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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

First of all thank you all for this wonderful forum, I recently discovered the pigeon world and I've learnt a lot in here.

I wanted to ask about the situation with a pigeon we started feeding during earlier this year

Due to the lockdown my girlfriend and I decided to put a small feeder in the balcony and we had a couple of pigeons coming everyday. After a while the female stopped showing up and only the male was coming, spending more time just waiting. After weeks we assumed his mate died and we felt bad for him so we started to bind with him. After some time he was very comfortable and wasn't afraid of us, entering into the living room "asking" for food. He didn't allow contact though and we respected that.

Now that it's colder we have the window closed, so when he comes he waits outside, we open and he enters, we close the window while he eats, when he is done he goes towards the window and waits for us to open it.

The issue came two days ago, I don't know why but after finishing eating his seed mix I offered him an unsalted peanut, as everyday. He ignored the peanut and started walking away(which is weird because usually he gets really excited about the peanut) he flew to a shelf and shortly afterwards flew again and hit himself against the window, he fell and then scared himself with the curtain and flew away again, tried to go to the top of a piece of furniture, which had a plastic bottle that fell and scared him even more, then finally landed on another shelf, he didn't land softly, it's more like he crashed onto the shelf so I approached to check. He was terrified and flew to the floor, sort of crashing again and started running towards the other part of the living room.

I gave myself a minute to calm down and decided to catch him to check if his wings/legs were ok(it was probably a bad idea, but there are always gulls around and i was concerned about him getting preyed upon), he was cornered under the table so it was an easy catch. He was very scared at first, then he seemed to calm down a little and I checked him and couldn't see anything wrong. He was getting nervous again so i released him close to the floor slowly. He walked away and seemed to walk fine so i opened the window. He went through it, stood on the balcony for 10 minutes and flew away.

It took him over 24h to come back and now he is very fearful, he was hesitating during over 20 minutes to enter, and once he did he approached carefully and ate a few seeds from my hand, I raised my hand slowly and he jumped on it and continued eating, then he heard a small noise from the street, ran away and flew as soon as he got out. He has come twice after this but he is very fearful to enter and leaves if he hears any noise or if I try to move more than just a little.

Do you think there is a way for me to recover his trust? Or is there anything we can change to make him more comfortable? For now we are not trying to close the window untill he leaves, and we have to open really carefully or he flies off. I feel really guilty and in a way I kind of feel like just leaving food for him outside and don't interact anymore to avoid him any stress, but I really miss spending time with him :(

That was longer than I thought, thank you for your time reading me

PD: we cannot feed him directly in the balcony because it's just one feet wide, and if we approach the window he flies away.
 

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I'm sure he will eventually start trusting you again. It will take time. Leaving food outside will only attract more pigeons, so rather let him come inside to eat. Always leave the window open, so that he won't have that experience again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your replies, I hope he will, I was afraid of having damaged his trust in me permanently.

He did improve a little now, if I move he startles and jumps away, but he doesn't leave the room.

And yes Marina B, I'm keeping the window open now, I just keep a jacket ready for the feeding time 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello, I'm posting an update in case somebody finds himself in a similar situation.

He seems to be recovering his trust in baby steps, now he tolerates me moving and walking if i'm at more than 1m or so. What seems to have helped a lot is leaving the curtains half-closed, so in case he feels afraid he can go outside and "hide" behind them, this way he stopped flying off when i wanted to walk.

I also had to leave a week and when I came back he was a bit less trusty, so it took a few days to recover the trust he had when I left, I have no idea why could that be though.

And one thing that didn't help is christmas decoration, he clearly disapproves it, he keeps glancing at elf figurines suspiciously every time he enters 😂.

And also, do you have any tips to make him more comfortable while he is here? So far I've tried to keep the room well illuminated and to put a plate with water, but it seems that he doesn't see that it contains water, he did, however, wet his beak in it once but didn't drink from it, it had tap water I don't know if he just didn't like it?
 
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