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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a banded pigeon. It is white with brown wings and has a band on each leg. One band looks like it is metal and the other band is white with black writing on it. He is currently living in our backyard and gets along very well with the mourning doves. We feed the birds so he is not hungry, but I am worried about what will happen to him during the winter.
I live in upstate NY in the hamlet of Coeymans.
If anyone thinks this may be their bird, please email me and I will send a pic of him/her. By the way, we named him Steve. Oh, and we are not sure if he is a he or a she.
 

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If you know where he spends the nights, you can approach him quietly and grab him - they are really easy to catch in the dark because they are reluctant to fly without light. If you don't know where he roosts, then is he tame enough to allow you to get close to him so that you can catch him, while he's eating. You'd have to remove the food from the bird feeders and scatter seed for him on the ground. If he's not that tame than you can make a box trap. Here are instructions:

To start with, you will need a cardboard box, a stick and a string. The length of the cardboard box should be 18 inches, 10 inches in height and 12 inches wide. Put a weight on one end of the box, a 2x3 or a 2x4 is very much advisable. The weight should be parallel with the end of the box. Make sure that you create an opening on top of the box (approximately 6x6 inches or 7x7 inches). You will use this as an access door to get the bird later after capturing.
Now tie the string (around 20 feet or more) with a stick around 10-12 inches. Place the box inclined, on top of the stick. The weight should be directly above the stick so that later when you pull the stick, the weight should facilitate the fall of the cardboard box.
Now for the capturing moment, put the bait right under the trap. The main idea is that the bird will eat the bait while you are carefully observing. And once the bird is under the trap, you will pull the string from 20 feet away. The stick gets pulled away while the box falls over the bird, capturing it. And then you will reach into the access door you cut earlier and voila! You have caught the bird.
 

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Post the band number here, and people will tell you who to contact. They in turn should be able to track down the owner's telephone.

Also, put the bird in a cage/ pet carrier/ dog kennel or even a cardboard box covered with a screen - whatever you have available, and provide him with a dish of water and a dish of seed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, I don't know if I can capture him. I'm asking the neighbors if they know anything about birds. I don't have anything to keep him in except a cat carrier that is too small for him. I enlarged a pic of him where you can see the band but writing is not visible. I am off for the next two weeks so I will try to get a box and try to capture him. I will let everyone know here how its going. Thanks for your help.
What would really help is if someone on this website is from the Albany NY area and can come and help.
 

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The "number" consists of both all the letters and the numbers, but even if you get all the letters and numbers no one will be interested if the bird is simply out there, so unless the bird is secured, nothing can be done. Perhaps you can continue feeding him and when you win his trust attempt to catch him. If you post a picture of him we can tell if he's a lost racing pigeon or a fancy pigeon. Fancy pigeons have very little to no chance of making it out there in the feral world. Racing pigeons, it is said have a 40% chance of making it. If you continue to provide food and water that would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
found pigion

I do feed them and give them water. Also, he flies with the mourning doves and I suspect he sleeps with them too. I have lots of pics of him, can I post a pic on this message board?
 

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If he's hanging out with the doves, are there flocks of pigeons where you are? Pigeons are safer in flocks because there are more eyes to look out for predators. Also, they can teach him where to roost and forage for food and water.
Please do post a picture on here. Here is how:

How do I attach a file to a post?

To attach a file to your post, you need to be using the main 'New Post' or 'New Thread' page and not 'Quick Reply'. To use the main 'New Post' page, click the 'Post Reply' button in the relevant thread.

On this page, below the message box, you will find a button labelled 'Manage Attachments'. Clicking this button will open a new window for uploading attachments. You can upload an attachment either from your computer or from another URL by using the appropriate box on this page. Alternatively you can click the Attachment Icon to open this page.

To upload a file from your computer, click the 'Browse' button and locate the file. To upload a file from another URL, enter the full URL for the file in the second box on this page. Once you have completed one of the boxes, click 'Upload'.

Once the upload is completed the file name will appear below the input boxes in this window. You can then close the window to return to the new post screen.

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If you have uploaded an image as an attachment, you can click the arrow next to the 'Attachment Icon' and select it from the list. This will be inserted into your post and can be located where you want it displayed.

To include an image that is not uploaded as an attachment and is located on another website, you can do so by copying the full URL to the image, (not the page on which the image is located), and either pressing the 'Insert Image' icon or by typing
after it, ensuring that you do not have any spaces before or after the URL of the image. You can insert pictures from your albums (?) in this way too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
found pigeon

Ok, I uploaded a picture of him. There are no other pigeons around here, he hangs around with the mourning doves. If nobody claims him will we have to build him a hutch? Can he live in really cold weather? Should I get him special food? Right now he is eating just the regular wild bird seed I put out for all of the birds. Thanks for helping.
 

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Hi, sorry for not getting back to you - I haven't forgotten about your threat, just missed your new post somehow. I don't know if the pigeon is still around - and it' s a really beautiful one by the way - but in case it is, let me answer your questions.
First, I'm not really sure what kind it is, but it looks to me like a homing or performing breed as opposed to a fancy breed. I doubt the pigeon is roosting with the doves, because unlike doves, which are tree dwellers, pigeons are cliff dwellers, so like flat ledges to perch on, which is why they do so well in cities.

Pigeons can live in very cold weather (and in indeed you see pigeons all over the world from Montreal to Moscow), but just as long as they have food. Birds have a very fast metabolism and need to eat very regularly to maintain their body functions, especially to stay warm in the winter. So it's not the cold per se, but the lack of food that makes life so hard for them in the winter (and backyard bird feeders such as yours, so life saving for them), especially when the ground is covered with snow so that they can not forage - and pigeons forage exclusively on the ground unlike other birds that can eat berries and such on trees and bushes. Pigeons need about twice as much protein as what is in the typical wild bird seed mixes, so getting him a pigeon/dove seed mix from Petco or one of those places would be great. You can also add some dried lentils and peas to your current mix for extra protein. All pigeons absolutely love raw chopped peanuts – it’s the fastest way to win their trust.
As I already mentioned, nobody can claim him until he’s secured and you have the complete band info, but even then as is often the case the owner can’t be located, doesn’t get in touch or doesn’t want the bird back. And there are even some people who race pigeons who have a practice of killing those who have gotten lost. So assuming the bird is yours to keep, you’ll have two options. You can keep him as a house pigeon – a house pet - as you’d keep, say a parrot. Pigeon are incredibly intelligent and affectionate and take to life as indoor pets extremely well. You can also build him an enclosure outside, but in that case you should get him a mate. They love company and if they don’t have the company of people or another pigeon they are very lonely. They mate for life, which is also what makes them such affectionate pets – they bond very deeply with their owners. If you get him a mate, you can choose whether you want to let them have babies or not, by simply replacing the eggs they lay with fake ones. I don’t know where you live, but chances are there are hawks in your area, and letting a single pigeon or two free fly is very risky. So building an aviary – a small enclosure where the pigeon can get a bit of exercise would be most ideal, but a rabbit hutch would be a sufficient at first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
found pigion

Thank you for getting back to me. I thought that since I posted the pic, nobody wanted him or was interested in him. He is still here and was waiting this morning on the porch for me to fill the feeders and I put some on the porch floor for him. I will get the pigeon food from petco and also some dried peas and lentils. The peanuts I usually do in the fall for the squirrels.
I am also going to contact the bird sanctuary and see if they want him, he can live there and get plenty of food and he will be protected. I will let you know.
I can't keep him in the house because I have three cats and since we both work he would be alone during the day with the cats.
Do you want him? I'm about 2 hrs north of NYC.
 
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