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We've got a wild wood pigeon that comes to visit our garden every day. He's very loyal and we have become good friends. So good that he eats bread out of my hand and is actually begging to get fed. He comes and sits close to us and when we are inside he will come and sit on the table near the window to draw our attention.

All very nice, however we are going to be moving house in a couple of months and wonder what will happen to our pigeon friend. He won't understand that we're not there. We are now trying to keep more distance by not feeding him. We were even wondering if we'd be able to take him with us, but he is a wild bird and he lives here.

What should we do?
 

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Hi

Seems you have a quite unusual woodpigeon! Urban woodies and others who live around human habitation generally tend to be less disturbed by our presence than those more out in the country, but still somewhat wary. But, like feral pigeons, they can recognize individual humans as 'OK'.

Guess it depends a bit on what his daily routine is. Does he come to visit at certain times (to get his handout) or does he hang around most of the day? If he spends most of his time with - or in the vicinity of - other woodies then he probably also forages with them for more natural food. If that's the case then he may well be puzzled by the change, but unlikely to suffer as a result. Maybe the next resident will be bird-friendly too, with luck.

My personal view is that it could be difficult for him to be removed from the area he knows to a new place, where he would not be aware of where to look for natural food, and could have a problem establishing himself where there may be a particularly territorial woodie in residence. I frequently see a whole bunch of 'em feeding together, but they do seem to have their own 'patch', be it a particular tree for roosting and/or nesting, or wherever.

As I say, kinda depends on just how 'domesticated' he has become.

John
 

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Thanks for your quick replies. We don't know yet who's moving in here. We may not know before we leave either.

'Our' pigeon friend does look like a bit of a loner. He checks in to see if we're at home a couple of times a day. He sits on a flowerpot next to the kitchen window to look in. He seems to know at what sort of times we're there. He's there when I open the curtains in the morning and again when I come home from work. We even thought about getting him a pigeon house.

I'm pretty sure he knows how to collect his own food. I mean he's a grown up pigeon so he must be able to look after himself. Right? I wonder if I made life too easy for him by feeding seeds and bread. It's hard to stop now though, I feel guilty to ignore him!

Should I stop feeding him?

If we could take him we would, but I don't think it's right to move an animal out of his habitat.
 

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Thanks for your quick replies. We don't know yet who's moving in here. We may not know before we leave either.



That is why you would leave the note, you don't have to meet them.... such a simple thing to do...why not try it.....
 

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We will do that. And I will ask the neighboor to feed him.

However I want to do the best thing for him. Which is why I posted here to get advice. I don't know if people will feed him.
I just wanted to know if anyone had other advice or maybe a similar experience. I wish I knew that he will be fine without us looking after him. That's all.
 

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Well, he is a wild bird, despite him being friendly towards you. He is evidently resourceful, so he ought to be able to find his food where other woodies do.

I had one in a tree outside my apartment - he would come to my balcony and eat if I put food out for the other pigeons. Not as human-friendly as yours - he would take off if I approached - but he was bold enough to set foot in my lounge if the door was open and I left a dish of food just inside. But, that was not every day, as I was not home all the time, so he would have been 'working' for his food at other times.

John
 

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Thanks again.

We won't feed him every day from now on. Which I find hard because he's really 'living' in our garden and trying to make contact by sitting in front of the windows. It's quite endearing, he's a beautiful big bird. Is it possible to see if it's a he or a she?

Thanks for all the good advice. Less feeding from now on and I will try to get my neighboor involved in looking after him.
 

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This might not help but...if there aren't other wood pigeons in the area, why not get a rehab center to release the wood pigeons they are nursing back to health into your area? Getting into contact with pigeons just like him/her might get em a bit on the wild side again.
 

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But that's the strange thing. There are a lot of wood pigeons in our area. He's not alone. But he behaves like a loner. Is very focussed on our garden. Today I came home on a different time than normal and he just sat sleeping on the roof of the shed. He seems to have adopted our garden as 'his' place.
I just feel responsible because I started feeding him and he eats out of my hand now. I will stop doing that. I will only throw out some seeds every other day or so. See if he gets back into his normal routine because I guess that would be best for him.

I do feel very flattered that he decided to trust me though. It's quite a step for a free animal.
 

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I bet that if you put up a few notices in your neighborhood, with your phone number, you would find someone nearby who would be quite happy to take over some of the feeding. Maybe say that you are in the vicinity of of X and Y streets.

I run into neighbors who are quite pigeon-friendly and others who aren't. If you could gently take "your" pigeon and "introduce" him (with some nice treats) to someone close by who is a homeowner (no objecting landlords), you might find both parties grateful for the new acquaintance. Perhaps he would sit on your hand and you could slowly walk to the new "feeder."

Just a thought, considering how tame he seems to be.

It could be that he was fed as a youngster, or his parents were fed, by a neighbor who let food out for other birds. I have a rescued feral squeaker (almost three months old now, at least), who eats seeds from a dish inside the door to our balcony. Two ring-neck doves and their young one also take advantage of the situation.

Larry
 
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