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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Friends,

Well, I have my dear dove, now I've found my first downed feral. He's a near-grown squeaker. I found him last night, weak and unable to fly (though fully feathered except a few tiny pin feathers around the beak). I suspect dehydration, and, following AZWhitefeather's excellent advice, eye-droppered him with the hydration formula last night, and gave food. Requisitioned my dove's small sun cage for overnight.

This morning he's making some decent droppings, and is much perkier. He's also sitting on my shoulder as I type. Last night he fell asleep in my hand. I would wonder if he were tame (no band) but it seems unlikely given the place and circumstance. He's just mighty comfortable around me.

The big question: I've considered myself not yet set up for a pigeon(s) (otherwise I'd already be hosting a King or two from Elizabeth). So, I looked up our local rehab center, which has an excellent reputation. I found they do mention pigeons, and pigeon releases. I called and asked whether they take pigeons. They said yes, if found within the county. I asked to make sure they didn't use them as raptor dinners. She said no, that if the decision was made that he wasn't a good release candidate, he'd be humanely put down, and that that's something I wouldn't find out at once.

I asked whether, given he's a feral, and therefor legal, could I retrieve him if the rehabers decided he wasn't a good candidate. Of course, she said no, that wasn't natural and wasn't an option. I vainly make the argument that many pigeons do lead 'good' lives with humans, as I know from this forum, goodness knows. She said that's unnatural, and no life for a bird -- the dogmatic line, with no exceptions. Not surprisingly, alas. I understand they don't want birds abused at the hands of deranged or misguided 'hoarders,' but that's not what she said; she clearly holds the view that it's wild or dead, no other option acceptable.

She also said how busy they are. Which made me worry. I don't know if she was just explaining why they can't keep non-releasables, or whether this was an indication that if they're too busy, this little guy's toast. This is a beautiful bird (as well as a poignantly friendly one) and it would be a crime to see him done away on dogma alone, in my opinion.

Oh boy. what to do.

Any thoughts, experiences??
Forest:eek::(:mad::confused:
 

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This is just my personal opinion but, I would not bring the bird to that rehab center. It seems much to risky for the bird, given the information you have presented.

I would keep the bird until it was fully recovered.......limiting as much human contact as possible not to human imprint the bird. When the bird is fully recovered you can then make a determination if it would be safe for you to release him into a local flock where you found him or find another rehab facility that does "soft releases".

If the bird after recovering still seems much to friendly and you do not feel he would be able to survive on his own you could always post on our adoption forum and find him a good, loving home.
 

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I ran into the same problem with Petey when I found him.The rehabbers were going to put him down if he couldn't be rehabbed.My answer...I ended up keeping him.At least you have Dove experience so I would think you can do this by keeping the one...I had no luck finding anyone that wouldn't do the same.Except Reti, she was willing to take Petey, but by the time we could work something out for meeting since we are far apart I bonded to much!LOL...good luck and I am so glad the sweet little thing has found you..maybe you didn't think you were ready but someone else does!!
 

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Forest, I agree with what Louise and Tamera have told you. Because it's baby bird season, all of the rehab facilities are so busy that if they aren't 100% committed to feral Pigeons, likely they will be the first to be put down. Also, it could be that you spoke with a volunteer that may not have all the facts. It could be that if you called back, asked to speak with the manager, you may be able to talk that person into doing an assessment of the bird for you. It really depends on how many emergencies they have going on.
What is the name of the rehab center you called?
Can you post a picture of the liitle guy?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you , Louise... yes, I am inclining that way, too. And oh dear, I confess that in the last half hour this almost preternaturally friendly bird is making me wonder how much it would take to build an enclosure and... you know. Of course he's so young, bonding is natural to him, but really, I've not met a more immediately contact loving bird. I should keep my hands to myself, but it's hard.

The rehab place would excoriate me for this, I know, but my growing feeling is that yes, it's too risky to go to the rehab with him, and second, that while I should try first to keep him non-bonded, if he bonds, I will find a way to keep him here. People are often not entirely 'ready' for their own babies, after all...
In short, I'm already besotted with him. I also wonder a bit about his eyesight. He's clearly not blind, but... there's a sort of lack of focus? nearsighted, farsighted? Maybe not, but in some indefinable way, he seems a little other-than-normal, and I wonder.

I do fully understand the hesitation of reahbers re possibly inept citizens keeping pigeons, but... on the other hand, I've seen, as we've all seen, the lost toes, the inflamed feet, the starved, the crushed in the road: nature is a gorgeous sociopath when it comes the lives of her individual offspring, and it is yet harder for the urban pigeon.

Just recently the pigeons I watched and wrote about at my favored coffee shop have largely disappeared, and while I hope they've just gone elsewhere, I can't but worry about local business owners will ill intent, etc.

Thank you for the vote of confidence, Tamara! Actually, it's not so much that I didn't feel capable, as that my world's been a bit upside down recently -- my mother's death, followed by my rather catastrophic move across the country to secure and live in our little house where she'd lived, and the chaos of freelance art in a doubtful economy -- just a lot happening at once, and in a harrowing way.

But... things like this happen when they happen. The bird was standing right in front of my car... Kismet?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Charis, he's a beauty -- pearl grays and the wings of an angel. I must go on an errand (including bigger scale bird food) and will try to take photo later...

So glad to have this truly pigeon loving place to turn to...

The rehaber woman sounded pretty well versed in their policies -- I had almost said dogmas. My sense is, they mean the best, but if over-busy, limited resources... well. I pressed to be allowed to get an evaluation upon delivery, but there was a very firm "No." I doubt I'd get very far with them, beyond the first conversation -- sounded mighty well formulated policy, to me....
 

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Hi Forest,
All rehab organizations are more interested in endangered wildlife than pigeons and this is natural. Once out of your hands, you do not know what is actually his fate. There was an warning here in SA in the newspapers not to give for free pet birds as they are often used as snake food. This findings make you think.
Little fellow likes you and the warmth you giving him so if he doesn’t bond to you, you will to him for sure.
Disappearing pigeons is absolutely normal condition as their life expectancy as feral birds is 2.5 to 3 years even without mass poisoning or other type of bird controll.
 

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Forest, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mother...and everything being so upside down...I may be going out on a limb here (funny pun given the bird thing), but did you ever think dear ol mom may have had some say in this little angel landing square in your path?In all seriousness it does seem as it acting very loving towards you straight away and on top of that with everything that is going on hectic in your world perhaps the darlin was brought to you to remind you of peaceful things!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Pardon my disappearance! My keyboard gave out shortly after my last entry, and I had to go replace it!
I've been pestering Charis directly, and just wanted to let you all know little bird is doing well. He's also so preternaturally 'tame' that it makes us to wonder whether he could've been a baby hand raised by someone else and released prematurely (and too human bonded). Seems so improbable, but it fits the symptoms.

He was all by himself, too, no flock nearby, poor wee thing. Portraits:


More later! Thank you all so much!
 

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It's so cute!


Wow, you've just had it all happen, huh?

I'm sure things will work out!
Charis is for sure a good person to go to for the help and advice :).

Thank you for taking this one in!
-Hilary
 

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Forest...you have not been pestering me.:)
 

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What a beautiful dark Blue Bar, Forest!!

What are you going to name him???

Sending Hugs and Scritches from

Shi & Mr. Squeaks/Dom/Gimie/WoeBeGone :)
 

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Such a lovely bird you have :) Even I found a feral baby three weeks back who was very young to eat or fly on her own. I have hand feed her for nearly two weeks and now she is doing really good. Her flying skills are not so good as of now, but I am sure she will learn. She makes my days so happy & lively:)

Best of luck with your bird.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thought I would have good news, but not so, alas. Thoughts needed.

Hello friends,
I would've reported in much sooner, but have been swept off in much rather frantic work and etc. I likely sound a little hysterical in this e-mail; I feel I reach the end of my wits, and have been low on wits for some time.

A grave problem:
It seemed this sweet pigeon was doing well: took him/her to the vet, went through ten days of metronidazole for coccidia. Seemed to work: he became much more feisty and playful. So dear. But then a couple of days ago
respiratory symptoms: sneezing, watery clear nasal discharge, more apathetic. So I took him back to the vet today. She believes it's a virus. She speculates "pigeon herpes virus" which she likened to human & feline herpes. In which case, he'll be permanently potentially infectious. The coccidia is also still present.

I've been keeping him/her in quarantine as best I can from my dove, though it's extremely difficult in this space -- I've got only two rooms (I rent out the rest of the house), and will soon have to fill one of those two up with the boxes. I'll both live and work (art & design) in that one room; very tight. I was counting the days to end of quarantine. I cannot keep it up indefinitely in this space: much perhaps infectious clothing & towels, no washing machine, and while I can wipe down the door knobs, etc, I'm perpetually having to go room to room. Very, very imperfect quarantine.

I am terrified that my dove, longtime companion, has likely already been exposed despite my best efforts. He already has enough to deal with: no flight, and a bit of arthritis. I fear a virus would either take him or make his life miserable.

And what will become of this sweet, inquisitive pigeon. I had in any case realized I simply don't have what this bird needs longterm: real flying space and, ideally, pigeon company. I would go to all necessary lengths to get him to someone who had space for him to fly, and other pigeons. I thought even of flying (airplane wise) with him to a new home; I must do some travel, and might've found someone within reach. I'm well set up for a disabled dove, but with essentially one room for the foreseeable future, and my work being sculpture -- fragile art work all over the place -- I cannot offer this pigeon what he/she really needs. I thought of building something, but time and space -- they are not there, and won't be for a long time. I built a decent holding cage, and that's about the best I can do. But the illness issue...

If this little pigeon should be a viral carrier, how can I find a home for him? It could be a hazard to anyone with birds.

Most harrowing, I fear for my dove: that everyday in this situation is a greater risk to him.

In truth I am exhausted; no brain, as is probably evident. I would value your thoughts!
 

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Forest...first, if the vet was treating for coccidia, she gave you the wrong medication so it's no wonder the bird still has coccidia. She gave you medication for canker. She needs to give you albon oral suspension.
I don't know what PHV means but I am supposing she meant PMV. If so...the symptoms don't match up.
Tell me...is the bird loosing feathers? Often when they go through a molt, they sneeze.
Don't panic just yet because I think this is solvable. Do you hear any rattling sound coming from the bird's lungs?
 

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Phv

Do you see any opf these symptoms?


Signs: PHV causes upper respiratory signs. These include reddening of the eye, cere and lids, nasal discharges, graying and filming of the mouth and oral cavity, and occasionally open-mouthed breathing. These respiratory signs and discharges are referred to as "catarrh." Other symptoms include fluffed posture, depression, diarrhea, weakness during flight and anorexia.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ah thank you, Charis.
She wasn't thinking PMV: her thought was "Pigeon Herpes Virus." She likened it to human and feline herpes. I'd not heard of this...??
It did seem something of a leap, given the symptoms: the sneezing, nasal discharge (clear and runny, not constant), and some seeming lethargy compared to the previous several days behavior.

No audible rattling from the lungs -- I hear none, and neither did the vet with a stethoscope.

The bird is eating, dropping plentiful.

I should've written here first, I suspect, but wanted to get to the vet before the long weekend. This vet is listed as an avian vet, but I gather she has seen few pigeons; probably has dealt more with pet hook-bills. She said she would do some more reading this weekend -- I believe she was judging more from reference than from experience.

As you can tell from my bodice-rippin' writing style today, I'm poised for hysteria just now, or I'd have waited to get thoughts from this truly pigeon knowing group...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The eye, lids and cere all look good and normal to me.

The mouth: it doesn’t look at all filmed, and mostly a healthy pink. The tip of the tongue looks a little grayish, but it’s subtle; I would’ve taken it for natural pigmentation were we not looking for this.

There was nasal discharge: clear, runny. I noticed it once yesterday.

The only open mouthed breathing I’ve seen was briefly at the vet’s; I assumed that was stress. I will watch.

There’s been a drop in energy level the last two days: more sitting in a sleep posture, a bit of fluffing in that posture, though not what I’d call extreme. Less feistiness and playfulness seeming, fewer vocalizations. Going through voice change, by the way. Less desire to fly. Would prefer to sit on my hand while out of the cage -- was flying about vigorously a few days ago.

Really, the above would’ve left me on the line -- fairly subtle in degree. It was in combination with the sneezing and nasal discharge that tipped me.

Not much sign of molting.

Droppings: plenty of them, some a little bit on the lighter green side, but mostly well formed. Not anorexia -- still eating well.

I will obtain the albon oral suspension!
 

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How is he drinking his water???? Are you possitive, stuff isn't coming when he goes to make a noise???


My pigeon Junebug, would have stuff come up from its crop, when it first started to learn how to coo. It even had water coming out of its nose, if it put its beak to far in or tried making a noise to soon. They also go through a time of not want to be handled...that is normal.

Could you post another picture of the bird...some on here can tell by looking if the bird is sick.

Is its mouth clear?

-Hilly
 
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