Need a cure for the Monday blues? Our photo feature is here to help provide a brief diversion from your workday routine with a small dose of squee, wow and awwww. Enjoy!
There are many tiny worlds at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, as richly layered and brimming with life as anything you can imagine. One of these is the pigeon aviary at Wild Friends, which is home to around 100 pigeons. Many of them were laboratory birds at a nearby university, and after they had been thoroughly studied, the school was going to euthanize them.
A compassionate student stepped in and called Best Friends, who took all the “lab rats.” One of these is Shannon (yes, he’s a guy), who is 17 years old and still going strong.
Hello, ladies. I am Shannon. As you see, I am very strong and manly.
Look at my impressive wingspan.
I am also an experienced nest builder. I can build you the finest home woven of golden strands of straw.
Hay gurl! Look at this hay!
Gurl, where you goin’?
All right, fine. You don’t care about hay. Do you want a feather? What do you mean I’m annoying?
OK. Maybe I’m coming on too strong. Maybe a little romanticism is in order here. I can be a gentleman.
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks! It is the east and this chick right here is the sun. You’re the sun, right? Hello?
Success! And she didn’t even care about my piece of hay. She likes me just the way I am. Awwww.
I’m still gonna obsess over hay, though. Do you want to wear this as a hat? I can get more.
Due to his laboratory upbringing, Shannon spent the first five years of his life in a cage and developed zero social skills, which explains his awkward courtship behavior. He didn’t even recognize other birds as his kin at first. It has taken a while, but group living in a community setting at Best Friends has helped them all find a happy place. Even Shannon!
Photos by Molly Wald