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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I am currently caring for a wood pigeon. I picked 'him' up from the side of the road, I was driving and saw something rolling around. I turned round and he had managed to get himself on the path and was walking along. So I figured I would leave him there, but when I drove past again a couple of hours later he was still there sheltering by a wall outside someone's house. I decided that I couldn't leave him there, especially as the weather wasn't great at that time.

Upon getting him home, I put him in a wooden guinea pig hutch and tried to let him calm down as he seemed to very stressed, I was unsure if he would make it through the night but he did! On closer inspection, I identified that he seemed to be a fledgling wood pigeon. I read up about them and was unsure whether I should really have picked him up, but I felt it was the right thing to do at the time and it wasn't something I could undo.

I went to the pet shop the next morning and purchased some egg food and seeds. I obviously put water in the cage with him and also put some moist egg food down, however, he wasn't at all interested in eating it. With the help of my family I syringe-fed him some egg food and he seemed to tolerate it fairly well, although he grew feistier and feistier as time went on. After 2/3 days I put seed and egg food in the cage for him and he is now eating by himself. However, I am a little concerned about whether he is drinking. He doesn't eat or drink when i'm around and I haven't seen any drastic reductions in the water in the bowl, although it gets changed on a daily basis. I noticed that his droppings were greener and waterier when he was being syringe fed the fairly watery egg food, but now he is eating more solid food it is dark brown and solid. I can still see urates and some urine, but I just worry he is becoming dehydrated. We have put his beak in a water bowl and he drank then, do you think it will be necessary to keep doing this, or should he be doing this by himself?

Another thing is that he is currently in a small cage in the house, which is definitely not suitable for long-term use and my ultimate aim is to release him if possible. I was planning to purchase a small outdoor aviary and get him acclimatised out there and see how he is flying (when he has jumped out of the cage when i've been changing the food or water he does flap his wings and gets slight lift-off but is definitely not flying properly as far as I can see). He did have a small injury under one of his wings, it still looks red. We haven't done anything to treat it as it was not bleeding and we figured it was from being blown around/falling out of the tree rather than being bitten by a cat or something, as he is unable to fly we don't believe he would have escaped alive in that scenario. I have bought some antiseptic suitable for birds that I was considering putting on, but my dad suggested it should be left alone due to looking mostly healed rather than being an open wound.

I would ideally like to keep him and release him myself, but I need to do what's right for him and his chances of survival rather than what's right for me. Will he need to be socialised with other birds prior to release? It's important to me to get this right and I'd appreciate any comments on what I can do to help him and have a successful release. We have had him for 9 days now.

Many thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Apologies for the pictures being so large! The first two are of him just after being picked up and the last is him now
 

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Yes I am in the UK, I didn’t know that group existed so thank you! I tried to find a wildlife rehabilitator and then he said that he would usually seek a specialist for a bird that young so that wasn’t much help. I’ve been kinda going it alone so far and just doing my best. I’ll see if I can reach out to them, although I’m guess they’re probably miles away given the results of my searches so far.
 

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If you can't get him to the rescue group, an aviary outside sounds like a good idea. Keep him inside there for another month or so, he is still very young. He must be able to eat all kinds of seeds and be able to fly well before release. He will probably stick around, so you will have to leave out food and water for him after releasing.

When you think he is ready to go, just open the door of the aviary and let him venture out by himself.

To get him to drink water, you can "play" with the water by using your fingers. That usually gets them interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the response Marina B, I have been in contact with a wildlife rescue organisation which is around an hour away. They say that they have an aviary where he would be kept with other juveniles and adults and that he would learn the life skills from them before being released, but it's soft release and they can come and go as they please. It makes me nervous the idea of him suddenly being thrust in with other birds and I love the idea of him returning to see me, but I think i'm just being selfish with that, as I've read that socialisation with other birds is really important. I feel a bit torn at the moment but deep down I know what is likely to be best for him. I don't think i'd be able to afford an aviary big enough that he'd be able to learn to fly in the same way that he would there. I just don't know if they'll even be able to identify my little guy once he's in with other birds and whether they will be able to keep a close enough eye to protect him if needed :(
 

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If there is a rescue group like that, get him there. That is his best chance for survival in the wild, and the best thing you could do for him.
Don't worry, they will keep watch over all their birds, and will know to help him if he needs it. His best chance of survival would be to spend time with these other birds. You took him in so young, and he didn't have the chance of learning things from his parents. You would truly be giving him a second chance. Keeping him, you cannot do what is best for him or teach him how to survive in the wild.
 
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