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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a wood pigeon on our lane yesterday which has obviously been attacked by something. It has lost all of its tail feathers, a lot of its wing feathers and its back has been severely plucked. The poor thing looks so sore. However, it's still really strong and feisty so I'm loathed to just have it put down. I put it in our shed with some water and grain. It has had some water (it was held to drink as it's really wobbly - presumably because it has no tail feathers etc. ?) and has eaten some grain. Will it's feathers grow back well and if so how long will it take ? I would really appreciate some advice.
 

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can you post a picture of him so we can be sure he's not a baby that needs some handfeeding still?
where are you located, there may be a rescue near by
if he was attacked by a cat he will need a round of antibiotics right away.
really check him over for puncture wounds lifting all the feathers, if i even slightly expect a cat attack i give them antibiotics to be on the safe side, saliva from the cats mouth is deadly to a bird and it only takes a little pin prick from a tooth or nail to get them sick and they can die very quickly.
is his wing resting in the same position as the other one.
feathers can take a while, i don't have an exact time line for you, it will take longer if they are broken as opposed to completely plucked out
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick response, altgirl35. I will go and double check. Can't really tell if it's holding a wing differently as he's quite wobbly (is that a lack of tail feathers ?) but like I said, really strong trying to flap its wings when I hold him - poor thing's scared though.
 

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Woodies can get frightened to death, so move slowly when you are around him and if he starts panting with his mouth open stop what you are doing and leave him for a while.

Does he have his white collar? If not, does he have any yellow fuzz?

I think that he might have been hit by a car. When a pigeon gets hit by a car it can lose all the white downy feathers on its back, their back will look raw, bloody and featherless which can give the impression that they have been plucked. Wood pigeons are even more likely than other birds to lose feathers this way...were there a lot of small feathers in the lane when you found him?

If the flesh on its back has been torn away it could have fallen victim to a sparrowhawk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think you're right, Feefo ! There were a lot of small white feathers nearby and I actually thought it may be the local sparrowhawk as there was no sign of the bird at that point. His back is as you described - raw looking - but there are no gashes. Some people treat our lane as a racetrack so a car sounds the likely suspect to me. I can't see any yellow fuzz and he has a very thin, patchy (from what I can make out) white collar. Thanks for the warning about wood pigeons scaring easily - I'll be extra careful. I don't want to make him any more miserable/scared than he is, so do you think I should hand him over to the vet ? There aren't any wildlife rescue centres as such around here and I don't want to botch his healing process or prolong his agony.
 

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A vet would just put him down, so don't do that. And until we know whether he will be able to fly again it might be dangerous to hand him to a sanctuary unless it is one that has a no kill policy.

He is a juvenile just going into adulthood so I would say this year's bird. He should be able to eat and drink on his own.

Can you let me know your rough location (nearest City) ? There might be a member who can take him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
west cumbria - I'm waiting to speak to someone from Muncaster Owl Centre as they may help wild birds. There would have to be a promise that he wouldn't become an Eagle Owl's breakfast though ! I'll see what they say. Do you have someone near us ?
 

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I would worry about an owl sanctuary, but I take my rescue wood pigeons to the Wing and a Prayer Owl and Wild Bird Haven, where I know they will be safe! :)

I don't know how far you are from :

Knox Wood Bird Sanctuary and Wildlife Rescue
Aikton
Carlisle
Cumbria
Postcode: CA7 0LA
Telephone: 01697 343812

They say they deal with all wildlife, but always double check for pigeons!

There is also
Carlisle Wildlife Rescue
47 Cummersdale Road
Carlisle
Cumbria
CA2 6AX
Telephone: 01228 541296

Same reservations re pigeons. Poor little birds they are the gentlest of creatures yet get so little compassion!
 

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Move quickly...that pigeon may well need some meds and supportive care very soon
 
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