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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I live in San Diego, CA. On Sunday 7/9/17 I found a pigeon in my backyard. There is a flock of pigeons that hangs out in my neighborhood so I'm sure "he" (for lack of a better term) came from that flock.

This is a large wild pigeon. He looks like the one pictured below. His behavior so far:

  • Scratching around in the dirt
  • Pecking at the dirt
  • Walking around (feet/legs look fine)
  • Ate some bread I gave him
  • Tried drinking water out of my pool so I gave him some water in a bowl
  • Will flap wings and can fly short distances

His left wing appears droopy - the ends of the feathers touch the ground when he's standing. He doesn't mind me walking up to him. So far all I can see of his droopy wing is a few feathers appear to be out of place but there is no blood visible. Today he flew from the top of a bag of landscape rocks about 3 feet across the yard before landing.

Last night he was sort of sitting on the ground with his feet tucked under him. He puffed himself up a bit when I walked over to him today. He was shaking a little - I'm not sure if he was cold, scared or in pain (I hope he's not in pain!!).

I haven't tried to catch him because I don't want to stress him out. Today when I got home from work I went to check on him. He was sitting on top of a bag of landscaping rocks and flew about three feet over to another part of the yard.

I have a 6' high wooden fence around my backyard so he is safe from neighborhood cats, coyotes, etc. There is a wildlife rescue place here in San Diego but I've heard they're only interested in rehabilitating raptors and typically euthanize doves, crows, ravens or pigeons. I want to give this guy a fighting chance since he was able to fly a few feet.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Regardless of the situation I will do my best to keep him protected and fed/watered if nothing else.

Thank you!
 

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Most wildlife rehabs wont take in a pigeon because pigeons aren't wildlife. It sounds like either he broke his wing or he had a stroke (I once had a pigeon who was completely grounded from one, its not completely unheard of.) I recommend slowly approaching him with a light blanket, sheet, or pillowcase and throwing it over him, then bringing him inside. Even if he is safe from cats & coyotes, he still may become victim to a falcon or the elements.

Here [click] is a map showing pigeon and dove friendly rescues. He really shouldn't be having bread either. Every now and again it isn't that big of a deal, but be sure to leave out some seeds for him. They can have unpopped popcorn (as long as it isn't salted/buttered), thistle, oats, millet, among a lot of other things. Canary or finch food can do in a pinch
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response. The bread was an emergency ration; I found some wild bird seed in my garage so I'm going to give that to him tomorrow.

Took a look outside before it got dark and the pigeon was sitting on a stump in the yard. Just taking in his surroundings it seems. I'm afraid to capture it and bring it inside...it's probably already stressed out. The big flock of pigeons I think it came from (they roost on power lines 4-5 houses over) are always outside. I haven't noticed if they go anywhere for the night; they always seem to be there, dozens of them at a time. I feel bad for the people whose house is right under the power lines - they probably get a lot of poop in their yard, haha.

Unfortunately the closest rescue places on the map you sent are several hours away from me. I called the vet who sees my cats and she said she can't see wild pigeons. She recommended the wildlife rescue but again, they'd just put him down.

I guess I'll keep him fed, watered and he has both sun and shade in the yard. This is the first time this has happened to me. I'm an animal lover so it's hard not knowing what's best for this birdie. Fingers crossed if he's showing signs of being able to fly a few feet maybe he can recover.
 

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A regular vet wouldn't do for pigeons anyway. Avian vets or livestock & poultry vets are typically the only ones equipped to handle pigeons. Though be warned, if you are planning on returning him to his flock, you are probably going to be told its best to have him put down. Pigeons, feral or not, are dependent on humans for survival. They aren't native to the USA (or anywhere really- pigeons have been domesticated for so long that we only have guesses to their original range) and so feral pigeons are viewed as an invasive pest, sort of like pariah dogs.

You could say he is a homer instead of feral when you are setting up the appointment if it comes down to it
 

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I just emailed Terry Whatley to ask about someone who may be closer to you. Also, I suggest you post about the bird on Palomacy's facebook page as they have many members everywhere. Thank you for helping him.
Please put him in a container like a cat carrier so he is totally safe and offer wild bird seed and water. He doesnt look bad. Our first pigeon was a feral, Phoebe, who had a broken wing and who was nearly decapitated by a fan. We got her fixed up and she was our dearest love for eight great years. Thank you for not handing the burd over to someone who will just euthanize him. If we can get him help, he may be fine to return to the wild or he may be able to be adopted out to someone. There are probably avian vets near you. Will let you know as soon as I hear from rescuer Terry Whatley about possible resources in your area.
There are several avian vets in the San Diego area per google. Example...
https://www.beautyofbirds.com/recommendedbirdvetscalifornia.html
 

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cwebster, that isn't a picture of the bird. She said that this kind looks like her bird.

Yes, as cwebster has said, please catch him and cage him. He isn't safe out there. A hawk or even an owl can grab him. So many other things too. They are pretty easy to catch in the dark. Just go out with a flash light and a towel which you can put over him, and carry him inside.
 

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Don't apologize. No harm. Usually when someone posts a pic of a bird, it is the right bird.
Yes, I agree that it would help to see a picture of the real bird. Hard to help if you can't see it.
 
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