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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all and thanks for the wonderful community.


I just moved tout a Zagreb, Croatia apartment from New York (metro area) and while there are city pigeons there this is all a completely new experience for me.

Some background:
The balcony of my 4th floor apartment here was unused for long periods of time and as such was a sort of gathering spot for the neighborhood pigeons. They would wake me up with cooing every morning like alarm clocks, and I'd get up, bang the window like hitting snooze, and go back to bed before they come back and do it again. I never took any measures beyond scaring them periodically, which didn't seem to work, although I planned to do something more effective, until this happened.

Situation:
I cleaned out some crates off the balcony and discovered a nest with 2 eggs. I decided to let the mom do her thing and after this is all said and done I'd take care of the pigeon "problem". I built a little wooden shelter to protect the nest and hide it from the railing where most pigeons land.

The mom and dad would actually actively scare away the other pigeons who would land every single day, so it was actually better having this than a dozen pigeons cooing and crapping there every day. But even as the parents scared them they would still try to come as consistently as when I would scare them.

I watched as the 2 eggs hatched, and the mom and dad took turns sitting and growing these babies from yellow featherballs to fine young pigeons.


They are now about exactly a month old. I went away for Easter and upon returning saw that they are still there, and two adult pigeons whom I *assumed* were the mom and dad! I really wish I could tell for sure. After about an hour at home I heard the babies crying out and went to check on them, and this is what I saw:

The one I thought was the mom was pecking at one of the babies, and one I thought was dad grabbed the other by the beak and dragged him out of the nest and was dragging it around by the beak.

I now suspect that neither of these adult pigeons are the parents, at least the mother may be but has turned on the babies. I am not sure if the actual parents still show up, each pigeon I let get close to the them started to peck them and the babies are scared of anything that gets close.

If the parents are still involved but just out and about as the babies are so old now, then the pigeons that they usually scare off now have free reign while parents aren't around and are messing with the babies.

I also now noticed a new egg in the nest area but it's covered in crap and last night no big pigeons came to mess with/take care of the babies or to sit on that egg.


The babies luckily aren't bleeding and honestly they look healthy.

I suspect a few scenarios:

The parents are still there but while they're away the babies are being harassed

or

Everything I saw which I thought was abuse is the parents doing their thing.

or

They are recently abandoned or given up on by the parents.

or

The mother got a new mate, or the mother/father got bored of the existing babies, and laid a new egg there and are trying to evict the babies. Or a new couple laid an egg there and are trying to evict the babies as the parents either got scared off/moved on from the babies.


Is grabbing by the beak also an attack along with pecking? I noticed one pigeon was waiting around a while a bit hesitant to get close and when she did she grabbed one by the beak so I shooed her. She may have also been looking for the egg which is partially covered in **** and hidden by the water bowl ive placed in there. Still not sure what the deal is with this new egg.

Any advice? Sorry for so much text, I wanted to give as much information as I can right off the bat.


Regards!!
~~hall0
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I honestly don't know if this one pigeon who keeps coming back is the mom trying to feed them or an attacker.

When she gets close both babies stand fully up (they are quite large now, not really babies), and start chirping a lot. Then the big pigeons locks beaks. The first one I saw which I thought was the dad was an all black one (different from the mom and this one) and grabbed the baby by the beak and dragged it out the nest before I scared it away and the baby ran back to the nest, so I'm pretty sure that was an attack. But is this one just feeding them? Was the black one who dragged them just teaching it to leave the nest and hopefully fly? For sure the pecking I saw was an attack right? Sorry for so many questions. I'm worried to bring them inside and want to determine if for sure the parents are gone/gone rogue on them. In the meantime as soon as one gets too close I am shooing them away. Should I free up access to the new egg?
 

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Thank you for your concern over the youngsters.

The one bird may be feeding the youngster if she is actually regurgitating food for the young one, not sure about the other.

The youngsters usually will be fully weaned around 6 to 8 weeks.

Please check this useful link: http://nycprc.org/

If the babies are starving, or hurt and/or bleeding please do intervene, there are rehabbers that can help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you for your concern over the youngsters.

The one bird may be feeding the youngster if she is actually regurgitating food for the young one, not sure about the other.

The youngsters usually will be fully weaned around 6 to 8 weeks.

Please check this useful link: http://nycprc.org/

If the babies are starving, or hurt and/or bleeding please do intervene, there are rehabbers that can help.


Thank you. I suspect that this is the mother who returned for a bit today but she seemed more concerned looking for the other egg than feeding her babies, so I just uncovered the third egg. But she only stuck around in the nest for a little while and mostly just did nothing. I was hoping to at least see them lock beaks again and see if it was feeding.

Either way, I am always in class and if no one is here to shoo away the harassing pigeons when the mom/dad isn't around then I think they will be murdered while mom/dad are away.

Hopefully if this new egg is hers and the babies are hers, she will sit on the eggs and take care of babies at same time. That at least will put me to ease for now, as when she's sitting she sticks around a lot to scare away the other pigeons, and I know for sure the young ones are safe and getting fed then. I'm thinking of replacing it with a fake egg possibly....

Any tips for how to know if this is indeed the mother? Any tips on how to ensure the babies safety while mother is not around? (As they're so old now the parents aren't around much at all...)

p.s. I've moved out of new York to Zagreb, Croatia in Europe and I got the name of an animal rights type organization but not sure if they do rehab or will take in birds: Prijatelji Zivotinja
 

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The hen will usually start some serious brooding when second egg is laid, and her mate will take over duty for a few hours each day. The fathers usually take over the feeding of grown up kids. If she isn't sitting on those eggs, the eggs will not be viable and you probably should clean them up (especially if they are all pooped on) and clean up this area and make it unfriendly to all pigeons. This does not sound like a good place to raise babies. Remove any plants, plant pots and anything "pigeon friendly."

Please rescue the youngsters if you feel they are in danger.
 

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Discussion Starter #6


Please rescue the youngsters if you feel they are in danger.

Would it be appropriate to do this while the parent stills comes around once in a while? They don't know how to fly yet, not sure how much they can eat on their own. And thank you for dealing with me I know you must get a thousand of these questions a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Very well I'm off to the "what now?" how to nurture baby pigeons threads. Am uploading videos of the abuse I was able to get before stepping in to end it, to hopefully get confirmation that what I'm seeing is indeed abuse.
 

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After the next set of eggs is laid , if the youngsters go nearby the eggs who are partially weaned(as you said they are probably a month old so must be in the process of weaning), the parents chase them away and they peck them hard as well, this is to protect the eggs from grown up babies. Though parents feed them if they ask for, if they aren't completely weaned but they try kids to stay off the nest area that's why they peck them.
My cock would chase their youngsters in my whole room to shoo them away off next clutch until kids find the safe place over my shoulder.
This could be the situation in your case too. Though it can't be said for sure if they are the parents chasing and pecking the babies or intruders are interested in picking on them.
In any case , if you think they aren't safe, you may bring them in and feed defrosted frozen peas thawed under warm water to get them to normal temperature around 30-35 peas three times a day (if they don't eat on their own) . If they eat on their own keep a bowl of seeds and water and see if they eat and drink.
 
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