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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

For the last two years a couple of pigeons have made a nest behind the barbecue in the corner or our (walled) garden. We always keep an eye on them and their new born babies from a distance but today we've noticed something a bit odd.

It's 10.30pm here and neither parent has returned to sit on the chicks which is really odd, they're usually there most of the day and at least there by 7 or 8 pm. We think they've been on their own for most of the afternoon and we're not sure if we should do something (keep them warm? bring them inside? try to feed them? call our local emergency animal ambulance?) or just leave them alone until morning to see what happens?

They're only about a week to 10 days old, here's a picture I took a few days ago to give you an idea of how old they are.



We'd really appreciate any help you guys could give us. Thank you!
 

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At that age...the parents come by for brief feedings/waterings...and otherwise allow the Babys to be by themselves.


Keep an eye on them, discretely...and see how things go.


Could be everything is fine and normal here.


Do you know what their Crop is? And, how to tell at a glance if tey have been fed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick response.

From reading the forums I think the crop is the little puffy bit kind of under their beak? Am I right in thinking it should be stickey outey if they've been fed?

Unfortunately they're facing the wall and there's no easy way for us to check without disturbing them. I'll check back in the morning! Are you saying you think they'll be able to survive a slightly cold night (45oF) on their own?

We have seen the parent pigeons in the garden today we're just worried as last night they were sitting on them and then tonight nothing...is this normal?
 

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I would normally expect to see the hen pigeon with the babies at night, even though they may be left alone for longer intervals during the daytime. That's my observation of those I've seen raised on my balcony.

They should be able to regulate their body temperature just about by now, though I'm not exactly sure how many days old they are when that kicks in. It does use up energy, of course.

I'd also expect to see one one of the parents at least, in the morning, there to feed them. If you don't see anything going on, do check back here.

Are you in the UK (note your ref to garden rather than backyard)?

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would normally expect to see the hen pigeon with the babies at night, even though they may be left alone for longer intervals during the daytime. That's my observation of those I've seen raised on my balcony.

They should be able to regulate their body temperature just about by now, though I'm not exactly sure how many days old they are when that kicks in. It does use up energy, of course.

I'd also expect to see one one of the parents at least, in the morning, there to feed them. If you don't see anything going on, do check back here.

Are you in the UK (note your ref to garden rather than backyard)?

John
Yes, we are in the UK, just a bit over from you in Brighton.

I guess we just trust that they'll be okay overnight and check back in the morning, it's not that cold tonight and our garden is very sheltered.
 

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Hi

The alternative would be to bring them in if they are still alone, and put them in a safe place like a cardboard box or a cage on top of some kitchen roll or similar, and place them back first thing in the morning. Could use a well wrapped so warm rather than hot 'hot water' bottle under them, or heat pad on low, as a precaution.

As regards the crop, there's a couple of pairs of pics we did a while back, in this set, which shows how a baby pigeon looks before and after feeding.

http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/165797594SYYRWL

just to give you an idea.

John
 

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Hi Jojo H,



They tend to be little 'Furnaces' at this age...running very 'warm' indeed.

In here, in my own little home, I often had seen Pigeon Babys quite a bit younger than those two, do entirely well alone, with over-night temperatures around freezing.

Ones I was raising, I would supply warmth...but, their Pigeon parents tend to know very well what they are doing in these matters, and, I have never seen any problems with old-enough, already endothermic Babys, left to themselves in this way, and cooler ambient temps.


The parents are watching them, and or keeping an eye on them, in their own way.


Crop is in effect, lower chest front area of their Body, and is voluminous...if they are always being kept topped off, or kept fairly full, their appearance would be fairly constant, far as at-a-glance goes...


Phil
Lv
 

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Mmmmmm...IMHO they still look a bit young for a parent not to be sitting them after sunset. So I do not think it's normal for them to have been left alone after dusk.

One good thing is that there are two of them to keep each other warm...but personally...I would go with John's advice and bring them inside for the night.

It is the surer thing to do.

You are taking a chance leaving them out overnight. VERY strange that at least ONE parent has NOT returned.
 

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It varies, parent-pair to parent-pair far as when they ( either of the parents, ) stop sitting the Babys.

But, no harm to bring them in and set them up in some comfortable way...but, in my opinion, this should not be necessary unless you have Cats which may predate on them or other definite hazards.

If you do wish to try and bring them in, please be very slow and gentle...do everything very slowly, very softly...only lift them by softly working your hand under them from their behind area forward...thus they will slightly lift their Legs to be in your Hand...do this so they remain in a normal pose, and well supported...then place your other hand over them...and try not to freighten them.

They may rear up and 'click' their Beaks at you!!

If you end up botching it and frightening them, then, once you put them back, they may well begin trying to hide or get away to avoid you bothering and scareing them again, and that could get them into trouble in various ways ( parents not seeing them there anymore because they are hiding from you now, so parents now actually not coming by to feed them, Babys falling or getting trapped in things, etc ).
 
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i just want to add that they look pretty healthy to me so as was said if you dont have any preditory animals about I would just leave them be and observe then as best you can to see whats going on with them during the day ..
 

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I am a bit too late but with Jaye and John on this one....they look a bit pink and young to be left alone overnight.

The babies are lying beak to rump to reduce the amount of their bodies that is exposed to air and that suggests that they haven't achieved thermoregulation...and it is pretty cold here (in Norfolk) at the moment. They start to lie beside one another when they no longer need to co-operate in thermoregulation because that enables them to compete for food from the adults (source: Johnston and Janiga: Feral Pigeons).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again everyone!

We did leave them outside overnight as our garden is incredibly sheltered, the walls are really high, and we've never seen a cat / fox / badger or even a squirrel in there so we thought they'd be safe.

pdpbison last night their position had changed from the photo I posted and they were sitting side to side facing the same way.

We're going to keep an eye on them today as there still aren't any parents with them...
 

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If you could take a photo closer up later, that might show whether they are well (bright eyed, full crop) or getting dehydrated which would be the immediate effect of not being fed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This was them pretty early this morning.



Then a little later we saw them feeding



So we're not worried anymore, i'm really glad they haven't been abandoned.

Thanks for all your help everyone!
 

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That is very good news! :) I think we might be as relieved as you are!
 
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