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Birdman of Long Beach, Stories (page 3)


I was in the Ralphs Shopping Center parking lot on Redondo & Anaheim and when a group of birds came down for me to feed them. A bird showed up that was tied horribly. Well believe me its not the first time I over reacted and went to catch him with my net to quick and missed him. It broke my heart because he was hurt so very bad for so long. There had been other birds that I had to keep going back to that same parking lot until I rescued them but I always did end up rescuing them every single one of them. When they are hurt that bad they almost always stay where I first see them at because they are comfortable there. So I am reasonably sure I will rescue them if I am just patient and keep going back faithfully.

 Today I made it a quest to go look for him before going to Ralphs to do some shopping. I hung around the parking lot quite awhile looking for him but the birds were being pretty evasive and that usually means there is a hawk in the area. So I gave up looking for him after about a hour and decided to go back in a day or two and try again. I walked over to the goodwill store and looked around. Then I headed to Ralphs to buy some TV dinners on sale. When I got to the end of the building of Ralphs on the side guess who was just standing there alone like he was waiting for me I quickly got my net out and said a quick prayer to Please don't let me miss him this time and I caught him yes and I think he might be the 2nd. worse bird I had ever rescued in 6 years.

And if you had seen the other really bad tied up birds I rescued you would realize what horrible condition he would have to be in to be the 2nd. worse tied up bird of all time. I already knew instantly that only one toe on his two feet could be saved. Its almost 11 p.m. and I know I won't go to bed until I do some serious doctoring on him. This poor guy has probably been tied like this for over two torturous years. I can't even imagine how he had the will to survive and I truly thank god for the supreme privilege of being able to give him his life back pain free. All the money in the world could not replace awesome moments like this.

This had to be another Divine Intervention today is the first day ever Babygirl went all day until around 4:30 p.m. without wanting to go out. I walk her down Martin Luther King earlier in the day but never later in the day. And that is what makes this rescue story so unique. I took her down that way today for the first time in the afternoon because it was our first walk of the day and I guess because we go that way earlier in the day. Sitting on the roof of a car just looking at me was this beautiful Band - tailed Pigeon. The Band -tailed Pigeon is the original pigeon of California and it is the only pigeon that is protected. It has a gold beak and gold legs and feet and looks more like a duck. They do not fly in the city and they only fly up in the mountains and they are very reclusive birds. They don't mingle with other pigeons because other pigeons will kill them for some reason. And I know that because a Band - tailed Pigeon was brought to me once that someone dropped off at a animal hospital.

The people running the hospital did not know you should not put Band- tailed Pigeons with other pigeons and the other pigeons hurt it severely before the hospital realized it had made a mistake. I tried to save it but I could not and that was the first time I ever seen a Band - tailed Pigeon. The problem is most people do not know anything about Band - tailed Pigeons because they are so reclusive and do not live in the city. Actually few people probably even know that they exist and also that they are a protected bird. When I seen this beautiful Band -tailed Pigeon just sitting on the roof of the car like it was just waiting for me to come and get it and take it home.

 I didn't know if I went back home to get my net if the bird would still be sitting there on the roof of the car when I returned. And keep in mind I only had my right hand free with Babygirl my pit bulls leash in my left hand. I had some birdseed in my pocket and put my hand slowly towards the bird and it actually just started eating right out of my hand and I was able to simply pick it up This was nothing short of a Divine Intervention. It had a lot of its rear feathers broke and there was only four feathers left after I pulled out the broken feathers. In your lifetime normally a Band -tailed Pigeon would not let a human come within a mile of it. Obviously someone had raised this bird probably from birth in captivity and it was tame. One of the most amazing things is once it was in a cage it wanted you to stroke and pet it like a kitten over and over and it was so awesome.

When I turned it over to my friend Christina with Southbay Wildlife she just couldn't believe it. You never see a Band - tail Pigeon tame like this and she was going to try to get it in a Museum somewhere where they showed birds and people could see it and how sweet it was. And I truly believe god put me in the birds path that day for the bird to find me. What a honor it was to have that extreme rare opportunity that few people would ever get.

Long Beach Wildlife Animal Hospital

Before I knew how to work on pigeons with pigeon pox. I would take the pigeons to Long Beach Wildlife Animal Hospital which is a wildlife hospital and also a hospital that takes in domestic pets for paid medical care. When you take any wildlife to them you must fill out a required wildlife form for each visit. There is a man there named Dave Thraen - Executive Director and State & Federally licensed master wildlife rehabilitator. I think he makes a lot of the rehabilitation decisions on the animals brought in there. Well in 2006 I took about 200 pigeons there by bus and the biggest majority of them had pigeon pox. Well I talked to Dave Thraen for about a hour on his cell phone one day. He acted so proud of me and said Dan you just bring all the birds you want to here. I ask him a few times during the year by leaving him messages on the wildlife forms if I could help him return some of the birds to where I rescued them from and each time he said oh no that's okay its right on my way home.

 Then after a year and approx. 200 birds later a kid that works there that knew how much I cared. He said you know what they have been doing to the birds don't you and I said no. And he said they have been been putting them to sleep and I almost died. It was like a year out of my life was taken away from me. I know I could not prove it and the hospital is like a secret society with there secrecy at the hospital and the poor kid probably lost his job for opening up his mouth to me. I am sure Dave Thraen would deny it completely. But how could he because now I know they would never keep pigeons there for the time it would take for them to recover from pigeon pox. I just did not know that than because I had just started rescuing birds in 2005.

 I only have my theories and one theory is that they were not going to take the time to nurse a pigeon with pigeon pox which is contagious. They claim it is incurable but I cleared up so many birds completely of the disease and the difference is I took the time to do it. I feel since I was the person out there rescuing the birds that if anyone had the right to make the decision about there fate it should of been me. No one had the right to lie to me when the birds lives were at stake. My guess is that the 200 or so wildlife forms I filled out in a year looked impressive when they were getting there grants and funding and the extra forms I provided just made them look that much more needed in the community on the wildlife end of there hospital.

 One day I took 8 birds to the hospital at one time. The whole year I was so proud of all the long bus rides I took to get the birds to the hospital thinking I was saving there lives. I should of been told that if I bring the birds in with pigeon pox that they would be put down instead of giving me false hopes and lying to me. The only explanation I can come up with is that all the lies were just to get me to fill out all those wildlife forms. It is obvious no one cared about my feelings at all.


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