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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I'm new here.
I'm not sure if anyone can help me but there is a pigeon with a very damaged leg in Camden. He's been in the same little park around 2pm for the past 2 days. He's very nervous and there are lots of other pigeons around. I've watched the videos on catching a pigeon, but it's not working catching a specific pigeon. I can't use a box as there are too many other pigeons about, and when I go near to try to grab they all flap and fly away. I could take him to pigeon recovery if I could get him, I also have a colombo clip I could try putting on. But I can't do a thing to help if I can't get hold of him. Does anyone have any advice, or is anyone able to help me to help him :confused:?
 

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Hi London Pigeon, thanks for your concern and wanting to help this poor fellow out. Here are some links below, that shows clips of how to catch a pigeon, in case you did not see these.

I have posted these links a few times before and I will give the disclaimer that I mentioned before, I am not sure I am crazy about them sort of hassling the birds, but it seems they mean no real harm and in the end these clips may help someone learn how to catch a hurt bird.

The key is to get the bird you are after sort of locked in the middle of a feeding frenzy, you have to use a good amount of food/seeds, and then making a quick grab, as there not a whole lot of options for you other than this way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk7lr5aoxB8&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idqw-rI9B2s&NR=1

Good luck,

Karyn
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Karyn

Thanks for replying. I have already watched those clips though. Whilst it might work for grabbing any pigeon, it's just one specific pigeon I tried to catch. He doesn't come as near to me as the others, which is the first problem. If I try to get closer to him whilst they're feeding then the others (20+?) get scared, flap and fly and so does he. I'm not sure what else I can do. But his leg looks broken, maybe dislocated, it buckles under any weight and he's using his wing as a crutch.
 

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London Pigeon, I will PM another UK member to see if she has any ideas on this, or others may reply with their thoughts as well. I can imagine how frustrating it must be to want to help and not being able to.

Karyn
 

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Hi LP,

I fully understand the problem, it's always the injured pigeon that tends to be more wary of people. It maybe because they are aware of you staring hard at them, so I do try to watch them discreetly out of the corner of my eye if I'm trying to catch one.

I've had two recently that I saw needed help and was within inches of grabbing the one when a small child clapped his hands to scare them. :eek:
It never let me as near again, so I still have that one to get.
However the other one at another location was also spooked as soon as the others flew but I have managed to get it now by using a box trap.

In fact I use a cage propped up on a piece of wood and a long piece of string attached to the wood so you can pull it hard to make the box drop if the bird goes underneath.

You do need to give it time and just wait for the right moment. It can be very frustrating and I've often had to give up and go back another day. Once they've eaten any seeds you put down they're harder to get. It's the first moment when they're desperate for the seed, that is the time to go for it.

I set it up and scatter a lot of seeds close and under the cage. Stand a little way off with the string taut ready as even the string flapping can spook them.
keep your hands as still and out of sight if possible, (behind your back is good).
Then just chill and don't stare at them too hard and hopefully they get so engrossed in eating, the injured one will go under the box and BANG!!! pull the string and keep your fingers crossed. I actually caught three when I got this last one.
If you're successful, be very careful not to let it go as it will try and fly if you lift the box to catch it. That would be so annoying after catching it!

I do hope you can get it. Let us know if you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone :) I guess I will have to go and look for a box now, and see what happens. Then re-read the instructions and hope that if he does go under it the box doesn't land on his bad leg! :mad: He really does need some help. I spent quite a while this afternoon trying to get close, it wasn't working anyway but then three children threw sticks and screamed at them and they all flew away. I will see if he/she comes back tomorrow. London could do with a dedicated team of specialists for injured pigeons!
 

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I spent quite a while this afternoon trying to get close, it wasn't working anyway but then three children threw sticks and screamed at them and they all flew away.
That's the trouble. People always get curious as to what I'm doing and then it ruins the moment!!:eek:

Just a cardboard box will do, a decent size so the bird can get under with enough room around it to avoid the box hitting it, as you say, don't want to make it worse!

The secret is to pretend not to be watching, dark glasses might help. :D

Good luck, don't give up, patience is a virtue.

Janet
 

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........He doesn't come as near to me as the others, which is the first problem. If I try to get closer to him whilst they're feeding then the others (20+?) get scared, flap and fly and so does he.
If he is staying further away from the others its probably coz he feels he can get away easier with less struggle rather than get caught up in their flight when they go. While the others are eating you could try throwing some seed directly towards him, sort of gain his trust.
Do this several times for a couple of days, then try the box, but feed the others away from the box & entice him towards the box by throwing some seed towards him between him & the box (make sure there is some seed already under the box).
If you have another piece of card with you, just slightly larger than the box, you can slide this underneath the box before lifting it to safegaurd him escaping. (or even a towel to lay out, then slide the box over the towel)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Bob. Thanks for the message. He is staying further away, and yesterday I was throwing directly to him (but I didn't have much with me so it ran out quickly). Today he stayed back from them most of the time but I was trying to get near him and it just didn't work. I'll revert to throwing him seed tomorrow if I see him. I was just wondering what to do once he's under the box if it works, so maybe sliding cardboard under and keeping him in is the best idea, though perhaps difficult to carry?
 

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.... I was just wondering what to do once he's under the box if it works, so maybe sliding cardboard under and keeping him in is the best idea, though perhaps difficult to carry?
Thats why I also suggested the towel & slide the box over it (lifting the box ever so slightly) Then once over, gently turn the box over keeping towel in place (if you do it slowly & gently, the bird will move onto the "base" leaving the towel on top)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for the advice. It's heartbreaking seeing him struggle so much when I just want to help, and without causing more damage! It's going to be hot and sunny again tomorrow so I expect there will be lots more children and dogs. I'll take a box with me and see how it goes. If any of you live nearby, please feel free to come along and show me how to do it properly! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just to update you all, he/she is a "she" as there was a "he" dancing round her today. None of the pigeons went anywhere near the box, perhaps because it accidentally tripped itself twice and scared them all away. She is still very wary although did come a little bit closer. She is having extreme difficulty walking and it's very sad to watch. I thought about trying to throw a net or cardigan or something over her instead, but she didn't hang about long enough. So, all in all, she is fed but that's it. I would not make a good wildlife rescuer and everyone in the park thinks I'm a nutcase.
 

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Its good she is getting closer, may just take some more time & a little more patience although I know what you mean being sad to watch.
If you do decide to "net" her, try and make sure you are close enough to succeed, and dont make any sudden movements before the throw, and approach from as low as possible.
If you fail, she may not trust you to come close enough again.
 

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Don't get disheartened, it's definitely a waiting game as if you make too many failed attempts, she'll get wind of your intentions.

I've tried the throwing something over before but it's very difficult. The trouble is they can take off in various directions and as you throw, you'll find the bird can slip out from underneath before the coat or whatever hits the ground. It's the moment you raise your hands that they fly.
The only time I managed to catch one like that I was crouched down and literally threw myself at the bird, I grabbed it but fell forward and ended up flat on the floor, luckily with the bird in hand. :eek: You think people reckon you're nuts now, it gets worse!!

The trouble is some people are well meaning but actually get in the way.
Last time there was an elderly gent watching me and he decided to try and help by walking towards the bird, with his hands out telling it I was trying to help, as if it would just jump into his hands in gratitude. :DBless!
Need I say I didn't get the bird that time.

Keep at it, I'm confident you'll get it.

Janet
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for your encouragement Janet!
There was no progress today. She was only in the park for about 5 minutes, until a small child charged them all screaming. She never came back, so she didn't even get much seed today. It's strange as the others as there most of the day, as I was today - but she only appears early afternoon for a short while. I wondered if perhaps she's got a nest somewhere, and then that made me think that even if I was successful in getting her to help her leg, if she has eggs or young babies I may do more harm than good. :(
 

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Just wondering if you'd had any more sightings of this hen.

It would still be best to try and catch her if at all possible, hopefully as time goes along, if she has got young somewhere, her mate might be able to carry on with their care as they develope while she gets the help she needs.
It's a hard call but I hate to think of her managing out there long term if she's got a bad injury.

Keep us posted if you have any more news.

Janet
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Janet

I tried again Saturday, but she didn't come close - always on the outskirts of the group. Then I was away until today, but have just been back and she got the closest ever yet, about 4 feet away at one point. I thought it was all going well building up trust and then a council worker came over and told me I wasn't allowed to feed pigeons there :mad: I am so angry now. I did point out what I was trying to do, and probably should have stayed, but ended up coming home instead. Without food she won't come near. :( Mind you, she would need to be right in front of me, inches away, for me to stand any chance of getting her, and that's not going to be happening anytime soon. Besides which, I only have a couple of days off work and have only ever seen her there lunchtimes. So all in all, it's not really going that well :(
 

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I am so sorry you've now encountered the dreaded 'council worker' problem.
How did he re-act when you told him what you were trying to do?

It must be very disheartening. I know I've gone home before now very depressed not having managed to catch the bird I'm after. You're doing the best you can so if the council are fairly decent about it, then just try when you get the chance, that's all you can do.
I hope if the council know you're only feeding as a way of helping this poor bird and that you'll stop when you've got her, then maybe they'll turn a blind eye on the odd occasions you're there, you can only ask for their help and consideration for a bird in suffering.

It is just luck sometimes that it all comes together, but hopefully even if it takes a few weeks, just one day you'll strike lucky.

You're very kind to keep looking out for her,

Good luck

Jante
 
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