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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's our first full day with Chauncey, the rescued homing pigeon. (I've posted in previous threads, his band # and such. His original owner was tracked but the pigeon had been sold, and our trail stops there.)

We are going to foster him for however long it takes to find him a great, aviary-style home. We're in the San Francisco Bay Area.

We set up a large crate with a 1x2 wooden perch he loves, a couple of bricks, a shelf with bedding, and some other amenities. He is not overtly afraid of us when he's in his cage. He watches all of the activity in our apartment quite calmly. But if it looks as though our hands are coming near, he panics. He doesn't want to be handled. I'm assuming he wasn't handled much or has been roaming free for quite a while??

We're fine with leaving him be as much as possible if that's what's best. Should we just change his papers, give him food, and do our best not to interact? Or do we gradually interact more, as we see his comfort level in our place increases? Do we ever let him out to test his wings in our apartment or would a bird like this go bolting and hurt himself?

He's eating, preening, roaming about, perching, sleeping and otherwise acting fine. He grunts at us from time to time, no cooing.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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Hello,
great to hear you have him in your care.

A lot of racing people don't really handling their birds, not as much as the fanciers do. Again, there are some exceptions, and the racers handle the pigeon a ton, but most commonly not.

No, change his news papers everyday, give clean food/water everyday if not twice a day (depending on cleanliness and amount), and other things.

I would try to keep him in the cage for the first week maybe two. Give him a week of eating in his cage on his own, and then start in on only by hand. The comfort level will increase eventually, how much is unknown at this point.

Letting him out right now, being scared, he would bolt, and hurt himself. Its just best to keep him contained till he is a bit more calm. That could take a while...

Yep, grunts and wing slaps are normal. Cooing could take a while, just because he has to get use to surroundings and feel comfortable.

I hope this helps!
-Hilly

BTW: I recently adopted another homer, and I am currently going through this stuff as well. It is suppose to be tame, but it isn't warming up to me yet...it takes time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, that helps tremendously, thank you. We will approach this gingerly and gradually and see how our little person develops over time.
 

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Guardian Angel
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Yup, it takes time....

It's good to touch your bird without then ending a free flight session, otherwise they will always associate free flight coming to an end w/your physical touch..

You will get the hang of it....birds are just very sensitive.


fp
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks very much for that last piece of advice. Our primary experience is with wild, convalescing or growing birds where habituation is the last thing you want to instill. So when Chauncey retreats from the hand, that's obviously a familiar behavior for us. We just didn't want to cause stress. And we weren't sure if we should let him eventually come to us, as it were -- or gradually introduce more human-to-bird interaction. All of this is very helpful indeed.
 
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