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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello again!

I found a feral pigeon that was around three weeks old in October 2015, he was starving, missing tail feathers, had a broken leg, and couldn't fly. It took him about a month to recover. About three weeks after I got him he began to eat popcorn out of my fingers, come to my shoulder and sleep on it, nibble my ears, and fly to my plate and occasionally put his beak in my mouth. He began to coo about four weeks ago. I noticed that three weeks ago he's been becoming less and less friendly. Now it's gotten to the point where he wing slaps me, attacks my fingers viciously while cooing (even when there's food, he won't eat it, he'll send it flying everywhere and if he DOESN'T attack he'll just stare at my fingers blankly for the most part), he stares at me with what seems to be hatred. He had begun to fly off and run away from me before I trimmed his wings just two days ago, and now that I've done that he stays mostly stationary all day versus his old self where he would walk around the floor pecking at little things. Is this normal? Is this supposed to be a form of affection? Could it be because he's adolescent? (His eyes are 75% orange with a little bit of brown left, and his beak hasn't turned white yet) I have no idea why he's become so malicious, but it's making me depressed. The first picture is him (His name is Lil) when I found him on the first day, and the second picture is when he was sleeping on my shoulder in November, before he turned into a jerk.
 

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Sounds like normal wild bird behavior to me. Males will coo and bite their mates, but flying away and wing slapping are not signs of affection
Pigeons are just lovely silly little critters. We have to love them for how they are.
Is this little one non-releasable? Still unable to fly? If he can, sounds like he's ready to start acclimating for release in which case his survival depends on flying away from people, if not, Bless you for caring for it <3
If he's your pet Just keep spending time with him. Start slow again. Pigeons aren't the most cuddly of birds. especially grown up males. But they are flock animals so like to spend time near you. Since this baby wasn't hand raised it will just take more time to adjust and bond. Give him time and have patience. =)
It's not in their nature to snuggle like babies for ever.
 

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I think he was already grown up enough when you found him, I find it unlikely that he's imprinted in humans. He probably would be happier if you released him so he could stay with his flock. If you want to keep him, he probably needs a mate. Pigeons are very social animals and they can't be happy if they are alone.

It was a mistake to trim his wings. Really cruel to do to a wild pigeon who is used to fly around. It's obvious that he's depressed now.
 

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I hand raised two baby pigeons that were rescues. They were about 3 weeks old. It is worth mentioning they are house birds, as it looks like your bird is as well. One is a male, the other is a female. The male, believe it or not, is the most affectionate, both as a baby, and now. (8 months) That is Wiggles. When Wiggles was about 2 months old he got a bit bolder, and we joked he went through birdie puberty. He never bit me, as he thought of me as mom, but anyone else, he would bite and wing slap. This lasted for about 3 months, and he then got back to more of his old self, but I think it is because 1, he has another pigeon with him, and 2, and probably most importantly, he expends a ton of energy during their daily play time around the house. My two can't fly all that well, but they get rid of that excess energy better flying then when they do their road runner routine. I agree with gimpielover that you need to continue bonding with him, reaffirming that connection since he was not hand raised. I disagree that he can be released as I believe he is much to tame and familiar with humans. I would get him a mate, as they are flock birds, because he will be much happier and likely less aggressive, if he decides to make you a mate,- it happens. Population control is easy, you can swap real eggs with fake eggs you can order online, (I got mine from Amazon) so you don't end up with 50 pigeons. The other thing I would do is stop clipping his wings and let him fly. He will get rid of his excess energy that way, and they are easy to catch when they are bonded to their human caregivers, and if they do try to play hard to get, let them play at night, they are really easy to catch at night, that is, if your bird is a house bird.
 

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Yes normal adolescent behavior for a pigeon brought up in a human world. Note that they sometimes act differently towards hands and the rest of you......they may see you....or your face as a "mate" but your hands as "enemies" that need to be attacked and driven off. He is not trying to be a jerk.....just doing what instincts tell him in a slightly mixed up world. Good job saving him!!
 

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Thank you for saving him! We rescued a feral, Phoebe, who bit and wing slapped us for months then became the most oving creature imaginable after we spent time with her and she came to trust us.
 
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