Perhaps some of you readers will remember the September 2013 article about the fallen baby dove that was blown out of his nest during a terrible fourth of July storm. Knowing not a thing about what to do, with the grace of God and lots of love, my son and I managed to somehow keep him alive. Then I found Garrie Landry at the American Dove Association . I emailed him lots of questions and photos to learn what to do for Freedom. After 10 days a rehab called me. I took him there where he spent a month learning to be a bird and how to eat seed and forage for food. But on release day , as I was making preparations to go get Freedom, he got away from the rehab lady and she couldn’t catch him. She assured me she’d catch him but was unsuccessful in doing so.

My son and I went up there the following day . We called to him and whistled and said the things we used to say to him and he came to us. We took him home. The following day, the two birds that were given to us to release with him left immediately  upon opening the cage door but Freedom would not leave. It took four releases for him to finally go for the night. I searched my property several times that night to be sure he was gone, as the night before I found him huddled on my bench in the rain at one am and had to take him back inside. He was gone that fourth night.

Freedom has been returning here to my yard and his feeders which are on top of the cage I built him ever since that day. Barring  days of storms, every day, he faithfully returns twice daily. He eats, then seems to rest, then flies off. July 4, 2015 will mark two years since the night he fell from his nest and my neighbor found him lifeless, wet and ice cold in the wet grass. I can still talk to him and he listens , cocking his head to one side and wiggles his wings, but he is usually alone when he comes to eat which has made me sad for him.

Occasionally I see him with one of the two other birds my son and I released with him that we named Buddy. Well, today was a happy day for me! I went to go out to do yardwork and saw a dove by the food dish. When I opened the sliding door I realized it was Buddy. So, I went inside to get more food and water. As I opened the door to go out ,  Buddy jumped into the grass very close by but did not fly away. As I filled the water I looked to my right and saw Freedom walking in the grass. As I spoke to him, he turned around and  he did his usual behavior when hearing me speak to him. To my surprise, two baby birds flew up from the grass haphazardly and over my head. I had not even seen them. They were so small. They were so close, I heard their wings and felt the breeze over my head as they flew by. I then went inside after throwing additional seed onto the lawn.

I now have no regrets of having let Freedom be a free bird. Seeing him usually alone, I’ve always thought it was my fault he had no mate because he had bonded to me. I am very happy now. Freedom is free and seems to have hooked up with Buddy and they have babies. From all I’ve learned from Garrie about doves, I believe he is, in fact, a female.  Freedom did just fine in the world for himself  ( herself I should say).  How wonderful is that? The magic of fours : Found on the Fourth of July, wouldn’t leave till the fourth day and now a family of four! FANTASTIC NEWS. So, bottom line, if you see a life that needs your help, do what you can to help. Even if you’re not sure how. You will be richly rewarded. Have a blessed day!