Miu is safe & happy now (Photo by Cynthia Zhou)
We are here, able to help birds in need of rescue, because of you.
Miu was one of more than 40 birds displaced when their person, a San Jose resident, died in November. There were 20 finches, 10 budgies, lovebirds, rosellas, doves and two pigeons. (He had bred and sold birds for many years. In the past, he had hundreds.) The deceased’s family reached out to Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue (the parrot rescue with whom we partnered for our first four years as MickaCoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue) to take the birds out of his backyard aviaries and into their rescue (except for the two pigeons which they just let out of the aviary). One of the pigeons was promptly attacked by their dog. The other eventually went back into an empty aviary. Michelle Yesney, Mickaboo CEO and one of many Mickaboo volunteers who worked on this big rescue, closed her in to keep her safe and contacted us.
We are beyond full… stretched to the breaking point caring for 130 birds in 27 volunteer foster homes/aviaries (and coaching, referring, counseling on behalf of many more) but every day, we have to figure out how to help the birds that no one else will. And so we stretched some more. I reached out to Faye, the volunteer who coordinates our foster Lobby Pigeons team at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley in Milpitas, who could transport and to Clare, our Leadership Team Chair who could short-term foster, to put together a rescue team for this pigeon in need.
As soon as Faye arrived on the property and spoke to Michelle, the lonesome pigeon, from a aviary far down an empty row of structures and out of sight, began cooing, calling for help.
Faye took her home overnight while she waited to go to Clare’s the following day. It was a big improvement in her situation! The little homing pigeon (the kind bred and used for "dove releases") was very tame and immediately set about making friends with Faye. She loved being petted and spoken to. When Faye would leave the room, the little pigeon would coo and coo to call her back. (See a short video.) Pigeons will vocalize to communicate with people just as they would call to one another. She was saying, Come here. Be with me. Stay with me. This is the behavior of a very tame, bi-cultural (pigeon/human) bird.
The next day, the little Homer was transferred to Clare’s house for foster care. She took to wearing pigeon pants with ease. And just as she had quickly won Faye’s heart, she won Clare’s too.
In the meantime, I had posted about the little lonesome Homer on our Facebook page as part of the effort to find her a long-term foster or forever home…
And Cynthia, a bird lover and Palomacy supporter who’s been thinking about a pet pigeon for a long time, saw her photos and was moved to complete our application. We talked through the requirements and what goes into caring for a pet pigeon and Cynthia set about getting ready. She suggested the name Miu which means “beautiful feather” and “kind-hearted” and so Miu she is. The following week, on November 27th, Cynthia went to Cupertino to pick up Miu. And they have been having a love fest ever since.
Last night I asked Cynthia for the Miu Report and she wrote,
The Miu Report is looking bright! She seems to have settled in very quickly and already claimed a few favorite spots around the room. The doves have left her alone, although they once flew over to a table near her food and I saw her give a warning peck in their general direction. She’s done this less with me, but she often flies over to Mako to land on his head or back, and it’s the cutest thing. We’ve had several friends meet her, and they all adore her. She’s something of a minor celebrity at the moment, and several people have asked to visit us so they can meet her. It’s finals week for us, so we’ve been spending a lot of time at home but we’re usually focused on studying, and she’ll sometimes walk over our keyboards to get our attention. We would love to adopt her, because fostering is going well (and Mako and I are very attached – we consider her part of the family already). She’s made herself right at home and our daily routine involves so much time with her that it’s hard to believe she came into our lives less than a month ago. I hope she gets to stay for a long, long time.
And so, with the help of a whole team of dedicated volunteers and supporters, Miu has been saved. She is safe, loved. She is home. Thank you for helping rescues like Palomacy (and Mickaboo) to help birds like Miu.
We couldn’t do this without you!
Waiting to be rescued
Lonesome rescued pigeon happy to be getting love
Miu meeting her new person Cynthia
Mako, Cynthia & Miu