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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello :)

I live in a high rise apartment building in a big city, which is close to a large park, so there are a lot of pigeons here.

I moved here recently, and not having any experience with pigeons, would like to gather some information and ideas about what to do with this pigeon.

There were a pair of pigeons sleeping on my balcony up until less than a week ago, and they both seemed healthy. Now there is only one pigeon, and I noticed it was sitting completely down on the balcony during the past couple of days (although it's not there early in the day), which I found odd, because they generally aren't there during the day.

Anyway, early this evening I stuck my head out of the balcony door and I threw a few small pieces of bread in its direction. When the pigeon got up to get them I noticed it was limping on one leg. The foot on the right leg is swollen (not the entire leg), and the toes seems to curl inwards, so it's hopping on it's good leg. Otherwise, it's sharp and looks healthy.

I thought that perhaps the pigeon had a nest, which is why it was resting, but there is no nest (I checked my balcony thoroughly today), and now the reason is obvious.

I intend on putting out water and feeding it some fruit and some other type of food (any suggestions?) until it gets well, but I do not want to trap it. I'm hoping it will get well on its own.

Does anyone have any idea what is wrong with this pigeon and why its partner left? And what kind of food and fruit should I be feeding the pigeon, or should I leave the pigeon alone? I don't want it to die on my balcony if it is sick, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening. :)

Lynn
 

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Well, pigeons eat mostly seeds although big-city pigeons often cultivate a few more things in their diets. Bread will provide basic energy but not much nutrition (vitamins, minerals).

Often, when they get swollen legs, it's the result of a "string injury" in which a filament of some kind (actual string, thread, fishline, long hair) has gotten wrapped around their leg. It's good in a case like that to capture the bird and see if you can get the string off before it hurts the leg worse.

Can you catch the bird and/or take a digital picture?

Pidgey
 

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I've only in the past year started to help injured pigeons, but in my experience pigeons are very resilient. I've been feeding my pigeons plain old wild bird seed and they seem to like it a lot. I'm not sure if fruits are what they would eat but if you have crackers, bread or even bread crumbs they might eat that. If you want to help this bird I suggest that you put out water and seed and let nature take its course. If you get too close or let the bird get too attached he'll be around for ever. If you don't want him to stick around then don't feed him at all and leave him be and hopefully he'll do well on his own. If you do plan on feeding him them plan on cleaning up a lot of bird droppings. Good Luck.
 

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Hi Lynn,

Welcome to Pigeon-Talk and thank you for your concern for this pigeon. Most likely it will not get better on its own .. if you can catch it and get it into a box with some old toweling or a T-shirt/sweatshirt on the bottom, that would be great. We do need to know where you are located in order to try and help more.

Pidgey is likely correct in that there is something entangled on the leg/foot or perhaps the leg/foot is broken .. in either case, the bird needs to get some hands on help.

You can offer wild bird seed mix or just about any type of bird seed available from a local pet store .. fresh drinking water is also needed. Pigeons won't usually eat fruit .. so seed is your best bet.

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice, albeit there are different ideas about what I should do.

I think my best bet is to contact the SPCA or the Humane Society, as there is no way I can trap this bird as it flies away as soon as I get anywhere close to it. All I can do is stick my head out the door and even then the pigeon gets tense.

In the meantime, I'll feed it some bread tomorrow (although I read somewhere they eat fruit in the wild) and pick up some bird seed.

After the pigeon goes, I'm putting up mesh wire around my balcony. Not to mention I have a lot of work cut out for me as my balcony is covered in pigeon droppings.

Thanks again. :)
 

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Please don't call the humane society, or if you do make sure they tell you what they will do with the pigeon. Most spca and humane societies don't care about pigeons.
Knowing your location would be helpful, we might have members near you who could help.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, well then I have no idea what to if I don't call the Humane Society or SPCA. As I said, this pigeon flies away as soon as I go near it, but comes back within a minute, and sits on the balcony before resuming its position.

This morning when I woke up he/she was still sitting there, and now it's sitting on the ledge of the balcony after I put out some food and water. I'm also hesitant to put more food out because when I woke up there were 3 pigeons on my balcony and the injured one was sitting in its spot cooing at the others.

I don't think it's really going to help you any to know where I live because I highly doubt anyone can catch the pigeon, but I live in Toronto if that does help any.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just called the Toronto Wildlife Centre, apparently the only place in the directory provided here, that seems to care about pigeons.

When I called I got their voicemail, I was hopeful until the very end when they said they do not do pickups. They also said not to give it anything to eat or drink until I get a call back. But would good is that when they won't pick up the pigeon. And if I call Toronto animal control, I know exactly what they will do with the pigeon.

Again, I do not have the experience to trap this bird, and I don't have a vehicle! This is very frustrating because I don't like seeing sick animals.

Also, the pigeon may be a bit leery because my cats like to sit on the window ledge (inside) and look around. Please, nobody tell me I shouldn't allow my cats in the window, because that's their routine and I won't disrupt it.

I'm totally at a loss. :(
 

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Hi Lynn,

Perhaps you could set up a box trap to catch the pigeon? Here is a link that shows how to construct one : http://www.racingbirds.com/ptrap.html What you'll have to do is keep providing some seed though so he sticks around. Also, food is the key to trapping him under the box. You would place the food underneath and even if you catch a bunch at the same time, this is ok. You would just release the others.

If there is string on his foot, you could probably fix him up alright yourself and then release him without having to bring the bird to the TWC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks Brad. It sounds like a good idea and all but I have no idea how I would handle the pigeon if I was able to get hold of it. Can I use my bare hands or should I use rubber gloves? I don't want my cats to catch any possible disease. And what would I use if there is string attached? Small scissors? What if I can't find any string/wire/hair attached to the foot? And I do think it's a male. I saw him in relation to others today and he was larger than all of them.

Thanks again.

Lynn
 

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Hi Lynn,

It is very kind of you to worry about this pigeon.

The advice from the wildlife centre is wise, because very sick or injured birds can die if they are fed or given water too quickly, but this doesn't apply in your visitor's case. However, if you put down food and water for it it is best to put it out of the sight of other pigeons because as you have noticed the numbers will increase.

Don't worry about the cats stressing it out by watching it through the window. I am certain that birds understand when an animal is behind wire of or glass and when it is a real threat.

I hope that you are able to catch it and fix whatever is causing its lameness. It doesn't sound terribly ill as it is cooing at the other pigeons, so its prospects with the wildlife centre would be good.

Cynthia
 
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Lynn said:
Thanks Brad. It sounds like a good idea and all but I have no idea how I would handle the pigeon if I was able to get hold of it. Can I use my bare hands or should I use rubber gloves? I don't want my cats to catch any possible disease. And what would I use if there is string attached? Small scissors? What if I can't find any string/wire/hair attached to the foot? And I do think it's a male. I saw him in relation to others today and he was larger than all of them.

Thanks again.

Lynn

Hi Lynn,

You can use gloves if that makes you feel more comfortable. If you do manage to catch the pigeon, just make sure your cats are locked in a bedroom for the time being. It's highly unlikely that a pigeon will spread anything to you or your cat. The diseases that effect them are mostly specific to pigeons/birds. If you don't use gloves, just make sure you wash your hands after handling the pigeon, as general hygiene.

If there is no string, then you could just examine the foot, possibly take a picture for us to see and someone should be able to make a recommendation on what to do next. If there is string tangling his toes, then yes, you would use very fine scissors with sharp ends. Let's take this one step at a time though, you might not even be able to catch the pigeon.

Someone is almost always on and around here so you shouldn't have to wait long for one of us to come on and adise you if you do catch him.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you, Cynthia. Your comments make me feel a bit better about the whole situation. I do think he is pretty healthy otherwise, because he is quite robust, and alert. He's also not on my balcony at the moment, so I'm assuming he's off foraging for more food.

I live near a very large park, so there are a lot of pigeons in my neighbourhood (not to mention high rise apartment buildings and condos), and I have seen some pigeons with missing parts that seem very hardy and capable, so I'm hoping for the the best.

I'm going to keep looking on the internet for other wildlife services that will help pigeons here. I'm really hoping there is someone here in Toronto who reads this and will come help me out. :eek:
 

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Hi Lynn,

Thank for your concern about this pigeon.

Generally speaking, when a pigeon appears healthy but is limping or favoring one foot many times it is because fine thread or string has wrapped around it cutting off circulation and causing pain, sometimes you need to actually have the bird in hand to see it.

Brad is right, there really is not much to be done unless you are able to catch the bird, there is a link to a simple trap in your thread that Brad posted and I went into a little more detail on how to use and set it here at the bottom of the page:
http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showthread.php?t=14960&page=2

If you do manage to catch him I would be happy to remove the string as I have done this a number of times before.

I hope this helps for now.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Ron. I appreciate your offer for help :) I'll see what I can do to trap the pigeon. He isn't here right now, but I'll try to see what I can do later this afternoon or early evening.
 

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That is a kind offer, Ron! I know people that are not accustomed to pigeons can be nervous when handling them and could find thread removal stressful. Personally I find it the most satisfying of rescue operations because so often it is a case of instant success.

Lynn, I have been trying to catch an injured pigeon in my city centre for several days now. I think it was mawled by a dog, its wing is torn and one foot hangs uselessly.

Strangely, it is a strong flyer and very alert, I only have to meet its eye and it is off, but it also recognises me and zooms towards me as soon as it sees me. I think that the box trap will have to be be my next step too!


Cynthia
 

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Good luck in catching him Lynn, and if you are nervous about handling him I can PM you my cel number if you like to get him, my schedule is flexible so usually I can be anywhere in the local area within an hour.

Cynthia, I have to agree with you about instant success. All the birds I have caught with with "string foot" have been immediately releasable upon removal of the thread and topical application of some Flamazine, which is very similar to Silverdine. Only one I had to keep a few days as his foot was quite nasty looking, he had this extremely fine polyester type thread/line that was deeply embedded that I had to use a jeweler's loop to help see to remove it, I treated him both internally with antibiotics and topically with Flamazine. Within a few days I felt comfortable he would be alright so I released him back to his flock, where I watched him eventually make a full recovery.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi again,

Just thought I'd give an update on the little guy on my balcony.

It does seem his foot is wrapped in some kind of grey string (can't get too close, only through the window), and the toes are all swollen around the string. He also has one toe missing from the other foot, as well as a missing toenail/claw on another.

I don't know if this guy is having a back streak of luck, or if he's aging. I feel so bad for him. :(

He is quite big compared to other pigeons I've seen, has quite a colourful and thick neck, has orange eyes, and is speckled rather than striped on the top. He has white plumage underneath the grey exterior wings.

I'm going to attempt to trap him in a box tomorrow night, and Ron has kindly agreed to help me out once I catch him.

Thanks again to all of you for your concern. :)

Lynn
 
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