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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A wild pigeon appeared on my back porch a few days ago. At first it did not appear to be injured, but it would not fly away when I got close to it. When I noticed a couple of neighborhood cats in my yard stalking it, I decided to give it shelter as well as food & water. I now suspect it has a broken wing. One wing (its right) hangs a bit lower than the other. Is there anything I can do to help this bird? Will its wing heal ok on its own in due time? I'd like to help it but I'm not sure of what to do, nor do I have the resources to bring it to a vet.

I have pictures of it if is of any help. Thanks for any guidance.

Jim

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab254/JBower28/IMG_0878.jpg?t=1250436450

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab254/JBower28/IMG_0879.jpg?t=1250436415

http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab254/JBower28/IMG_0881.jpg?t=1250436322
 

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Fair to say that you have him confined now ? If so, good job.

Obviously, yes, the thing to do would be a vet visit, but...you are right...that will get expensive, fast.

Do you think he can still fly at all ? Likely not if he let you catch him.

If so, that's not real good. For the moment you can just let him rest up and recuperate a bit, rest up with free food and water...maybe for a week, and see how he progresses. I see a fair number of ferals out there in the world with droopy wings, it doesn't necessarily mean they cannot fly.

But of course, when they clearly cannot fly, they will not survive very long without help.

Now the thing is, can you pick him up ? If so, you need to check very carefully for any external injuries such as scrapes or abrasions or blood or scabs. Particularly under the wing. This may be concealed beneath some feathers. Just towel him, wrap his body with had sticking out in a towel, turn him over and carefully extend the wing out. Look elsewhere, too...on the body of the leg. Sometines an injury is somewhere else, and the droooping wing is just the bird's way of maintaining equilibrium.

Because if he has any of those scrapes or scabs, etc., he will need some antibiotics. Likely someone here can get some to you....where are you located ?

Also, some folks here are decent at giving directions on wing-splinting...so hopefully they will be along shortly.

Thanks for saving him/her, too.
 

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I guess to me it doesn't look that bad. If it were a broken humerus (from the actual shoulder to the elbow), it'd appear to hang more downward and wobble a lot. That one picture that's straight on the front of the little guy (first one) makes it look like the folded wing is pulled up close to the body, which it shouldn't be able to do with a broken humerus. Here are some skeletal drawings so that you can do some better investigating:

http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/skeleton.html

You can hold the bird and compare the feel of the good side with that of the bad one, paying attention to the actual bones to see if there's a noticeable lump or looseness. If that wing seems to be held in too tightly then we might assume something altogether different like a neurological problem or an infection that might be hardening up a joint.

After you've done that (the exam), let us know what you've found and then we'll see about taping the wingtips together for awhile and possibly finding a vet or antibiotic if there's any indication that that's what's wrong.

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for some mighty quick replies!

I have the bird sheltered in a vinyl utility shed (5' x 5' x 3') that I emptied out once it was obvious it could not fly. The shed has a flip up cover that I raise during the day so it isnt in darkness 24/7, but I put a screen over the top so no other animals can get in. Each day I open the front doors to the shed and let the bird trot out, which he does with seemingly no trouble. However when he attempts to fly, he only gets up about foot before landing. And it's obvious that its wing is not performing the way it should. Then he scurries next to the house or back into the shed for protection. Yesterday I let it out in the yard for a couple hours while I did yard work. And it stayed next to the house the whole time. It didnt try to fly but I did see it try to extend that right wing slightly as if trying to flex it or test its mobility. Is that a good sign?

I see no visible wounds on this bird, although I have not lifted up either of its wings to look underneath. I wasnt sure I should handle this bird. I didnt know if it would try to bite me if I did as I thought it might feel threatened. But the idea of holding it with a towel to examine it sounds good. I'll try that.
But at this stage the bird appears healthy in every other way.

I'll post again after examining him.
 

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Forgot to answer your query Jaye. I am in Connecticut.
Many thanks for taking in this beautiful Pij, Jim. :)

Here are some contacts in CT. Perhaps one will be near you in the event you need some assistance.

Bolton Veterinary Hospital
Bolton, Ct.
860-646-6134

North East Bird Clinic
DR Ann Burke
Ashford, Ct 06278
860-604-1968
Makes house calls. Licensed in Ct., RI. and Ma.

South Wilton Veterinary Group
Wilton, Ct
203-762-2002

Please let us know how things are coming along.

Cindy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My examination of this pigeon today was not entirely successful. Just trying to contain it in a towel was a challenge. I tried to be gentle but act quick. But the little bugger fought like hell to get free from me. Then I had to chase it all over the yard. Maybe that's a good sign that he has such fiestiness and mobility.

From what little I did see, I'm pretty sure it has no open wounds or any other apparent injuries. I tried feeling around its hurt wing and I didnt feel anything obvious, but I really dont know what I'm looking for.

So the question is, should I try doing something to help its wing to mend? A splint? Or somehow immobilizing its wing for a period of time, assuming I can manage to do that? Or would it be best to do nothing? Time may be its best healing ally. And I know sometimes the cure, in the wrong hands, can be more harmful.

A visit to a vet is out of the question in my economic situation. But I want to do whatever I can in my power to help this little creature. But if more pics from different/various angles would help anyone to assess what to do, I can provide that.

Thank you all for your posts.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I contacted the organization suggested by Charis, A Place Called Hope. They in turn referred me to a private party that they said was their "pigeon contact" person. And this private party was very informative and willing to help. However due to each of our busy schedules, we have not been able to meet up in person. In the meantime, I am concerned that too much time has gone by and that the pigeon's wing may be healing, but improperly. I've been told that if a broken wing isnt set right, the bones may not line up correctly later for it to fly after. I've had this pigeon for about a week and a half so far. Any thoughts? Is it indeed too late to consider setting its wing? Should I just care for this bird and hope it can fly later?

I'm hoping to meet up with this contact person again tomorrow. If we do manage it, I'll post any info.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great news! I finally met with this other party today and he examined my pigeon. He does not think this little guy has a broken wing. He stretched both wings of the bird out and felt its skeletal system but could not find any irregularities. It's obvious that the the right wing is displaced and the bird is favoring it, but he thought the bird was in good shape. So I am going to continue to care for it and hopefully it will fly again.
 

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Appreciate the update, Grimm.
Thanks for everything you're doing to care for the little one. :)
Glad to hear things seem to be working out.

Thanks, Charis for getting the rehabber info. :)

Cindy
 
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