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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year, my feral pigeon flock was joined by a beautiful white, banded, king pigeon Male. I was so taken with him when he first showed up. He was quite a bit bigger than the regular ferals, with stunning pure white feathers, and he was also different in nature. For example, he responded very well to personal attention such as talking to him, and care. After a short time he started to wait outside my door each morning when he realised that I cared for him and would give him food. Although he was bigger than other pigeons, for some reason he was the most gentle of them. I think if i ever had a flock of pigeons, King pigeons would be one of my first choices in species.

Here is his picture:

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj144/Serenity-photos/IMG_9620.jpg

Anyway, about once a year I have to leave for a week. Usually all my wild birds come back when i return, but this year the only bird who didn't return was my King Pigeon. I don't know why he never came back. I saw him a couple of times flying with the local flock, but he never returned to my place.

After 2 months, I found a road killed pigeon near by, who was pure white. The bird had been dead for many weeks and there wasn't much left of him, just his head, and primaries, squashed into the road. But I strongly suspect it was him and I still feel guilty, like leaving him was the wrong thing.

I am left wondering, are King pigeons this sensitive, and do they need
constant attention?
 

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I'm sorry to hear this.

Sensitivity is not the issue. King pigeons are not wild pigeons by nature, they are domestic and obviously this one was lost, as it looks to have a band. They rely on humans for their food and they don't have the flying skills of other pigeons. He may also have had a health issue.

If you ever get another pigeon with a band in your flock, please catch it and we will help you find a home for if, or find the owner. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I live in Australia, so I'm not sure if I could have found help on this forum with his identification. I had hoped that his band meant that he had a coup to go back to at nights (he did fly far away each evening). I thought that maybe he came to me because I work at home and gave him food and attention in the day. But its just as likely he had no home.

When he didn't come back, I walked the streets for hours, asking people if anyone had a pigeon coup or had seen him. But I only spotted him the one time, flying with the flock.

Thanks for telling me more about King Pigeons. I don't think 'll ever forget him.
 

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ohhh....that's so sad! i have a beautiful king girl, ciel [formerly gatsby], and she is the pigeon love of my life. they're definitely not good in the wild, very domesticated, poor flyers compared to 'regular' pigeons, bright white so they're easily spottable by hawks.....

you should check out elizabeth's newest video on

rescuereport.org

the whole site is about king pigeon rescue.....if you ever get a chance to have one as a house bird - DO.

they are wonderful!
 

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Yeah, that pigeon would not have survived like that. Learn from it. Escaped homers probably have more chances surviving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the link, Liz. That is so sad! My King Pigeon seemed like he was ok in the wild, there were even offspring around that showed that he had been inter-breeding with feral rock pigeons over the years. I didn't realize that he was so vulnerable and needed human help so much.

I miss him, he was such a special bird. I loved looking at the video of other King pifeons; it reminded me of how much joy he gave me when he was alive.
 

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Bella, over the years as a rehabber, we have been fortunate to have two full blooded Kings and one King/Feral mix. I am happy you at least had the chance to see how wonderful these majestic, beautiful pigeons are.

Of the 400+ pigeons we have taken in, our first King became and remains, my favorite pigeon. A sweet girl named Frosty, we had her from the time she was about two hours old until she died at almost 8 years old from cancer. We have since taken in a male King, Crys, who is so beautiful that sometimes I just stand and admire him. He is a grumpy boy with a wicked wing slap as opposed to Frosty who was ultra sweet and gentle but we love him dearly. We had to bring him in the house about a week ago because he stopped flying. After some medicine, he is well and went back into the aviary this morning.

I hope you have the opportunity in the future to have one of these beautiful birds.

They would not fare well in the wild because of their size.
 

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Bella-

Thank you for appreciating your king and I'm sorry that you lost him. They're bred to be eaten as squab or used in lab tests- as if they were just disposable and, as you've seen first hand, they're very smart and emotional. Probably every animal, from mouse to blue whale is in their own way and some are just more compatible with our human ways.

Kings have been domesticated and bred to have maximum body size which means they're clumsy flyers and they are no longer wild so will approach people and hang out in unsafe places.

I wish you and your flock all the best.
e
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I feel happy to know that other people feel the same way, and see King Pigeons as sweet and special. I called him `Pet' . He acted like my pet, and responded so well to care and love. Now I know why. Maybe I will try to talk my partner into letting us inquire about rescued King Pigeons at an animal shelter.
 
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