An Entwined Zebra Dove

Stage at Ala Moana Mall - Honolulu, HawaiiThe Ala Moana Mall in Honolulu Hawaii is not exactly a birder’s paradise.  If you’ve ever been there Zebra Dove on stage at Ala Moana Mallyou’ve probably seen the stage near the Waikiki side entrance.  On the day of my visit it was draped in red curtains that created a deeply textured vision of color on the floorboards.  Hence the photographs.

Oftentimes birds are there, probably because people feed them.  Mall birds.  Not exactly picturesque herons or majestic bluebirds.  More like zebra doves and rock doves (pigeons).  (Are pigeons, like, flying mall rats?)

But every one of those mall birds are just as worthy and deserving of life as any heron or bluebird.  So it broke my heart when I discovered that this little zebra dove had its legs entangled with some of kind of thread or very thin fibers.  The poor thing managed to walk but its appearance was disheveled, skinny, sickly.  The entanglement was taking its toll.Entwined Zebra Dove  You can see its entwined legs clearly in the silhouette photo on the left (click to enlarge).

I look back at that moment with regret.  I regret that I did not help that bird.  I Zebra Dove on Ala Moana Mall stagecould have found some big gloves and grabbed the bird and cut that twisted piece of twine that was holding it hostage.  That would have at least given it a chance.

As you can see it came right over to me, along with several pigeons, probably looking for a generous person tossing scraps.  It was close enough to me so that I could have done it!

But no, there were no gloves and I am not that gutsy.  Not that spontaneous.  And maybe it’s not a good idea to touch a bird that might be diseased or to take these matters into my own hands.

All I know is, we need to do more for the birds that are affected by our carelessness.

This is what a healthy zebra dove looks like, found right down the street near the Ala Wai Boat Harbor.

Zebra Dove in Waikiki

2 responses

  1. Margaret Smith

    Hi Judy- I was wondering if you could share some of your tips for winter feeding of AK birds. I’m in Anchorage & after 39 years I’m just now getting into the birds. I have a couple of feeders & suet feeders. It’s been fun this summer but I’m wondering how to keep it up in the winter months.
    I’ve enjoyed looking through your blog and photos. Any ideas would be helpful. Thank you.
    – Margaret

    October 8, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    • Hi Margaret, right now I’ve got more squirrels than birds (not literally, but its a problem). I’ve got two feeders, both filled with sunflower hearts. The plastic sphere feeder that is suctioned to the window stays clean but I have to thoroughly scrub the wood feeder that hangs off the deck whenever it gets wet from rain or wet snow. The squirrel is the only one who visits the wood feeder, with the exception of a hairy woodpecker or two, and chickadees mainly come to the feeder on the window that has a nice perch. (The squirrel is satisfied to acrobatically reach the plastic feeder on the window every so often but mostly leaves it alone.) I chose sunflower hearts because they don’t make a mess and the birds love them, but I’m sorry to say that I’ve seen a reduction in birds overall the last year or two. Hardly any Redpolls anymore and they used to mob the feeder several times a winter. I have no idea if it’s something I have done or a more natural phenomenon. It could be the squirrels. One of them lives in our shed, we mostly don’t mind, and what could us animal lovers do about it anyway? The little guy’s mother drowned in our rain barrel last summer so we feel especially terrible about that. (We fixed the problem by putting a straight tree limb in the barrel that sticks out of the water, permanently.) So you can see that I’m not totally happy with the current bird feeding state of affairs. I’ve been planning on blogging about it but I was hoping the birds would come back and the problem would be remedied. I hope you have more luck than me with winter feeding. I still think sunflower hearts are the best for winter, but if a squirrel adopts your property, I feel your pain. – Judy

      November 29, 2015 at 11:05 pm

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