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Ive found a poorly pigeon UK

2348 Views 28 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Jay3

I just joined this forum to learn about a pigeon I have just started taking care of.

About an hour ago I was taking my chihuahua out for it's 'business', she wasn't on a lead as I live in a flat which has it's own courtyard and Masie is normally very well behaved.

Much to my suprise she raced accross the yard and started barking at a few plant pots, I took her indoors and grabbed a torch then went to investigate.

Behind the pots was a feral pigeon, it was alive but not moving, I took my shirt off (brrrrrr, its cold here!) and wrapped the bird up and brought it indoors.

I placed it in a cardboard box with some towels at the bottom, I keep budgies and parrotlets so I had some bird seed handy which I placed in the box along with a deep bowlof water, then I had a look at the little chap. On its left wing the long feathers are sticking out at an odd angle and the wing is dotted with blood. I lifted the wing away from the body and saw a few smears of blood on the body. As my fear was shock I left the bird in a dark, quiet room, I checked 5 minuutes ago and can see by spilt water that he/she has had a drink and is now looking round, rather than just staring ahead.

What I would advice about is what do I do next?

Should I try and locate the source of the blood and clean it, or should I allow it to regain its composure more first?

Also Im unsure about what I should do with the bird. As you may have guessed by my ownership of a dog, budgies, and parrotlets I love animals and would be happy to keep the pigeon, is that advisable or should I release him when and if he recovers properly?

My location is Grantham, Lincolnshire, England.


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Karl...I'm going to send a link to yur post to some of our UK members. They may not respond until the morning as they may be asleep.
Thank you for helping this poor bird.
We have several UK members but as Charis mentioned they might be not online at this hour.
If this a wood pigeon he might get very stressed if you handle him. You can give it a try and see where the blood came from. If the handling is well tolerated then you can start cleaning his wounds with diluted peroxide or just plain soap and water.
Please let us know what you find and then we can guide you further of what to do next.

Thanks for all your advice.

I had a look a few minutes ago to see how the bird is doing, to my delight he was having a drink.

I reached into the box and was able to have a proper look at him/her. Iam fairly sure that nothing is broken, thank god.

The longer feathers that were sticking out at a horrible angle earlier have returned a little to their normal orientation, and Iam able to see that there is no cut of any kind.

I think what must have happened is a cat grabbed the bird, and ripped out some feathers which accounts for the blood. Masie must have found the bird just after the attack took place so the feathers were still in a state of dissaray. In fact it was probably the cat that attracted Masies attention, so I think she saved the bird!

I now have to decide what is the best thing to do, Iam worried that if I handle the bird alot it will become more unafraid of humans which could be a problem if I release him. But Iam not going to consider releasing him until he is in perfect condition.

Either way, it looks as though I have a new friend for the time being at least.

Mind you, to be honest Iam a soppy sod, so I can see myself keeping him/her (are Pigeons sexually dimorphic?)

Bye all

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I am so glad that we have this site unlike your story doktordoris I found eggs and a mom. If it were not for the good peole of this site helping me out giving advice I would be stressed! Thank you to all the Pigeon Lovers who are helping all of us who just want to help the feathered friend that "found" it way into our hearts
Good News!

The pigeon (Cyril!) remained in a cardboard box all night.

I had a look this morning and he is bright eyed and inquisitive, I have put him in a spare cage and bought some pigeon food for him.

It looks as though he is enjoying the luxury of being in a warm flat! The wing is still not working properly, I can pick him up easily and even stroke him.

It looks like I have another bird.

Iam going to have to buy a load of wood and build a big indoor aviary, as he can't live in a little budgie cage.

I'll keep you posted.


ill take a picture of him
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That is INDEED a pigeon!! :)

Thank you for helping this needy bird.

Is the bird eating the food you put out for him/her?

You may find a resource for help on this list also-but there are only a few, while you wait for Cynthia to come and post:

I can't believe how amusing a pigeon could be!

Ive owned a hahnes macaw, quails, rosella, finches, budgies, parrotlets and they are all great, but the pigoen is really funny!

He picks food up and chucks it out the cage!
Then struts up and down the cage.

I think he wants a town pigeons natural diet-pizza, kebab, chips and burgers.
He's pretty. It was great of you to help him.
You said that when you found him, you saw a little blood. There could be small puncture wounds that you cannot see, and if they were indeed made by a cat, he may need to be put on an antibiotic. Cats wounds can infect quickly, as they carry lots of bacteria. Sometimes they are hard to find with all the feathers.
He is eating, both the budgie seed I gave him at first and the pigeon food I went out and bought this morning.

Can anyone here guess his age from the picture?
I can't believe how amusing a pigeon could be!

Ive owned a hahnes macaw, quails, rosella, finches, budgies, parrotlets and they are all great, but the pigoen is really funny!

He picks food up and chucks it out the cage!
Then struts up and down the cage.

I think he wants a town pigeons natural diet-pizza, kebab, chips and burgers.
Ha! I've owned parrots and small birds, too, and something about the pigeons' attitude is really fun.

That's some gorgeous sort of pied thing of a pigeon you've got there.

Of course, our African Grey would chuck food out of the dish, too, if we were so stupid as to put his favorite food (whatever that might be that morning) under some other veggies or fruits. Then he'd cock his head, look at the pile on the ground, and pronounce disdainfully, "Mess!" and then look at us.

Apparently pigeons aren't visually dimorphic at all. Sometimes there's clues in the behavior, but everyone seems to have a few stories of a hen that dances, courts, and fights just like the males. *shrug* Apparently you can sometimes get a hint from the spread of the pelvic bones, but even that's really iffy. Congratulations, it's an it.

If you've had birds for a while, the toxicity of cat spit is not news to you. Glad to hear it's perky and eating.
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Hi Karl,

My thanks to Masie for finding Cyril, and to you for giving him sanctuary. Cyril is an adult feral pigeon and unlikely to become imprinted on humans if you handle him, some are tamer than others because of their contact with friendly pigeon-feeding humans in city centres.

Even if he has been mouthed by a cat he should be treated with antibiotics, Synulox or Norclav (same thing, different names) are the antibiotic of choice.

What also worries me is that he "picks up food and chucks it out of the cage".

Pigeons are messy eaters but they spill the seed by sweeping their beaks through it. Picking it up and throwing it is not normal, it is "seed tossing" which is a symptom of Pigeon Paramixovirus.



Other very common symptoms are spinning in circles and torticollis:


Fortunately this is a species specific strain of the virus and your other birds will be safe, but it is always best to isolate new bird from pet birds.

If he has the virus then he will be be infectious to other pigeons and doves for another six weeks, and needs to be isolated during that time. Some pigeons have residual nervous damage that makes them unreleasable, and some can make a complete recovery but have a relapse. One of mine had a relapse after 8 years.

Animal sanctuaries are most likely to euthenase a pigeon with PMV as they don't have the facilities to isolate them from other pigeons and doves.

If your Cyril has PMV I can offer it a home in 6- 8 weeks time. Sadly I can't keep him for his quarantine period as I have extrinsic allergic alveolitis, which means I can't have any birds in the house and must be masked for contact with them.

I am in central Norfolk and we could meet halfway in Kings Lynn.

Can you check the inside of his mouth just to ensure that there is nothing preventing him from swallowing the seed? A growth in his mouthe could also cause him to "chuck" it.

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Please keep in mind, that this bird likely has a mate of its own outside somewhere. Pigeons do mate for life and so it would be a sham to keep the bird captive.
As docile as it is, I can't help but think the bird isn't feeling well.
I'm sure you know, as you have birds of your own, that birds may be sick without showing it, for quite some time. If this bird has survived a predator attack, there may be scratches or puncture wounds and as Jay3 says, the bird needs to be on antibotics....
Please go over the bird carefully to have a look see.
It also would be helpful to look inside the mouth for any yellow blotches and let us know if you see some.
Finally, a picture of the bird's poop would be very helpful.
Karl...I did send Cyro51 a message to look in on this thread.
Can't believe we went this long before someone asked to see the poops! Thanks Charis. LOL. That's usually the first question!

And as far as the food throwing. Does he throw it up over his head, or simply throw it out sideways, as he is fishing around for something that he likes. Hopefully, that's all it is. If he is releasable when he is well again, I wouldn't keep him either. Being an adult, he will be able to take care of himself, and being free, would be much happier. He already knows the ways of survival out there, and as Charis has mentioned, probably has a mate somewhere, wondering where he is.
oops wrong picture, sorry. Ill try again.

He just kind of occasionally lobs the food sideways, to be honest I think he just digging to the budgie seed at the bottom of the bowl.

I hadn't thought about his missus.

Hmmm, well if it's better for the bird of course I will release him. But as I said before not until Iam sure he will be safe.

Anyway for all your bird do afficianados, here you are

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Oh I forgot to mention, no blotches in mouth yellow or otherwise.

But tomorrow Iam going to take him to Masies vet and let a profesional take a look.
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