I don’t know what it is about me that attracts one-legged birds. No, not her, I mean the common or garden variety. Last year we had a one-legged pigeon as a regular visitor to our small piece of green and pleasant land who we rather originally nicknamed Hopalong. He seemed to do okay, jockeying for position among his mates hoovering up the seed that had spilled from the hanging feed hoppers. (No pun intended)
We thought we might see him again this year, but he didn’t show. However, his place in the one-legged bird shaped hole in our lives has been filled by a monoped blackbird. He hops around the lawn pulling up worms which is quite a feat when you’ve just the one limb to balance on. A bit like being in a tug-a-war contest with one leg tied behind your back.
Of course, Mrs P has taken him under her wing, so to speak, and has even invested in a bumper tub of dried meal worms to feed him on. She has to leave these to soak for 15 to 20 minutes before putting them out. I suppose this makes them more natural and palatable for the birds and less like worm-flavoured breadsticks.
The problem is that though she tries to put them where our feathered friend can help himself, the silly sod tends to fly off and by the time he comes back, they’re all gone. Mrs P was out this morning when he was at the bottom of the garden with her bowl of worms making encouraging noises, like coo-ee (I think she’d forgotten this wasn’t the pigeon) but he winged it once again.
Still, he seems healthy enough, at least for now. We haven’t given him a name and don’t plan to. We know from the bitter experience of Hopalong that you shouldn’t get too attached.