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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Thank you very much for your welcome here. I knew nothing about pigeons until last Thursday, when could not resist to retrieve a drowning pigeon--just about expired--from fast-streaming water running along the sidewalk, the result of heavy rains we were having here in New York.

Every day since, this pigeon--he or she looks like a teenager--has improved rapidly. At first let's say he was clearly completely traumatized. Pooping everywhere and appearing very distressed.

But that state receded rather rapidly. Now he explores my apartment at ease, is constantly pruning himself, is eating like a horse, explores my apartment, and looks altogether happy.

At first he had a lot of those "star-gazing" head movements, leading me to believe he might be suffering from that PMV infection often mentioned in connection with pigeons. But that too is becoming rather infrequent now. On the other hand, his balance appears fine--he often stands on one leg--and his aim when picking up food is perfect.

He has not attempted to fly, although he's been exercising his wings.

He sleeps a lot still.

My question to the forum is threefold:

1) How do I judge when a rescued pigeon is ready to return to his friends or wife?

2) What is the best way to do that? While he likes to sit near where I am, he doesn't like to be picked up so I'm hesitant to try. (When he was really sick he was ok with that, by the way.)

3) Right now he's eating songbird seed and loving it. I do add some minced tabbouleh and minced carrots. Should he be having anything else? Originally he appeared to like electrolyte-reinforced water--I figured he must have been completely dehydrated--but now prefers plain water. And although it is a large pan, he does not seem to want to bathe. This puzzles me as I read that pigeons like to do that. As an aside, his poop now seems normal to my untrained eyes. At first it was very watery and very frequent.

As a newcomer to this I would be grateful for any advice you may have. I add a "before" and "after" picture. The "after" one is from when he attempted to play with a little rainbow refracting through a glass vase near my window.

Kind regards,
Michiel Kappeyne
 

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How old is this bird? Can you post a clear close up of him?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Matriarch/Patriarch, thank you so much for replying!

He/she gives off the feeling of a young bird, with lots of returning exuberance. The feet are bright red. Doesn't that suggest a teenager?

'Now constantly and enthusiastically arranging his feathers, that is, when he's not sleeping or eating like a horse. His wings move freely but he failed at a couple of takeoff attempts.

Once in a while he does that star-gazing head inversion, but always recovers in seconds. The frequency is much less than before, but when it happens, it happens in bursts. My conjecture now is that he might have this PMV thing which weakened him so he could no longer fly, forage, or save himself from the water current.

I am adding a couple of more pictures at closer range. The one on top of the computer is from the first evening, when he was still very weak and not quite dried up.

Cheers,
Michiel
 

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He needs a water dish a couple of inches deep.
I don't like his posture. Does he hunch up like that often? And if he did have PMV, then he shouldn't be released, as the symptoms can return any time under stress. Could just as well have been something else neurological. Could have even banged into something and hurt his head. What do you keep him in for a cage when he can't be watched? He should have a cage or such that he can be kept in except during time out of cage for a couple or few hours daily.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, you picked up his posture too. Fortunately, more and more, he takes on a more "normal" posture, actually rather elegant, with a beautiful elongated neck and feathers flat, perfectly arranged. Once I get a good photograph of that I'll post it on the forum.

Meanwhile, every day so far has been better than the prior one! Today he was really prancing around the place, very mobile and curious.

From what I read about PMV it can last some six weeks or more, then disappear almost overnight. His trajectory seems actually more encouraging, with everything getting better in a gradual manner. Maybe he did bump his head?

Thank you very much for your interest. I am rather new to this, and am grateful to you and this forum.

Cheers,
Michiel
 

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You will have to give it some time and see how he does, and go from there. I asked about where you keep him?
Can you keep us updated on him?
 

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Thank you for rescuing him! His posture does seem weird. Would continue to observe him to see if he has PMV. Hopefully he will continue to improve.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another day, and Mr. Pigeon keeps improving. Lots of elaborate feather arranging, eating, and taking naps in the sun. His balance is perfect and he can stand on either leg with complete ease. His aim when picking up seeds is perfect. Jay3, I let him walk around the apartment. He loves to explore and also gets beneath the couch when sleeping or doing nothing otherwise. Right now he's napping in the sun, just a couple of feet away from me where I do my work--I am a trader. Yesterday he played with a little rainbow that refracted through a glass vase in the window. And yes, it does require continuing cleanup but I do not have the heart to put him in a cage.

Tomorrow I'll have a party for the American Thanksgiving. I suppose I'll attempt to coax him into a closet with food and water, and close the door. That will be a challenge because he is very much his own man and does not want to be picked up.

There still are these odd head movements, although their frequency appears to be reducing. It is an almost perfect half-circle, always clockwise when viewed from the front. As soon as it happens he appears to fight it and recovers almost immediately. It is odd and a bit disconcerting.

He seems to be stretching his wings more, on both sides. But when he flutters them, perhaps attempting to take off, he is unable to leave the ground, kind of rolls over, and gives up. That's not good, although both the energy and the frequency with which he attempts this appears to be getting better.

Other than those occasional head movements his appearance and behaviour are completely symmetrical. He does not favour one side or is weak on the other.

Thank you very much for chiming in! Saving pigeons is not my usual line of work, so I need all the help I can get.

Cheers,
Michiel
 

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It would be safer for him if kept in a cage when unsupervised, and at night. He would get used to it.
Wish I could see the head movements you mention.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
An update on Mr. Pigeon. 'Looking and acting a bit better everyday, no longer eating like a horse, but still possessed with a healthy appetite.

The compulsive head movements have diminished in frequency, but are still there. H is more active in stretching and exercising his wings, and appears to move them in a more coordinated manner. No real takeoff yet, though.

I had a big party last Thursday, with dozens of guests. Rather than hiding he joined the party, traipsing around, completely comfortable, almost as if he was basking in the attention.

Here is a photograph I took this morning. Posture and confidence appear to be improving.

Cheers,
Michiel
 

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He's a pretty bird. Glad he is doing better.
 

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Just as a friendly advice, if you don't intend to keep him maybe it's better to slowly get him to stay alone, otherwise he will not fear humans anymore and might go to people on the street for food or worse get hit by a car.

I've rescued a young pigeon back in august and she has sight problems and cannot fly much or at all but she's grown very beautifully and is really healthy. She lives at my fiancee's aunt in a cage (soon to be aviary) and gets regular exercise outside, however it's really cold and it's been raining for the past week so she didn't get out much.

Prior to that we had her in my apartment for about 3months and she became so docile that we couldn't release her -_- (not to mention the flying and sight problems).
 

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Glad to hear your bird is doing well, Mr Hollow. I remember reading all your posts and am glad she is adjusting to the aviary.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
An update o Mr. Pigeon:

Every day he's doing better! At first he hid in safe corners, but now he struts around the apartment as if he owned it, and loves to perch near the window. He maintains a natural fear of me, but does not mind sitting some three feet from my feet as long as I don't make any moves towards him.

He keeps eating like a horse, is constantly pruning an arranging his feathers, looks great--I add a picture--and sleeps soundly, often. When awake his movements have become much more energized. His vision appears very good, judging by the way he eats. He gets finch food the size of salt crystals in four colors: light brown, black, green and red, all mixed up and of identical size. He prefers the green and the red ones, so he picks those out first. Then it's on to the brown, while he refuses the black ones.

He has an outspoken personality. He reminds of the seagull who often comes to my window and eats from my hand. Many other seagulls visit too, but they attempt to eat my hand together with the food on it!

I definitely suspect PMV because Mr. Pigeon's attempts at flying, while getting better, are not yet successful, sometimes leading to a backward shuffle. The odd head inversions are still there, but getting less frequent.

We'll see!

'Not sure what to do when he has fully healed. Feral pigeons need to be, well, feral. They need to live and love with their wife, family, and friends. On the other hand his PMV might return, which would likely lead to his demise unless he runs into me again.

Cheers,
Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's another picture of him. I think he likes this West-facing corner bordering on the Hudson River because when I rescued him he was floating West to East on the rainwater current next to the sidewalk. This suggests he used to hang out on the West side. My feeling is he recognizes his territory because he keeps looking West intently, stretching out his neck.
 

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Oh wow, Mr. Pigeon just had his first successful vertical takeoff!! He hovered in the air a foot high for a few seconds, completely balanced, and landed straight on his feet without tumbling all over himself the way he did in all prior attempts.

Then he walked to near the couch from where I was watching Bloomberg TV and looked at me as if to say: "see, I can do it."

Cheers,
Michael
 

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Good for him!:)
 
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