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Wife-bird, Squeak, an unreleaseable stringfoot pidge, & blind boy, Magoo, + occasional rehab guests.
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I was hoping someone could offer me a bit of advice, regarding a runty little juvenile pigeon that's part of the feral flock that live in the roof next door, & occasionally visits my balcony & hangs out with me. I first spotted her about 2 weeks ago, when I saw her sitting on my balcony looking way too small & pitiful to be all on her own with no-one taking care of her.



She was hunched over & fluffed too, which I know is usually indicative of a cold or sick pigeon, so I watched her for a while to see whether any parents would come & feed her or pay attention to her. When no-one did, I grabbed her, & took her in for the night, & fed her some peas & some seed in the afternoon & again in the morning, when I let her go because she was determined to go join the flock again. I know how important socialising is for them, & I didn't want to deprive her of that interaction in case she had family that would be missing her. I've since done this a number of time — catching her, feeding her, then releasing her again, but she's still very tiny. She's only just getting feathers around her beak now! What she lacks in size though, she makes up for in attitude, bravely taking on far bigger birds in the quest for seed, so I'm surprised she doesn't seem to be getting bigger, quicker. I've since spotted what appears to be her sibling, who's much bigger than her, & has a fully-feathered head, unlike hers. No sign of any parents yet though, or none who are still parenting them at least, although I think I've seen a couple of potential ones, judging by their colours.

Today, when she visited, I saw her coughing or gagging a bit — full-body heaves, similar to the motion pigeons make when regurgitating crop milk for their young, or when they're smooching their partners prior to mating. She did it 5-10 times, hunching over completely as she did so. I grabbed her soon thereafter & took her inside to feed her some seed, which she ate voraciously as usual. She seems feisty enough, & was immediately restless to be let go once she finished eating, so I released her again, but I'm worried about her. When she's with me, I can't get her to drink any water, & I've only ever seen her drink when she's watched another bird do it first, hence my decision to release her each time, because I don't want her to dehydrate. I had a bird with similar symptoms I caught awhile back who passed away suddenly, & I fear the same will happen to her, because I'm not sure why that happened.

So what should I do, everyone? Should I catch her & keep her, & is she sick & in need of treatment? She's a lovely little bird, with heaps of character... & I'd really like to see her grow up & thrive, whether as a free bird or a pet, whichever will be better for her.

Thanks in advance!

Fern
 

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Please catch her and bring her inside, something is wrong. Can you check deep inside her beak and throat for yellowish or white growths that will indicate canker? It's a very common disease amongst youngsters. Sometimes the growths are not always present.

Can you also post a photo of her droppings? She will try to get out, that is normal. But if you don't help het, you might not see her again
 

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Wife-bird, Squeak, an unreleaseable stringfoot pidge, & blind boy, Magoo, + occasional rehab guests.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good news - I grabbed her this afternoon & she's spending the night safe & warm, with a full tummy, in a comfy box inside. Actually, she was looking a little less feisty when I nabbed her this arvo, so I think it was good timing to get her when I did.

I'm going to try to get a good look in her mouth with my partner's help in the morning, after breakfast, & I'll post some poop pics then, too. I suspect it may be canker — I think I can smell the same distinct odour coming from her that I'd noticed coming from the pigeon you gave me some advice about the other day.

The vet won't be getting this one though, I'm determined to make sure they give me the supplies & instructions to treat her myself this time!
 

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You can always tell the vet that the pigeon is your pet. That way, he must return it back to you. I know in some countries you need a prescription for some meds. If he has canker, you will need to get metronidazole and this you might only be able to get from a vet.
 

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Wife-bird, Squeak, an unreleaseable stringfoot pidge, & blind boy, Magoo, + occasional rehab guests.
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
An update on this little bub

Hi Marina B,

I just wanted to give you an update on this little one. She perked up after some warmth & food, & was fighting me for freedom after a couple of days, so I let her go. She's apparently a he I think, & is a daily visitor to my balcony now, where he peer-pressures me into sneaking him seed, yells at other birds, & picks fights with other pigeons several times his size. Happy ending! :)

Thank you for your help.

Cheers,

Fern
 
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