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need help! URGENT

2868 Views 19 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Georgina
HI all, i have been reading around these forums a lot, but sofar havent found a real answer to the situation.

so from the start.
I live in a towerblock and the small balcony is disused.
originally a pair of white pigeons settled there and spent 2 years being terrible parents, eventually they were kicked out by 2 standard grey pigeons.
I don't really mind them at all. well.. until lately.
last year a second pair moved in, and the 2 couples have until lately lived together happily raising their chicks.
during the winter, i gave 1 pair a cardboard box i punched a fair sized whole in as their nest was very open and it snowed heavily an i couldn't bear to see them sitting on their eggs covered in snow.
at one point the box flipped over and the 1 couples eggs rolled around the balcony causing some distress so i flipped the box and put the eggs in a corner and all was well, eggs hatched some weeks ago.



I'm a terrible photographer.

anyway, some weeks ago 1 chick went missing and the other ended in the other couples nest.
thats when some small fights started. I located the one chick hiding under some broken boards looking pretty feeble, as it was close to the other 2's nest and they always chased the other parents away.
having removed the boards hoping to help stuffs got worse.
now all 4 chicks are in 1 nest, and the fights between the 2 couples are getting worse and worse.

it started with a load of posing and prancing and wing flicking each other but has now turned into outright pecking fights that seem to be getting worse all the time.
the 1 pair seem to have "adopted" the other 2 chicks, while the parents keep wanting to get to the nest their chicks are now in.
i've in the last 5 yrs only ever 2 times intervened on the balcony.
i don't feed them, my intervention was mainly throwing out dead chicks and a dead pigeon once.
i am pretty stuck now as to what to do.

heres the 4 chicks now in their nest.

they seem pretty healthy, its the parents i worry about...
should i manually split up the chicks to stop the fighting?
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It will be difficult for the parents with all the babies to feed them, so you could try putting the two that have been fostered (with their original parents. But you will have to watch them to ensure that the original parents will feed them.

Up to a certain age pigeons will accept foster squabs as their own, but later they can tell babies that they have raised from ones that have come from other nests. I am not sure what stage your balcony squabs have reached.

You sure have some situation there! About how many weeks old would these youngsters be now? A couple of them look quite well grown.

Several years back I had a resident pair on my balcony and, at one stage, another pair moved in. Although the chicks were in their own nests, there was a lot of territorial rivalry between the two male birds. At one point the second male had harassed one of the other's growing youngsters to the point where it fell off the balcony (though it was still OK when I went down, as fortunately I'm only on the 1st floor and it broke its fall by flapping). I tried blocking off the second pair's access to all but a small part of the balcony and after one round of young, they did go elsewhere.

With yours, the 'deprived' parents will be aware that they 'should have' two youngsters, so it sounds like that is the cause of the fighting in this case. I'd be concerned, I think, as to whether the one set of parents could feed all four sufficiently if the other pair can't get to them. If they appear to be growing and healthy, maybe it's working, but in that situation I wouldn't be surprised if at least one might be getting less than it needs to thrive.

You could try moving two of them to the other parents. If they are the ones with the box, maybe you could put a brick in the box to stop it getting tipped over first. I honestly don't know if it would work out, but the original parents would hopefully just take on two of the youngsters, whether or not they were the right ones. If they reject the youngsters, then not much to be done except put 'em back with the 'wrong' parents.

Problem with two sets of young, if they are capable of wandering around, is that they may well not stay where you'd like them to be.

A suggestion you may find beneficial to avoid any further problems is, in future, replace the eggs soon as they are laid with plastic eggs. My old pair raised a good few youngsters before the male bird went missing and the hen moved on, and I've no doubt the resulting growing flock was much of my doing.

I have had another resident pair for 5 years now (and have given them a wooden nesting box) but, mindful of the dislike some people around the apartments have of pigeons (and the occasional hassle I've had from the 'management'), I am usually quick enough to just change the eggs and do my own 'humane pigeon control' that way. I do have another pair who lay eggs over the drain cover, where they will just get swamped everytime I wash down the balcony, so I just remove the nest and the eggs soon as the eggs are laid.

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well its the 2 older chicks that are capable of wandering which have been adopted"
thus my dilemma
they chose to live here, all good.
but the fighting is noisy
i dun mind waking up to he cooing or courting dances, but its pretty bad when its fights.
i think the chicks are ok.
but i dun know much the parents can pull this off
i have for many years observed them
they choke up for their young and their half attempts at building nests...

its the first time in 5 yrs i seen such violence.

and its not just the 2 cocks, the girls get involved too, standing by their man so to speak.

the biggest problem is that the 2 chicks that need moving are getting pretty big
so, they, i guess will wander back.

i guess i am biased towards their mum as she fought hard in that cardboard box and i know how distressed she was when it flipped.
i tried to help by putting the eggs in 1 spot back in the box , as shown in the pics before, and she tried to build a nest
she was alone all autumn too
only in febuary i seen a cock with her.
i've watched these birds for years and seen beyond the flying rats thing,
i've had to clean up quite a few dead chicks in my time
they only stop shagging and courting if their sitting on eggs.
honestly, i just don't want to have to use a plastic bag to scoop up dead chicks and chuck em down the rubbish chute again.(always hard)
nor do i want the fighting adults kill each other.


leads too

i just try to break it up
as it annoys me
is there anything i can do?
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oh and thanks for the comments, IF any of those pea brains(pigeons) would bother to settle in the box its now sturdy with a brick in it.
but the chicks do look like their getting grown enough.
the 2 big ones are the yellow fuzzy balls in a earlier pic i posted, and i did observe their mum pick up the half eggshells and toss em off the side of the balcony, i laughed, very cute.
i'll spread out he chicks tommorrow, hopefully the its not a dead un under the other chicks
i will cry...
Hi smitsky,

Thats quite a dillemma; the parents with the older chicks must really want their chicks back! I wonder if the other couple think of them as their chicks now?

One thing you could try as an experiement is splitting the chicks up using that box with the brick in it, then put some seed near each of the two nests (so there is some food in each territory and they don't have to fight over it). When food is involved, its possible that the parents will become preoccupied more with guarding their own separate spaces, and forget about fighting over ownership of the babies.

Not sure if that will help at this stage, but it could be worth a try.
would be the first time i actually get involved i'll think about all the advice.
aslong as the fighting stops.
Its scarey to get involved, I know. You're not always sure if you'll help or make things worse. Just use your instincts, and be brave if you feel it would be best to act.

I get braver every time I try to do at least something. Just picking up a bird that needs some help is an act of courage. I hope one day that all these little steps will add up to making a difference to even one birds life, hopefully more.
i moved the 2 biggest chicks over back to their box this morning.
went to work, their all back in the same place.
parents still fighting but less violently than yesterday.
the 1 cock did manage i saw to shortly regurgitate in his kids mouth before being chased away again

sustained some scratches, should i get a tetanus injection?
I don't think the pigeon scratches are a threat, but it is common sense to have your tetanus jabs up to date because the bacteria is in the soil and can enter your body through any oipen wound.

Have you had a tetanus shot in the last ten years? If not then maybe see a doctor..I thought stepping on rusty nails was the main threat though..
My tetanus protection expired 10 years ago. But I've been scratched many times by birds and cats, bitten by mice, cats & large birds, pecked about one a month, and I've stepped on a lot of things drawing blood. Cleaning the wound with antiseptic works for me. I haven't thought about tetanus but maybe I should...(thanks for the reminder)
i moved the 2 biggest chicks over back to their box this morning.
went to work, their all back in the same place.
parents still fighting but less violently than yesterday.
the 1 cock did manage i saw to shortly regurgitate in his kids mouth before being chased away again
Theres not much you can do if the babies want to be all together I guess. Have you thought about picking up some seed and feeding them until they all leave the nest (won't be long by the looks of their size).
Sorry to hear of your dilemma, and thank you for keeping a watch on these pigeons. Can you try putting a short board or some sort of barrier between the two areas temporarily? Maybe a foot or so high? And then discourage one of the couples from nesting there again next time around. Good luck!
i don't actually want to start feeding as there are very many pigeons around on this estate, i really don't want to encourage to many to live here.
i guess trying to discourage 1 couple once the chicks are out is a good step.

since i've broken up so many fights now they seem to have learned that if they fight on the balcony big scary man will come out and chase em off

the chicks do all seem ok now, the larger 2 should start flapping about soon and learning to fly
That makes sense, I guess the last thing you need is other pigeons fighting with them for food. The older ones do look they'll be flying soon; hopefully that will put a end to the fights. You're a good person, taking the time to try to help them.
well good news is the fightings stopped, and the larger 2 chicks are practising flapping their wings and going over to their parents side of the balcony, they all still chill in the same nest now tho, most the time. right now all four of em are dotted around the balcony sleeping and the parents are sitting on the balcony ledge each at one side sleeping too.
peace atlast :)
Awwhh, after reading all of that thread, I'm glad they seem to have settled down now! Everyone's given great advice there. I think I would of tried putting the two bigger chicks back on their side of the balcony in a new, high sided box so they couldn't wander back again but it sounds like they're about to learn to fly so that wouldn't be much good! LOL! Thanks for taking the time to help these birds, a lot of people would of just swept their nests over the edge :(
well i think i spoke to soon, yesterday they were all fighting again, even pecking the kids.
so now i've put a makeshift barricade across the balcony and seperated them, things seem to have calmed down. though the 2 larger chicks are able toflap onto it, they seem to know which side they "belong" on. i also cleaned the whole place up which also sort of damaged the one nest. now its only really comfortable for the 2 youngest.
so lets hope things finally start settling down.

here's the view from the balcony at sunset, can see why they like it here it can be quite nice.
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Oooh, that is a nice view! I might move in with the pigeons! :D That sky looks amazing!

As for the birds, I think everyone's suggested everything I can think of already! I guess it won't be long before they all leave anyway as the older chicks are getting ready to fledge. I have my fingers crossed that they don't start squabbling too badly again.
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