Dear Jennifer and Pacific Wildlife Staff:
Thank you so very much for your being there for us and for the little Eurasian Collared Dove we brought in last week. We brought the little guy or girl in on Monday, September 5th, after finding it on Sunday, calling, and being advised to keep the bird warm for the night. We had no idea whether it was injured, though there were no apparent cuts, broken wings or tail feathers (typical for a bird that has been the victim of a cat). As instructed we placed the bird in a box with soft lining and brought it up for an exam. We were so relieved when Jennifer took such gentle care, examined the bird and determined that it was nearly ready to fly and even had seed in its crop. Jennifer’s administration of fluids, vitamins and lice medicine seemed to perk him up and he (could be she) returned to Nipomo looking much more alert. We placed the box on a ladder as high and as close as we could get it to the area frequently by our resident doves and secured it with bungee cords. We referred to the bird as “Junior.”
We did what we could to keep activity away from the area. The cats were kept back and the neighbor’s gardener was told to stay away from the trees. At first, the little guy just sat low in his box. Then, there was a great deal of the familiar “koo KOO kook” calling we have been hearing all summer and then swooping by two adults who appeared to be his parents. One or the other landed on the box quite often. After a night sitting very low, Junior perched himself up on the edge of the box. During the next 24 hours, there was a lot of calling and what appeared to be flight demonstrations from the adults who would swoop low over the tree and box then buzz up to the nearby workshop roof and return. Junior seemed to enjoy the show and looked like he was itching to take flight. The enclosed picture was taken during this period, using a long lens so as to not crash the party. By the third day, he had flown. We now see him flitting from the wildflowers to the tree where he was born and he occasional pauses on the edge of the roof. He is easy to recognize, as he is a less sleek bird than the full adults.
Your help enabled us to assist this little guy and to do no harm. It also was very educational for us. We had no idea that these birds can sit on the ground for days. This might be dangerous in our neighborhood, where most of us have cats. The cats are brought in at night but there are a lot of night visitors and a wildlife show that draws our cats to the windows many times a night. After this incident, we will watch for grounded birds and share what we have learned with our neighbors who are also cat owners and love animals.
We give a small donation to Pacific Wildlife at the end of each year and the organization has been listed as a remainder recipient of our trust for years. We would like to now join the organization and learn more about what we can do to preserve and enhance the environment for birds and all the wildlife of the Central Coast.
Charles and Eileen Getzoff