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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Pigeon in the (Open to Outside) Stairwell of my Apartment Complex -Orange County, CA

This is my first post (I found this forum by googling) .

I first noticed this Pigeon on Wednesday evening at about 10 PM. It was roosting on the floor in the hallway of my apartment complex. On Thursday evening (about 6 PM) it had moved into the stairwell of my apartment complex. It was still there at about 11 PM. Then this morning (Friday) at about 10 AM it was still in the stairwell.

The hallway and stairwell are open to the outdoors (you can see in the pics) so I am not worried that it is trapped or anything. Yesterday when I was walking up the stairwell it got startled and flew and perched above the door, so I know it can fly at least to that extent. That being said, most of the time it seems to be sitting on the ground.

There was a severe heatwave in my area (temperature was in the 100s even at night) earlier this week. Initially when I saw it on Wednesday I thought it might be dehydrated or overheated, so I put out some water and pomegranate seeds for it (it didn't eat any seeds, I am not sure if it had any water). However it has cooled down since then, and the pigeon is still there.

I put out more water for it last (Thursday) night, as well as some finely chopped almonds and chopped raspberries. I think it ate some of those. It has been pooping (there is poop all over the ground). It does not seem tame (it is rather shy and either flies away from me, or hops further down the stairs when I approach).

Basically I was hoping you guys could give me some advice about the following concerns I have:

1. This doesn't seem like normal behavior. Should I be doing something to help the little guy? It has been there for almost two days now, and has been sleeping on the ground in the corner. Is it sick? There does not seem to be anything visibly wrong with it (I have attached pics, sorry for the poor quality). My stairwell and apartment complex are semi-open (see the first two pics) so it could easily go outside if it wanted to.

2. The stairwell and hallway in my apartment complex are lit 24/7. People mostly use the elevators and I live at the end of the hall (where the pigeon was), but I would imagine that there is still some foot traffic. Both the light and foot traffic must be disturbing it's sleep.

3. Am I doing the right thing by providing it food and water? Due to the above factors I don't to encourage it to stay in an unhealthy environment, nor do I want it to become dependent on me.

Any help or insight you guys have is greatly appreciated. It is wonderful that there is a forum of caring, knowledge people I can turn to.

Edited to re-size photos

Edit: I live in Orange County, CA if its relevant, however I don't have the bird secured (yet)
 

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He must be either sick, injured, or someones pet bird, and that would explain it wanting to be in a building. If he hasn't eaten much in a couple of days, he will get weaker. I would catch him somehow and confine him to a cage. That would give you a achance to check him out better. A normal healthy pigeon would not be there, and especially on the floor. Instinct tells them to roost up high to be safe from predators. He needs seed, not so much the berries.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for replying cwebster and Jay3.

I just got back from work, and the pigeon is still there. He (I'm just going to call it he) seemed to eat all the chopped almonds I gave him, so I put out some more, and more water. I don't have any birdseed, but will get some tomorrow. In the mean time I will keep feeding him chopped almonds, and maybe some unpopped popcorn, rice, and uncooked oatmeal.

Jay3, you mentioned that birds roost up high. I don't mean to sound pedantic, but I live on the 4th floor (top floor) of my building, and he seems to like to stay around the 4th or 3rd floor. Does the floor of the top floor of an apartment complex count as up high? He seems physically healthy aside from the strange behavior.

I guess I am concerned that I am overreacting. I don't want to potentially harm him by removing him from his environment if he is healthy, or mildly sick/injured but not in need of rescue.

That being said, if catching him is necessary I will do my best, although he is pretty wary and won't let me get close.

I can't keep him if I catch him. Does anyone know of any pigeon rescues around Orange County, California? Also, would a large cardboard box with air holes poked in work to transport him, if I do catch him? I don't have a cage or pet carrier.

I posted some more pics of him which I took today. When I passed him in the hallway he flew outside and perched on a ledge on the side of the building. Then he flew back (I took a picture of where he was perched).

Looking at the pics, could something be wrong with his foot? It seems like it is at a weird angle.

Thanks guys. I really know nothing about pigeons, and am completely out of my depth here. I really appreciate your help and advice.
 

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Glad you posted a pic of where he comes in. Yes, that does make a difference. He could easily view that as a high nesting area. But it still wouldn't be normal for him not to be roosting with a flock. He is alone, which isn't normal. And from the pics from the side, he looks like a homer. A homing pigeon, and not a feral. He could be lost and doesn't have a flock because not a feral pigeon. Is it possible to get more closer pics of him side view of his head? If he is a lost homing pigeon, he can't survive out on his own. He doesn't even know where to find food water and shelter. He is probably lost, and not sick. Doesn't look like he is wearing a leg band though.
Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Jay3, thanks for your quick reply. I have attached some pictures of the side of his head I took a moment ago (this was as close as I could get). Its dark, so I had to use flash, which seemed to startle him a bit, but he didn't fly away.

I checked my local craigslist on the off-chance that someone had posted an ad for a lost homing pigeon, but no dice.

Edit: I'm located in Orange County, California, USA. and there are 4 pics here of the side of his head, the first one was big but I figured an up close one wouldn't hurt
 

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Terry Whatley a wonderful pigeon rescuer is in Lake Forest. Palomacy also lists Pacific Wildlife in Laguna Niguel as a pigeon friendly rescue resource. Are either of these near you? I will contact Terry Whatley but it wiuld help to know what city you are in.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cwebster, thanks for your reply. I live in the city of Orange, in Orange County, California. Its about 16 miles away from Lake Forest, so not super far. If I can catch the bird I am happy to bring it in (would probably have to do so tomorrow, as I have class all day today and then an assignment due at midnight).

However I just don't want to displace a perfectly healthy bird, or waste Terry's time. I suppose better safe than sorry, though.
 

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I will let her know. I sent her an email. Please make sure he has food and water. If he is not leaving please put him in an old dog crate or cat carrierr or box indoors so he is safe. I asked her if she will help and if I can give you her phone and email. To catch him please close the doors to the bldg and at dusk he may let you pick him up, or you can put a towel over him. They do not hurt people. A really scared pigeon can slap with his wing but even if the try to bite they cant break the skin. He may be someones pet or a wild pigeon. You can speak with Terry after you check him out and let her know any symptoms. Thank you for helping him!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks very much, Cwebster. Please let me know what Terry says.

I am not concerned about the pigeon hurting me, I am more concerned that I will accidentally hurt him while trying to catch him! However I have light towel that I will use to try to catch him tonight at dusk. Then I can hold him overnight, and potentially bring him to Terry or another rescue tomorrow.

I have been putting out trays of water for him (at least 1.5 inches deep). My boyfriend picked up some birdseed for me yesterday, so I have been putting that out for him, as well as chopped almonds.

I will keep updating.
 

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The head looks a bit more rounded than a homer in one of those last pics. The other pics I couldn't tell. He could be a homer cross. Still..........if he was a feral, and hadn't been a pet, he would be part of a flock, not here alone. It's odd.
If you were not feeding him I wonder where he would get food.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cwebster, thank you so much for that link to Terry Whatley! She is awesome- I left her a voicemail and she texted me less than 5 minutes later, and said she would be happy to take in the pigeon if I can bring it in to her.

Now I just have to catch him! He seems pretty alert right now, and I have an assignment due in a few hours (all the cool kids spend Saturday night working on homework and chasing pigeons). In a few hours he will hopefully be more sleepy, and I will do my absolute best to catch him. He seems to be getting more and more comfortable around me, so I am very hopeful.

I just wanted to say thanks so much to this community in general, and to Cwebster, Jay3 and Terry Whatley in particular. I will keep you all posted!
 

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Please let us know how it goes. Glad i could help. He should be in the best hands once you get him to Terry. Thanks again for taking the time to care about the pigeon. Hope your studying continues to go well too.
 

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Easier to catch them in the dark, as they don't generally like to fly in the dark, but probably no way you can put out the light in the stairwell.
 

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Thanks both of you. I guess I was a little overconfident last night. He seems very suspicious of towels (as soon as I walked in carrying a towel he was on high alert). He flew outside and disappeared completely for the night.

He is back today, but I still have not been able to catch him. I will keep trying. I have updated Terry on the situation.

Jay3, I'm pretty sure the lights in the stairwell are centrally controlled, although I will double check. To compound the problem, its pretty well lit directly outside as well, so he can fly outside when he needs to "escape"

I attached a few more pictures (taken yesterday). There is definitely something odd about him. He perches really awkwardly on that ledge close by the stairwell, instead of flying somewhere he can properly perch. I was wondering if maybe his wings are clipped, so he can't fly too far? Or maybe he is very young? Or maybe he had some sort of neurological issue or brain trauma?

At least he likes the wild birdseed I have been feeding him. I saw him pecking away at it earlier.
 

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I just think he is afraid to leave that area where he feels safe. Wings don't look clipped.
Unless you can get him to go into a trap of some sort, then I don't think you will be able to catch him. I wouldn't go after him with a towel again, or you may just chase him out and he could be in more danger out there. It isn't going to work that way.
Maybe he will go under a box with string attached to a stick, with seed under it. If you keep trying and failing he will just take off.
 

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Can you close the doir to contain him inside or get a long handled net? You might want to also ask Terry since she is so close to where you live if she might be able to help catch him. He may be a lost pet or may have clipped wings. Thank you for continuing to try to catch him.
 

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A long handled net is not a good idea. If you are not used to doing that, pigeons have had their wings broken that way. Closing it up won't help as long as he can fly, and you cannot make it dark. You would just be chasing him around. He may get hurt. Try a trap.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Hi Cwebster and Jay3. He's with Terry now! We chased him to the bottom of the stairwell, and my boyfriend managed to throw a bed sheet over him. Then we transferred him to a cardboard box with air holes, and I drove him over to Terry.

Poor little guy, I feel bad because the capture must have been very stressful for him. My boyfriend said that he could feel him shaking inside the bed sheet:(. At least he is in good hands now (I named him Paul inside my head).

Thanks so much for all the help! I am so impressed by the knowledge and compassion in this community. Terry said people from Pigeon talk had been messaging her about Paul! A huge thanks to Terry as well, for having the kindness and generosity of spirit to take him in on such short notice.

I will update this thread if I hear any news about Paul.

Edit: Jay3 I didn't read your message until after I caught him. A trap would have been my next step.

Cwebster, unfortunately the stairwell to my apartment has big, open arches at every floor (see pic) and he was flying in and out of those.
 

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