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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there! I am new to the boards and as expected I have never owned a pigeon before.

A little backstory on the bird in question, I was sitting under a pier with my SO when I saw something flopping around in the surf. Curious, I got up and walked over only to see it was a small pigeon drowning! Other people were staring and gawking as I ran fully clothed in to the ocean to get the poor fella out, and upon getting it out of the water I of course saw he was drenched to the bone. I couldn't leave him in the cold shaded sand under the pier because he would freeze to death and I couldn't put him in the sunny warm sand because it was being harassed by children, so I had to try and find a safe place for it to dry off. I work on the pier so I was always close to where I left it to dry, on a balcony in my line of sight only a little ways from where I found him. I thought I saw his parents coming to visit him but with closer inspection i realized it was a bunch of different adults harassing and bullying it, with one large male even attempting mounting with this youngster. Needless to say I knew his parents weren't around anymore, so I went over, scooped him up, and sat him on my lap to dry.
Finally he was dry and warm so I decided to try and release him, only so watch him fall with style and faceplant in to a wall. So I was stuck watching over a baby pigeon that couldn't even fly with no parents in sight. Hours passed, no adults came near him anymore and he stayed hunched up in a corner on the sidewalk. I came to the slow realization that I would need to care for it or it would die, as he was already very thin.
I wrapped him up in a towel and drove him home when I got off work, and set up a small animal carrier with some soaked dogfood and a water dish for him to nibble at.
Upon waking up I saw he had attempted eating the food and was producing solid green and white bowel movements so I knew he had something going inside him, no matter how little. I left for school and on the way back home that day I stopped off at a store and picked up some real pigeon food and enriched grit (large sand grains, oyster shell, multivitamins, etc.) and offered him some, which he immediately took to.

The bird is eating from my hand when offered food but is very nervous and flips out when I move near him. He laid down in my lap last night and preened on my shoulder, yet today he seems very hyped and nervous. His keel is very sharp so I know he is underfed and malnourished (it was even sharper when I found him, at least he's putting a little meat on his bones) so i have been working on getting him to eat as much as he can. I also have him out and give him free roam whenever I'm in the house (I don't say free fly because he can't do that yet.)

Is there anything I can do to make him more used to my presence, and how can I improve his living conditions?

I've had sun conures in the past so I know how to operate around birds, but a pigeon is certainly not a parrot!
He has also taken a keen interest in his reflection in the mirror, is it healthy to let him attempt interaction with it or could it possibly induce aggression like I've heard it can do with some parrots.

oh, and I've jokingly named him "Berlin Airlift" or "Berlinny" for short.

Thank you for your help with this matter, I'm doing the best I can to help this bird. I would really like to keep him if at all possible because I've seen how docile some can get, and I really miss having a bird in the house.
 

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I am sorry I am late to view your post.
First of all I loved the way you helped a bird. I have deep respect for you to helping this little fella. I do always the same if I get any animal around who needs my help and for me it is really humane to help the needy be it a person or animal.
Coming to your question pigeons are realling tame if you treat them well and you are doing almost everything it needs like pigeon mix, grits etc. One more thing is to change its water everyday to keep it healthy. To get it more used to your presence is to feed it by your hand. This method really helps because then pigeon starts waiting for you to come but then you will have to give it some more time.you will have to put feed in your hands and wait for it to come.Once it starts feeding by your hand it is in. As it is a baby it will easily learn and be very taming soon.
About letting it see its mirror image has no harm I think that there are few animals who recognise themselves in mirror and pigeon is one of them.
So have a good time with this really loving bird and keep helping always.

Post a pic of your Berlinny whenever you can. :)
 

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What a great thing to do, the way you rescued Berlinny! Sounds like a very hungry bird who will love you for taking good care of it with pigeon mix, grit, water and friendly treatment. Pigeons love mirrors and especially they love attention so agree with what kiddy said. Enjoy your new friend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you all for your kind words! The little guy is a bit calmer this morning and he is definitely not as jumpy as last night. I assume now the best idea is to just let him hang out and go where he pleases but I stay around him so he gets used to my presence, and sometimes offer him food from my hand to get his trust?
He's also very intent on being next to the mirror at all times too.

Photos will come later today when I get back home!
 

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Thank you all for your kind words! The little guy is a bit calmer this morning and he is definitely not as jumpy as last night. I assume now the best idea is to just let him hang out and go where he pleases but I stay around him so he gets used to my presence, and sometimes offer him food from my hand to get his trust?
He's also very intent on being next to the mirror at all times too.

Photos will come later today when I get back home!
Yes to gain his trust and then he would like your presence as well. My pigeons started coming close to me when I started offering food by hand. Yes in start for a couple of times they dint turn up but then they got used to my call and started coming to me when I offered them feed. So you may try this. Will wait for the pic. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I have a picture as promised! Lighting was weird so I'm not sure if you can see but he's still bald on his chin and has a few straggly golden hairs left on his head. Here is Berlinny in all his glory!


Also He doesn't seem to be eating grit at all, and I noticed he's avoiding the millet in his food. Is this a problem?
 

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I have a picture as promised! Lighting was weird so I'm not sure if you can see but he's still bald on his chin and has a few straggly golden hairs left on his head. Here is Berlinny in all his glory!


Also He doesn't seem to be eating grit at all, and I noticed he's avoiding the millet in his food. Is this a problem?
My squab grew hair on chin at last after bein 26 days old tho he started picking up few small grains. Probably he must be on his parents for feed when he drowned and so he is not feeding on grit yet or millet.he will surely do soon. Well you did great to rescue this lovely bird and if you think he is eating less you can try with mouth feeding or he might learn by himself but make sure he is not hungry. By the way he looks great to me and you are soon going to have a lovely tamed bird :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi, sorry again, one or two quick questions involving his taming:
As I got him at this older stage in his development is it ever possible that he could end up completely bonded with me such as sitting in my lap, letting me pet him, and/or following me around, or is he too far past that age to bond so strongly with me? Will he always be afraid of my hands too?
 

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Both our pet pigeons were ferals who we rescued as adults. Phoebe was mean for two months, biting and wingslapping, but then became totally tame so that sle plays noogies between our fingers, plays with us, and sits on our shoulders. Fiona was wing slapping and biting me for months but suddenly is letting me pick her up and hold her for brief periods. I think your bird will be your best friend if you are just patient. Also CBL has expert ways for taming pigeons. Have you seen her great videos?
 

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It is not older stage to tame him but it is quite a right time you got him. Before you got him he must be on parents for feeding so it would have been difficult for you to mouth feed him if you had got him before. So just do what you are doing and make him more familiar to your presence.take him in lap by folding his legs back or cup him in hands , pat him , fuss him and just make him feel you are concerned about him and he would be crazy for you. As cwebster said even fereal pigeons can be tamed with a little patience and care.so give him a little time and be patient. He is going to be your best friend :)
Google videos on taming pigeons and learn a little more on taming .all the best :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have been looking up videos online and found one or two of CBL's. She really seems like a pigeon whisperer! It's amazing how they almost seem to melt in here hand.

The only think I'm a little worried about is accidentally traumatizing or terrifying the pigeon as I try to manipulate and tame him. Beginner's nervousness, you know?
 

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Yeah i completely understand, same was with me but CBL she is a great trainer, bird whisperer and a really good friend.always help me whenever I need. So I am quite used to handling my pigeons still I get afraid of hurting them, it is something comes from inside you think a lot if you care for someone so..
Dont worry you will not hurt him but keep learning the best ways to handle him through pt.
I am not able to post any images due to some technical reasons else would have posted for sure on handling.
Click on the following thread link from CBL and you will find a pic to hold him. Also pm to CBL for video link and you would love to learn from them.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f5/handling-videos-75956.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah i completely understand, same was with me but CBL she is a great trainer, bird whisperer and a really good friend.always help me whenever I need. So I am quite used to handling my pigeons still I get afraid of hurting them, it is something comes from inside you think a lot if you care for someone so..
Dont worry you will not hurt him but keep learning the best ways to handle him through pt.
I am not able to post any images due to some technical reasons else would have posted for sure on handling.
Click on the following thread link from CBL and you will find a pic to hold him. Also pm to CBL for video link and you would love to learn from them.

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f5/handling-videos-75956.html
Thank you again for your help! I'm building a better cage that will go in my room tomorrow, which will hopefully help him get used to my presence better since he can see out of it more, compared to the one I have him in now. And even then, he's only in it for a few hours a day while I'm not in the house, but as soon as I get home I let him out to walk and climb around, and he always inevitably ends up in the same spot on top of my roach colony because it's warm and has a fluffy towel on it. I let him sleep on there too, and just put him in the cage when I need to leave the next morning. It's the transport back in to the cage that he has the biggest issue with, because even doing the hold shown he still tends to freak out a bit. I guess i just have to keep doing it until he's used to it.
 

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Yes he must be wanting to roam around as they do from morning till evening with rests whenever they want and wherever they like.usually they select few comfortable places and you wil find them resting there only most of the times whenever they take rest. At night they go to their loft which they have been closed in for a few times because they start finding it safe and secure from the predators and then people close the loft door at night.as your Berlinny remain opened for the night and you close him in morning when you leave so he must not like to be closed when it is time for him to roam around. But no worries, soon he will be used to the schedule and you will find no problem in closing him, also soon he will understand even your intention to close him and he will go by himself. Earlier I also found it difficult for my pigeons to close them but now they understand and go to their nesting box whenever I try to catch them to keep in nesting box, they themselves go there and rest of the time mine also roam around in my room as I love their presence and keep them with me. When I am not at home i close them and at night too.
So you will understand everything about his behaviour soon, just keep learning. :)
 

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Hopefully Berlinny will get with the program soon. Lucky bird! We call our bird Phoebe the Wonder Bird after all her misadventures. Berlinny too seems to be a Wonder Bird! She'll probably anticipate your schedule soon.
 

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Its actually the opposite...

I have been looking up videos online and found one or two of CBL's. She really seems like a pigeon whisperer! It's amazing how they almost seem to melt in here hand.

The only think I'm a little worried about is accidentally traumatizing or terrifying the pigeon as I try to manipulate and tame him. Beginner's nervousness, you know?
I find that when I just pick up a bird even while I am doing the getting and picking up, they INSTANTLY become UNafraid when put to my face and I cup them in hand and pish to them. I do this to the hens in front loft. The SECOND they are in hand, held close they feel secure, its flippin amazing. But if you just try to reach out and pet or touch, they will try to get away, I dont bother with that at all, as THAT seems to scare them. In fact when I do go into loft front or back and grab up a bird, and fuss it up, the damn thing follows me from window to window cooing. I should take a little video clip of that. I literally have a line up of hens coming and flying and one by one they come to try to see "whats so special about her" and or why this one or two or three hens are fussin me up. Especially now, all I have to say is "hi my single ladies" and they come a runnin and thats with full food and water dishes, they aint lookin for food, they are lookin to be fussed, its hilarious. It really is kind of bizzare how simple it is. Some of the hens will just come running if I say hi, like its like thats ALL it takes. Like they are 'éasy' or something lol. They are flirts for sure.

So dont you worry, grab them up, mimic what Im doing exactly and you will be amazed. Ask Krzys, they will DEMAND it. My warning label would say, careful, you may create a monster lol. If I have any in my house they hound me follow all over the place constantly. If thats what you want, be careful what you wish for lolololol..... enjoy, if you need any more vids, pm me your email and will happily send a few...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
After holding him for about 15 or so minutes in the way CBL displayed in her videos (Thank you for sending me them!) the little pigeon started making small peeping noises. Is this good or bad?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Also, one more thing, I notices a fast moving bug living under his wings and after some research I am 100% sure it is a pigeon louse fly. I can't use harmful chemicals on him because he lives in the same room as my spiders and roaches (I breed tarantulas and scorpions) so are there any "natural" remedies for killing it? I read that apparently garlic will help get rid of it? Or even tea tree oil?
 
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