Originally Published 5.2.14 - Republished 11.16
Lucky Bird is ready to fly the coop! She struts around my studio all day, sometimes mumbling under her breath some pigeon obscenities, sometimes nipping at my ankles as the little ankle biter she has become, but always letting me know this studio space is hers first, and mine second! To imagine it was ever the other way around would be...unthinkable!
I will miss my Lucky Bird and all her antics. She can untie a small mirror with a bell attached double-knotted on a ribbon in less than a minute, help clean her own space or supervise from her perch on my back, scolding all the while (she gets very emotional when I mess with her stuff) and on occasion, alight on my head for no apparent reason. Thankfully I have not had to wash my hair immediately after.
Yes I will miss my Lucky Bird, and the question of what to do with her when and if the weather ever gets warmer had been looming on my mind. Where truly is the best place to reintroduce her back to pigeon life in the wild, where her clucking will be understood in pigeon speak? I have really labored over this decision, and many people have contributed ideas. The Milwaukee Zoo (which would have to be a release outside the fencing of course) or somewhere in the City of Milwaukee (until finding out the deep dark secret of pigeon life in MKE) or perhaps she'd be accepted into the well-known pigeon community of the famous prestigious section of Chicago's Michigan AvenueMagnificent Mile, were all contenders at one time or another.
And then one day she and I were having a conversation about all this in my studio, and she mentioned how she is a country girl and has never known anything else, and being in the equivalent of studio solitary confinement for seven months the noise and lights and activity of a city may be a bit overwhelming, so we decided she perhaps was not cut out for big city life and is not after all, a Michigan Avenue chick, and we would have to keep searching for the perfect home for my Lucky Bird.
As smart as Lucky is, according to sources and some research apparently there isn't a whole lot in that little pin-feathered head other than an incredible GPS system that humans would envy. Even though she is not a homing pigeon she still harbors an innate sense of home, and for her she has imprinted my studio as her home for the last seven months. In the end, the further I take her away, the harder time she will have to come home.
And so went the debate. She needs to fly, I need my studio back, and the weather is finally warming ever-so-slowly. The clock is ticking.
Amidst all this we needed a new well - a blog post for another time. But while talking with our amazing electrician who lives right up the road about Lucky's plight, he mentioned he sees pigeons every morning - right out his backyard, in a neighbors abandoned silo!!!! I was elated and the decision had been made. Lucky Bird will be released to the closest pigeon community I know of as soon as the weather evens out a bit here in Wisconsin. We still hit nights in the 30's and few days brush past 60 with a string of 40's following. If she needs to fly home then it won't be all that treacherous a flight, but I'm so hoping she finds her soul mate and makes her forever home in the safe hawk-free confines of a pigeon silo community.