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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm afraid we've had a tragedy today (Saturday). It looks as if Little Pidgee has lost her left eye after apparently getting into a fight with or attacked by a large pigeon we'd not seen before.

She was fine all day. I was out giving the balcony a good cleaning. Little Pidgee and Henry, her new mate and who considers our balcony his own daytime home, kept flying close, even landing on the concrete edge of the balcony occasionally, on a far side from me, but mostly they watched from the window frames. I finished close to 5pm, but that's pretty late for them, especially Henry, and they had left.

Less than an hour later, shortly before 6pm, Little Pidgee showed up in the dining-room window, chased by a large pigeon that looked like her or Marty, her son (and former mate), only bigger. I did not see this, but the wife was working at the table and saw it immediately. She said it was definitely not Marty, because no "socky feet," the feathers that some pigeons have that go all the way down onto the feet. This pigeon was acting aggressively, but left when he saw Little Pidgee was not going to respond. She was scrunched into the corner of the window frame. Or it could have been the large pigeon was spooked by my wife, but she has the impression it was the lack of a response from Little Pidgee that did it. And when the large pigeon left, the wife saw something was wrong with Little Pidgee's left eye.

I was downstairs at a nearby convenience store while all of this was going on, getting stuff for us to drink for dinner, and Little Pidgee and her attacker showed up just before I returned. I took a close look by the window. Little Pidgee did not try to flee, and yes, her left eye seemed gone! not bloody or oozing, just gone. A blank space. The wife and I went out onto the balcony and took a look. Our dining-room window is next to the balcony, and Little Pidgee was still on the far side. It was after 6pm by this time and getting close to dark. We thought maybe she came here on purpose, considering it a refuge, so we didn't want to scare her away. But she did not seem concerned by our attention.

As mentioned, I had cleaned the balcony today. I had already put out fresh water. We had removed the flower box earlier this week but, since Henry and Little Pidgee seemed to be a couple, planned to put it back out with fresh earth inside covering up what food was left. (They'd all made a real mess knocking the dirt out of the box getting at the food that was in there.) So we did that quickly, and Little Pidgee saw us. Shortly before it was completely dark, Little Pidgee flew over to the balcony. She seemed a bit disoriented. Probably in shock, as she had just lost her eye. Drank water but seemed to misgauge the bowl and stuck her entire face in. Drank a lot, though. Then walked right through the water, sort of staggering. Hung out between the water dish and the flower box and seemed to "droop." Didn't act startled at all when I went close, but as I reached out slowly through the door, she perked up and jumped up onto the edge of the flower box. Then she moved to the tree pot we call their "living room" and from there, to the balcony rail that Big Pidgee always used to sleep on. I sprinkled a little birdseed on the floor by the water dish while she was looking, so if she wants that, it's there.

And she's out there now. It's about 7:45pm as I type this. Again, she may have thought of this place as a shelter. Looked like she was sleeping earlier, but she opened her eye when I turned on the light to check on her. Didn't act to move, though. I think she needs some rest.

We've seen one-eyed pigeons in the city before, so we know this is not necessarily fatal. Little Pidgee still does not want to be touched and is active enough to flee. We'll let her sleep here tonight and see how she is in the morning. Henry possibly knows nothing of this now.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what we can do?
 

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I think if she sleeps there at night, I would try to catch her and see what is going on with the eye. Pigeons are easier to catch at night. So sorry about her eye, very sad. I know they can live without an eye but they can be caught by a predator a lot easier now. I have a feral pigeon that I keep that has one eye, but mine has other problems, 1/2 wing is missing and walks really funny. I don't know, maybe wait to see what others have to say. Also, what if the pigeon that did the attack the first time comes back and hurts her worse? With one eye she can really get hurt. I know you'll do everything possible for your pigeons, I have kept up on your little pigeon soap opera from day one. min
 

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For the moment I can only suggest that you try to capture her in darkness,no light on inside, if you are able to creep out and surprise her. The last thing they want to do in the dark is fly, so that's your best bet. A small torch may not trigger flight, though no certainty. I'd say that only by having her where you can properly examine her will you know for sure if the eye is gone or closed up due to a bad peck.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, here's the thing. In the past, Little Pidgee HAS flown away in the dark when I've gotten too close outside. Back when she had her nest and squabs, a couple of times I inadvertenty went too close when I went out to change her water, and she flew away. True, she came back after a short while, but the way she is now, I'm not sure she could find her way back here in the dark if I spook her enough to fly away. Earlier, I tried to touch her very slowly, and she ran.

The wife just said she didn't want me to try to catch her right now. Thinks Little Pidgee needs to rest and doesn't want to chance Little Pidgee fleeing and unable to return tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Took a look out just now. She's sleeping comfortably, or seems to be, as comfortably as it's possible to. I think I don't want to disturb her. If I look at her eye, what then? As soon as I let her go, she'll probably freak. There's no blood; she acted dazed or shocked earlier, but we didn't get the impression she was in pain. We'll let her sleep for now.

She's perched on the rail with her tail pointing in, so her good right eye can keep a watch on us (when she's awake).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The wife doesn't know where the attacker pigeon came from. She's never seen it before, and from her description, neither have I. BIG, she said, but definitely a pigeon. Same markings as Little Pidgee.

I wonder if she tried to sleep in that pigeon's night-time roost, or vice versa. We don't know where they sleep at night. The last I saw shortly before 5pm was Henry and Little Pidgee flying off together, but we don't know if they stay together at night. Big Pidgee usually did not stay here at night with Little Pidgee back when they were together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I just stuck my head out to test the waters, and she started getting a little nervous. I think we're going to have to let her get a good night's rest, and we'll see what's what in the morning. About 10:25pm here now.
 

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Hi Siam Sam,

Sorry to hear about this injury to Little Pidgee.

Your best chance, outside of catching him in the dark, may be a box trap. Here is a link to constructing one.

http://www.racingbirds.com/ptrap.html

Follow the instructions closely, they are rather crude looking, but can be effective.

Gotta' run, and good luck,

Karyn
 

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Sam...........The bird needs to be caught.........the eye needs to be cleansed and ideally the bird should be put on antibotics. Try sneaking up on the bird on her blind side or use the box trap method. Bird is at risk now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good news! Little Pidgee's eye is not gone. Sunday morning now, and she's back to normal. Got up at sunrise to look out. Her new man Henry was out there by the water. Then Little Pidgee popped her head up from just beneath the balcony door, where she'd apparently been eating the small pile of food I left out. Unlike last night, my presence startled her, like normal. She looked at me from both sides of her head, and her left eye was clearly open and functioning. Then she ran over to the edge of the balcony and flew away, followed by Henry. Phew!

I can only assume the attacker had been pecking at her eye, causing it to close up. And she must have been exhausted and in shock from the fight. But I saw the eye, albeit briefly, and it looks okay this morning. We expect her back later, and we can take another look. I put another little pile of food out there, and Henry is eating it now. And we saw them both together over on the mansion grounds this morning.

Thanks for the advice, but in this case, it looks like leaving her alone to rest was the right decision. She must have been scared out of her wits last night. I'm glad she thought of us as a safe haven.

What would have made that other pigeon attack her? Just from what we've seen on our balcony, it looks like males attack other males and leave the ladies alone. The wife says this pigeon was seriously angry at Little Pidgee.
 

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I'm so glad she still has her eye. Hope it hasn't been badly injured though. Guess a good nights sleep helped. Thank goodness she has your place for a safe haven when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And she's out there eating now. Seems completely back to normal. Skittish if we get too close. There's no swelling or anything remarkable about her left eye now; it does seem okay. The wife has a little pair of cheap binoculars she can look through, and all seems well.

Sorry about the false alarm, but it truly did look like her eye was gone last night. The wife and I have compared notes, and we both thought that.
 

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Just really glad that everything worked out okay. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's just past 6:30pm Sunday now, and it's been dark a short while. Just over 24 hours since The Incident. I was sort of hoping Little Pidgee would choose to sleep here again tonight, but no go. She and Henry were here several times today, and she's doing well. Henry probably has no idea anything happened.
 

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Hi Siam,

This is very good news to hear, don't be sorry about a false alarm, better safe than sorry.

I do have one suggestion for you. Since it seems you are their caretaker, I would still put out a small cardboard box propped up with a stick, from time to time, on your balcony with some seeds under it. This way your little charges will come to get used to feeding under and around a box and it will become "normal" to them.

You never know, there may come a day again when you want to immediately catch one of your little ones and by them already being used to feeding under and around a box it may save time, as sometimes it can take a period of time before they will go under or near a box, as it is "new" to them, and in an emergency sometimes there is no time to waste.

Good luck with them all,

Karyn
 

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Oh, but you are. They are lucky that they have you.
 
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