erm... there's this pigeon...

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anniet
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Message 1949966 - Posted: 15 Aug 2018, 21:58:13 UTC

It was on my front doorstep this morning and apart from an occasional potter about in the garden, it's been here all day. It's really sweet and friendly although on the timid side of that and although I can see no obvious signs of injury, it clearly can't fly. I say it clearly can't because it has shown no sign of even trying and it won't even do a little hop down (or up) to/from the path but will only use the ramp to pootle itself out of the way of traffic in and out the door.

It's got inside my hallway twice now and needed gently shooing-out and I'm wondering if it's a baby. I gather they're not distinctly different in size/appearance to adult pigeons. I also gather that to learn to fly, they're reliant on their dads being around to take that first flight with. And I don't know how to do that without ... considerable incident.

I've tucked a box to the side of the front door with some seeds and water for tonight, but our neighbour's cat, Oscar, has been managing to get in the garden again and the pigeon is going to be a erm... sitting duck before too long - which could mean any time soon too :( And then... indoors... there's my own felines... y-e-e-e-e-e-s. I'm stupidly wary of handling it because my immune system is being compromised a bit of a lot at present and I'm supposed to avoid catching stuff. But if I'm careful...? And I do it right so I don't hurt it? I have an old guinea-pig hutch which I think I can build a ramp to, for it to come and go when I know the garden's safe, and that can be secured overnight - and I can hope the dad turns up in the meantime

I don't know if we have any pigeon fanciers amongst our community - or people who've had similar experiences and can give me some advice. I've been having a look online. I'm trying to avoid the "bad omen and ill-portent" sites. And I'm also trying to disregard the existential crisis suffered by Jonathan Noel in The Pigeon and thinking of Poe's: The Raven too...

One thing I noticed at my last check - was that one particular variety of seed in the mixed bag of bird seed I've put out has ended up in the water. Coincidence? Spat out in disgust? The bird is telling me it wants it pre-softened?
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Message 1950008 - Posted: 16 Aug 2018, 1:18:46 UTC - in response to Message 1949966.  

It was on my front doorstep this morning and apart from an occasional potter about in the garden, it's been here all day. It's really sweet and friendly although on the timid side of that and although I can see no obvious signs of injury, it clearly can't fly. I say it clearly can't because it has shown no sign of even trying and it won't even do a little hop down (or up) to/from the path but will only use the ramp to pootle itself out of the way of traffic in and out the door.

It's got inside my hallway twice now and needed gently shooing-out and I'm wondering if it's a baby. I gather they're not distinctly different in size/appearance to adult pigeons. I also gather that to learn to fly, they're reliant on their dads being around to take that first flight with. And I don't know how to do that without ... considerable incident.

I've tucked a box to the side of the front door with some seeds and water for tonight, but our neighbour's cat, Oscar, has been managing to get in the garden again and the pigeon is going to be a erm... sitting duck before too long - which could mean any time soon too :( And then... indoors... there's my own felines... y-e-e-e-e-e-s. I'm stupidly wary of handling it because my immune system is being compromised a bit of a lot at present and I'm supposed to avoid catching stuff. But if I'm careful...? And I do it right so I don't hurt it? I have an old guinea-pig hutch which I think I can build a ramp to, for it to come and go when I know the garden's safe, and that can be secured overnight - and I can hope the dad turns up in the meantime

I don't know if we have any pigeon fanciers amongst our community - or people who've had similar experiences and can give me some advice. I've been having a look online. I'm trying to avoid the "bad omen and ill-portent" sites. And I'm also trying to disregard the existential crisis suffered by Jonathan Noel in The Pigeon and thinking of Poe's: The Raven too...

One thing I noticed at my last check - was that one particular variety of seed in the mixed bag of bird seed I've put out has ended up in the water. Coincidence? Spat out in disgust? The bird is telling me it wants it pre-softened?

Your caring is wonderful. I don't know what a pigeon eats, perhaps worms. Are there animal rescue people that would care as much as you do? I wish I could offer you more information. I am hoping that everything turns out OK.

Steve
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Message 1950045 - Posted: 16 Aug 2018, 3:33:27 UTC - in response to Message 1950008.  

I have seen pigeons eat pop corn.
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Message 1950060 - Posted: 16 Aug 2018, 4:49:26 UTC - in response to Message 1949966.  

Best of luck with your rescue Annie. I could not find anything for wild pigeon or doves on the www searches about food - only "pet racing birds".

I get pigeons and doves in my back yard (in North Texas) just about every day eating up what the sparrows, chickadees, painted buntings and an occasional cardinal toss on the ground and don't want of the wild bird seed mix I put in the feeders.

It seems "the cleanup crew" as I have labeled them seem to prefer mostly whole corn and large cracked corn kernels along with any sunflower or sorghum seeds that have been left behind.

I once placed oatmeal in one of the feeders and none of birds wanted it! The local squirrels were trying every way they could to get to it for several days, but failed with flair, finally gave up and came back later one day sat on the fence looking at the feeder, possibly analyzing the situation and cursing at me. The next day I put some oatmeal on the ground to see if the pigeons and doves would eat it. They did not want it either so the squirrels had a picnic that day!

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Message 1950091 - Posted: 16 Aug 2018, 10:34:25 UTC

I did a little looking and found this site.

VCA Hospitals pigeons and doves feeding.

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Message 1950131 - Posted: 16 Aug 2018, 14:54:41 UTC

Thank you everyone for your posts of encouragement :) And that link has given me some pointers, Admiral. Thank you, you're a star :)

To the person who informed me they are vermin (by pm) to be euthanized - may I point you to this:

http://helpwildlife.co.uk/sick-or-injured-wildlife/vermin/

Pigeons

Perhaps the most misunderstood species. We often hear of rescues and vets refusing to treat them because they are a ‘pest’ or ‘vermin’ and to do so would be illegal. There are no legal restrictions on the treatment and release of pigeons. You may still experience some resistance when asking for help with a pigeon casualty though so we are trying to build a database of UK rescues who are willing to look after pigeons which you can see here.
Call it fanciful if you like - but if it hadn't thought I could be trusted/appealed to for assistance - there are plenty of other places it could have sheltered away from my front door where I might not have had reason to notice it. It didn't do that. It came to me, and in every respect other than it is not flying - it seems a perfectly healthy bird. So no. I will not be taking the avenue suggested to me. But thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify a few matters for you :)

Some years ago I saw a man using a catapult and large stones to systematically maim/destroy pigeons and nests with young that had been nesting under a railway bridge because "they'd cr**ped on his car". It was ghastly :(( he wasn't even making sure they were dead and therefore not suffering. So I went straight to our local police station to tell them it was happening - although I was unsure - because of the attitude so many have in London towards pigeons, that it was even considered a crime. They felt it was a crime and sent a patrol out with the veterinary surgeon that usually was tasked with caring for the police horses - to humanely finish what had been so brutally done. Just so you know.
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Message 1950172 - Posted: 16 Aug 2018, 22:04:52 UTC
Last modified: 16 Aug 2018, 22:07:30 UTC

Day two of anniet's first pigeon diary ever:

So it definitely nestled down in the box (small plastic starter aquarium on its side) that I left out last night, but unfortunately got a bit bedraggled sheltering a bit inappropriately during the heavy rain we had for a few hours today. But it wasn't the only pigeon that looked like that by the end of the rain so it's hopefully not a setback.

There's been some success with some of the foodstuffs I had in the house - mostly with a mixture of finely chopped unsalted cashew nuts and slightly mashed banana with softened kernels I grazed off the side of some sweetcorn, but I would have liked to see it eat a bit more than it did. I will experiment further over the coming days. It's drinking water no problem which I'm glad to see :)

My activities adding an off-the-ground hutch (with a now attached ramp) to its landscape has made it a bit warier of me than the day before, so whether it will make use of it I don't know. I've left the original shelter where it was so it still has that, but it will be a lot safer and very difficult (though not impossible) for a cat to get at it in the hutch - so I did what I could to block up access to the garden despite it pouring most of the day, and I plan to be up with the sun or whatever passes for daylight in the morning, to have another go at making the front garden completely cat proof.

I've lost my voice, so can't chat soothingly to it or anything sadly, but did sit quietly with it for quite a long while this afternoon - and telepathed my good will at it instead, and it did gradually edge itself closer to me like it was pretending it wasn't :) but I'm now convinced it is still a baby.

This link has been brilliant at reassuring me of that, and if you go down to the video link for June 8th on that site - and note what the pigeon in that is doing with it's wings - well our little guy/girl was having a bit of a go at doing that too, just one wing at a time, and a bit on the clumsy uh-oh-almost-toppled-over-then-side.

Another thing I noticed whilst we were chilling together - was that it was going to enormous lengths to twist it's neck to look up at a particular spot high up behind me, and when I did that - it was to see a single pigeon on the roof of the end-maisonette next door, staring intently down at us. Is that dad? I don't know. I hope so.

@Dr Who fan: May I pass on your oatmeal observation to someone at Einstein? I think they might find it usefully helpful :)
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Message 1950229 - Posted: 17 Aug 2018, 4:17:04 UTC - in response to Message 1950172.  

Pigeons like to eat grains and seeds.
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Message 1950235 - Posted: 17 Aug 2018, 4:48:57 UTC - in response to Message 1950229.  

Feed the bird some pop corn, he'll love it.
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Message 1950292 - Posted: 17 Aug 2018, 13:51:39 UTC

Thanks lunkerlander, and welcome to the café too :)

It's pecking at the seeds and grain but it's definitely not taking in enough of them to maintain its weight. I know because I plucked up the courage today (after browsing pigeon talk) to pick it up, and from what was said in the section on feeding substitute crop milk, its crop feels like it's pathetically running near enough on empty :(

So I'm off out now to pick up some ingredients I don't have near to hand and am going to have to get a bit more proactive in getting food into it (whilst hopefully persuading/tempting it into independently topping itself up with tasty titbits). I gather the former is a very messy business - so um... y-e-e-s.

I will definitely give the popcorn a go though, betreger, thanks :)

Oh, and just as a by-the-way, if that was dad - he's obviously got better things to do, or given up on his little one. There's no sign of him today.

I think I'm going to have to give it a name though, because "it" lacks something. Suggestions are welcome :)
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Message 1950299 - Posted: 17 Aug 2018, 14:25:24 UTC

Helps to know gender.

Junior
Christopher
Charley
Angel
Flightless (lol)

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Message 1950354 - Posted: 17 Aug 2018, 18:17:33 UTC - in response to Message 1950299.  
Last modified: 17 Aug 2018, 18:18:58 UTC

Helps to know gender.

Junior
Christopher
Charley
Angel
Flightless (lol)
*Heh heh@Admiral's lol'd choice* :))

I found this: how to tell a kite from a hen on sexing pigeons. I'm some way off being confident enough in my handling of one though to even contemplate trying it yet :) but I could attempt to look at its toes... I'll report back on that in awhile - but I've now completed my concoction and put it through a blender so ... let daub/splosh/splat time commence!! ;)

edit: I could be some time...
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Message 1950394 - Posted: 17 Aug 2018, 20:49:46 UTC
Last modified: 17 Aug 2018, 20:51:15 UTC

There's a distinct possibility I ended up with more on my outside than it got on it's inside, but we're mostly cleaned up, I think.

I completely forgot to look at its toes though. I'm going to blame that on it dozing off whilst I was busy de-splatting its feathers.
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Message 1950482 - Posted: 18 Aug 2018, 3:03:01 UTC - in response to Message 1950394.  

Good luck with your pigeon chick. Post a picture if you can sometime.
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Message 1950497 - Posted: 18 Aug 2018, 5:03:43 UTC - in response to Message 1950172.  

@Dr Who fan: May I pass on your oatmeal observation to someone at Einstein? I think they might find it usefully helpful :)


Yes! Feel free to share :)

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Message 1950618 - Posted: 18 Aug 2018, 22:54:14 UTC

Yes! Feel free to share :)
Thanks, Dr Who Fan :)

Good luck with your pigeon chick. Post a picture if you can sometime.
I will certainly try to, lunkerlander. My photography skills have an unfortunate tendency to resemble something someone suffering with the complete deliriums tremendousms would produce, so roping in a family member may be necessary :)

Day ... hold on. I need to scroll to find out what day we're on...

Day Four :)
...has been a very interesting one. Firstly however, apologies in advance for what is likely to be a long post, everyone. Secondly, going on toe lengths, I'm 99.9% sure "it" is a girl. On the vent bones - I'm not sure at all. That might be because this is a baby so it's apparently not as easy to distinguish between them until after the first eggs have been laid, and also because, I didn't do any of that turning it upside down stuff either, but I did try the tail thing, and it went up. So I'll go with it being a girl for the time being.

The popcorn, by the way, was popular with all the garden birds from what I observed, and the squirrels too :) I didn't give her a "crop-milk" feed this morning though, as she was already pottering about and seemed to be working a little bit harder at trying to feed herself from the seeds and stuff I'd put down. Then she came across an offering of a few freshly-shelled peanuts... y-e-e-e-e-s... and decided she'd found the only food she'd ever eat again.

I gave her a few more - because I'm a big softy - but resisted feeding her many more than that - for fear, people, that she'd explode. By that time, we'd been joined by quite a lot of birds (our usual garden crew of robins, sparrows, gold crests and tits) which drew the attention of about four other pigeons.

It's at that point I retreated indoors to watch from the window, because, whilst the little birds don't go into a complete blind panic on seeing me, the pigeons have a tendency to prevaricate a LOT on whether to land or churn about flapping dementedly somewhere round and about my head and then bickering with each other on an upstairs window ledge until I disappear.

I was relieved to see that none of the other pigeons pecked at our pigeon (and by that I mean your pigeon too :) peoples of seti) and just did that clean-up-crew thing (that was mentioned earlier) around her. What was so sweet though - but also quite sad, was how she went into an all "fluffed up helpless baby waiting to be fed" posture - that didn't work on any of them at all. I did notice her doing a lot of that head-tipping/neck twisting thing looking up and around herself (probably for a parent) and that once she was alone again, had set off somewhere out of sight and on foot with what looked like real purpose.

I'm glad I spotted that, because it might have been awhile otherwise before I'd checked on her again, but I was fortunately in time to see that she'd set her sights on trying to get onto the trampoline (a bit over three feet off the ground) and had decided to try get there by making little leaps (so quite a marked progress on two days earlier) up a couple or three bags of garden refuse that are tucked down the side of the frame, but fell completely and utterly down in between them and might never have found her way out. (That nasty trap has now been dealt with.)

So I rescued her from there, got a good long plank of wood, and made her another ramp up to the trampoline, where she spent the rest of the day, pottering up and down from, and occasionally napping. And I swear, having convinced me to solve her trampoline problem, trying to telepath me into building still further ramps to ever higher vantage points for her - which I could not deliver on... cheeky moo :)

Then, people... it got very very interesting :) Another pigeon turned up. At first, it only stayed on top of the garden swing, a few feet away and looked at first like it was trying to pose as a "baby" too and get some preferential treatment of its own. And it didn't fly away any of the times I went outside, just stayed exactly where it was - watching me carefully. I was needed indoors then (my other half is really quite poorly at the moment - poor thing) but when I next had a spare moment - I was treated to the sight of it alternating its position between sitting near the baby, and then taking short flights, to the top of the swing and then back down to the trampoline.

Is this dad? Maybe, maybe not. A friend (who is crazy about birds but away on holiday - which I hadn't realised when I texted him) took time out to reply late last night that "news will often get round to siblings" (pigeons are largely monogamous - so previous broods are usually full brothers and sisters - and family groups tend to hang about the same area) "and one may turn up and try to get baby flying".

So that would be good, wouldn't it? :) Anyway, today's diary entry ends with me going out to pop the little one into the hutch for the night, as it was beginning to get a bit gloomy and dark... and she'd already put herself to bed inside it! Awwwwwwwwwww :) So she's got over her suspicion of it completely :) And her crop was nicely chubby too :)
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Message 1950970 - Posted: 20 Aug 2018, 22:13:34 UTC
Last modified: 20 Aug 2018, 22:17:09 UTC

Didn't really have much to report from Sunday - so I didn't. No flying progress was made. There were a couple of - "perhaps all I need to do is to step out into this void here a-a-a-a-n-d ... drop like a stone" which is more or less exactly what happened. And my own observation that she appears to have got.... well, there really is no polite way of putting it... distinctly podgy which I decided probably wouldn't be conducive to the easiest of lift offs anyway.

Her companion from the day before returned, and spent the day with her, but if there were any encouraging flight runs, I didn't see them. But in view of my observation of yesterday, I decided not to serve breakfast this morning... and about an hour or so after I might otherwise have done so, this... tapping started... on my front door... just light, but pretty much continuous... from near the bottom of it - and guess who was behind it?

Yes. Madam ;)
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Message 1950995 - Posted: 21 Aug 2018, 0:43:27 UTC - in response to Message 1950970.  

She can't fly but she's not stupid.
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Message 1951031 - Posted: 21 Aug 2018, 2:56:46 UTC

I'm enjoying your story. I hope all goes well.

I'd only add that wild birds could probably benefit from some mealworms - alive or "roasted." Most birds aren't vegetarians, and even some that are classed as vegetarians will occasionally eat "meat" Most birds will eat bugs. Don't worry if you decide to buy some that you have to buy a big bag of them. Your other wild birds will finish them off.

I'd love to see photos, too, if you can get some.
~Sue~
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Message 1951411 - Posted: 22 Aug 2018, 21:42:35 UTC

She can't fly but she's not stupid.
:)))

That she certainly isn't :) but I on the other hand am rather that way inclined, betreger. Y-e-e-e-s... as my initial photography session a couple of days ago, will prove.

It comprised what I thought were ten rather good shots, and one I didn't expect to come out at all because I misplaced my feet. They were somewhere beneath me - and roughly where I'd intended them to be except that coincidently happened to also be where I'd put an upended empty plant pot the day before (there was a good reason for that which I might mention in another post if I remember to) and consequently I took it at an angle where I was descending haphazardly whilst she was hastily pottering up the ramp to the trampoline and what she clearly deemed was a safer place to be than the level I was on.

I didn't get an opportunity to view my handiwork immediately until much later when I went to upload them to the computer and... well... it seems that what I found out then was that it was the only picture I actually took.

*sudden confession* in actual fact, people - there's no "seems" about it all :( The others... well... they are nowhere to be found. I'm going to blame it on my left index finger. It's not working at all well and as it's on the hand nature determined was my dominant one - it was the one I thought would be less likely to cause major shakes despite its weakened state. But evidently, it only reaches the proper depress-the-button-for-long-enough stage whilst I'm descending backwards in an uncontrolled-stumble-mode.

As can be seen here* .

So I had another go yesterday, but with the camera upside down and used my thumb instead. I'll need to do some swivelling of them before uploading them but the good news is there are pictures to do that with! So YAY! :)

I'm enjoying your story. I hope all goes well.

I'd only add that wild birds could probably benefit from some mealworms - alive or "roasted." Most birds aren't vegetarians, and even some that are classed as vegetarians will occasionally eat "meat" Most birds will eat bugs. Don't worry if you decide to buy some that you have to buy a big bag of them. Your other wild birds will finish them off.
Thanks Suzie :) I got some dried ones and they were very much appreciated (by the robins in particular) so they definitely won't go to waste :)

If I'd known quite how our little girl would have reacted on seeing them though, I would have delayed putting them out until there was a film crew all set up and ready to record the event. She was very interested in watching me snip open the packet and as I shook a few out, she waddled over at quite some speed with her head tilted and one eye strategically fixed on the delicacy spilling out between us, then... stopped dead in her tracks (as she got a proper view) and immediately did a sort of "heebie jeebies" sideways hop and fled the scene as fast as her legs could carry her.

She did eventually circle back round to eye them again from a distance - but whether she played any part in their complete disappearance, I can't say with any certainty

I'd love to see photos, too, if you can get some.
I will be back :)

* If you were hoping to see what happened the other side of the lens, then you'll have been rather disappointed by that, I know.
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