeks. “I finally couldn’t stand to watch it any more and picked up every feather and trace of remains that was left there and got rid of it,” wrote TheSnipes. “The mate continued to keep a vigil at that spot though, for many months, all through the spring and summer.” …

Their example stayed with me, though, and now colors the way I think of my winged neighbors. Ubiquitous and unappreciated, typically ignored or regarded as dirty, annoying pests, pigeons mean something else to me now. Perched on building ledges, chasing scraps of food, taking to the skies at sunset: Each one is a reminder that love is all around us.

~ Brandon Keim, from “What Pigeons Teach Us About Love”


Thank you Susan.

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

  • Photo: Caleb and the Bedouin in front of The Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – and the only one still standing. Photographed by Richard James Taylor via Virtuoso.com. (And one of you kind friends shared this, and I can’t thank you. Who was it?)
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (Best Ever, courtesy of Kiki!)


Notes:

  • “Every day is hump day in Gujarat, India. The rural area is famous for its swimming camels. How did these desert creatures get a taste for the sea? It’s the only way they can reach the mangroves where they feed. These Kharai camels—as they’re known—can actually swim nearly two miles in seawater. Jat Noor Mohammed’s family has been breeding and caring for these animals for generations. But, as new industries and climate change begin to destroy the mangroves that sustain these camels, his livelihood is under threat.”
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

  • Photo: A Sloughi (Arabian greyhound) herds a group of dromedaries (camels) in the desert of Morocco. Photographed by Rosa Frei
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

  • Photo: Close Up of Camels in Desert Doha Qatar via ebay
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (Focus!)


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camel


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