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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

For the past 5 days we have had a tagged pigeon coming to visit us at our apartment windowsill. It seems very friendly and relaxed - it has eaten, drunk, groomed and slept in our presence, and we only managed to get it's tag details today. As it has been the weekend, we will call the racing association tomorrow as we can't seem to find tag details online.

However, so far from the advice we have been given, is that the pigeon will fly away once it is fully rested and fed. Now this is true, however it seems to be returning like clockwork - flying off after dawn, returning before dusk, and sleeping at our window. It has become very attached to us, tapping on the window until we open it, then coming in and sitting on my partners lap to sleep for a while before popping back outside to sleep (we tried to contain it for a night, but it seemed to get very stressed and as it was seemingly happy to return, we let it back outside - this was three days ago, and it is still with us). It seems very happy to be around us during the day, but definitely wants to be alone/outside at night. It doesn't show any signs of illness or injury from what I can gather, but I know nothing about pigeons so really I'll try and get hold of an expert as soon as I can.

My questions are these:
1) I understand it is generally quite unsafe to leave it outside, as we have a lot of birds of prey here in the UK. As it seems to be less stressed when we let it sleep outside at night, and now that it seems to return to us routinely and not fly away, should we keep doing what we're doing, or keep it contained?

2) We are now rather attached to the pigeon. From what information I could find about our local racing associations, not many owners are interested in being returned a "bad" homer. Again, as it seems quite content coming and going from our apartment, if it is indeed unwanted, what is the possibility of providing it a good quality of life and a new home? Is it risky to allow it to fly freely? How does one acclimatise it to the indoors/being indoors at night (as this seems to stress it out)?

3) I've tried my best to educate myself about these lovely birds as I have found myself becoming extremely fond of this sweet, lovely little creature. I have the capacity and resources to establish a good environment to keep birds, and if this ends up taking place, am I on the right forum for advice, or is this a forum specialised for racing birds? I'd love to get more clued up and find more information about these animals!

Thank you very much in advance, I hope I don't sound too silly! We are from Lancashire, UK!
 

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Oh that sounds so sweet. If you are on Facebook join the Pigeon Rescue and Protection UK group because there are many folk on there who can advise on your options. I think I would probably contact the owner (if possible) and ask if I could keep the pigeon, if the owner doesn't want it you'd save him the cost of a courier to transport it back. I know a couple of people on the group race/home their pigeons and they'd be distraught not knowing what happened to their birds but I'm sure if they didn't mind a good home keeping a 'failed' homer they'd be happy to oblige.
I think the only way you can calm the bird to stay indoors at night would be to put it in a large box with a feed and water bowl and cover it so as its in darkness because they don't see well in bad light and tend to stay calm and sleep. That's what I'd do and let it free fly when it has a better chance of seeing any predators.
I hope you can keep it so please post how it goes if you manage to find the owner.
 

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Yes, first you need to contact the owner. That would be the right thing to do. Many won't want it back if it couldn't make it home to begin with, but many would want their bird back. He probably got lost, so if that be the case, then he won't find his way home now.
He isn't really safe flying outside alone. Pigeons are safer in a flock. It's more likely for a bird of pray to pick him off if he is alone.

Facebook Page Rescue group in the UK
If you are on Facebook, I suggest you join the Pigeon Rescue group which is a network of rescuers and some rescue centres in the UK:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/PigeonProtection/
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your replies!

I will indeed contact the owner tomorrow, though it seems I need to do it through the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, so we'll have to contain him first if we can and then see how it goes - I'll try and keep you all updated! In the meantime, how much should we be feeding it/letting it drink?

It's poos seem to have gone a bit green this past day, though they are still white capped and solid - is there anything I can do to keep him in good condition? Thank you! :)
 

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Would contact the owner and ask if youcan keep the bird. You have been chosen by a pigeon which is a compliment. :) f his poop is green he is likely hungry. Would let him have as much pigeon mix or wild bird seed as he wants...same with water. He will also need grit. Do you have a cage or aviary to keep him safely in? Thank you for helping him.
 

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I agree with cwebster.........give him as much to eat and drink as he wants.
 

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Would contact the owner and ask if youcan keep the bird. You have been chosen by a pigeon which is a compliment. :) f his poop is green he is likely hungry. Would let him have as much pigeon mix or wild bird seed as he wants...same with water. He will also need grit. Do you have a cage or aviary to keep him safely in? Thank you for helping him.
Yes, we will absolutely contact the owner asap, even if he has to go I think I'm going to beg my partner to see if we can't adopt some other beauties who might need a loving home! We certainly feel thrilled that this little guy enjoys our company for sure! We have been feeding him as much as possible, but as he is outside on a 4th floor window ledge he keeps knocking dishes off...we have brought a large dog crate arriving tomorrow evening to keep him in, and I'm going to see if I can find some grit...not sure where to find it though!

Picture we got on Saturday of him sitting with us - he really likes it when we open the window and talk, he will often make sounds and open and close his beak when we talk to him. He's still a little hesitant if you move too close to him too quickly and moves out of the way if he doesn't feel like being stroked, but has tolerated me petting him a few times today! He'd knocked his dish of rice off, so we tend to feed it by hand and offer it every hour or so when we can. Hopefully once he's contained I'll relax knowing he's got constant access to food and water!
 

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Gorgeous bird! Hope you can keep him. Please get him some pigeon mix, much more nutritious than rice. You should be able to get pigeon grit at a feed store or online.
 

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He's cute. Yes, as cwebster has said, rice really has no nutrition. They usually sell dove/pigeon feed at pet shops even. The grit needs to be pigeon grit though, as the grit they sell for the smaller birds is far too small.
Pigeons don't normally like to be petted. They like to come to you, and land on your shoulder when they want to.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi all, just a quick update.

We have contained the pigeon in an extra large dog crate, with sand in the bottom and a wooden house. We have also placed a sheet over half of it so it has some space, and we have gotten him some proper grit and food to replace the rice.

We've contacted the owner, who turned out to be the club owner - he's going to contact the real owner to see if he wants the pigeon back and he does, he's going to be collected in the next few days. However, we've become horribly attached and I definitely thing we'll be looking into permanently rehoming a pigeon in the future.

Thank you for all your help :)
 

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Thank you so much for the update. It's too bad you won't be able to keep him, but wonderful that he will be reunited with his owner and flock. You saved his life, as he wouldn't have lasted long out there on his own. Thanks for doing that for him. There are unreleasable pigeons up for adoption on occasion, or even shelters sometimes have them. Maybe someday you will be back to tell us that you have a pigeon you have rescued. Good job!
 

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Thank you so much for the update. It's too bad you won't be able to keep him, but wonderful that he will be reunited with his owner and flock. You saved his life, as he wouldn't have lasted long out there on his own. Thanks for doing that for him. There are unreleasable pigeons up for adoption on occasion, or even shelters sometimes have them. Maybe someday you will be back to tell us that you have a pigeon you have rescued. Good job!
He had been missing for two weeks apparently, the owner said not many made it back from that race - despite the string he seems to be in good condition all things considered. Thank you for all your help and advice, I've definitely learned a lot and had a lovely experience with a lovely bird! :)
 

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Gee, wonder why not many made it back from one race. Did he say how far they were flying?
 

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Aceso15, hope a pigeon or more than one comes your way soon. Would the owner consider selling you that bird or another bird in the future?
 

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what a pretty bird! you should have kept her, you already seemed so attached to her! plus you would have saved her from the horrible "sport" of pigeon races. I hope she has the same luck to find someone as nice as you when she gets lost again. Thank you for helping her! <3
 

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JennyM, the right thing to do is to first try to find the owner of the bird, and see if they want her/him back. It is their bird.
 

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might be the right thing to do, but not the best thing for the bird's safety and well being. This bird would have been better with the OP and would have lived longer.
 

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might be the right thing to do, but not the best thing for the bird's safety and well being. This bird would have been better with the OP and would have lived longer.
What a pessimistic attitude. If an owner wants a homing pigeon that gets lost back, Obviously that person loves their birds. That means its wrong to keep the pigeon from its owner.
 

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What a pessimistic attitude. If an owner wants a homing pigeon that gets lost back, Obviously that person loves their birds. That means its wrong to keep the pigeon from its owner.
I'd say realistic. If they truly loved their birds they wouldn't release them hundred of miles away and just hope for them to make it back so they can earn some extra cash. But hey, that's the way I think, you don't have to agree with me just like I don't have to agree with you either.
 

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So where is the bird? I wouldnever let ours out to get lost so dont understand why people do, but it takes all kinds tomake a world and i try to be tolerant.
 
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