Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pigeons in the French Quarter

by Berthile Claverie
My sister's son and the girl he is engaged to are in town from Washington D.C. He was anxious to show his fiancee around the French Quarter and for her to meet some of the family members. So today we met them for a nice lunch and we walked around seeing the sights. It was fun to see all the tourists. While we were eating lunch I noticed a black pigeon sitting on the iron railing of a balcony across the street. The guy was so beautiful to me and I noticed that he was waiting for someone to drop a treat. When we had dessert, mine came with a large cookie. So after we ate I told the family that I was going to feed that beautiful pigeon outside and politely excused myself from the table for a moment. My sister thought that I was nuts to call the pigeon beautiful but basically I dismissed her attitude and went and crumbled the cookie on the sidewalk for him. I tried to call his attention as I let the pieces fall to the ground and within moments I had the black pigeon eating and a few of his buddies too. It was fun to go back into the restaurant and watch them enjoying their treats. It made my day really. Why is it that people cannot find joy in simple things?

I know one thing is for sure. With all the sadness and madness of this world we live in, I can say without any hesitation that the living creatures around me bring me joy every day. I am always amazed at the birds singing around the backyard even though all the trees are gone. I see butterflies all the time passing through in the afternoons. You know when I see them I think God is saying to me "I am here, I am with you." I think people like them because they are free and seem to fly around without care. I think deep down inside of all of us we yearn to be just like them. I currently have a dove that for years has been building a nest in the same place and every year something gets to the nest and destroys the eggs. But not this year. She had two hatchlings that flew out of the nest about 4 weeks ago and she has returned once again and has another clutch of eggs. It's amazing she didn't give up and now she is back. I talk to her every morning and tell her what a wonderful mommy she is. Her mate even comes and sits next to her sometimes and when she has to leave the nest he is always close by watching. It's too sweet. I actually had the privilege of seeing one of the chicks fly out of the nest one morning and it was so exciting to me. I was in awe as it flew clear across my yard all the way across my neighbor's yard and into a nearby tree in one try. Later that afternoon the other chick left the nest too and came back and sat on the fence for a while as if it had come to say goodbye. I wished them much love and bid them farewell. I know they are around out there somewhere but I'll never really know who is who so to speak because doves are everywhere around here. Those chicks knew me because several times a day they watched me filling the dogs' water bowls and I'd always say hello to them.
published with permission © Bert Claverie June 6, 2006
Mrs. Berthile Claverie of Metairie, Louisiana has rescued many dogs and other animals.

Pigeons in New York City ---
National Pigeon Day: An Education Phenomenon
Click to
June 13th, 2008

Friday, June 13th, 2008 4 - 8 pm
Pilgrim Hill in Central Park, New York City, NY
(enter on northwest corner of 5th Avenue @ E. 72nd Street)
Entertainment, political activism, materials distribution, candlelight prayer service with guitar accompaniment and pigeon shaped cookies. Learn how carrier pigeons Cher Ami, GI Joe and Winkie saved the lives of more than 1,000 men in wartime. Become part of Project Pigeon Watch and have fun learning about our fascinating NYC residents. Due to NYC Parks Department policy and restrictions, Pilgram Hill is considered a "quiet area", therefore, amplified sound is not permitted, making this event a casual and informal gathering. Amanda Tree will host and play her music for National Pigeon Day. Amanda's MySpace Page Special Guest Joe Franklin Speakers include: Council Member Tony Avella, Nellie McKay, In Defense of Animals, Deacon Joseph Dwyer, Janice Fredericks, United Poultry Concerns, Raghav K. Goyal and Ana A. Garcia, Amanda Tree.The New York Bird Club wishes to thank In Defense of Animals who will provide a banner, Hanna Fushihara Aron who will bake pigeon shaped cookies, God's Creatures Ministry who will provide candles, the United Federation of Teachers Humane Education Committee who will bring Pigeon Watch materials for distribution, all speakers and contributors and all our pigeon friends who advocate on behalf of our beautiful birds.