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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I saw a very wet looking, adult black pigeon sitting on the sidewalk in the underhang of the Bloomingdale's department store on Mission Street in San Francisco. I called animal care and control, but the dispatcher wasn't sure how long it would be before someone could come out. After a couple of minutes, someone walked by the pigeon so he started to walk towards the curb. He was pecking for food and walking normally with two healthy feet, and flapped both wings at one point. I came back in about 15 minutes and he had moved down a block but was still on the sidewalk against another building. I left him some wheat thin crackers which he was eating when I left again. About ten minutes later I drove by, but didn't see him anymore. It has been raining, but the other birds looked dry. I felt bad leaving him, but was unsure what to do. I'm guessing he is old and sick, and normally pigeon feathers repel water?
 

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Can you go get him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can look for him again, but it's about 30 mins. away, and now about 3 hours ago and about to get dark so not sure if I can find him even if I go down there. I might be able to look for him again tomorrow. If I can get him, I could put him in the basement away from my cats and see if I can help him.
 

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I hope you find this pigeon and I promise you won't regret helping him. Pigeons are far more special creatures than we give them credit. He will change your life, if you let him.
 

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I sent a link to this thread to one of our members in SF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I went back to look for him. I last saw him around 1PM then circled the blocks which took about 5-10 mins due to traffic, twice in a car and didn't see him. I went back about 5PM and walked for 45 minutes a block radius and couldn't find him. I questioned the parking lot attendant and a janitor. Not a pigeon to be seen at twilight. If no one harmed him, it's pretty warm out tonight. Can a bird with wet feathers fly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update - sad end

I just spoke with S.F. Animal Care and Control, a live person at 7PM who answered and looked up my call from earlier today. I tried to call them at 5PM on the way down there but Sprint 411 sent me to a busy tone. Despite the way the dispatcher sounded about availability, ACC went by and picked up the pigeon within an hour, which explains why he suddenly disappeared around 1PM. The notes said he was very sick with a "weird" skin disease. He was very oily and probably had ingested something. He was euthanized. I'm sorry it turned out this way.

Thanks to all for your posts.
 

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That's a shame. He probably had pox, which they do recover from. It looks really bad and so the tendency is to euthanize without giving the bird the time and support needed to recover.
 

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l took a trip down there at 6PM - am surprised ACC even responded :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you Jaye for going down there.

It sounds like ACC wasn't sure if it was a disease or oil related. I'm looking for a picture of pigeon pox now myself.
 

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That is a very sad end. Jaye thanks for trying to save the poor bird.

Cart1997, now you know to catch the pigeon and then contact people on here so that the bird can get the help it needs instead of being eunthanized. Lesson learned, and at least you cared enough to learn from it. Thank you. min

I just reread what I wrote above and it sounded alittle mean, and I didn't want it to sound that way. So I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to try to help this bird. You did more than a lot of people would do. Thanks again. min
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What just.answer Bird Veterinary says

Just.answer has me wondering if it's due to oil, how he got oiled. He LOOKED oiled.

"Hello, I'm Dr. Bob. There are two different forms of pigeon pox: Cutaneous form and Diphtheroid form. These are technical terms to describe lesions on the skin (cutaneous) or mouth and throat (diphtheroid) The lesions are called papules and look like typical chicken pox lesions - raised scabby spots.
The wet and oily appearance you've described really doesn't match either of these forms.
Oil on birds causes them to rapidly lose body heat and may also be toxic if ingested. That alone may have caused the poor thing's condition..."
 

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Thank you for taking the time and effort you did to help this bird. A lot of us rescuers in the SF area are used to getting pigeons covered with oil, as many of them use the Bay as their only bathing source. :eek: Dawn takes the oil away over time with gentle baths. As for Pox or any other disease, they are all treatable in one form or another, and thought ACC tries hard to do their best for animals, they are not very pigeon-savvy and often just put them to sleep rather than try to fix them. You did the best you could and next time, you know; it's not your fault! Really, thank you again for trying to help him. At least he passed on in a warm and dry place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I haven't heard back from ACC. I left a message with the driver who had both picked up the bird and euthanized him but haven't heard back from her for more information. According to the notes, he was both oily and scabby and apparently they decided he was too debilitated. ACC said that they contract with the Peninsula Humane Society for wild animals but they don't accept pigeons; at the same time she said ACC does have someone in house who will work with them. I agree it sounds like they're not too expert judging by the "weird skin disease" diagnosis (not too technical). Thanks for all your support.
 

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Pigeons often get oily when they bathe in puddles on the street that have all the crap from cars in them.

The ACC doesn't give much of a damn about helping an oily pigeon beyond killing him. Much as I like some of the people working there, it is better to not have them involved.
 
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I haven't heard back from ACC. I left a message with the driver who had both picked up the bird and euthanized him but haven't heard back from her for more information. According to the notes, he was both oily and scabby and apparently they decided he was too debilitated. ACC said that they contract with the Peninsula Humane Society for wild animals but they don't accept pigeons; at the same time she said ACC does have someone in house who will work with them. I agree it sounds like they're not too expert judging by the "weird skin disease" diagnosis (not too technical). Thanks for all your support.
cart just know there are better people out there that are more pigeon oriented that can help these treasures of the streets ,thanks for trying thou ..Merry Christmas ;)
 
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