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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My son is on the autistic spectrum, but on the high end. He's very talented when it comes to fixing many things, particularly engines. Autistic people aren't typically good at making friends. My son's best friend has been a pigeon for a couple years. Moe likes to hang out with my son when he's working on engines, or whatever he's doing. She followed him everywhere. She never went much farther than a few houses away when flying. She went missing yesterday. We assumed she wanted to do some exploring. I decided to look through some security camera footage to see what I might find. My heart sank when I saw a Cooper's Hawk around my house. My son was with Moe the entire time, except to walk into our garage a couple of times. One time he walked into the garage, Moe flew to the back of the house. I saw in the security footage, the hawk flew to the side of the house. I could see Moe was aware of the hawk. She circled back to the front, then the hawk went to the back. Eventually, Moe ended up in the back again and the hawk came in to frame pursuing her. She took flight with the hawk very close behind. I assume the hawk caught her. She had the greatest personality and I will miss her. What hurts most is my son lost a friend. I haven't told him I saw the hawk in pursuit. He thinks she just flew away and might come back. As I was looking through the security footage, I saw him greet her in the morning. He spent about 15 minutes in the loft with her, giving her a kiss on the neck before bringing her out. It tears me up to see that. I apologize for coming on here with such a downer of a story, but I'm feeling sad and wanted to share hoping to find some comfort among friends of pigeons.

https://moeoctober2016.shutterfly.com/pictures/9
 

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Gee, I'm so sorry to hear all that. It must have been awful for you to watch the video. I'm sorry for both the bird and your son. Hard to lose any bird that way, but even more so when it is a special bird. Hawks right now are bad. Maybe not the best time to be letting them out. Again, I'm really sorry.

Edit: Just went in and looked at your photo. That's a very nice pic of your son and his pal. I know he will really miss her.
 

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Very touching story. Unless you found feathers though I would not assume the bird is gone. Our male Blue accidentally escaped for two days. It was a terrible long two days. He had never been released. As he was finally returning cautiously to the shed, reluctant to fly back in, a red railed hawk landed right next to him on the shed roof and to my horror chased him into nearby trees, right behind him and nearly catching him. I was afraid he was gone but he escaped. So I am hoping against hope Moe made it and will return. The picture of Moe and your son together is priceless. Please look for Moe to see if he got away. I am very sorry for the loss of your sons friend if Moe did not get away.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I went looking for feathers last night to get them before my son might find them, and found none. I'll check again today. If I don't find feathers, I'll hold out hope she'll come home. Maybe I'll get more than 3 hours sleep tonight. All I could think about when I closed my eyes was that sweet bird being mauled by a hawk. I'm glad I posted something here. I feel a little better now.
 

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When Blue got loose and nearly caught by the hawk, I couldn't sleep either picturing the worst. I crawled through weeds under the trees over and over but found no feathers. But pigeons are pretty good at evading if they see the threat. So I hope your bird comes home.
 

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Hoping for the best. I know your son loved that bird. I had a similar situation with me and a bird when I was 19-20 and loved that pigeon. He did everything with me.
 

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My daughter had a pet pigeon like your son and one day she was on the deck with it and a hawk came out of nowhere. The pigeon took off with the hawk mere inches away from her flying out of site. We were lucky 2 days later the pigeon was back. Hope you have the same ending.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I sincerely appreciate all the encouraging comments. Your experiences have convinced me she very well could have escaped and may return. You have no idea how your stories are affecting my day. As I said before, I'm glad I came here. Thank you all VERY much.
 

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As a parent I can imagine your heartache for your son with the loss of his lovely pal and of course for his beautiful friend too - it would tear me up also and be hard to get those images out of my mind. I'm going to stay positive though and keep everything crossed that your assumption is wrong and that his pal comes home in a day or two and was just chased off her patch, returning when she finds her bearings. Don't give up hope because pigeons are pretty clever creatures and she won't return until she thinks her oath home is safe.
 

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I wish you and your son the very best on your birds return. I also lost a pet bird a few years ago when we moved. Every once in a while I will see a white one flying with a flock of ferals a few blocks away. I like to believe that it is him and that he is doing well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I should probably post this question somewhere else, but thought I might start here. It's not quite a week now, but Moe has still not returned. I have checked with a couple of local folks that raise pigeons (one is a bird rehabber) for obtaining another pigeon. The rehabber has a racing pigeon she said the owner no longer wanted because it lost a race. If we ultimately take the racer pigeon, isn't there a chance he will fly back to his original owner?

We went back to where we found Moe, thinking maybe she flew back to where she was born. While there, my son noticed chirping from a brood of pigeon chicks high on a support beam (under an interstate bridge). Is there a law against taking a juvenile pigeon from a nest? I think we would wait a bit longer before even exploring that option. I'd rather the parents raise them a little longer. Either way, is there a law against taking a juvenile pigeon? I would have to take an extension ladder with me to access the birds. The location is off a nature trail maintained by the state of Indiana. LOL, now that I say it like that, surely taking a bird can't be legal.

This is an edit to this particular post. The rehabber actually has a juvenile pigeon that will work well, so we're goin that route.

We're still hoping Moe returns as you can't really replace a beloved pet. But, exploring options just in case.
 

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I'm sorry your bird has not returned. If you are looking for another one for a pet I would highly recommend getting a young one that may need hand fed for a week or so. If you get a older one I think odds of him taming like the one you lost are pretty small. Good luck to you whatever you choose and sorry again for your loss. If you can find a local breeder maybe someone will give you a young one out of the nest.
 

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Oh I'm gutted the post wasn't that Moe had returned, when I saw your thread re opened I was full of hope. Well all I can say is I hope if you rear a chick it's a female because my five are all hand reared from eggs I hatched and the two young feral boys are terrors ATM, hormones all over the place I expect and have a pop at me whenever they get the chance, lol. The females are sweet as pie as is my tumbler male - so hand rearing goes out the window when they're looking for a mate, they're still very tame and are always sitting on me but if I touch them - ouch! Ha ha, little devils but full of charm all the same.
My ferals were eggs from nests about to be destroyed, tumbler just excess to what their breeder wanted but, as you know, so rewarding to raise them yourself. Here no one gives a damn about beautiful pigeons and they are culled en masse because they are called vermin, so no one would care if you took a chick but laws vary even here from city to city as they do where you are I expect.
Good luck with your squab and please update us - hopefully you'll end up with two and Moe will return to surprise you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
FredaH, we certainly haven't given up hope. If I don't have hope, I literally have nightmares. Seeing the Cooper's Hawk in pursuit really bothered and still bothers me. I take some comfort in the fact we didn't find any feathers in several of our neighbor's yards. If only everyone could experience the joy of raising a pigeon. Moe IS a sweet girl. It's amazing how much personality a pigeon can have. There's something magical about them, IMO. They're certainly not vermin as far as I'm concerned. I promise, I'll keep you posted.

I bought a big pack of bottle rockets. If ever there's a hawk circling my house, I stop what I'm doing an shoot a few up at them. I'm sure there are some bird lovers that will not like me for that, but my opinion of the hawk has forever changed. I know they need to eat, but they're not going to eat around my house.
 

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Yes nature can be very cruel but, as you say, they all have to eat. I don't know how I'd feel if I saw something like you've seen, the fact that your son was so attached too makes it even worse because you grieve for Moe and him, I know how sad that is as a parent. Keeping everything crossed that she comes home eventually because they are such adorable creatures, each one of mine is totally individual in character and I never knew what a bond we could have with a pigeon until I actually had my own. I'd be devastated to lose any of them and you son must be pretty concerned about her too. Wishing you all the luck in the world that she returns to her caring family some day soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all for you kind posts.
 

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Not too many on here are fans of hawks. By taking another bird outside, you are taking the same risk. There have been people that had a pigeon grabbed off their shoulder by a hawk. They're very bold. I have to agree that a hand fed youngster will normally be much tamer than another bird just a few months older. And males can be great pets too, where as sometimes a female is too clingy. So all depends on the bird. Also with a male, you don't have to deal with the egg laying and nesting half the time, or the reproductive problems that can accompany a female. So something to be said for males as well. I hope that if the hawk didn't get your bird that she is able to get back home, as most owned birds that get lost don't fare well on their own. She may still come back. Here's hoping.
 

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Am still hoping Moe will return. Either a squeaker or a rescued rehab racer will get tame over time. Personally would adopt the adult because we lost a squeaker to circo so, we only adopt adults now. An adult would probably take longer to tame. But ours have gotten quite tame. Our first bird was a rescued injured adult feral, Phoebe, and none of our later birds ever matched her wonderful living personality. If you can, would rescue a deserving bird rather than taking a youngster from a nest. Even a hand fed youngster will get bitey and slapped for a while when he or she reaches adolescence but that won't last. As people have mentioned, you should not let the new pigeon outside where Hawks hang out. Hope Moe comes back. If not hope you find a really wonderful sweet bird. Would put a lost ad on Craigslist asking if anyone sees Moe to contact you.
 

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Hand raised babies are the friendliest. Yes the older birds can usually be tamed, but not like a hand fed baby. They have no fear of you, as they look at you like their parent. I hope Moe comes back too.
 
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