Thursday 18th June:
On my way to and from work today I noticed that there seem to lots of baby squirrels around! I know that grey squirrels are a pest but I’ve got a thing about rodents which probably stems from always having gerbils as pets when I was a youngster. I now have two perfect degus called Jeffrey George and Flossy Bean who are my pride and joy, and tree squirrels remind me so much of them! The squirrels on campus are really tame and if you walk down to Highfields Lake you will find some that take food from your hand. I’ve only done this once or twice and I always use plain nuts. I got very annoyed once at a family hand feeding one of the squirrels with cookies. Without being narcissistic, It’s great to bring your kids and be close to nature like that but you do need to respect them and their natural dietary needs. It’s the same with ducks and bread. The Canal & River Trust recently ran a great campaign trying to spread awareness about the problems of feeding wildfowl with bread. Personally interacting with nature is such an important thing; it’s important to make sure that you are making a positive impact. Even with the best intentions we sometimes get things wrong.
I’m hoping that won’t be the case with Walter, who is still doing well. Luckily for me, because of hobbies such as pigeon racing, there is quite a lot of information online about hand rearing pigeon chicks. I have tried to read as much as I can from different sites about diet and other care. I know that I am doing the right thing by myself and by my colleagues and for our consciences. We are all concerned with animal welfare and want to make sure he survives. I just hope that it’s the right thing by Walter! I’ve read quite a bit about how easily a pigeon chick imprints on humans so I am trying to prepare myself to be his friend for as long as he lasts, while still being aware that it could be tomorrow that he gives up.
All images subject to copywrite. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the view of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for whom I volunteer, or any other organisation.