Silent Nature and A. J. Windless     
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red collared dove
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 Not Forgotten  (Page 9)
Bad news greeted me on my next trip to the clinic. "He can't fly." His wing joint had not lined up correctly. I asked if they had actually given him the opportunity to try, so they walked me into a room with the dove and closed the door. On the floor she released him and he was unable to get more than 1/3 of a meter off the ground. I told them I would go home and try to decide what to do next. It looked to me as if this poor little dove needed someone to look after him. The first thing I tried to do was contact the lady who already had a female dove to take care of. That would be perfect, they would keep each other company. I came to find, however, that I had never completed her contact info. I tried discussing it with the clinic staff to see if they could contact her, but they, too, were unable to come up with anything. The next day I decided I wasn't going to leave the dove at the clinic. I thought he would be much happier with me and the freedom of my balcony, so I set about to buy a cage. Doves mate for life and on the evening before I went in to pick him up and bring him home a female showed up on my balcony calling for him, just outside the railing, as close as she could get to where he had spent most of his time sitting. For the last month she had been looking for him, and now finally she must have picked up his scent and was hoping to see him. The next morning I brought him home and put him out on the balcony. Less than an hour later she lighted on top of the railing. She seemed to wait for him to join her there. I could sense a, "Look, if I can do it you can do it. This is the way out. Do I have to come down there and show you? Okay, here I come. Now look, just fly out of here like this." After he gave no response to her example, she departed, probably wondering what had gotten into him. Alone he sat on my balcony, unable to fly, but reassured at least, that after a month of absence he still had a mate, and clearly she had not forgotten him.
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