Monday, 27 August 2012

Nature vs nurture

So this is 'Sweetpea' who started the great debate around here of Nature vs Nurture.  You see I accidentally 'saved' Sweetpea from a cat.  Now until after the event I didn't consciously decide to shoo said cat away from her but it happened, it just kind of came out that I began flapping and shooing and cat ran away and 'Sweetpea' sat against a wall looking a little bedraggled and lost.  Sweetpea I realised was a fledgling/juvenile Wood Pigeon (someone may correct me on this if you please).

Now for the debate, do I leave a shocked and injured bird and pretty much guarantee kitty comes back for round 2 or do I give her a chance to recuperate?....

Before you're thinking leave her to go back to her nest/parents/tree I might add I did scan the area and in an open urban environment could see nowhere to safely place her.  

Part of me wished I had just left well alone but as I said I didn't really mean to intervene in the first place!

I carefully popped her in a box and covered it as best as possible and took her home.

Google searches entailed ranging from 'what do wood pigeons eat' to handing over wildlife to various animal charities. (In case you ever find yourself in a pigeon dilemma I'd really recommend these guys  Invaluable and to the point advice!  Particularly not rushing solids and making up a glucose solution)

So lets cut to the chase, Sweetpea sat in my bathroom for a couple of days, in truth I was shocked she even survived the night, more from the shock of being man handled by lil ol me than all the other events of the day!  She feasted on warmed peas (hence her nickname) and pooped lots!!  We built her a makeshift shelter out of an old kids bunkbed frame left behind the shed just to be sure she'd last outside over night. As I was hanging washing about 3 days after finding her I got the sudden urge to release her.

And just like that as quickly as this dull scruffy little bird had entered my life she flew up and was gone... I wasn't happy or sad just pleased she seemed healthy and I hadn't unintentionally killed her with kindness! 

I cant really use the saying 'if you love someone set them free' because in all blunt reality Sweetpea is only a bird, a pest to some, vermin even?  But to me she represented chance and destiny - living the life we were born to as opposed to caging her for life if I kept her too long and in which case she may have imprinted on me.

This was all a week ago and as I run out this morning to grab the washing off the line because I sensed rain I feel something watching me.  A little wood pigeon, not quite grown, sits on the fence.  "Hi Sweetpea" I say as I unpeg the clothes and try not to make too much eye contact with her (another good bit of advice, pigeons find this rather threatening apparently).  As I go inside I hear her fly off and I smile ;) 

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