I am writing this with hope that it may be read by those who either outright dislike pigeons or believe they are nuisances whose purpose in life is to leave as many deposits of their poop as possible.
They did not ask to be born pigeons. It must be unbearable for them and all birds in this blistering heat to seek water and shade.
Among the variety of birds that come into the Antioch Animal Shelter where I volunteered were several pigeons. I adopted two young ones so that the DVM (vet) who has the medical center for birds in Oakley could correct their lame feet and legs. He is one of a few bird vets who will treat rescued birds at little or no charge. The pigeons had nice dispositions and I hated to see them euthanized. I brought them home to recuperate.
DC3, named after the prop planes, revs her wings every morning. She became a pet of sorts and followed me when I called. The second pigeon I named Vicky for victorious. He is the bigger and assertive one.
The prospect of finding owners for them or a nearby flock was small, so I decided to have a pigeon house constructed. In observing birds, I believe that pigeons are a tad smarter than most people give them credit for. Like most animals and people, they need a little TLC.
Recently, I watched an amazing program on Animal Planet, 'War of the Birds.' It was about the carrier pigeons that saved many lives during World War II by carrying secret messages. These pigeons' unrivaled strength and determination was unbelievable. They flew through barrages of gunfire at the beaches of Normandy on D-day. The French Resistance received secret messages carried by British pigeons. One famous one, 'William of Orange,' was there at the Battle of Arnheim, Holland.
'Winkie,' pigeon of the RAF, received the Victoria Cross. He flew 120 miles from a crash site in the sea off Scotland to get rescue help for the crew.
The Germans in Freilassing trained and sent falcons to intercept the allies' carrier pigeons, as they had learned that falcons could spot a pigeon one mile distant.
'Mary of Exeter,' the heroine of the British Pigeon Service, had 22 stitches in her chest and returned to duty. She could outrace the falcons and used a unique maneuver to escape them.
Pigeons received the equivalent of our Congressional Medal of Honor. 'GI Joe' saved the lives of over 1,000 British troops whose radio had failed. Joe carried messages, flying at 60 mph - 20 miles in 20 minutes. His little body is interred in a place of honor at the New Jersey Army Museum.
So it seems these marvelous pigeons seem to know how vital their purpose was. My own experience has been that they are never vicious, even when captive in cages. They deserve to have food, water and clean cages while detained at shelters.
My hope is that some day there will be bird sanctuaries where rescued or surviving birds, including pigeons, can live peaceful lives without constant fear of predators.