What a lovely surprise to see Graham Holcroft at this week’s meeting, and great to see he in on the mend from his fall. I’m not sure the laughs helped the sore ribs!! Tracey Gleeson is an apology for the near future due to some health issues; we wish you lots of get well wishes Tracey.
Magill Sunrise was happy to welcome Dave Bell, our guest speaker who was telling the club about ‘The Adventure of Smarty’. This story of over eleven years of friendship between a man and a bird had many of the members intrigued and laughing. Dave, has been rescuing birds since the age 14, when he accidentally shot an owl whilst out game hunting with his brother. It was soon apparent that Smarty, a wild dove, was no ordinary bird, but was actually a rather intelligent one.
Over the last 11 years, Smarty has unfortunately had a couple of run-ins with crows. One resulting in a broken beak, and the second one a broken leg. After both attacks, Dave has helped nurse the bird back to health, often involving feeding him by hand and making special pellets which are easier to digest. As a result of the first attack, Smarty now has a misaligned beak and can make it difficult for Smarty to pick up food.
Smarty has had several chicks with his partner, Poppy, and unfortunately most of the chicks have been eaten by possums, which lead Smarty to leave Dave’s garden for a short while, to make a safer nest in a nearby park. Since Smarty has been living well past the average life expectancy of doves (he is 15 years of age), he is now on his third mate (Poppy III).
Dave continues to rescue all different kinds of birds including: rainbow lorikeet, wattlebirds and galahs. He has also produced a book of photographs, entitled ‘the Gardner’s Guide to Growing Money Trees’: http://www.davebell.com.au/books.html. This book has International recognition and has won an award in New York. Thanks Dave, for sharing your interesting story.