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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey you guys!
haven't been on in awhile, the kids are keeping me miiiiiighty busy! i thought you guys might like a little update on the miracle boy! he is doing so well!
he's going thru a big all over molt, and does he ever look crazy! the old peroxided feathers had faded to a funky brown, and now the new normal blue ones are coming in - they're beautiful! his feet never started working again, and his little leggies are pretty mangled looking, but the boy can cruise! i buy corn pads at the dollar store, and stick them to the bottom of his one leg that healed with the bones side by side, instead of end to end. i call it his running shoe. let me tell you, if the boy decides he's not getting snuggled - he's not getting snuggled! who knew disabled pigeons could move that fast???
since some of his flight feathers have come in, he now flaps out of his pen, and has the run of the house when i'm at work. [at least until i make a lid for his house.] you should see him in the morning, running right behind the four dogs, on the way out the door, like he's on his way to school too! funny little guy, breaks my heart to leave him, but there's no way he's gonna be happy back in his 10 gallon hospital room! not THIS boy.

he's also taken a liking to my one big greyhound, every time i peek in the bird room, there's big ole diesel, and the little blue cow pie snuggled up on the same dog bed. and diesel is deathly afraid of the rest of the birds, but not trooper. funny, huh?
he's become really really vocal over the last couple of months! all kinds of crazy sounds! the best one is the precursor to a strike with 'the beak of death', most usually aimed at my smallest dog... trooper does not like to share his momma! he sleeps in my bed at least a few nights a week. usually not on the weekends, because he's most definitely a morning bird, and momma is NOT. hard to sleep in with him running and flapping and talking at seven in the morning.
i still utterly adore him. he is the softest thing in the universe, smart, tough and brave....sighhhh....

i've become a collector of pigeon art and jewelry on etsy.com. there is some very cool pigeon stuff out there! just something about them....

OH! one of my friends was in paris over the summer, and she's sitting there, with her husband and his son, and they're watching a flock of parisian pigeons. donna has always been terrified of birds, but i got her to pet trooper, and then she actually had my macaw on her arm! anyway, they're watching these pigeons, and they notice one of them sort of stumbling around. on closer inspection, they see that he has some kind of string wrapped and tangled all around his feet and legs! she says that if it had not been for trooper, they would have just ignored it, but she told them they HAD to help this poor pigeon! so they cornered it, scooped it up, and they spent the next 30 minutes cutting the string off of the poor birds legs. the paris natives were no doubt appalled at the filthy americans helping the filthy bird! but they finally got it all off, while the bird sat there, very calm, like he knew they were helping him, and they set him down, and away he went! donna says they called him marcel.
isn't that the neatest? the trooper miracle goes world wide! =]
 

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What a great story..........BOTH of them!
We'd love to see some pictures of Trooper when you get the time. A video would be wonderful. I bet he's just loving life now. What a great job you did!!
 

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It is great to hear from you. I'm glad Trooper is doing so well and I would love to see the set up with the corn pads. We have a pigeon whose legs were broken in several places and he walks in a crouch. This causes a callous type thing to grow on his "knee" and I'll bet the corn pads would help that.

Wonderful story about your friends in Paris helping that pigeon.

That is so funny that he sleeps with you. Phil, another member, sometimes has several on the bed with him.

Do check in when you have the time. I love your posts.
 

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Thanks for sharing the suggestion of using corn pads as a cushion. So glad Trooper has settled in so nicely. Kudos to you for helping your friend extend the "Trooper effect" to Paris!
 

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I'm so happy to hear Trooper is doing so wonderfully.

Thank your friends for helping one of God's most needy creatures. Paris is one of the worst and most offending to our needy ferals, according to other members. THREE CHEERS for your American friends!!!!!! God bless them and you and Trooper too! :)

Thank you for sharing!!!
 

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Lizz,

Thank you so much for the update on Trooper. He is a miracle guy and it is because of the care and love you give him. The Paris story is great. Hooray for Trooper and Marcel.

Margaret
 

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Lizz,

Thank you so much for the update on Trooper. He is a miracle guy and it is because of the care and love you give him. The Paris story is great. Hooray for Trooper and Marcel.

Margaret

Couldn't have said the words better myself!!

THANKS FOR THE TROOPER UPDATES AND THE PARIS STORY, LIZZ!!

Who says one pigeon can't make a difference??!! :D

With LOVE, HUGS and SCRITCHES TO ALL

Shi and the gang :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
=]

i just put some recent photos of him in my album - i've at least figured out how to do THAT. not the best, but you can see his weird coloring now, half-molted out peroxided feathers, and his gorgeous natural blue ones.

couple of other things - when i come home after work - he's back in his pen, which i think is so funny. he just wanders around all day, probably watches tv, and orders pizza, and then hops in real quick when i get home.

he also has learned how to go up and down the steps, and can flap himself off of my bed - something that i never thought he would do! it seems like all of the sudden he's making HUGE leaps.

but here's the one concern i have - he's gotten kinda snippy with me lately. kills me. i'll scoop him up and we go upstairs to 'read', but of course, since i'm so smitten with him, i have to lay there snuggling him first. he loves loves LOVES for me to massage his head, ears, neck - the boy slams his eyes shut, and gets all limp, but then if i stop, and just have my hand in front of him, he gets MAD and attacks my hand! last night the little maniac even jumped on my hand after 'cussing me out' , and turning around in circles -- he pecks me and grabs me, and generally tries to murder my hand.

i can start petting him again, and he might try to grab me as i'm raising my hand back up to his head, but then he's right back to doing his version of a person getting a massage ' ohhhhh, oh yeah, that's the spot, ohhhhhhh it's making my feathers stand on end! sighhhhhhhh....'

so you guys know how much i love this boy, and i don't know if i should grab his beak and yell at him [which i've done], or just let him keep going and not say or do anything [also done], or move my hand, wait til he calms down and then start petting him again. [done that too]. i don't like the idea of just letting him be a jerk, but it also hurts my feelings, and i want it to stop!.

what do you guys think of this behaviour? hormonal? 'hey mom, leave me alone.'? 'what IS that thing that's sitting in front of me???'

i just don't know what to make of it, and how to remedy it. :confused:

anyhow, take a peek at my album for recent photos of my little lovebug/hand murderer. i'll try to get better ones soon!
oh! and the corn pads work great! i just stick them to the bottom of his 'foot' where i can tell is taking a beating, and away he goes! they fall off pretty easily, so i'm thinking of using some double-sided tape.
 

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Hi Lizz,

He sounds like he is just trying to be a normal healthy male pigeon. It is a compliment to you that he is feeling so comfortable around you, not only because you made this possible-that he is so healthy and healed, but also because he considers you an equal.

Also, he is being a normal male pigeon. Male pigeons will take any territory you allow them to live in, he will take it as his own and will defend it as his own. It is just being normal and adapting to life with humans. So, if you happen to be petting him in HIS territory he may be just defensive, or he really just wants to play.

I have a friend (a member here), Phyll, who has allowed her pigeon Jesse access to her dining room, he tries to chase them out of there and also out of the living room now, as he thinks he owns it. He bites at their heals and even bites their feet when they sit in their living room, but it is nothing personal. They are playing their role out in life=adapting, as a male pigeon in a human world.:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
really?

he doesn't hate me? phew.

but here's the first thing that went thru my head.....'what if he's not a HE?' i really don't know for sure..... would that make a difference?

it's funny how pigeon behaviour is so different than hookbill behaviour. the whole cussing me out, and turning around in a slow circle..... and i don't think he's playing....he looks pretty worked up to me.

sometimes i worry that he's miserable living in the house, and not flying around outside. i explained it to him :eek: how he can't live outside anymore because he can't perch, and he can't land, and he can run, but not fast enough, and i don't want him to get hurt anymore, so that's why i keep him inside. [stop laughing!]

i know, i'm a big softie when it comes to the birds, but especially him, because of what he's been thru.....but still, that doesn't mean i want him to be a spoiled brat. could he be bored? i'm forever making toys for the other birds....but for him? anybody have any good ideas?

i don't know, i just want to do right by him, and give him a good INDOOR life. i've been thinking about making him an enclosed pen here at school, so he can start riding around with me again, and having someone around all day. i leave the birds' tv on during the day, but maybe he needs more stimulation than that? and yes, the thought has crossed my mind that perhaps i'm making too big of a deal out of all of this, but.......i love my animals!
 

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I don't think you could EVER spoil Trooper too much.

We have members that have stuffed bird toys for their pigeons, some of them will thrash them around.

I think it would be nice if you could take him with you, perhaps he will enjoy spending his day with you and having his own pen. Does he get any time outside in sunshine?
 

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Walter reacts the same way to head scritches. :) Trooper's aggression toward you might mellow a bit if you were able to get him a mate.
 

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Sounds like Trooper thinks you are his "mate." That's how Mr. Squeaks acts with me.

He has two modes: mate and daddy.

Mate: he is a love...follows me around, lets me scritch him and pet him.

Daddy: sits on his egg in his nest box and attacks anyone who comes near, including me!

Sounds like he may like a mate, unless you want the job...;) :D

All the best with HUGS and SCRITCHES

Shi and Squeaks
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hmmm....

i've thought about getting him a roommate. i figured i would be inundated with pigeons that needed help, once word got out that i was willing to take them in.

i don't want to buy one, and there are NONE in groups or shelters around here. i check on petfinder at least once a week. the closest one was about an hour or two away, and they wanted an 'adoption fee' of EIGHTY DOLLARS. puh-lease!

but since i haven't dna'd 'him', i don't know if i should get a he or a she, and then if they were a bonded pair, wouldn't they then want nothing to do with me? that would just kill my poor little pigeon loving heart!

what i did with him today, i got up and had a bunch of errands to run, so i took him with me. i hold him up against my chest so he can see over the steering wheel and 'navigate' for me. i took him in to the craft store and i think he loves that! all the sights and colors!! he stayed in the car at the post office because i took him in once and got kicked out [jerks.] but he seemed genuinely happy to be out and about. every time i came back to the car, he was sitting on the console, and his head shot up and his little wings kinda quivered with what i'm assuming was joy. and while he was 'navigating' his eyes got squinty, and his 'i'm happy' nose feathers went up. i could just feel that he was happy to be doing things.

as for getting him out in the sunshine, i have to admit, i'm not much of an outdoor kinda person, and when it's hot, i hide inside with the a/c. when it's not so bad he and the rest of the birdlings sit in front of the front door, and check out the goings on outside but we're not OUTSIDE, no. you think he's missing that? i suppose he would be, now that i think about it. poor baby. i'll get him out tomorrow, we'll all hang out outside, it's supposed to be nice, mid seventies i think.
i'm also going to see if i can find some little kid birthday favors, and string them up in his pen. he likes pecking at shiny stuff, so...? who knows?

sure am glad i found you guys.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh!

almost forgot! so last night, after he did his little 'i'm gonna kill you' song and dance, i scooped him and put him on my chest while i read, and scratched his head, and then stopped and put my hand in front of him. no attempted hand murder! he reached down and sort of preened my fingers with the side of his beak! i did it a few times to make sure it wasn't some fluke, but the same thing each time. i'd pet him, stop, rest my hand in front of him, and he would groom my fingers. maybe the corner of the bed really IS his, and how dare i try to invade his space, but when he's sitting on me, it's sort of neutral territory and he doesn't really want me dead!!!
which is good, considering it's MY sternum he was sitting on. crazy bird...
 

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I found a mirror and a little bell at Petco for Squeaks.

The mirror hangs on the side and the bell is suspended from the top of the cage. He beaks that bell something fierce sometimes. Then, there are times he will grab the clapper and shake the heck out of it!! Sooooo funny!!

BEST TO YOU AND TROOPER WITH LOVE, HUGS AND SCRITCHES from

Shi and the gang

:D :D :D :D
 

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...but here's the one concern i have - he's gotten kinda snippy with me lately. kills me. i'll scoop him up and we go upstairs to 'read', but of course, since i'm so smitten with him, i have to lay there snuggling him first. he loves loves LOVES for me to massage his head, ears, neck - the boy slams his eyes shut, and gets all limp, but then if i stop, and just have my hand in front of him, he gets MAD and attacks my hand! last night the little maniac even jumped on my hand after 'cussing me out' , and turning around in circles -- he pecks me and grabs me, and generally tries to murder my hand.

i can start petting him again, and he might try to grab me as i'm raising my hand back up to his head, but then he's right back to doing his version of a person getting a massage ' ohhhhh, oh yeah, that's the spot, ohhhhhhh it's making my feathers stand on end! sighhhhhhhh....'

so you guys know how much i love this boy, and i don't know if i should grab his beak and yell at him [which i've done], or just let him keep going and not say or do anything [also done], or move my hand, wait til he calms down and then start petting him again. [done that too]. i don't like the idea of just letting him be a jerk, but it also hurts my feelings, and i want it to stop!.

what do you guys think of this behaviour? hormonal? 'hey mom, leave me alone.'? 'what IS that thing that's sitting in front of me???'

i just don't know what to make of it, and how to remedy it. :confused:


The little guy wants all of your attention and affection, and that's just his way of letting you know it.

Unless it really gets messy (meaning real aggressiveness) try not to let it bother you: pigeons also go through 'phases' as they grow up and establish their relationship with you.

Poopzilla, my own house bird, started off by being a bit testy and would peck and bite my hand if I tried to touch him. (Edit and Addendum: this was because of my own attitude: essentially, I had elicited this reaction from him by my own behavior!)

After I had finally figured this out (doh) I let him continue to do this for weeks - while talking to him gently and attempting to caress him - until one day he just stopped and became the cuddle sponge that he is today. He will mutter and growl and give an occasional sweet little nudge with his beak if I stop the snuggling mode - which can seemingly go on forever when he's in the mood - but the only thing he bites today are my toes, and only because it's become a sort of game between us.

You might just try gently grabbing his beak between your fingers and give it a rhythmic series of light squeezes: it apparently reminds them of when they were being fed as babies, and in general they love it. If done repeatedly, this might calm him down to the point where he'll forego his aggressive behavior for a more habitually calm and affectionate routine. But the essential attitude-change has to be absolutely genuine and come from deep inside you, and when it does, he'll pick right up on it.

That's my take on it - but try not to become angry or aggressive yourself: these birds are intelligent, sensitive and have their own sense of logic - which is not incompatible with our own, once you make the effort to let them know that you're willing to work out a mutually acceptable and rewarding relationship with them :)

Addendum: In re-reading your post, I just noticed what I think is your fatal error, i.e., "I'll scoop him up...". Essentially, you're initiating the encounter - and interrupting whatever pigeon-business he's up to at the time. No wonder that he throws a hissy-fit once you get tired of giving him attention - after all, it was your idea!

One of our very experienced and intuitive members (Phil) made me understand that you should practically never just 'scoop up' a house bird: they're not dogs or cats, and apparently don't really appreciate being reduced to the state of portable objects - even if objects of affection.

I avoid picking up Poopzilla as much as possible, and I let him decide when he wants to come and see me - which is often, now that's he's understood that he not going to find himself scooped up by my sticky little hands every time I feel like it. You also have to remember that a bird's most precious resource is its feathers: each time you handle it, you're disturbing the meticulous order that they spend hours arranging. Petting and caressing - when they come to you - is entirely another thing: I can scritch, scratch, gently ruffle and otherwise caress Poopzilla from head to tail when he's in snuggle mode - and I can actually feel that I'm not disturbing his careful arrangement of thousands of feathers. Picking up him is an entirely different thing, and like I say, I only do it when I absolutely have to - which is very seldom.

Get the point? Hope it helps...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ryannon

...also known as the pigeon whisperer??? i smell a new movie folks!!! :D

that sounds like very sane advice. i'm going to try it starting tonight at bed time.

i just watched a bunch of pigeon videos on youtube, and aside from the beak of death, all the posturing and spinning looks like a mating dance....

i feel like such a moron about him most of the time. my other birds, no trouble, there's so much info out there, plus, i've had hookbills for years, so i 'get' them, i know pretty much what i'm seeing, and why i'm seeing it. but with the blue boy, it's all different. i wonder if the differences are due to pigeons being less clownish and more intelligent than the hookbills?
hmmmm....
 

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Liz, it's an almost endless and endlessly rewarding learning curve, and in general, the pigeons are ahead of us.

My own take on this is that I'm convinced that pigeons were domesticated thousands of years ago - possibly as far back as pre-historical times and have formed relationships with humans which are rarely actualized in the world we live in today.

All of this is to say that there's probably a more or less established modus vivendi - a way of living in harmony with them which we've totally forgotten, while they haven't. All that remains is the gradual rediscovery of the simple rules of mutually satisfying cohabitation - letting the pigeon be our teacher and guide.

I'm not suggesting that there's any uniform system of rules to follow, since pigeons are like any other living creature: unpredictable and highly indivualistic. But I do believe that there's that ancient memory of close cohabitation that in some cases can resurface if you open yourself up to it and allow yourself to be 'reeducated' by your little guy.

If what I've said makes sense, let us know how you make out in the weeks or months it might take to modify the current situation for the better: I for one would be very interested to see how it turns out - especially in terms of your perception of the situation.

Lastly, I have to add that the real pigeon whisperer around here is the same Phil I mentioned above. As for me, I've just barely scratched the surface of the level of intuition and openness needed to relate to them in the way he does....
 
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