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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have found a young feral pigeon that clearly left the nest too early. I have had it for about 3 weeks now, and I think when I picked it up it was around about 20 days old - making it approximately 7 weeks or so now. It has lost just about all of its down feathers, and the adult feathers are pretty much all present and grown out. It does still 'peep' instead of 'ruckoo' though, and its beak is not quite the mature shape yet.

It is doing really well. Initially it could not fly or eat by itself, but after hand feeding it peas and corn for about a week it started showing interest in food itself, and it is eating on its own now. It is putting on about 10 grams every 2-3 days without me hand feeding it any more, so I reckon it is doing well in that regard. I keep it in a large dog-airline-carrier-cage, and I can hear it doing flapping exercises regularly, and last time I released it in my bathroom it managed to fly up to the top of the window by itself, so I think the flying is coming along nicely as well.

I have rescued a few pigeons over the years, and have always used a soft release method for the ones that survived. However, I would like to have some advice from you guys, as the underpass where I always released my rescues has been targeted by the council for pigeon control (as have all the other places where pigeons live in my area). They have put up pigeon spikes on the ledges where the birds always used to live :-(.
They did this about a year ago, and of course the pigeon colony numbers crashed after that, as their safe sleeping and nesting spots were taken away.. They seem to be recovering a bit again now, as some birds have managed to bust through the spikes, and live there anyway :).

Of course this limits my options for a good release spot. Option A would be to integrate the little one with the remaining flock at my old release spot, pigeon spikes or not. The flock is recovering, and seems to be doing better again than they have in a long time. However, if somebody re-does the spikes, they will crash again.
Option B is a release from my house. There is a flock of ferals around. I have no idea where they roost at night, but I often see them around during the day. However, I have been trying for about 2 weeks now to attract them to my yard with food, but so far they are not interested. Might have something to do with my dogs, even though I put the food up on the garage roof where obviously the dogs cannot get to. If the ferals do not come to the food, I cannot do a soft release into that flock from my yard..

Does anybody have any advice/thoughts about this, and the best thing for me to do? Perhaps other ideas that I have not thought of? Perhaps there is somebody in this area who has pet pigeons, who's flock this little one can join? (-she seems pretty healthy, and I treated her for worms and mites).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Skyeking for your reply to my post. Yes, I do know those soft release links. When I got my first rescue pigeon ready for release I did a lot of research, and followed all the advice in those links - and have been doing that ever since. (see http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f23/looking-for-advice-on-pigeon-release-49189.html for the great help I received from this forum getting soft release happening with one of the first pigeons I had).

I cannot return the little pigeon to the colony it came from; its parents live under an underpass over a very busy highway. The spot is not safe (lots of birds get hit by cars), and that colony often gets targeted for control by poisoning. Returning it there is just not an option.

It is such a shame that my normal release spot now has pigeon spikes - it is in a very safe location close to food and water. The colony there always used to thrive. And since the birds have busted through the spikes they are certainly increasing again.

I guess I am mainly after some ideas/advice/opinions from other members of this forum about the best spot for soft release of this little bird - unfortunately I cannot keep it.
I would prefer releasing it from my home, given the bird spikes in my normal release spot. However, for that to work I need to come up with some smart ideas how to attract the resident ferals to my house. After 2 weeks they are still not coming to the food I leave out for them.
The other option is my normal release spot, which is ideal apart from the bird spikes. That would be taking a risk though - if they are left alone that would be fine, but if somebody would fix the busted spikes the colony would not fare so well any more.
Or a third option would be if somebody in my area could take the little bird on instead, especially if it could join somebody their free-flying pet pigeons. But of course that requires somebody relatively close to Canberra to take the pigeon - and I have not managed to find anybody yet.

Any ideas would be welcome...
 
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