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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a pigeon on the sidewalk in front of my house, in a suburban to semi-urban environment. It looked like it was trying to take a dustbath, but when I came closer it was clear that the bird couldn't stand up. It was trying to push itself up with its beak. I was able to pick it up easily, and it seems be be small as pigeons go, but adult plumage. When I hold it in my hands it is able to look around from side to side, so I'm ruling out neck injury. Also, it extends its wings fully, so no injury there either, apparently.

Do young pigeons have a developmental phase where they can't walk or right themselves on a hard surface?

I've brought it inside to keep it warm, it's still cool here on Long Island, and I'm going to try feeding it and giving it water, based on info from the web, but what's going on with this bird, is it injured or is it normal for a young bird not to be able to walk? If it's normal, I hope to be able to reunite the bird with its parents.

Thanks for any insights you can give me.
 

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Can we see a picture of the bird?
Also...I'm going to private message you the number of a member on LI that may be able to offer you some advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, here's a pic

I think I've successfully uploaded a jpg, haven't done this before so am not sure.

The bird is very sweet, and calmly rests in my hands. I was able to get it to drink a little by putting a dropper resting on the top of my finger up against the beak and creating a little puddle. It seemed to drink a bit, quite happily.

When I tried to put a grain of barley in its beak it wouldn't take it though, seemed like it spit it out.

It's 11:30pm here, seems like too late to call your LI member, so I'll just keep birdie warm and hydrated. Will read a little more about how to feed baby birds.

I hope the pic is good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
more info

Okay, the most worrisome thing, the bird can't stand up. Sometimes it seems like it is sitting back on its tail with its feet out in front. When it tries to walk, it falls over forwards, and uses it beak to try to right itself. When I first saw it it seemed like it was taking a dust bath, rolling around on the sidewalk.

Is this just normal for young birds or could it have sustained a falling injury? It has good grip strength in its talons and doesn't seem to be in pain as far as I can tell.

I saw my neighbor wave to me from his attic window and two adult pigeons walking around the roof near the window yesterday. Mind you this is not the kind of attic you go into unless there's a leak or something, not a finished attic. I'm thinking he evicted a pigeon family from the attic and the young bird may have fallen from a fair height. I can't ask him anything now because he's visiting family for easter and I'm feeding his cat.
 

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First off that pigeon is not a baby. Did your neighbor happen to poison (don't mean to accuse just a thought) the pigeon in his effort to evict them. Follow Charis's advice.
Kurps
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think the neighbor probably sealed up an opening and evicted the birds. Poison not likely.

I just remember looking up and seeing his fingers waving through the glass of tiny attic window and 2 adult pigeons hopping around on the sloped tile roof near the window. That struck me as odd, but didn't give it another thought until today when I found the youngster.

Maybe not a baby, but still only about half (or a little more) the size of a full grown bird.
 

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See the shiny feathers on the neck,that means the pigeon has already moulted it's baby feathers on the neck at least. Did you get in contact with the person Charis PM'ed you about ?
Kurps
 

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That bird is an adult. If s/he can't walk, and its eyes were closed as you said earlier, that bird is sick. Pretty bird.
 

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Can you give it a small dish of water, and dip its beak into it to show it where it is. See is he will drink that way.
 

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OK I missed that it was too late for you to call earlier. There is no developemental phase that they go though when young unless their growth was stunted for some abnormal reason.
Kurps
 

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I sent you Jen's email address too. She works odd hours at an emergency veterinary clinic. I would email her asap.
 

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Please look down the birds throat with a flashlight. Look very deep down and see if you see any cheesy looking stuff down there. The sitting back on it's tail you mentioned sounds like penguin posture, and this bird could have canker. You may see it in the throat, or you may not. Just because it isn't there, doesn't mean that it doesn't have it. Both the posture, and the inability to fly means that the bird could be sick with canker, which is very treatable, but if not treated, he will die.
 

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It may be canker and a bacterial infection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all your comments. I made a nest like contraption out of a rolled up towel lined with paper towels, gave it a last drink of water. I'll check in with the contact tomorrow. Eyes not closed, when I first picked it up, it moved its head around a lot, but calmer now, it seems to be interested in what's going on, but calm.

I hope its not sick, it seems that "overturning" is a symptom of some bird diseases, and that seems to describe what it's doing.
 

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I hope its not sick, it seems that "overturning" is a symptom of some bird diseases, and that seems to describe what it's doing.
I'm afraid that bird is quite sick and needs help ASAP.
 

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Assuming there was no chance of poisoning. Since the pigeon is grown up, I think we can safely assume that he/she got it recently, pretty recently so that it didn't also go into the hands of a predator. There are some diseases which affect pigeon and cause the leg paralysis. A most common one here is the one similar to curled toe paralysis in chickens and essentially an effect of low levels of vitamin and calcium.

A vet is the best person to point down to the real cause. I had one male pigeon which had issue with the legs, couldn't walk, just sits there but all other body parts very energetic. The medicine given by my vet was named Doxy, I think it was tetracycline antibiotic but I am not able to recollect the exact medicine details, sorry.
 

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Sreesh...I'm thinking this...Clostridium may be the cause of her not standing, especially given the wet weather on the east coast of the US lately.
 

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Hi Dianne,

Thanks for putting up the photo.

Dianne, this is not a youngster, but a fully grown adult bird. The first link I posted for you I helped out on and there are instructions in there on how to get this little one set up comfortably with a "donut" towel and food and water close by, so he does not have to move to feed or water.

Do you happen to have a kitchen scale around to get a weight on him? How does his breast area feel, does his keel bone feel at all sharp or is there a good a mount of breast muscle present?

Although it may not be your neighbors, I would not rule out poisoning off the list of possibilities, along with trauma of some sort, or even possible infection, as mentioned. Here is another story with a bird with similar symptoms, who in all likely hood was poisoned. Again, with this bird the complete loss of legs is similar to your bird. If your bird is still well fleshed, I would tend to lean more toward trauma or poisoning, as with infections there usually would be a good deal of body mass loss before they start loose the ability to walk, and a lot times there is a weakness in the eyes that does not seem to be there in the photo you posted. Plus, in my experience, even when very weak from infection most birds still can stand and try to get away, even feebly, they do not really reach a point of becoming paralyzed, looking as your bird looks in the photo.

For the time being, keep him comfortable and continue with support until some help can be arranged, which seems to be in the works.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f20/injured-pigeon-in-toronto-20092.html

Karyn
 
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