Remember how we weren’t sure whether our King pigeon Yuzu was male or female, but were certain that Quince was a boy? (Even our expert pigeon veterinarian said so.) Well, look what our boy Quince went and did . . .
And this is how she looked at me when I asked to see her new creation. Would you want to reach under a bird who looked at you like this? She puffed herself up to twice her normal size and was ready to launch an all-out attack. I decided not to peek until she got out of the nest to get something to eat.
The second egg arrived 48 hours later. Pigeons almost always lay two.
Yuzu, who is undoubtedly a boy (really, for sure) has been a good helper, bringing straw for the nest and regularly taking turns sitting on the eggs. Sometimes he gets into the bowl and shoves Quince (now affectionately called Quincie) right out of it, so she can get a break.
But here’s the hard part. After a couple of days, we had to take away the fertile eggs and replace them with wooden ones. They’re lovely little replicas, and the pigeons accept them, but I felt guilty making the switch. They continue to sit so earnestly and it breaks my heart to know what they don’t: there are no baby pigeons in there. (I keep thinking of the proverbial wooden nickles.) After sitting for two weeks or so, they will get the message and abandon the fakes. Then I’ll collect them and we’ll start all over again.
Can you imagine how fast our aviary would fill up with pigeons if we let these two have babies? Yuzu and Quince are rescue birds — birds that we wanted simply to save, for their own sakes, not to breed or use in any way. There are lots of wonderful King pigeons that need good homes and if we want more, we will adopt.
Here’s proud papa Yuzu, all grown up at five-months old, but having kind of a bad hair day because of a recent molt . . .
I love their pink feet and little white pants . . .
Today, I am appreciating how beautiful and healthy my two birds are and how lucky we all are to have found each other.