I’ve been spending a lot of time around the house while Charlie is hard at work, so naturally I’ve become pretty good friends with our pigeon. (He’s actually sitting on my head as I write this.) Pip is a well-groomed fellow who takes great care of his outward appearances. (I suppose his beautiful speckled feathers make up for his small brain.) Every day he spends hours preening his feathers, bathing and strutting in front of his reflection in the kitchen window. Like the dapper man he is, Pip has developed a proper schedule which he follows daily.
In the morning, Pip wakes me up with loud cooing outside our bedroom door – expecting me to pour his breakfast. Then he follows me to the kitchen– walking on the carpet and bobbing his head. Sometimes I wonder if he thinks he’s human as he prefers walking over flying. After breakfast, he takes a patrol along the perimeter of his territory (the hallway from the kitchen to the bathroom). If there are any foreign objects (such as the vacuum cleaner), Pip instantly fluffs his feather and attacks, fussing loudly until it is removed.
From mid-morning to dinner time, I let Pip outside for his jaunt about the neighborhood. I have no idea how he spends his time in the wide, outdoor world, but I suspect he sits in the cedar trees and tries to make friends with the grackles. One time, he made the mistake of perching directly beneath a barn swallow nest and suffered several dive-bomb attacks from Mr. and Mrs. Swallow.
Around 5 pm, Pip is ready to return to civilization. He’ll eat his dinner, sit on top of the fridge and preen himself for another hour or so. Sometimes, he’ll ask for a bath by walking over to the bath tub and cooing. Other times he will go straight to bed – settling himself on his perch, ruffling his feathers, blinking his orange eyes and tucking one leg against his belly.
It’s a full life for our bird friend. He is a constant source of entertainment for us and we tolerate his high demands. Someday, when we have our own place, I will have to figure out an arrangement for Pip and my kitty Mosi to co-exist… but that’s still down the road a bit.