Fan Art

Chase - the pigeon By: Sunstar

Artist's Note

Pigeons, also called the rock dove, are often seen in cities or towns. Anywhere there are ledges and holes for them to nest. They pick places under bridges or on balconies under tables or behind things. Where they are usually found they are most often met by scorn or disapproval. But for some, pigeons are beautiful creatures.

Chase, is rescued bird who lives with me in my home. He was 2 days old when I brought him in because of intensive repairs to the balcony. He was small, yellow, and could barely lift his head up. I doubted that I would be able to raise him because he was so young and I had never been faced with a pigeon before. As it turned out, chase was easier to raise than sparrows once the trick was discovered.

Chase is aptly named because that is what he does. He chases you around. Following from room to room cooing away. He has a few other quirks. He tends to be very territorial so when you are anywhere, he dances and coos at your feet. He is always at your feet. He runs a great risk of being stood on because of his antics at your feet. If he is annoyed with you being in his territory, he will attack your toes or smack you with his wing. Or he will chase you out, diving for your feet very quickly.

Chase does not have his wings clipped. I had thought about it and felt a sort of empathy to him. He was born to fly, so why should he be prevented of it? What amazes me is how Chase is able to fly in a house. He has never knocked anything over, he has never flown into anything...well, not since that table leg when he was a chick. He will often land on my shoulder and sit on me while I walk around.

As an adult, Chase would obey voice commands and some gestures...well, only when he feels like it. But if he is flying into a dangerous territory, ie kitchen, I yell, DOWN! And he will turn around and land. If he enters the Bedroom, I can shout OUT, or gesture away from the room and he will usually leave. Also, this is really when he feels like listening to me, I will say, "go to bed" or "go into your box" and he will hop into his box and wait for me to close it for the night. If I cannot see him and I say either "Bird" or "Chase", he will often walk to the hall and show me where he is then walk back.

He also loves to bath. I have a cake pan of water he can splash around in, but if I am taking a bath, he will attempt to join me..

Chase has some food he considers favourite. One he will race over and practically shake in excitement, and that is Safflower seeds. It comes in the seeds I give him and he will pick them out first then work on everything else until he is left with Wheatberries and whole oats. He doesn't like those at all.

Now to clear up about pigeon mess. They do not release droppings while flying. Pigeons for some reason need to be sitting or standing to let them go. So most of the mess is contained to areas he sits at the most. Easy cleanup.

One final word. Why did I not release him into the wild? There are a few reasons. One being was I needed a companion, a friend. Someone to keep me company while I am at home. Since my iguana died in 2002, I have been feeling an empty spot and Chase warms it for me.

It would also be unfair to him. The easy life is all he has known. In the wild a pigeon has a life expectancy of around 4 years. So many factors play against their survival, lack of food, people poisoning them, lack of shelter from people driving them out. Hawks, falcons and other predators, disease, lice, cars and the cold. We have all of this in our area.

So this is Chase, weird little fragger isn't he?