found fledgling pigeon in pond with pink beak- please help! - Pigeon-Talk
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Posted 2nd August 2009, 02:22 PM
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found fledgling pigeon in pond with pink beak- please help!

I hand raise butterflies & so my neighbor just came over to show me that a baby bird was floating (alive) in her little artificial pond by her front steps. We'd just had a sudden thunderstorm shortly before, & I assume the poor thing toppled out from somewhere in her roof but we were' able to spot a nest. I scooped it out of the water & then noticed its sibling was huddled in the corner by the steps, so I put both in a box with a small lamp for warmth. The one from the pond's beak is all pale pink, but the other one's beak is all grey. From pix on the Net I'd guess these guys are about 20-ish days old-- they've got all their feathers except a bit sparse under their wings, & they've got some straggly hairlike thingies coming up thru the feathers.

The one from the pond is all huddled up under the light bulb, & his sib looks a bit perkier. I also have a cockatiel & feed the wildbirds so I do have different types of seed. Should I try these guys on finch food first?-- little roundish seeds? Does the pink/white beak on the pond one mean he's in shock?

Any help will be appreciated-- thanks you so much.
Margaret In Norfolk VA
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Charis's Avatar
Charis Charis is offline
Posted 2nd August 2009, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Country: United States
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 13,041
You can hand feed defrosted corn and peas. Run some hot water over them until they are defrosted and slightly warmed. Put the bird on your lap and hold it next to your body. I f it helps, you can wrap a towel around it or put it in the sleeve of a tee shirt, with the head out the wrist. That confines them without hurting them and makes it easier to handle. Gently open the beak and pop the piece of corn and peas at the back of the mouth and over the throat. You will need to feed 40-50 per feeding and every time the birds crop empties until you know it is eating on it's own.
The crop is located right below the throat and when it has food in it it fill up like a little balloon and with peas and corn it will fill squishy.
Please don't feed them until they are completely warmed and hydrated.

Basic LIFE SAVING steps


It is vital to stabilize an ill or injured pigeon or dove as soon as possible after rescue.
Three basic steps should be followed.

A bird must be warmed gradually to a normal body temperature and be responsive (able to swallow). It is not unusual for a baby bird presented for rehabilitation to be very cold. (If a bird is unresponsive, please seek the assistance of an experienced rehabber or avian vet immediately.)

Give the bird a quick, superficial examination. Unless there is a critical situation, e.g., (severe bleeding) all birds should be covered and placed on a heat source* (see below) for at least 20-30 minutes to bring the body temperature back to normal.

If head trauma is suspected, do not place the bird on heat.

Allow the bird to stabilize in a quite, dark, warm area.
While the bird is warming, take the opportunity to prepare any other items you may need to care for the bird, e.g., International Rehydrating Solution (recipe noted below)


Fluids should be given after, and ONLY AFTER, the bird has been warmed, examined for any injuries & a determination is made as to the severity of his dehydration.
All fluids should be warmed or at room temperature!

Description and degrees, of hydrated and dehydrated birds
A well hydrated bird will be very alert, have elastic skin, bright eyes, moist, plump membrane inside the mouth and well formed moist droppings.

A moderately dehydrated bird will be less than fully alert, have dry, flaky skin, dull eyes, non-formed droppings and have a sticky membrane in the mouth.

A severely dehydrated bird will be lethargic or unconscious, the skin will 'tent' when slightly pinched, have sunken eyes, dry or absent droppings and have dry membrane in the mouth.

Depending on the cause and degree of dehydration, reversing this condition can take up to 24 hours. If the bird is alert, he may be rehydrated by mouth, using an eye dropper and putting drops along his beak every few minutes, making sure the fluids are room temperature or warmed slightly. Initially, a rehydrating solution should be administered. Plain water should not be given unless nothing else is available.

If the bird is not swallowing on his own or fully alert, he must be given fluids under the skin (sub-Q method).
WARNING!! This procedure should only be performed by an experienced rehabber or vet.

Please follow these simple, basic, yet most important steps.
The cells of the body simply don't work properly when dehydrated. Absolutely no digestive processes can take place if the gut CAN'T work. Absorption will not take place, food sits in the gut, undigested, and will eventually kill the bird.

* Heat source suggestions:
Towel lined heating pad, set on low
Towel lined hot water bottle
Low wattage lamp, directing the light into the cage.

* Emergency heat source substitute:
Fill an old sock about 2/3 full of rice. Microwave the sock for a few seconds. Making sure it isn't too hot, place it around the bird.

* International Rehydrating Solution:
To a cup of warm water add a pinch of salt & sugar, mix well. Use this solution to rehydrate by mouth.

* Emergency rehydrating substitute:
Pedialyte, unflavored.

By following these basic steps you have done your best to stabilize your little feathered patient until further assistance is available.


If all the beasts were
gone, men would die
from great loneliness of
spirit, for whatever
happens to the beasts
also happens to the man.
Seattle 1736-1866

Another Life, Gone To The Birds!


Member, International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council
plamenh's Avatar
plamenh plamenh is offline
Posted 2nd August 2009, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
Posts: 1,504
The color of the beak and nails are different from birth in pigeons.
Straggly hairlike thingies is their baby fluff.
As Charis wrote, hand-feed them, keep them warm and leave some seeds and dish with water in the box should they decide to try feeding alone.
Watch for any alarming symptoms as diarrhea, loosing weight, closed eyes, disturbed health… and let us know how the things are going.

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