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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I have just joined this forum. A long time ago, we had pigeons living on our roof under the eaves. They were messy but I loved hearing them coo outside our bedroom. Then when we had our house painted, they must have moved the nest, and I didn't realize it. I just noticed they were gone. Now years later, I was delighted to see an all-white pigeon (dove?) drinking from our spa and later to find she has moved in on our roof. Her companion is a black pigeon. They stay up under the eaves during the day, early in the morning they come down to the spa for a drink, where the water level reaches the wall, fly a few laps around behind our house, and then back to the roof. It has been a week or so. I honestly don't know what they are eating or when they even look for food. I asked my husband to pick up the best quality wild bird seed they had at our pet food store, he came back with hulled sunflower seeds because that is the kind that was checked off for doves. I see on your site that it is not the best thing. Anyway, I put a little scoop of it on a tray by the spa, no interest. I then put a little scoop on the spa wall thinking they would surely see it when they got a drink. They walked right over it without apparently noticing it. Clearly they are not used to being fed. I put fresh water out in a ceramic bowl, worried about the spa water, but they ignore that. I would like to help them if I can but I don't want to do anything that interferes with them either. I hope they are not starving. It has been over 110 degrees every day for two weeks at least, so they stay in the shade and I have only seen them come down in the late afternoon and in the early morning for a drink. The white one (Lovey Dovey) continually pecks at herself, I'm guessing lice or fleas? She has a little sore on her chest which I think she may have given herself. She throws little feathers off, and I have even found one long feather in the grass below her rooftop area. Not sure what if anything I can do to help? I don't know if they are starving, don't know if they just naturally eat less when it's hot. They just showed up when I haven't seen pigeons in our neighborhood for years. We have crows, sparrows and other birds. There is new construction in the hills behind us so maybe they were driven out of their previous home. Anyway I want to support them without interfering with them or scaring them away. I put out a shallow tray with water that I thought they might want to bathe in, but again they ignored that completely. I just want them to feel safe here so I don't try to approach them. Although the black one (I call Reggie) walked right up to me when I was standing there, he does not seem afraid or maybe just is not used to being around people so doesn't recognized us as a threat. Anyway, I think their space under the eaves is enough to protect them when the rains come, I hope they are okay and if anyone has any advice, I welcome it. thanks for reading all of this!
 

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They may not be feral birds. They don't sound wild by the colors. Where are you located? They may be domestic birds that were owned by someone. Can you post a pic of them? They may not even recognize the hulled sunflower as food. It doesn't look like seed as it is hulled. A better feed would be a mixed wild bird feed. You can add some of the hulled sunflower into it, but giving just that is too high in fat. They may go for a mixed bird seed. One with milo, millet, sunflower, cracked corn etc in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I am in Corona, California which is about 45 minutes east of Los Angeles. I did think they were special, as I usually only see grey pigeons. The photos I took are on my husband's phone so I will get them when he returns. The dark one has very beautiful coloring, white on his legs and under the tail, and green and purple necklace. I call him Reggie because Reginald seemed like a royal name to me. The other one is all white and somewhat smaller.
 

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They probably aren't afraid of you because they are used to people, and figure you will bring them food. Have you been able to get a seed mix for them? Sunflower would be very bad to eat a lot of it, and they probably don't know what it is anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I just picked up your post, so I will go get them some seed now. Our WalMart is 24 hours and I hope they have it. I think Petsmart will be closed before I can get there. Thanks for the info.

Will they come down to eat at night or do they only eat in the daytime? If they were someone's domesticated birds, then I am worried that they haven't found food on their own. I didn't want to leave food out over night for fear of attracting rats. If someone is missing them, they are probably worried. For what it's worth, they seem pretty content. The first morning I saw them both at the spa, they nestled down on the decking which is tile and leaned their tummies on it as if to soak up some sun. It does cool off quite a bit at night. But since then it has just been get a drink and then back to the roof. There are no dogs or cats in our yard and it is fully fenced.
 

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Sounds like a nice safe place for them to be. No, they won't eat at night, and you are smart not to leave any food out at night, as it does attract rats and things like that. They will only eat when it is light out. Let us know how they do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got the wild bird seed mix and will put it out early in the morning for them. Is there a place where people post for their missing birds? How can I find out if they belong to someone? If that person passed away or doesn't want them back or can't take care of them, will they acclimate to taking care of themselves or will they always be dependent on someone providing food for them? I am happy to provide food for them and they have water and shelter, as long as they stay on my roof and my area they will be safe. I will have to get help on what they may need beyond that. Thank you for the info.
 

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Oh that's so nice to have them where you can watch them and probably raise young eventually. They must feel pretty safe where you are and will probably tame up a little as they get to know you. I don't know about lost pigeon sites in the US but thank you for keeping an eye on them and giving them a food supply.
I'm sure someone will pass on some info to you later.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It did not look like they had disturbed the bird seed mix I had left out on a plate this morning, so I tried throwing a couple of handfuls up onto the roof a little way away from where they roost. Lovey Dovey came and looked over the edge of the roof to see what was afoot, but did not seem alarmed. At least they may come across some seed up there. I saw Reggie come down for a drink, and I tried to get my camera to the window but he sensed that movement and flew back to the roof.

I am concerned that I am finding good-sized feathers from the white bird, three over the past week. Is this normal for her to pull out larger feathers? There are also several small bits of fluff floating around every day. If the other bird was picking on her (literally or figuratively) would she still stay with him? I did see them kind of pecking at each other, I don't know if that was normal behavior. He takes the inner space of the eave and makes her sit to the outside, which doesn't seem gentlemanly. But I do see her continually picking at herself, as I mentioned before, she may have fleas or lice or something. I wish I could help. I am trying to not go into rescuer mode here and remind myself that they know how to take care of themselves. But if anyone who knows more about pigeons (which would be everyone on this site_ has any ideas or enlightenment, I appreciate it. Thank you!
 

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Don't worry about the feathers as the birds are probably just moulting and not pulling out their feathers at all. Ive got seven house pigeons and am constantly clearing up feathers ATM, when I first go into their room in the morning it looks like there's been pillow fights, lol. Some are teeny tiny little head feathers while others are huge tail and wing feathers - they are all moulting together right now and as they fly the feathers are swished to the sides of the room, making it easy to clear them up - until I have a dust pan full and someone flies right over head sending them everywhere again, ha ha. They do preen much more at this time too because they are clean birds naturally and they want those darn loose feathers out. The pair will look even more beautiful when the new feathers come in but don't be alarmed by the sight of stiff looking pin feathers, new ones are covered with little sheaths and the birds have to get those off to reveal the pristine feathers underneath, hence why yours are preening so much.
Also try ditching the plate when feeding, it's not a normal situation for them to eat off of a foreign object and they may be wary of it, so just scatter seed on the ground and you can sweep up what's left at the end of the day in order to discourage rats.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you very much for your reply, Freda. I feel much better talking to people who know what is going on. At least I won't have to worry about her feathers. Interestingly, I have not found one feather from the dark bird. I had read somewhere that many people consider finding a white feather as good luck, a blessing from an angel or such. It still just seems magical to find white feathers around and that a white bird has chosen my house (I think the pool and access to water has everything to do with it, but still.) She is just so special to me and I'm so happy every time I see her up on my roof.

I got good photos that first morning so I will include those.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My photos came out huge, I will try again. Thanks to Freda and Jay who replied to me. I see there are a lot of posts today far more urgent than mine so I will just wait and see what happens. I don't know how to fix the large photo so take a look if you are interested and I will delete this post in a few hours.
 

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Thanks for the pics. Don't delete anything. If someone wants to see it better, on a computer, they can save to the desk top and view it perfectly there. Or right click and then click on view image. You can add more later if you can, but don't delete this post.
They aren't ferals. Not sure what they are.
 

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What lovely birds, the male looks very proud of his partner, bless them. I'm so glad they found you and you have the joy in watching them on a daily basis. Enjoy every minute sharing the lives of your little friends.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Aw, thank you. I am proud of my new friends. They were very mellow this first morning but since then the dark one flies away if he sees me move. I guess it is just as well that he is not too trusting of humans. My husband said the photos are this large because of the high resolution camera (his phone) and there is no way to make it smaller. I contacted a local man from a racing website (thank you for all those links) who said there is a man a mile away or so who keeps a lot of pigeons and these might have come from there. I may take a drive over and see if I can find that place. But if they are happy here they are welcome to stay. He did caution me about hawks in the area, we are close to Cleveland National Forest here. I have never seen hawks in my neighborhood but have in the outlying areas. I am thinking about what I can do to give these two more protection in the event a predator comes around.

One question - all the coops I have seen have dowels on the front. Are those to protect the birds and make them feel safer? Because the doors seem open all the time, so I don't think it is to restrain them. I thought I might be able to build a sort of gate for them, where they would be safe inside but could get out any time. I'm sure my husband would be thrilled about me trying to put some kind of structure on the roof. Or should I just leave them alone? Worst scenario would be to scare them away. I guess that is my answer.
 

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If they are out on their own there isn't much you can do to keep them safe. Two pigeons just aren't safe flying around alone, and when they start nesting, they will be out one at a time. Just not safe. You may not have seen hawks around, but they will eventually notice the pigeons, and they will come around. If it is left open for them to come and go, then a hawk can get in also. They live in flocks because they are safer that way. More eyes to watch for danger. Also the white one stands out even more. Hawks will find them.
 

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That's the big problem with befriending wild creatures, you can't protect them like you can pets. Your only option would be to create a kind of loft out of a shed with nest boxes and perches and hope they might go inside and use it -then you could close the door at night but even then you have to make sure rats can't get in. That's if they decide to go in at all and they may not. It still wouldn't protect them from hawks during the day if they're unlucky enough to encounter them.
 

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But these aren't wild creatures. That's the problem. Those aren't pics of wild pigeons or ferals. And the one that comes so close, that isn't wild behavior either. And if they were wild, they would be in a flock, and not nesting in her roof, just the one pair. These are birds that were owned or in a loft and probably got lost, or escaped. They don't have the same skills as a feral would have.
 

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Oh of course, I forgot about that in earlier posts, so maybe they would go in a shed willingly because that's what they were used to. It's sad when things like this happen, they're probably loving their free life totally oblivious to the danger they may face. Bless them, I hope they stay low key and keep safe. Such little sweeties.
 
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