"We would either assist him or he would be caught by the neighboring cats on the street," Joana said, adding that she knew the sick little bird wouldn't stand a chance on his own. And so the couple decided to take him in.
From that moment on, Joana said, she and her husband started to research everything they could find about raising baby pigeons. Joana admitted to being frightened by Marquês initially, but said it took just a few hours for her to swallow that fear and let unconditional love take over for the young bird who needed her.
Not only did she have her husband's backing, but Joana's colleagues at work supported her undertaking as well, allowing her to work from home a few days a week in order to care for Marquês. One notable day, a family of wild birds, whom Joana believes might have been a part of Marquês' family, stopped by to visit him.
... and having recovered from his eye infection, in addition to other health issues related to dry skin and not eating, Marquês refused to take off into the sky to be with his fellow birds.
"From that moment we knew that leaving him outside was a death sentence," Joana said. "He wasn't afraid of humans ... and he was not interested in the food that other pigeons were eating. There was a strong connection between us. So we brought him home with us."
Marquês has been living with his mom and dad ever since, and they make certain to take him out frequently for both fresh air and socialization with other birds. When indoors, he wears a special diaper to spare the carpeting and other furniture.