Just adopted a rescue feral(?) pigeon he won't let us near him - Page 3 - Pigeon-Talk
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 2nd October 2018, 09:36 AM
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Agree with Jay3 about being patient to earn the trust of a bird. Once you earn the trust, it is very much worth the effort.
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navamanas's Avatar
navamanas navamanas is offline
Posted 7th October 2018, 12:54 AM
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As to the personality of your pigeon:

Simplify the equation. Your pigeon weighs roughly 12 ounces. An average sized adult human weighs about 200 times more - that's 2400 ounces (150 pounds), give or take a few ounces/pounds. We could change (or end) their lives quickly, and they know it.

Your pigeon has to get to know you, and that's quite a task considering how fickle the human animal is. You have to become constant with your pigeon. When your pigeon learns that you will only provide good things as well as good thoughts and feelings oriented towards it, then it will begin to trust you.

Yeah, they are highly emotional and they sense your feelings, too. And they all have different personalities that come from different stories.

It took our second pigeon, Chancey, nine months before his vocabulary expanded past grunting at us.

It took him about 14 months to start trusting us enough to stop flying to the highest, furthest corner of the room and hide there all day.

When my first pigeon died of natural causes, he held us responsible, and the relationship went in reverse for a few months. But we stayed constant with him.

Last week he almost died (again) and I took him to the vet. Turns out that he was a she, and she was egg-bound. Forensically speaking she was attacked in the air on her right-side (trauma to right of the head and eye, gash on the right wing), probably by a peregrin, and she crash-landed on her left side (trauma on the left leg and hip). There was some internal damage to the ovary and associated area (birds have two ovaries, but only the left ovary functions).

What I'm saying is that your pigeon could take months to come around. In the mean time, you can teach it understand your vocabulary, establish commands (like where to poop -if it's not confined to its cage), and find food that they love. My Clovey loved cilantro, but she wouldn't touch parsley; she was crazy about raw ground beef but didn't care for chicken; she munched on mango and watermelon, but not so much with apples or grapes. I still haven't found a single vegetable that Chancey likes, but he loves egg yolks and cheese. Eggs are ok for pigeons, but cheese is dairy, so you have to use it sparingly and rarely. Chancey also loves popcorn (corn is a grain, so the plain popcorn is great for them), and he also loves sunflower seeds. They can't break the shell though, so they need to be preshelled, and without salt.

The point being that you have to get to know your bird if you want it to get to know you past the initial perception of giant monsters that we are to them.

Like Jay 3 said, you've been gone for awhile. If a pigeon's mate it gone for five days or so, it will mourn and start looking for a new mate. Since your pigeon does not live with other pigeons, eventually (if someone's around long enough, and provides enough attention) some human will become its mate. If it's sitting around in a cage because someone (you) is more concerned with the petty matters of their life than with another living being, then it will go nuts. It'll probably start pulling feathers out of boredom. In my experience they can die of just being overwhelmed by frustration.

I take my pigeon grocery shopping (in the car; and in the carry cage if stores allow it), to the gym (can't take her inside), to any restaurants that I go to... Pigeons need a flock. They need to be with at least part of their flock all day long. Pigeons will start to eat when their flock is eating, if they are around their flock. Their lives in the wild may appear random to you, but it's very regimented. They do the same things and they go the same places at the same times (according to sunlight) every day.

Everyone has their own method of taking care of their critters. I used to leave my pigeons out (in the house) during the day, and in their cages at night. Clovey died in her cage at about 2 A.M. on Thanksgiving Day and I had no idea until 6:31 A.M., Since then Chancey never stays in her own cage ever. At night she perches on the handle bars of my speedbike that's hanging from the ceiling. If I wasn't aware of her behaviors daily then I never would have known about the bound egg, and she'd be dead (and still known as a 'he'!).

Take your bird outside with a leash, or use a screen tent (ready to put up). They need to get their sunlight (specifically UV light), just like we do (UV doesn't pass through windows). It makes great bonding time.

The previous posters are correct in that it takes more time to get the trust of a pigeon than of a cat or dog. Like I said, they are small. Their entire life in the wild is short and brutal. They are prey: they are eaten by anything that can get ahold of them - including humans. But when they trust you, it's worth it. When you connect to a pigeon it will change your life experience in an indescribable way. For me, it was like my compass was reset.

Here's me putting a harness on Chancey (who we now know to be a hen):
https://youtu.be/xW5R0aNLQDc

And that was originally a pigeon who was fearful of humans, when I found her! It might take a few tries to get it right, but if you're patient and calm with your pigeon, he'll work with you.

... And here's loving Clovey (along with me petting her in the wrong way before I knew):
https://youtu.be/hOZEipGybmo
She's a totally different girl. Different personality.
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Last edited by navamanas; 19th November 2018 at 10:05 AM..
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navamanas navamanas is offline
Posted 7th October 2018, 01:02 AM
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...and don't rub their backs and wings. That's like having sex with them, and it messes with their hormones and their feelings. Keeps your rubs to its head and neck.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 7th October 2018, 09:50 AM
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Agree with navamanas. Best not to pet their back or they will think you want to mate with them.
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nindita nindita is offline
Posted 31st October 2018, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Hi all - forgot my password, but I'm the one taking care of Pippin. There's been a little progress!

After I took Pippin out of his cage (which he does not like, because it involves either a hand guiding OR carrying him out) I went on a limb and tried stroking his head. I went very slowly; he still wasn't a fan, so I ended up sort of scooping him with one hand and he quickly calmed down, meaning he didn't fight, flap, or bite. I then started stroking his head and neck, which he either seemed to enjoy or be indifferent to.

This went on for about 10 minutes, until at one point I let my hand rest a moment too long and raised it too quickly and he panicked, so I let him go. I then resumed cleaning his cage; after I finished up, I decided to try the scoop method again to put him back in his cage, which worked fairly well and with about the same results as earlier.

It's been a little over a month - do you think this is progress? He's now a few feet off of the ground, and has a nice view of the outdoors, as well as of me and my partner milling about the house and eating meals. He has sometimes left his crate on his own (we leave his door open throughout the day), mostly to flap, sometimes to fly a quick lap. One time he took a bath, which was fun to watch and MUCH needed.

Attaching some new photos because he's a cutie. A note about the first photo: normally he has a scarf covering 3/4 of his crate, but when he decided to sit on the crate he blew it away!
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File Type: jpeg 1D43F1D1-349B-4C92-8D99-22DF702A6EB0.jpeg (38.1 KB, 52 views)
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 31st October 2018, 06:51 PM
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Pigeons don't usually care to be petted, unless a female in mating mode. He's very pretty.
Maybe he is getting more used to you.
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Last edited by Jay3; 31st October 2018 at 07:29 PM..
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 31st October 2018, 07:14 PM
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Glad to hear Pippin is doing well.
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navamanas navamanas is offline
Posted 9th November 2018, 02:13 AM
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Well, I'm glad that you raised the level of the cage. Pigeons don't do well in low-light conditions. The get depressed and they become broody. Pigeons need a lot of sunlight. That's why I have my screen tent (Ozark Trail https://jet.com/product/Ozark-Trail-...BoCNf8QAvD_BwE ) and my harnesses ( The AVIATOR Pet Bird Harness and Leash: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ZZP1QQ..._O9u5Bb618HC06 ) with the attached leash. I make it a point to get my pigeons out every day in the sunlight at the brightest time during the middle of the day, which can be difficult when you work nightshift. But my pigies are my kids (I actually don't think that I would treat my own kids so well if I had any!). I've spent a lot of time learning about their needs since they day that the first one came into my life 3 years ago.

At least try to get him out at least 3 times per week. UV from Sunlight doesn't pass through windows. Pigeons need sunlight because the UV changes the oil on their feathers to vitamin D. When they preen (about 30% of their waking hours), they ingest the vitamin D which allows them to metabolize and retain more calcium.

Speaking of which - have you been using some type of grit? They need stones in their crop to properly digest. Otherwise, you might run into an expensive lesson...

Also, since he didn't have a pigeon mate, at some point he will select one of you to be good mate. They don't show gender preference with human mates (Chancey has decided my wife is her mate). And once they have decided that, they won't change their minds, unless you die, our leave them for a long time. Leaving your pigeon mate (disappearing for more than 5 days) can cause it to die of heart break. They are very emotional. When Clovey died when I went on my trip in November of 2017, I felt like I was going to die. She taught me a lesson. I'm never going to get over her, and it's made me a better daddy to Chancey. It's actually made me a better hubby too... We can't take feelings for granted.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 9th November 2018, 04:16 PM
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A screened tent doesn't allow the rays of the sun to come through either. It filters most out. Building a small aviary with 1/2 inch hardware cloth works great and gives them a way to get fresh air and sunshine. You can even set up a bath in the good weather.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 9th November 2018, 08:10 PM
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Our former feral rescued Phoebe bonded at various times with me ( female) and at other times with my significant other (male). If your bird does not have a pigeon mate or friend you become their flock. Pigeons are very social.
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navamanas navamanas is offline
Posted 11th November 2018, 06:18 AM
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Hmm... I don't know... I've gotten sun-burned in my 100 sq ft screen tent, but if there's no time for the tent (say, only 15 or 20 minutes), then I use the harness and leash.

Last edited by navamanas; 19th November 2018 at 10:07 AM..
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Saphira Saphira is offline
Posted 3rd December 2018, 07:45 AM
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About building aviaries - cautious with galvanized meshes, as it's toxic to birds.
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 3rd December 2018, 08:37 AM
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Galvanized meshes, like hardware clothe won't bother them. You really need that out in the elements. It's only toxic if they chew on it, as a parrot might do. Pigeons don't do that.
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[email protected] Vincentbrothman@gmai is offline
Posted 9th December 2018, 08:53 PM
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Hi! So you adopted a feral pigeon are you keeping him in a cage or small dog crate If it was me I would cover 2/3rds of the if its a crate with a towel it gives him privacy rather then being in the open gives it to much info too process but cover the little fellow and evry now and then talk to him/her in a soothing tone and the lil fellow will come around! Key word privacy..
Good luck!!!
Crzytrkr.....
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 10th December 2018, 06:34 AM
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Our adopted feral Phoebe became our dearest love. It just takes time and patience.
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