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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
My 1st posting here so please go easy if I come across as uneducated about Pigeons.

Where to start, well roughly five or six years back my garden started to get visited by Pigeons, not wood pigeons but 'rock pigeons' (I think, They are all different colours and patterns)
Anyways, over the years i have become extremely attached to them, feeding them everyday without fail morning and afternoon with corn and sometimes some sunflower. The numbers have rocketed up to around forty, perhaps fifty of them in all now with some that are 'tagged' (is that the correct term?).
I think they are fantastic creatures but all this time I've been at a complete loss as to whom these birds might belong to!
I live in a town called Lymington on the South coast of England and am hoping someone on this great site might just know where they are living or who owns them. I see them fly off each evening but am completely baffled as to where they are going, I can't get close enough to read any tags on the few that are tagged either.
It really is the biggest mystery I have ever encountered in my life to date!
Could this flock belong to no-one and are simply wild with the few tagged birds being previously owned birds that have gone astray?

Is there a way to find who the local pigeon keepers are?
Any help at all with solving this mystery would be massively appreciated!

Thankyou for taking the time to read my (rather long winded) post and I desperatly hope someone can help...

Cheers, Jon.
 

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I suspect that you are feeding a flock of feral pigeons and that the tagged (or banded, is what we use in the US) pigeons are simply lost racing pigeons that have taken up with a feral flock. The fact that they are taking off in the afternoon just means they've gone to where ever it is they roost during the night.
The only way to determine who the banded birds belong to is to capture one and get the information from the band.
Hope the helps.
 

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Hi JON and welcome to Pigeon Talk I see that you live in England. We have members that also live in the UK and I am sure you will hear from them.There is a very good chance that your flock is for the most wild birds with some lost racing birds mixed in.GEORGE;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thankyou both very much for your informative replies.
I have decided that when the weather gets a bit nicer (no rain) I will go out for a walk in the direction they fly to in the hope of discovering where they hang out (I'm now convinced they're wild) when not at my garden. I figure it can't be more than a mile or two away...
Oh, one last question and that's do pigeons ever sleep in tall trees ?
I'll let report back how I get on!

Cheers, Jon
 

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Thankyou both very much for your informative replies.
I have decided that when the weather gets a bit nicer (no rain) I will go out for a walk in the direction they fly to in the hope of discovering where they hang out (I'm now convinced they're wild) when not at my garden. I figure it can't be more than a mile or two away...
Oh, one last question and that's do pigeons ever sleep in tall trees ?
I'll let report back how I get on!

Cheers, Jon
I won't say they DON'T sleep in the trees, but I believe MOST ferals (the kind you're talking about) roost on big billboard signs, under bridges, on building ledges, etc.......they aren't really tree dwellers.
 

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Hi Jon,

I really don't have anything to add to the EXPERT's responses already given.....

Just wanted to say "Hi and welcome to Pigeon Talk" from NEW Hampshire (USA)!!!
 

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Hi Jon and Welcome,

As the others have already said, on reading this I would guess too that they are wild. I have a flock locally that I feed that are mainly white, but gradually there are others, of varying colours, that have joined them, and some of those are banded birds aswell. Apart from the general feral pigeon, there are also a couple of little Roller pigeons that are living with them.

Either they have got lost on their way home to wherever, or they decided the free life appealed more, who knows. ;)

It's great you have such a lovely flock that actually visit your garden, and equally great that you look after, and care for them so well.

The flock I feed live in a derelict building, currently awaiting demolition unfortunately. It's more likely they live nearby, as Lovebirds said, hanging onto ledges, under bridges or the eaves of buildings etc. It's the Wood Pigeons that are the tree dwellers.

Please do let us know if you find out more about them,

Janet
 

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Hi Jon

If you are in or near a fairly built up area, or other desirable pigeon residence, it is probable that they hang out not far away. Pigeons, feral and the original wild ones, tend to keep to quite a small area, unless there is a real need to 'commute' to find a good feeding place.

A regular supply of food often results in others noticing and recognizing the movements of a group going to feed, and following, plus a male parent will usually show his offspring around the area for a little while when they fledge, and introduce them to known feeding places, before they fully make their own way in the world.

You may well find that little groups of them go off in different directions, having met up up for a meal at your place.

John
 

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Hello Jon,
I also started to feed a small flock of feral pigeons about 5years ago. Now there are a lot more, the more you feed, the more that will come.

I am also very attached to my lovely feral pigeons but so many of them are now attracting attention and there are alot of people that do not like them.

Please try not to overfeed or make the pigeons dependent on you. They will become vulnerable if someone reports you to the Council for attracting vermin.

I do not say this lightly. Many pople here in the UK have been issued with ASBOS for feeding wild birds in their gardens . Im not just talking about pigeons but seagulls and starlings and song birds etc.

I have been threatened with Asbos for feeding Pigeons in my own back garden even though no nuisance could be proved. Allegations of pigeon faeces surrounding the property are still being posted through my letter box by the Council.

I am not the only person here in the UK having this problem and I urge you to be cautious. For the sake of the birds keep the flock small by not overfeeding so not to upset the neighbours.

In the UK there are two culls a day (at least). Animal Aid will confirm this. Also type in to Google 'extreme cases of Asbos' to read more about people issued with Asbos for feeding birds in their own front garden in the UK

I am so glad you can appreciate the beauty of our lovely pigeons. I just want you to be careful. I hope others in the UK will also confirm that my concerns are for real.I know I am not the only one on this site that has had threats of Asbos, etc for feeding in own back garden.

Nothing gives me more joy than seeing pigeons feeding.For the piggies it is a race against time to fill their crops so they can survive. However kindness can kill. If the Council get complaints from neighbours they could send in pest control.

I hope you are not offended by my telling you this. Such an innocent, kind action can result in hostility in a intolerant society as in UK.Take care for the sake of the piggies. Jayne
 

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I just wanted to add that ferals can and will sleep in trees. Normally not in very thick patches of trees, but rather those that are here and there in town/city. Although I think if there's a building with a nice safe, comfy spot to roost, they'll choose that over a tree branch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi everyone again, I went for a estimated 4-6 mile walk yesterday on search of their home but no luck so far. I'm probably going to head out again today.
Thanks for the advice CanaryJayne, Most of my neighbours have no problem ar all as far as i know though I do have one neighbour who claps at the flock occasionally, he will be put in his place though if he keeps it up, he knows fully well my past history (not something I'm proud of at all but it helps when dealing with bullies like him, because that's is what he is clapping at them - a bully)
As for the ASBOS though I really don't worry about measures like that from this countries broken justice system but I am now concerned about what the pest controller types might be able to do to the flock, can they catch and kill them or something?
I know I may sound a bit of a thug but i'm not anymore, i'm just very protective over my birds and won't take nonsense from anyone about them.

I'll keep you all informed of any findings of where they might live and any other goings on or problems I have with them.
Oh one last thing, I seem to have a rouge crow on the loose, he tryed to kill a jackdaw this morning on the lawn and I'm bothered he's going to go for one of the flock, I figure if he's going to try and kill a bird the size of a Jackdaw then he's won't think twice about a pigeon either. Are crow attacks on pigeons a known thing?
 

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Hi Jon

I haven't personally observed crows attack pigeons, but not to say it doesn't happen. I'm inclined to think they are more likely to have a go at other corvids, as being more competition for food and nesting places. The resident pair of crows round here will quickly see off magpies, for instance. But then they also dive bomb the gulls nesting on the rooftops. I've seen crows - and rooks - feeding with pigeons, with a bit of jostling but no real harm. Some pigeon fanciers apparently welcome crows nesting near a loft as they are bold enough to chase hawks off.

Unfortunately, some councils do contract with pest controllers to cull pigeons (and gulls) if they are perceived as a 'public nuisance', but far more councils don't really bother about the birds much.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Jon

I haven't personally observed crows attack pigeons, but not to say it doesn't happen. I'm inclined to think they are more likely to have a go at other corvids, as being more competition for food and nesting places. The resident pair of crows round here will quickly see off magpies, for instance. But then they also dive bomb the gulls nesting on the rooftops. I've seen crows - and rooks - feeding with pigeons, with a bit of jostling but no real harm. Some pigeon fanciers apparently welcome crows nesting near a loft as they are bold enough to chase hawks off.

Unfortunately, some councils do contract with pest controllers to cull pigeons (and gulls) if they are perceived as a 'public nuisance', but far more councils don't really bother about the birds much.

John
Hi and thanks for the reply, normally i havn't ever had problems with any birds, well ok the odd sparrow hawk might try and take a small bird but is generally unsuccessful (see below) and once about 3 years ago one tryed getting a pigeon but because i was at the window at the time and gave it a quick bang on the glass he let him go, the pigeon was fine and is still one of the flock.

This crow though just seemed manic when it attacked the Jackdaw, who interestingly enough had just taken a piece of biscuit off the bird table, I swear he was trying to kill it though, feathers everywhere and he was like on top of it plucking it like a bird of prey would. I guess he's just looking for a meal for his kids in the nest but yeah it did concern me.
Funnily enough I too have always encouraged crows in the past as they and my two resident seagulls will chase sparrow hawks and kestrals so i figure they're good to have around, though i always wonder what would happen if the bird of prey turned on the seagull, afterall seagulls webbbed feet aren't exactly scary :)

Anyway, I best go but thanks again for the reply
 

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Hi,

I find the magpies won't tolerate the Jackdaws in my garden and don't even let them land to eat if they see them.
Yesterday one was giving two Stock Doves the same problem every time they tried to come for a feed.
The crows do occasionally fly at the magpies if they go for their feed, but as the others said, I need the crows as I have four Sparrow Hawks living in the next field, and at least they do harass them and keep them on their toes.
Still hasn't stopped them getting the odd pigeon in the garden though.

The worst offenders are the magpies to each other. I had four fighting the other day, and they had one pinned down, pecking at it until I intervened.
I have a blind magpie I have cared for now for five years who was the victim of his own kind.

They all have their 'pecking order'.

Janet
 
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