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Hi everyone!

I adopted a lost racing pigeon about a month ago. I've been spending time with him and trying to hand feed him but it seems like to no avail. He will only eat out of his bowl and wont go near my hand if I offer him food (or at all, he really doesn't like me and gets angry when I clean his cage).

I'm getting really discouraged and beginning to think that I made the wrong choice. It makes me sad because he doesn't seem happy. I'm not sure what to do- I did manage to find his old owner based on his racing band but he didn't care about taking Eric back.

I know at this point Eric the pigeon may never truly bond with me as a baby pigeon would, but I'd like him to at least become comfortable around me and my family. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Give him time. Don't push him. Just spend time with him at a distance where he is comfortable. I have several disabled wild-born pigeons, it took a few months but they're now fine with me being near them. They don't eat out of my hand (not that I've tried to convince them to), but really, how would that benefit them? They're perfectly comfortable going about their life when I'm present. They will approach me when I'm near something they want, but they mostly just ignore me.

Consider rescuing another pigeon. He'll be happier with with someone he can bond with.
 

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Give him time. Don't push him. Just spend time with him at a distance where he is comfortable. I have several disabled wild-born pigeons, it took a few months but they're now fine with me being near them. They don't eat out of my hand (not that I've tried to convince them to), but really, how would that benefit them? They're perfectly comfortable going about their life when I'm present. They will approach me when I'm near something they want, but they mostly just ignore me.

Consider rescuing another pigeon. He'll be happier with with someone he can bond with.
I like this post. It makes sense. And you asked a question that pretty much sums everything up. You said that "they don't eat out of my hand, but how would that benefit them?" I very much agree with you. The problem being that we both keep rescued pigeons, for the pigeons, for their good and well being. And can enjoy them just that way, and on their terms. But I think most people keep them to have a pet bird, meaning friendly and responsive to them. And if that doesn't happen, then they don't want the bird. All pigeons are different with different personalities. Some are friendlier or more needy than others. But they are still pigeons. I don't think it wise to get one if you are looking for a pet that will always be friendly and open to you. Pigeons are flock birds, and used to being in a group of pigeons. Being alone in a cage is not the ideal for a pigeon, especially one who is an adult, and used to always being with other pigeons. Put yourself in his place. Even if he is a lone bird that has been rescued by you. He only knows that he is alone with only a human to bond with. Not the ideal. He may come around in time, especially if you offer him treats. But would be much happier with another pigeon to bond with. A lot depends on how he was previously handled, or not handled. Often they do come around some, but it can take time, and pushing him won't work. They like to come to you when they want to. They have to learn to trust you first and that takes time. A relationship with a pigeon is always on their terms................never on ours.
 

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Agree strongly, be patient. Pugeons take time to trust sometimes. Our wonderful Lucy acted terrified for months but as soon as I get Tracy for a friend for her, she really relaxed and now loves being petted.
 
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