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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi ,
In my balcony a male and a female pigeons laid two eggs on an upper shelf. There are two shelves only, the lower and the upperThe eggs did hatch after 17-18 days. Now both the baby pigeons are 11 days old. Until the babies were around 9 days old, both the babies were on the same shelf and the parents were feeding their babies and taking care regularly. But I was surprised to see 2 and half days back - one of the baby on the upper shelf and the other on the lower shelf. Since that day the parents have been feeding only the baby on the upper shelf. The baby on the lower shelf has been asking for food ever since two days. It was super active at that time and would cry for food when ever it saw one of its parents. It would stand tall on its legs , flap its tiny wings and raise its beak towards the top shelf and cry for food. But the parents would feed only the baby on the top shelf and give warmth and comfort. Half a day ago i saw it had become very weak and was loosing stamina. So i took a mixture corn and water in a syringe and tried to feed it. But the baby did not open its beak. So i thought of holding it and feeding it. But baby did not want to leave the nest. After trying for half an hour I gave up on the effort of feeding this hapless kid. I am afraid if I try more the parents may abandon the nest itself.
This kid is super baby and still collects what ever energy is left in it when ever it sees its parent and begins to cry for help. It has become very week however tries to get the attention of its parents by trying to get its beak in the openings of the top shelf and pokes at the little stick(of leaves) hanging from the top shelf, so that the it touches the parent . but the parents do not even make an attempt to look at the baby despite its cries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The baby needs to be fed asap. Can you move it to the upper shelf with its sibling?
But if I do that, will not its other sibling get aggressive against it? And also will not its parents still neglect it? Becos I feel if the parents wanted, they would still have fed it in the lower shelf itself. How ever I will try your suggestion as I dont have any hope left for the baby and moving the baby to top shelf may not cause anything more worse than already it has and who knows it may work fine then....
 

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But if I do that, will not its other sibling get aggressive against it? And also will not its parents still neglect it? Becos I feel if the parents wanted, they would still have fed it in the lower shelf itself. How ever I will try your suggestion as I dont have any hope left for the baby and moving the baby to top shelf may not cause anything more worse than already it has and who knows it may work fine then....
If the other baby is not in its original location (nest), they may not recognize it as 'theirs'. I would at least bring it inside and feed it!
 

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I think you should bring it inside for the night, feed it well, then try to put it back with the other baby tomorrow morning. If that doesn't work then take it inside for good and try to raise it yourself.

I also have pigeons on my balcony and I have taken babies away from the parents for a short while, to check on their health or give medicines. Nothing bad happened, the parents kept on feeding them.
I even moved one baby to a different place, because the original nest had become infested with some nasty bugs. Even so, the parents found the baby and kept feeding it.

But in this case, if they neglected the baby for a few days, they might not recognize it as theirs anymore. You should still try to take him back to the nest, as you can't feed the baby better than the parents do, but keep an eye on the situation. If the parents or the other sibling become aggressive, take the baby away immediately.

Do not feed the baby corn before the age of 15 days. Better try a mix of egg yolk, yoghurt and maybe other grains that are easier to digest.
The best food would be a formula like Kaytee Exact, but I don't think that's an option in your situation.

Baby pigeons don't open their beaks to be fed, like other baby birds do, rather the parents open their beaks and the baby sucks food from there.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi all,

Thanks for all of your replies!
After I read Msfreebird's reply, I began to think about what he said. I was preparing myself to put the baby back to the top shelf. Then suddenly I saw something. A pigeon came to the lower shelf for a very short duration and fed the baby. The pitch with which the baby was squeaking when it saw that pigeon at the lower shelf definitely meant that the baby was hungry for more than a day. But the baby might not have been hungry for all three days and might have been fed couple of times during those three days, as otherwise, the baby perhaps would have been dead. But that the baby was very weak and its rate of breathing had become very low compared to the baby in the upper shelf, also meant that the parents/other pigeons were afraid to enter the lower shelf for some reason, becos even the pigeon which fed it did not enter the shelf completely. Then I felt that those sticks hanging from the upper shelf down to the lower shelf, might have been reason. The sticks were hanging for more than half of the height between the upper and lower shelf, and so the pigeons might have felt that the sticks would pierce them if they enter the lower shelf, and so this might have prevented them to give food to the baby. I duly cleared those sticks. and after that I could see both the babies being fed regularly.
This also made me realize why the baby was found on the lower shelf. The shelves are just around 13 cms in width and 20 cms in length. Very less space for two babies of 9 days old and one parent. So the parents might have moved one of the babies to the lower shelf. In fact they had placed some sticks on the lower shelf, even before they had laid the eggs on the upper shelf. I used to think it was because they wanted to lay two more eggs on the lower shelf, around 15 days after the eggs hatched on the first shelf. But now it looks like the parents had planned to take care of the very less space available for the forthcoming babies even before they had laid the eggs on the top shelf, by placing some sticks even in the shelf below and by having a plan in place to move one of the babies to the lower shelf.
The baby that was moved was hyper active compared its other sibling and was older to it by a few hours, but was bit larger in size compared to its sibling. Even now it is a bit larger(the baby after it was not fed for a couple of days however had begun to look smaller than its other sibling). It was always highly demanding , the first to reach for food and would engulf most of the food.
Now both the babies are very active, look cute at 13 days after their birth, and attack me(or rather scare me off) if I try to touch them. Even though I feel that the parents are favoring only the baby on the upper shelf by sitting only with it and giving all the warmth and hence doing injustice to the baby on the lower shelf by not sitting with it, I am still happy that the baby on the lower shelf is growing in size everyday.
In fact I have observed now that it is not only the babies' parents who feed them, but also their other relatives , may be brothers and sisters and cousins or perhaps aunts or uncles. I have observed at least 5 different pigeons until now those come to feed the babies. The father is a super dignified, looking like a warrior. The mother actually talks to me, she always tries to say something when I wish her.
 

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when the babies are that age, it is easy to think they are not being fed as the parent bird do not hang with them all the time, and the feeding can be easy to miss if your not there. So allot of well meaning people take the bird in and try to figure out how to feed it which is not as good as the parent bird would do, so you did right in watching and not making a snap descion. As far as the shelf goes..it may be wise to put things on it so they do not use that space any longer if it is not big enough or if you feel it is not the best of choices for them..OR if you want to improve it so they can bring babies up on it safely. The hen of these pairs or pair will be looking to lay more eggs soon.
 

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Good job finding out why they were afraid to go to the other baby!

But I still think you should put that baby back on the upper shelf, now that you are sure parents recognize him. Especially if he wasn't fed properly and still might get less food than the other baby, not being in the nest. And I'm quite sure the parents didn't move him, it was by some accident that he came to be on the lower shelf. Pigeons expect to have both babies in the same nest, so they will probably be grateful if you help them with that, as they cannot move the baby themselves. It's also better for the babies to be together when the parents are gone, keeping each other company, keeping each other warm.

Only a pigeon that has young babies can have crop milk. So any "uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters" couldn't possibly feed the babies. It's like in humans, the only difference here being that the father can also feed the babies, not only the mother.

Also about brothers, sisters and other relatives, I thought young pigeons leave the nest at about 6 weeks old, and after that parents and children, brothers and sisters don't even recognize each other, if they happen to meet again.

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Come to think of it, as unlikely as it seems... couldn't it be that there are actually two nests there with only one baby each? This way you could have two pairs, each feeding it's baby. It would be the only explanation for seeing 4 different pigeons feeding the babies.

But you said they were both born in the same nest, so that doesn't make much sense...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Both the babies are doing fine now. The parents are feeding the baby on the upper shelf as well as the baby on the lower shelf. Now the babies are 20 days old and look cute.
I would like to touch them, but am scared to do so because even when they were 12 days old, they would try to hit me with their beak if I tried to touch them. Is it a good idea to touch them? Or shall I just watch them grow up with their parental care?
 

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Good news !

Well... this age, they are unlikely to ever become human-acclimated. So, while it will not harm them to touch them...the likelihood is it will scare them somewhat and they might try to peck at you or slap with their wings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah to me also it looks correct not to try touching them(Ruled out anyway, as the baby pigeons have now developed sharp reflexes and know how to use their beaks like knives).
I was feeling like they are using my balcony space, made it their home and they don't even allow me to touch them, when they r so cute and give the feeling of cuddling them. But that's the thing with the birds i guess. They are so delicate in their body and are not strong like the animals such as cats, dogs etc which we can lift in our hands , put on our shoulders and play with them. Birds don't have a strong balance mechanism in the body the way the cats and dogs etc.. have. Even when we play with the pet birds, they are strictly like the 'handle with care' items, i guess.
I think the pigeon parents want to start soon the flying lessons and the lessons on the art of picking seeds for their offspring, all of that on my balcony, now their home. Hence I guess the parents would want less and lesser of me around the balcony these days. So I am thinking of reducing my involvement with them much further, which was earlier restricted to whistling at them, standing very close to their nest to have a good look at their things..etc
Finally waht I want to see is how they prepare their kids for the life ahead, now that the kids are 20+ days old.
 

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Glad to hear the babies are ok.

the baby pigeons have now developed sharp reflexes and know how to use their beaks like knives
Come on, not even an adult pigeon will hurt you with his beak, let alone a baby. :)

Or you may frighten them enOugh to jump off the balcony and that would not be good
I wouldn't worry about that too much, only if they were very, very close to the edge of the balcony.

I had a couple of babies born at the end of January on my balcony too, when they were 15 days old I had a closer look at them and one of them had a bad poop, I wrote about it here at the time.

Later I decided to treat them both with Baytril, but as they were already about to learn how to fly, I took the one with the bigger problem in, and left the healthier one on the balcony.

I want to say that I could still catch the baby on the balcony to give him his medication for a few days after he had learned how to fly. He was still more afraid to fly outside the balcony, so he would rather let me catch him after flying a little around the balcony. Later when he felt ready, he flew away without anybody scaring him.

The other one is still inside, doing good, now she is 2 months old (for some reason I decided it's a "she").
I now leave the window open sometimes since it got warmer outside. She flew away once the other day and I thought she was gone for good. But then the next day I saw her on the balcony again with some other pigeons, so I opened the door to the balcony and went to another room so as not to scare her and voila, after a few minutes she was back inside!
Today she flew away again, but this time returned in a couple of hours.

She is still afraid of me and won't let me catch her so easily (which I now avoid doing anyway, as I don't need to medicate her anymore). But somehow she understood she's better off inside than outside, at least for now. Smart little gal, she seems to actually know what a soft release is! :)

...

Sorry for the long post and I don't mean to say that you should scare the babies unnecessarily, especially if they look healthy and in no need for help.
 
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