So last Friday I thought I'd spruce myself up for the bank holiday weekend and rid my hair of its sun bleached orange ends! I carefully applied a (cruelty-free, of course) hair dye, set my timer and prepared for a relaxing 20 minute wait...
After about 15 minutes, I heard flapping in the garden, so went to investigate, with my gooey hair piled on top of my head...
I first saw a scattering of feathers, then found a pigeon that had been attacked by a cat, terrified and with three small bleeding wounds in its back. He had lost quite a lot of feathers from his back but not around his tail or wings.
Despite his manic flapping I gently picked him up and brought him inside.
I offered him Rose Otto essential oil straightaway - Rose can reduce adrenal responses by up to 30% (*1).
I also offered arnica macerate - we always tend to think of arnica as being great for bruises (which it is) but it is also very useful to offer animals for inhalation after they have had a shock.
After a few seconds his eyes went slightly softer and the tension in his body reduced.
Once I could observe a positive response to the oils, I covered his head immediately with a cloth. This is one of the most helpful things you can do when rescuing a bird as it quickly calms them, which is so important following a sudden traumatic event.
I placed the bottle of Rose Otto and the lid containing Arnica macerate near him - not too close, but so that he still had access to the volatile molecules of the oils through the cloth.
By now he had calmed sufficiently to lie completely still, allowing me to attend to his wounds using both hands.
Anti-inflammatory yarrow essential oil is excellent for wounds (*2) and can be dropped onto them undiluted (which is not always the case with essential oils!), so this was applied directly.
Green clay powder is both soothing and antimicrobial, keeping a wet wound dry, protecting it from flies and helping it to heal without infection, all at once. This was very gently dusted on top of all wounded areas including deeper cuts and raw skin patches.
Once that was done, I wanted to put him back in the garden, somewhere where he was safe, but able to fly free as soon as he was rested and recovered.
His pigeon wife was looking at me anxiously from the top of the garden shed, so made a nice towel nest for him in a box on top of a table where she could see him and I could keep an eye on him - but also leave him in peace! I covered his head again to enable him to get the rest he needed (his head had become briefly uncovered while taking him to the garden, and he had started flapping like a maniac again), and left him to regain his equilibrium, hoping that the shock had not sent him into terminal decline.
He stayed very still and I really didn't know which way it was going to go, but about half an hour later I suddenly saw him fly away.
So...yay. A happy ending. Pidge gets to continue coo-ing sweet nothings to his wife.
And for getting distracted ... I got dark green hair 😂
*1) Haze S., Sakai K. and Gozu, Y. (2002). Effects of fragrance inhalation on sympathetic activity in normal adults. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499579
*2) Barreto R.S.S. et al. (2014). A Systematic Review of the Wound-Healing Effects of Monoterpenes and Iridoid Derivatives. [Online]. Available at: www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/19/1/846/pdf