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Discussion Starter #1
This little guy was a very lucky stray who ended up at a pigeon friendly veterinarian. Since they are getting flooded with baby bird season, I offered to take him and work to find his owner or a new home. I emailed NPA his band information on Wednesday, but haven’t heard back. Not sure how long they usually take to respond.

He’s an ’08 African Owl and I believe his color is called Almond. Even his toenails are almond. Check out that tiny beak! http://www.pigeons.biz/gallery/browseimages.php?c=3&userid=2192

He’s a real sweetie and is VERY tame - loves to be held in your hand and petted. I don’t think he did much flying since his initial flights here were erratic, but he is improving with practice. He tends to sit back on his hocks and his front toes on his right foot stay together so he doesn’t walk normally but scuttles around quite happily. Based on his vent bones, I think he’s a male. He has a good appetite and appears healthy and in good feather, although I don’t think he’s acclimated to outside temperatures. Sure seems like he was somebody's pet!
 
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Beak??! What beak??? I don't see no beak! :eek: LOL he's adorable. I hope his legs are ok. Maybe he was living in a small cage?
 

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oh he is cute, are you sure he is almond? looks like a yellow or something, I thought almond had flecks in them, but I don't really know about color so much. good luck wishes for this lucky bird.:)
 

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Yep, wolfwood, there’s a very tiny beak which I can feel it when he grooms me back. :) Check the link to my album for a side head shot. That’s how they’re supposed to look. Initially, it was very disconcerting to look at him head on! I made the initial ID by checking out the one on this site in the index: go to http://www.pigeons.biz/pigeons/index.html , The Loft, Show Pigeons, Pictures, African Owl.

Based on his legs and lack of flying ability, I would agree with you, sasha008, that he probably was in a small cage. Right now, he’s in a 30”x24”x20” wire dog crate with towel and litter base. While in there, he tends to hang with the pigeon in the mirror. Three times a day, I take him out and let him putter around the spare bedroom (also called The Bird Room) for about an hour. His skill is improving and he flies up to the top of the crate (5’ – it’s up on a stand) so we can be eyeball to eyeball. Very pleased with himself!

Good point, spirit wings. His feathers do have flecks in them, it’s very mottled coloring, not solid like the yellow I've seen in other breeds. His feathers have that very soft baby feel and he’s just starting to molt, so who knows what his adult plumage will look like!
 

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That's the most ridiculous "beak" ever. how does he groom anything? o_O

It's hard to think of releasing him back to an owner that kept him in a cage small enough to retard his leg strength?

I sorta wish he was up for adoption. :) How far is the drive up from SF to Kent? (as if we didn't have enough pigeons here...)

My dwarf rabbit is trying to make friends with the feral that I'm working with, but the feral is not too impressed. wingslaps keep the rabbit skittering away... for 15 seconds.
 

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What an absolute cutie, Terri!

I so hope he will have a good home! He deserves it!

Please keep us posted!!

Love, Hugs and Scritches

Shi and the gang :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can see why folks enjoy young birds - he's a real puppy-dog for pets. :)
We also play the "...I peck at a piece of food and he runs over to eat it..." game. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A great representative of the pigeon fancy!

I had a very pleasant conversation with Tim Heidrich, the Secretary/Treasurer of the American Owl Club (interesting history regarding the club's name on their web site http://www.americanowlclub.com/). Tim has been breeding African Owls for over 12 years and is the newest Master Breeder of the American Owl Club. He told me this bird was hatched in Utah and was given or sold to someone living here in Washington who either lost or tossed him.

Tim graciously answered all my questions regarding African Owls:
• African Owls are generally not strong fliers, so it’s unlikely he flew here from Utah
• Most are at least partly hand-raised, so are usually very tame (he certainly is!)
• The leg problem is probably due to inadequate minerals (he sure went for the grit the first day); it is possible that with good mineral supplements he might improve
• Stress can trigger a head molt (he’s growing in new head feathers)
• They can be housed with other mellow breeds

Tim even offered to send a box and money for shipping if I wanted to send the bird to him. What a great response! Since Tim is in Villa Rica, Georgia, I'd prefer to find him a closer home if possible. I’ll be posting his information in the Adoption section. Please let me know if you’d like to offer a home to this little sweetie!

In addition to offering him several mineral supplements free choice, I’ve been putting him in an outside cage near the flight pen for some time each day. This way he can catch some rays (vitamin D to help metabolize the minerals), see the other birds, and start getting used to outside temperatures. The rest of the day, he’s free to fly/putter around the spare bedroom.
 

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What a cutie! He looks like a younger version of my Bernadette, whose beak is also pretty much nonexistent. I believe Bern is a Satinette but honestly, the only way I know what kind of breeds my pigeons are, is when George or someone else tells me. :p Good luck finding him a home, he sounds like such a sweetie.

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Every day he gets at least an hour or so outside watching the other pigeons putter around the flight pen (pigeon soap operas). Sometimes he talks to them, especially if some of the other birds are vocalizing.

I weighed him the day I brought him home - 315 gms. I thought he felt rounder, so I weighed him again today - 355 gms! This bird has a good appetite and loves to be handed peas and safflower. I think he really enjoys the social interaction of "eating" together. After each bite, I pet him and tell him how clever he is. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
His new head feathers are coming in and I thought some moisture would help make him more comfortable. We were having a gentle spring shower, so I put him in a small cage and put him outside on top of the flight pen. He immediately stuck a wing up and fluffed out his feathers, obviously enjoying himself. :) Once he'd had a good time, I brought him in and took a quick photo - http://www.pigeons.biz/gallery/showimage.php?i=834&catid=member&imageuser=2192 - before blowing him dry. Afterward, he tucked in to a good feed and settled in for the night. :)

Earlier in the day, I tried an experiment to try to determine if this is a he or a she. I brought the two Old German Owl (OGO) males inside and let the three of them lose in the bird room. There was a lot of grooming, but no obvious male or female behavior. Could be because the OGOs were both in courtship phase and had mates waiting outside. The next nice day, I'll try taking the new bird outside to the flight pen to see if that shows anything.
 
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