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Please can someone give me some advice.
I recently rescued a baby wood pigeon at about 2 weeks of age. (The nesting tree was cut down by a moron, and the other chick was killed in the process)
Anyway, I have fed and cared for this bird and he has done great, he is now about 4 weeks old and very attached to me.
My dilemma is what to do next for the best for the bird. He is still dependant on me for feeding, but is starting to show interest in pecking seed, so I guess self feeding may not be that far off.
Do I release him to the wild when he is feeding for himself, or is it too late and would this be a death sentence?
I simply want what is best for the bird. I am quite happy to build an aviary and keep him as a pet, but can`t help feeling he should be flying free with other wood pigeons.
Safe life with me, or a chance as life was meant to be?
Advice please

Thanks

Dave
 

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Don't release it yet until it is full feeding. Maybe when it is 2-3 months, then you can release it. Now keeping it an aviary is good, too, if your law allows it. The wild is dangerous for any animals. When you release it maybe find a wood pigeon flock and not during hunting season.
 

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Woodies tend to leave the nest at 21 -22 days, accompanied by their parents who will continue to feed them for at least a week. It might be best to take it to a rescue centre where it can mix with other woodies, as Rod says, one that isn't near farms where they are shot would be ideal. The season's fledglings stick together so he would be safer if released with other fledglings so that he is part of a small flock that will warn each other of danger.

If he is to be released, what you need to do is avoid him reaching the stage where he recognises a human head and perches on it.

To help wean him leave a pot of very small seed with it and another of water. You can also defrost some peas and hand feed them warm. What I have found is that they find the human feeding a pea at a time to slow and start to peck at them themselves, but of course each bird is different.

This is a link to a list of pigeon rescue centres in the UK. If you use the google map you should be able to see the ones closest to you even if they are in a different county. Check to see whether they have had problems with sparrowhawks and whether there is hunting near by before handing him over.
 

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Please can someone give me some advice.
I recently rescued a baby wood pigeon at about 2 weeks of age. (The nesting tree was cut down by a moron, and the other chick was killed in the process)
Anyway, I have fed and cared for this bird and he has done great, he is now about 4 weeks old and very attached to me.
My dilemma is what to do next for the best for the bird. He is still dependant on me for feeding, but is starting to show interest in pecking seed, so I guess self feeding may not be that far off.
Do I release him to the wild when he is feeding for himself, or is it too late and would this be a death sentence?
I simply want what is best for the bird. I am quite happy to build an aviary and keep him as a pet, but can`t help feeling he should be flying free with other wood pigeons.
Safe life with me, or a chance as life was meant to be?
Advice please

Thanks

Dave
That's a difficult dilemma you faced Dave. It's hard not to get emotionally attached to animals, but when they are wild they are usually always best with their own kind and natural environment, even if it means them taking a gamble I guess. Probably a sanctuary as others suggested would provide a more natural environment for the fledgling to learn his life skills before being released. If it's not possible you could just keep him as long as you can but avoid handling and contact then try to release him when he's ready to go.

I know what you mean about idiots who cut down nesting trees..one of my neighbours is one such idiot..he cut down two large conifers at the bottom of his garden which have been used for nesting by a pair of pigeons for years and many other birds. The trees have always provided shelter too for the birds in the winter particularly when it snows. It was very sad seeing the birds confused when the trees were gone.
 
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