During Work from Home (WFH) time, approximately a year and a half, I made friends with cats, dogs and peacocks on the campus (see here) where I lived and worked. Back in the office in the University I never thought I would see winged friends at such close quarters again. Or that I would make friends and empathise with them.
My office has an open balcony/verandah attached. The plant in a flower pot left in the balcony was obviously gone during the long period of WFH. One day I found that a pigeon had made a nest in it and laid an egg, and later two eggs in the flower pot. I quickly moved the pot to a safe place away from direct sun and the rain. Yes, we actually had rain in this drought hit city for a few days in November.
And so there were two eggs in the abandoned flower pot. I waited and waited. It tooks weeks, never realised that the incubation period was so long….Discovered that the incubation period of pigeon egges is 18 days, nearly three weeks. No wonder it felt like ages! Every Monday I got in eagerly to see if the egg had hatched. And one day there was one little birdie and the other egg. The mother pigeon was proud and sat on the other egg with baby at her side. But oh no! The second egg did not yield a baby. Maybe it was not fertilised?? No idea. I am only a dumb Economist. Do not understand the mysteries of science and birht of a new life!
Mama pigeon kept the baby under her and held him protectively most of the time. Baby struggled to get free, but Mama held on to him. One day I captured this amazing video of Mama feeding the baby mouth to mouth. Baby was asking for more, pecking at his Mom!
It took about a month before the birdie began to look like a pigeon that I could recognise! The little adult began to practice spreading its wings. It takes 4-6 weeks for a pigeon to learn to fly! I tried to capture the pleasureable event, but missed most times. Managed to capture one round of the relatively grown baby spreading its wings! And then it spent many days wistfully looking out at the world from the parapet and parapet wall. Finally one Monday it was gone!! Bye bye birdie! Wish you joyful flights of fantasy!
So back to office companions, Ma and Pa pigeons and the baby pigeon, were a source of entertainment and anxiety for nearly two months. It was life lessons: birth of a new life, care and tenderness of the mother, responsibilities of the father! Papa and Mama pigeon still hover around the balcony. Not sure I can recognise the grown baby! Maybe some day he will come back with a partner to the safe haven of my balcony! Till then, Adios Amigos!