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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings all,

3 weeks ago I rescued a 17 day old woodie who fell from the 2nd floor nest on a window ledge of a vacant apartment. His parents never figured out he was in the courtyard, huddled and terrified in a corner under the foliage. He's been eating well and more than doubled in size, and has lived in make-shift cages, which he has rattled vigorously on a regular basis. He can now feed himself (although not seeds very well). He is 38 days old.

Preparing for his release, this morning I transferred him to the bathroom and opened the cage lid. He fluttered out to perch on the edge of the cage, where he's sat the entire day - over 10 hours - without moving elsewhere! He can see other pigeons, both feral and woodies, from the window but made no fuss about them. He wouldn't eat the food in his open cage and I finally held up a tray to his chest and he's gobbled down a late lunch plus dinner.

He seems lonely and confused on why he is in the bathroom. Until now he has been in my home office, within a meter of my desk, where I am most of the day, so we have kept each other company. So he is used to me being around; by now I have had him longer than his own parents did. In the bathroom, I have to move the cage to use the loo, and while I do that, he just stays perched and quite calm, with no move whatsoever to fly or go elsewhere in the room.

Questions:

1 - Given that he is not moving off that cage, and doesn't attempt to fly from it when I move it, should/could I move him back into my office? I don't expect I can get him back in the cage; I would carry him perched on it. I would have to cross my living room. Neither of these rooms is pigeon and poop proof, and I can't really close them off.

2 - If I do this is he likely to stay perched on the cage all night?

3 - Or will he likely fly around the apartment either tonight or starting at dawn, creating havoc and risk hurting himself on stuff here? What if he perches up high someplace where I can't get to him?

4- Or should I leave him in the bathroom overnight, which is emptied of all stuff and is closed off? It will be dark by 9pm but he is used to staying up until at least midnight with me :)

5 - Or should I try to get him back into his cage in the bathroom, and take him into my office for the evening over night?

6 - At this rate, what should I expect in terms of being able to release him?
Feefo advised me to let him leave from my 4th floor window, and if possible let him come back to roost. However, I haven't seen him fly yet. My plan was to test that in the bathroom today and let him go tomorrow. I thought he would fly around the bathroom like a kamikaze (which hasn't happened), sleep when the night fell tonight, and then in the morning I'd open the bathroom window where some of his flock come for breakfast, and hope that some of them would be around when he ventured out.

Another consideration: his tail is not fully feathered, there seem to be feathers broken or missing. Perhaps he fell on his bum when he fell from the nest? His wings seem to be strong and he has stretched and exercised them several times a day since I got him.

Pigeon-Talk was a great help to me in the summer of 2008 when a baby woodie was born in my window box. I named her Hope and some of her photos are on my page here. Her story is now a book awaiting publication!

Thank you everyone for all your help and encouragement both then and now!
Warm wishes
Jane
aka Paris
 

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I don't know much about Wood Pigeons are they the same as our wild pigeons here in America and are they kind of shy? Listen to what Feefo tells you to do for the next adventure. Sometimes when you first let out a bird (our pigeons here -Ferals-we call them) because they are getting used to the scene they don't fly right away until they take in the whole situation and if they have been in confinement for awhile they don't have confidence because their wing muscles are flacid and weak so gradually as they get exercise with longer flights they get more normal and are ready to face the wild so to speak....put the cage in a larger room and leave it open and the bird will come out on its own and check out the situation but keep the food and water near the cage maybe in front of it or in it would be better and just watch where it flys to because once it flys there it will be secure and fly there again--you just need to have patience and most of the times these birds will go back to there cage at night ---sometimes I should say... so if it doesn't go back to the cage you could kind of direct it in that direction in full light and it might be glad to get back to the cage and shut the door for the night., or if not the second way would be to wait until it gets dark and then just catch it--they can't see in the dark and put it back in the cage for night and open up the cage tomorrow--don't worry about droppings because they are creatures of habit and it will only be the most favorite spot that will have droppings and you could put paper on those favorite areas...Close all toilet area: Tie all fans still: and make safe stove area: and be patient when the bird gets confidence and strength in its wings it will fly like the rest of them---we hope--have Feefo check this over and take her advice---I am not too good at this...goodluck to you my friend....c.hert
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, c.hert - I've certainly been following Feefo's advice, as she is an expert on wood pigeons. She had said it would be fine to graduate him to the bathroom from his cage in preparation for release. Now tonight I've just done what she said I could try - which is to get him back in the cage once it got dark in the bathroom. He didn't put up much of a fight and he is in his cage and had a good dinner (fed himself) and now preening himself. The bathroom has no fans or anything dangerous. The rest of the apartment, which is in a crumbling 150year old building in Paris, has lots of nooks, crannies, badly-functioning doors, and lots of (I hate to admit) clutter...

Now I'm wondering if he's going to need a few days or even weeks to really fledge?

Jane
 

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Sounds just wonderful and you are on the right track here--living in a 150 year old building thats amazing in France--Wow--I don't get out much--but I am living in a small house thats 85 years but its real comfortable like I'm sure yours is...c.hert
 

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Hi Jane,

c.hert has given you good advice!

Wood pigeons can be scatty and easily frightened, but not in places that they are familiar with or with people that they are familiar with.

When a pigeon perches out of my reach, I hold something that it can perch on up to it and slide it towards their feet...they will often step on to whatever I am holding (eg a broom handle) and step on to it.

Cynthia
 

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Thanks: Glad your here with our new found friend Redsky now I am going to have some dinner for it is afternoon here 1.30 pm about (lunch I should say).I will keep checking the post on your birdie..Bye Thanks Feefo and the compliment was good too..c.hert
 

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Feefo: That is the most precious thing that anybody has ever let me experience and those pigeons are very very beautiful---I want to dedicate my life to those pigeons and others now what do I do..I can sell my house and ship my pigeons and go in debt and build a beautiful loft for those beautiful birds...How do I begin this??? I will get a passport and come but how do I start--maybe with a passport --My father was born in London Titus and my mother was born in Sligo Ireland--maybe this is in my blood or something...Can a American buy a plot there or flat or whatever they call it..That video stired my English-Irish bood....Her name was Mullarkey Bless you c.hert
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Predicted release time?

Firstly, Feefo, thank you for the great advice about offering a "perch" to a woodie! That's brilliant.

Also thank you for sending c.hert a link (above) to my video! C.hert, I am hopeinparis on youtube, and I made the video of Hope the baby wood pigeon which you just saw. I'm very pleased you like it.

Now, the question remaining about Sweetie (the name of this rescue pigeon) is what should I expect now in terms of releasing him? It's hard to imagine he's going to make the big leap tomorrow. Will I be doing the bathroom-office transfer for the next 3 days? 3 weeks? Impossible to predict?

Thanks again to you both
Jane
 

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Yea I think you should do the bathroom office transfer and give him flying time to strengthen those wings and give the baby confidence...Double check with Feefo to make sure this is good. Your video is just gorgous and I so enjoyed it and will keep it for ever as soon as I figure out how to transfer it to my computer (not computer literate as of yet) but I sure enjoyed it and want to move to England or somewhere ever their because I can feel the hertitage somehow---Yes do the bathroom office transfer..c.hert
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you so much! Of course it makes sense that it's going to take time for Sweetie to get ready to fly the coop. After all, as of this morning he hadn't even been out of the cage. OK, we'll just hang in there for as long as takes.

I feel hopeful that he will be reunited with his daddy (who I can recognize from his white neck marking and who is the father of Hope), who is often not that far across the way, sunning himself on an antenna. But I can't count on that so I had to make sure he could feed himself before attempting release - more good advice from Feefo.

Anyway, tonight Sweetie is calm and dozing in his cage near me. And tomorrow is another day :)

Thanks to you both
Jane
 

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Feefo: That is the most precious thing that anybody has ever let me experience and those pigeons are very very beautiful---I want to dedicate my life to those pigeons and others now what do I do..I can sell my house and ship my pigeons and go in debt and build a beautiful loft for those beautiful birds...How do I begin this??? I will get a passport and come but how do I start--maybe with a passport --My father was born in London Titus and my mother was born in Sligo Ireland--maybe this is in my blood or something...Can a American buy a plot there or flat or whatever they call it..That video stired my English-Irish bood....Her name was Mullarkey Bless you c.hert
c.hert, I have always hoped to find I have Irish blood, but I have researched my ancestry and I haven't...you are very lucky.

I think that by each of us being where we are and helping the pigeons around us we are fulfilling our ideal role. My dream was for more and more people to have "backyard sanctuaries", each helping just a few pigeons...but imagine the overall number that would help! Sadly, now they are introducing legislation in the UK that requires expensive licencing for animal rescuers to exist, the objective being to eliminate backyard sanctuaries...and a lot of the bird rescuers are already giving up! :(
 

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Isn't that ashame and are they allowing people to have larger lofts maybe in the woods or something?
No, they are trying to close down our local sanctuary, which is in a wood, because they didn't have planning permission..they have been there for 10 years!

Does that affect Ireland too (sligo) ?
Ireland is a separate country and they have their own legislation...I can't imagine them being too fussed about sanctuaries, but I really don't know!
 

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What are you going to do Feefo to keep your sanctuary going?? c.hert
That is a good question! I did a bit of research and the legislation that decides what qualifies as a sanctuary and the cost of the licence has, as far as I can see, not been passed yet.

However, this is what they deemed (in 2006) would describe a sanctuary when the regulations are to be put in place:

“An animal sanctuary is any facility which seeks to admit and care for displaced, injured or unwanted animals on a regular basis, whether companion, farmed, wild or other animals, with a view to either re-homing, rehabilitating or providing long-term care for them.”

I don't think we qualify under that description, although all our pigeons are rescues we don't seek to do anything on a regular basis, nor do we advertise ourselves or ask for anything of anyone, so I think we just qualify as bird keepers. And we meet the criteria required of any animal keeper:

What does the Animal Welfare Act do?

It makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met.

These include the need:

For a suitable environment (place to live)
For a suitable diet
To exhibit normal behaviour patterns
To be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)
To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease
Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from owning animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.


Feefo
 
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