George vs. The Kestral

Kestral vs. George

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I was in the classroom early Sunday morning this last weekend, enjoying my music and my daughter. The Rosebug and I were both drawing. It was a mellow Sunday morning for us. Suddenly, The ‘Bug exclaims “Look at that bird!!!” I looked out the window, and sure enough, there was one of the most beautiful kestrels (aka sparrow hawk) I have ever seen, perched on the top bar of our swingset. He had an intense look in his eyes, but I just chalked that up to him being an intense bird of prey. Oh, if I only had my camera at hand! But I didn’t so we just watched him in awe, until he flew off. Then we went on with our drawing and listening to music together. Then Bob got up from bed, and The ‘Bug ran into the house to bug (I mean hug!) him.

Presently, I needed another cup of coffee. Our coffee pot needed water, and we use Reverse Osmosis water. The RO dispenser is just outside the back door. I grabbed the pitcher and went outside to fill it, and I looked down and was surprised to see two big black eyes staring up at me from behind the RO dispenser. It was a pigeon (I bet you guessed that), and it seemed to me like he was looking up at me beseechingly. I set the pitcher aside and reached for the pigeon, figuring he’d fly off at the first approach. He didn’t! I picked him up easily, and took him in the house to show The ‘Bug and Bob. I opened both of his wings and looked him over. I couldn’t find any obvious injuries, but what we did find was a band with numbers on it. So we wrote down the numbers and put the bird in a dog crate.

The ‘Bug watched the bird while I went on the internet and researched how to track down the bird’s owner. Turned out it wasn’t too difficult, and it also turned out that the bird was a Racing Pigeon. I assumed that it was a “Homing Pigeon”, but what do I know? Not much about pigeons, obviously.

In a short time we had the owner tracked down through the club he belonged to, but Gerald said he was on his way out of town, and asked me if he could he get hold of me later in the day. I said “Sure! But in the meantime, what do we feed him? Is it a boy or a girl? What’s his name?”

“Well, I don’t know if its a boy or a girl, it’s a very young bird. I haven’t named him. I saw a hawk chasing him and I figured he got caught. Do you have any dried rice or barley? You can feed him that.” Gerald explained

“Well, we named him George.”

“George?” Gerald laughed “Okay.” After finding some containers for dried rice and water, we put George’s crate in a quiet back room and closed the door so our dog wouldn’t discover him and obsess (she HATES birds), and then we went on about our Sunday, checking on him occasionally.

The next morning was a TK school day. So when Gerald called and said he was on his way, I brought George’s crate out of the back room and showed him to all the TK kids. They all scrambled for a better view inside the crate.

TK Kids looking at George the Racing Pigeon in the crate.

TK Kids looking at George the Racing Pigeon in the crate.

Gerald arrived so I took George out of the crate and let all the kids pet him if they wanted to (with Gerald’s permission, of course). After the petting we all lined up to wash our hands. As soon as I brought George out of his crate Gerald exclaimed “Oh look at that! The hawk got his tail!” And I looked and sure enough, all of his tail feathers were gone! I’m a bit embarrassed that I didn’t notice that before…duh.
(Click on an image to see it larger…)

In the end I would say we all had quite the little adventure, especially George, the Racing Pigeon!

Have you ever had an adventure or rescued a wild animal? Tell us about it in the comment section below!Kestral vs. George

5 Thoughts on “George vs. The Kestral

  1. Samantha on November 26, 2015 at 7:48 am said:

    Lucky George!! When I was younger I would always save mourning doves, in hopes that I could have a cool bird pet! Never quite worked out that way

  2. I had no idea. My mom would Love this story. What a neat part of life for the kids to be able to see. What a great experience. Happy for George too.

    • Territoons on November 28, 2015 at 6:30 am said:

      I thought it was pretty interesting, too! I learned a lot about pigeons. Like…they need a tail to fly! Lol!
      Can you forward the link to your Mom? I love to share! 😉

  3. We had a Pygmy owl hit the window one day. he was alive, but very stunned. We brought him in so the cats wouldn’t get him and put him in a bird cage draped with a towel. When he recovered a few hours later we released him and he took off out of the cage like a shot!
    Very cool story about George. 🙂

    • Territoons on November 28, 2015 at 6:31 am said:

      A pygmy owl! How cool. You have the coolest animals in your neighborhood. Glad you saved him. I bet he is glad, too!

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