I have a new friend — but for how long?
After the NAVHDA folk left from their training day last weekend, they left behind a couple of Chukar and an interesting new friend — Pigeon Bob.
The day after the “Dog People” (as my neighbors like to call them) left, Buddy the WonderDog caught a couple of the Chukar and brought them home, but I didn’t know about Pigeon Bob until the next day.
My son and I were moving yard furniture around when he spotted a pigeon hiding in the tall grass. The pigeon saw us see him, he bolted.
As he flew he did a 360, I thought, “Uh oh, he’s wounded. Buddy’ll be bringing him home soon.”
And I immediately started to dread that moment.
When I met Bob for the second time — this time up close and personal — it was early evening. I was doing laundry on my covered back porch. I keep the windows open so I can use the room as a “blind” and photograph birds in the walnuts tree.
I reached for the laundry soap and there he was. He scared the living daylights outta me.
Apparently that looked like a good roosting spot to him, so I let him sleep there overnight. In the morning, I shooed him out the window.
Five minutes later he was perched on the window sill.
I hate pigeons, but I figured that he had a little moxie. My heart warmed a little — but not much. Just a little.
Besides, I was still a little sad over the death of Blackie, the one-legged Rock Pigeon that had lived like a pampered pet on the back porch of my parent’s house. He had been taken away from us by an evil racoon who opened a dog airline crate to get at him. I didn’t want my heart broken again.
By the end of the day, Pigeon Bob (so named by my daughter) found the front porch birdseed and water. And Buddy the WonderDog saw him through the window.
I reinforced the steel I had initially erected against forming an affection for Pigeon Bob. Buddy was going to get him, I just knew it. Especially with that whacked out navigation system of his that caused him to do flips in mid air.
Tuesday morning my dad stopped in to chat before heading to work at the Toledo airport. I told him about Pigeon Bob. I told him the bird had taken to following me around the yard while I birded. I told him about Bob’s faulty navigation, that he did 360s sometimes when he flew.
Dad said, “Yup. That’s cuz he’s a Tumbler Pigeon. They’re commonly used in dog training because the tumbling simulates a wounded bird.”
I didn’t believe him.
“Google it,” he said.
So I did. I Googled.
Huh. Bob’s a Tumbler Pigeon.
Wanna see them fly? It’s WAY cool.
Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer and photojournalist. She is the founder of The (Almost) Daily News website, is currently addicted to Storage Wars, and prefers Miracle Whip over mayonnaise. You can find her on Facebook, call her with questions or outdoors news tips at 360-269-5017, or email her at email@example.com.