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I found two baby pigeons out in the cold in my balcony.

7783 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  pigeon_ninja
The mother has not been around for half an hour. It is really cold outside. What can I do? I called the animal hospital and they said that if I bring them in and warm them and then put them back out when the storm is over the mother will "kill" them because they smell different? Is this true? They are shaking.
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The parents won't kill them if you touch them. That is a myth.
Where did they come from? Can they fly?

They cannot fly. Their eyes are closed. They were really shaking when I found them. Winds are blowing 40 km per hour. Maybe more. Temperature ouside is 6 degrees. I will post a picture. I don't know if they considered hairless. They are moving around.
I called the Canadian Wildlife people and left a message. I put them in a box with clean blankets and a warm hot water bottle under the blankets. I am hoping eventually they will be fed and they will know how to better care for them. There are two and they are keeping each other company. The winds are just too strong to leave them outside.
Bring them inside during the storm. When it's over (the storm) you can put them back outside, most likely the parents will be back to feed them.

I think that they are too young to be left uncovered by their parents.

Is it nighttime where you are?

At what time did the parent bird leave them?

Do you know how many days old they are? My guess would be about 5 days and at that age they are normally brooded continuously.

This thread on providing heat for orphaned birds might be helpful


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Hi. Canada Wildlife has called back. They suggested I put them in a nice box with a heat source and towels. To shape another towel in the shape of a doughnut and put them in. I did. They're back out there, but I am soooo worried. I boxed the area so the wind won't get to them. It's relatively in the same area the mother left the original nest which was full of poop and open to all that wind. They look scared because of the wind and storm. They suggest I monitor them. I don't have a heating pad so I will go check at midnight to see if mom is back and change the hot water bottle if she is not. In the morning I am supposed to check to see if they have pooped and if mom is back. If not, they said to call them back. God knows if mom doesn't come back, they will know what to do.
I am following Canada Wildlife's advice. They say these babies have the best chance of survival out there on the balcony. I have done my best to make sure the wind doesn't get to them. The heat source is underneath them. There is no parent on top to warm them. So I am just praying their mom or dad come back tonight. They said nothing about the parents coming back and killing their babies so I believe you are right, Reti, but I am upset that the staff at the animal hospital would say something so ignorant. Maybe they deal only with domestic animals and therefore don't know about wildlife.
I am sad to say the two pigeons have passed on. I had to drive my neighbor to the hospital and the mother never came back. I tried calling to them and moving the box. There is no movement.
Try rubbing them with your hands and blowing on them.
Oh thats horrible! I cant believe they would tell you that the mother would kill them! I don't know where that myth came from, but it seems EVERYONE believes it, I did at once, and so many birds are not helped because of that. I am so sorry, do as Charis said, sometimes if you actually HEAT the birds up you will see they were just very NEAR death, but not actually dead.

I have put two hot water bottles underneath the blanket the two birds are on top of. They are catatonic and limp. One has an open mouth and is completely limp. I haven't tried rubbing or blowing because it didn't seem right. The blanket they are on top of is quite warm and they are surrounded in warmth. I really doubt they will come back to life, but at least I have done what I could. This has been a sad day for me. It seems their spirits have left with the storm they were fighting against. :( Somehow I knew their mama would not return but I took this chance hoping and praying she would return.

But if any one of them starts to move I will call wildlife again tomorrow.
I am so very sorry. Poor little babies.

I blame Canada Wildlife for giving incorrect and irresponsible advice. They obviously have no experience or knowledge of pigeons and should have admitted their ignorance rather than proceeding with their "advice". The RSPCA here in the UK once did the same to me

Too late now, but a very cold pigeon or a baby that appears to be cold and dead can be warmed up (gently) with a hairdryer.

Thank you for trying to help them. Something must have happened to the hen which will make the cock abandon the nest.
Thanks for your replies everyone. Should another pair of pigeons lay their eggs on our balcony before we get to clean it out, I will make sure not to put the babies back out there. Once I had held them in my hands, I felt such an attachment to them it felt horrible putting them back out on the balcony in the cold. They seemed aware of each other even with their eyes closed and seemed to rely on each other for protection. My instincts told me "no". I think they were too young to have been revived. It had been 5-6 hours when I returned home to find them lifeless. The hot water bottles I guess just weren't enough. I will remember the hair dryer (gentle warming, not hot) advice in the future. I let them sink in the local park pond as a burial.

If I ever find another baby pigeon abandoned, how should I care for it after reviving them? I heard they need to be hydrated and fed every 30-45 minutes. But I have no idea how. Would the food expire if I bought it and kept it on hand just in case?
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