Pigeon-Talk banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi. My name is Chloe, I'm really new to this site, have read through a couple of posts but I wanted to post my own because I'm still not really sure what to do.

Yesterday around 2pm my housemate (I live in a house with 6 girls, were students) found a baby pigeon in the gutter of next doors front garden. It was chirping really loudly (for its age) and was standing on top of, what I can imagine, a dead sibling as it was around the same size. There was no sign of a mother or father around so I brought he/she in and placed her into a very old fish tank that we dont use anymore. (We get shed loads of cats around here and we're by the beach so we get plenty of seagulls that would have most likely made it supper)

At the time I put down bubble wrap (That was the only thing me and my girlfriend had at the time) but we later went and bought hay and we bought some seed for it too, it didnt eat or drink much when we first brought it in but this morning I woke up and found that all the seed had been eaten, the water didnt look like it had been touched really. I have a lamp shining onto one corner of the tank so it has a heated side (the lamp itself does get quite hot but the light coming from it is warm enough for a bird I assume without overheating it).

I think its about 3 weeks old after comparing it to pictures. It looks overall healthy, its wings are not broken as it flapped them about a bit this morning when I was trying to wash it and it can walk fine too.

It cant at the moment fly which is one of the things I wanted to ask about, what is the best way of trying to help it to fly so I can release it when its in better condition. It has a few missing feathers under the neck but apart from that it looks ok. I did however see a small bug/mite/flea crawling around on its head yesterday, I dont know what this thing is but it was so small I couldnt see the detail on it, it just looked like a little greyish bug. What is this?

I have tried to handle it to get it used to me so that when the time is right I can teach it to fly without it being unresponsive and it seems to not mind sometimes but then back away from my hand other times even when I go in to replace food or water. Whats the best way to get it used to me and my girlfriend without scaring it too much. It tends to poo a lot when we do handle it when changing the hay in its cage etc, I guess pooing is a good thing but then it means that its scared right? And I dont want it to be even though its probably terrified. I just want to make it as comfortable as possible.

I thought about calling the R.S.P.C.A but I thought they wouldn't do anything, because pigeons are 'vermin' and I don't want them to euthanize it. Am I right in looking after it to release it into the wild? I'm also currently making him a larger box because the fish tank he's in at the moment is very small and he was pecking at it earlier so I'm guessing he doesn't like it.

Any help would be gladly appreciacted

Regards

Chloe & Bex

P.S here is a picture to give you guys an idea of what it looks like, its still a little damp form its bath earlier. oh and we named him Wilson (For those of you that have seen the film Cast Away) that's where his name came from, not sure if its male or what but we decided to name him that anyway.

P.S2 while photographing him for you we noticed some bald patches, under his wing and belly as well as his neck, we took photos of these for you also



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,336 Posts
Hi Chloe,

Thank you for rescuing the baby, it sounds as if the nest was deliberately destroyed as it is just a bit young to have left the nest. The lack of feathering under its wings is due to its youth. You can treat its "insects" with Johnson's pigeon insect spray.

If you follow this link it will take you to a website that explains how to care for a baby pigeon and what to feed it. At that age you can also feed it defrosted peas and corn, popping about 30 pieces into its mouth three times a day as illustrated in this video.

It will learn to fly on its own, but it migh be best if it went to a sanctuary where it could be released with other pigeons. The link shows the pigeon friendly places that we know of in the UK, but there are some small places not listed...I know that there is a lady in Preston that might help.

Cynthia
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hey just need to leave a quick reply until I can post a better one later, I'm a bit busy! Can you give me a link or number for the lady in Preston please? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,336 Posts
THis is the telephone number for Gwen in Southport, she is the lady that knows the person in Preston: 01704 543391

We also have a member in Blackburn that might be able to help but I think she is on holiday at the moment.

Cynthia
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,084 Posts
Also - Chloe - the baby sounds\appears very healthy so you have an option of caring for her for another month or so then releasing her\him yourself (cannot be released until 45 days old min - let's assume this one's about 17-19 days old today). This would be a process known as 'soft release' and takes about 20 minutes\day for the last 7 days you have her. You can search the term on the website or PM me for instructions. Your pal's old enough not to imprint on humans and is a great candidate for successful re-release if done properly ! Just another more hands-on option for you - as you seem interested. Thanks for saving his\her life !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you both for your help, I shall probably post some more info as I get into caring for the bird more. I've decided not to take it to the lady in preston as it's become clear that I probably wont be able to get the bird there very easy since I dont have a car and cant drive, meaning pigeon on a train in a cage would have to be neccessary, which i don't want to do. That and I actually really like taking care of it (not that i ever doubted I wouldnt do).

I read up about soft release and know of a perfect place where I can do this when the time is ready so I am fully aware of the routine I have to go through.

One last question for the day. The bird seems to chirp quite a lot. Actually its not really a lot, it depends really, he did it just a second ago which made me remember to ask but he did it for about 2 seconds then stopped. Soemtimes he does it for longer and stops when I go over to him. is he calling for family? does he want attention or food?

Thanks again

Chloe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,890 Posts
Hi Chloe,

His chirping is what he would do when he sees the parent to get their attention for food. He may twitch his wings a little aswell.

It's very hard not to get attached to these litle ones especially when you know they are relying on you, so I expect you'll find it hard to actually let it go when the time comes.
The main thing to remember is that it needs other birds to survive out there in the wild and if it gets too used to you it will automatically go towards humans for food, so for it's own long term safety do introduce it to other birds once it's ready. That's why it's ideal for it to go to a rescue place for release. ( It would travel ok if packed in a padded box with air holes by the way if it needed to).

It's great you have a place in mind for it's soft release as long as it will be amongst hopefully it will be ok.

Well done for taking it on, keep us posted as to how it's going.

Janet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Already I can safely say hes making progress, I went out this morning and left the top of his new box uncovered because I know that bex was going to be in the room with him all the time, when she came to let me in we went back to the room and he had either jumped or partially flown to get on top of the edges of the box (which are about 34/35cm high) which hes never done before, he can barely jump up onto the top part of the sink when I'm bathing him even though he likes to try.

I bought some of that johnsons pigeon insect remover today as well and gave him a bit of a spray whilst bex cleaned out his box again.

I know that I cannot get attatched, at the end of the day im a student in this house so im not going to be here over the summer holidays, I have about a month or so left here so im hoping he will have properly learnt to fly by then. I know I cannot keep him, lets call him my practise for when I get a parrot after i finish uni ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,890 Posts
I know that I cannot get attatched, at the end of the day im a student in this house so im not going to be here over the summer holidays, I have about a month or so left here so im hoping he will have properly learnt to fly by then. I know I cannot keep him, lets call him my practise for when I get a parrot after i finish uni ;)
LOL. I guessed as much by what you wrote. My daughter's the same age and at uni so I was assuming you wouldn't be around to have him as a permanent fixture if you're set up was the same !!!

So that's why I just wanted to make sure he wouldn't be abandonded after getting attached to you. I'm so glad you're thinking ahead for his future, that's great and I can tell you'll be doing the right thing for him.

It's brilliant that you're taking his welfare so much to heart and well done for getting the spray for his mites, he'll feel a lot better for that aswell. :)

Look forward to hearing the rest of his story. :D

Janet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I can officially state that trying to feed peas to a pigeon is the hardest thing i've ever had to do in my life. I know hes not supposed to get used to me, but it seems it would be easier if he did then he wouldnt try to run away from me and then refuse to be co-operative when trying to feed him. I got about 16 or so peas in before I decided it was enough, I didnt want to scare the guy any more than he already was but im glad i got a bit of nutrition into him. I normally put down a small bown of seed which he eats very quickly, iv given him a couple of those today but dont want to overfeed him.

I tried giving him some flying lessons today by gently 'throwing' (im not being cruel) him up into the air and then seeing him flap towards his box, it doesnt look like hes properly flying yet though, more just breaking his fall by flapping, his bald patches on his stomach are still there and it looks like the hasnt grown all his wing feathers yet, which is probably why he isnt flying yet, but i am patient and am sure he will get the hang of it one day ^^ (hopefully before i have to leave to go home :/)

i also havent seen any more of those bugs since iv been using the insect spray either, so im glad that this is working out too ^^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,336 Posts
What you could do is stand her on your arm and then lower the arm, that will make her flap and excersise her wing muscles.

The general rule is to give a pigeon 1/10th of his bodyweight daily to eat...I would make a little more than that available to him because he is a growing bird, but in three or four small feeds. Feral pigeons don't actually like peas and corn, so if he is eating seed stick to that, make certain that he knows were his water is and that he drinks.

Cynthia
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I was kinde doing that as well when he decided to grip onto my hand and climb up my arm at one point.

Thanks for the tips on feeding ^^ they are noted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
General Update

I haven't had a chat on here for a while because I've been a tad busy with this outfit I have to make and I've generally been too interested in the pigeon to post lol. Eitherway heres an update.

He seems to be doing really well with flying now, he now can properly propell himself from the floor up to various heights, his box and our chest of drawers for instance which he decided to want to climb on the other day. He's also getting more adventurous ie he will now jump out his box and walk around the bedroom either when we are here or when we arent, slight problem when we arent here so we cover over his box with an old towel to stop him hiding or pecking anything he shouldn't be like our playstation 3 wires.

He seems to have nearly grown all his feathers now, he has a few bald patches under his wings still. I have noticed that sometimes he will sit in his box and flap his wings vigorously for a minute or two. What is he doing when he does this? I've also noticed that when he does do this a couple feathers sometimes tend to fly free, is this him losing his baby feathers or is it something different?

Also I know hes not supposed to get used to me handing him and stuff when i bathe him, use the flea spray etc, but it seems that he is getting a bit aggressive towards me when I go near him, a few days ago he used to twitch his wings at me when I went near him (and still does) but now when I put my hands near him he flaps his wing hard at my hand, as if to tell me to go away, he even does it when im trying to change his food bowl/water etc. Is this normal? should I do anything to help him calm down?

i'v also tried getting him to eat different things like junk food hell find on the streets, junk food meaning things like bread crisps etc to try to get him away from only trying to eat seed as hes not going to find a lot of that where we live. He tried eating a wotsit this morning but didnt get anywhere with tht so i think he just didnt like it.

Thanks for all your help so far guys, we plan on releasing him when those last few feathers grow through and he can control his flight around the bedroom a bit more.

Chloe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,890 Posts
Hi Chloe,

Nice to get an update, and even better that's it's going along well for you and your trainee pigeon. :)

His behaviour is perfectly normal as far as him 'wing slapping' you when you get near, shows he's feeling confident.
The flapping of wings while sitting on a perch is also normal, I expect he's strengthing them up and getting some excercise. My residents do that a lot especially after a bath and some loose feathers come away.

I think your idea of feeding him a varied diet is also a good move as you quite rigtly say, he's not going to find a lot of fine mixed seed around town! I expect you're still giving him some seeds aswell as he needs to be as healthy as possible for when he first goes free as it may take him a short while to establish where to find scraps when he first gets out and about.

Keep up the good work, and let us know how his release goes. :D

Good luck with the outfit aswell!!!

Janet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the reassurance that everything is as normal, and yes i still have pleanty of seed ^_^ he doesnt seem to like the scrap food i put down but hopefully he will learn to like it.

And thanks lastly for the luck with my outfit, its more a costume than an outfit really and its going to take a while lol but im sure itl look great once its done
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,890 Posts
thanks for the reassurance that everything is as normal, and yes i still have pleanty of seed ^_^ he doesnt seem to like the scrap food i put down but hopefully he will learn to like it.

And thanks lastly for the luck with my outfit, its more a costume than an outfit really and its going to take a while lol but im sure itl look great once its done
The funny thing is I've very often comes across street pigeons where I throw them some seeds and they actually ignore them as they don't always see it as food!!! Saw some today enjoying some McDonald's chips children were throwing to them.
I had to laugh aswell when I passed a pigeon scouring for food in a market place. It suddenly spotted a blue Smartie sweet and although it took a while before he managed to pick it up, sure enough he ate it. (obviously has a sweet tooth). :D

I could do with your help here ATM as my days and nights are being taken up making my daughter a leavers Prom dress. I landed myself with the job when she hunted around and every dress was about £150/£200. :eek:
I stupidly said, 'how hard can they be to make'...... me and my big mouth.;)

You'll have to post a pic of your work of art with another one of pidgie when you get a chance.

Janet

Janet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
My apologies for such a late response but I have been very busy as of late with my new summer job. Just wanted to let you guys know that the release for Wilson was a success even though I could not perform a soft release, I couldnt find a cage within my funding that had a metal grated bottom for help with the release however he was still released with success.

He had been pecking at our window for a while and often tried to fly towards it around the time we released him so I decided to take him down to Stanley Park and let him fly off towards the flock of pigeons that often go down there to feed, after about half an hour of waiting they all flew off together and thus he was released.

=) it was sad to see him go but im glad that he can now live his life
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top