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I find this poster interesting:

pigeon color morphs

It comes from Project PigeonWatch: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pigeonwatch

I would really love a book with photos of all the pigeon breeds and colours in the world. I’m sure that would be a very big book. While I don’t really agree with some of the fancy pigeon breeds (based on animal welfare views. I mean, some pigeons can barely walk properly or even feed their own babies!) I think there are some amazing shapes and colours out there.

The best colours are on pigeons that have a mixed background (the pied pigeons), then you get pigeons with patches of different colour on them. I tend to lean towards white pigeons with brown and grey patches on them. Very pretty. We have one that comes to our garden to raid the bird feeder and he/she is gorgeous. Other striking pigeons are really dark grey, almost black ones with a few white wing feathers.

At my workplace they have two chocolate brown archangel pigeons and they really attract peoples attention. :)


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Georgie on her nest

When Georgie started laying eggs on a regular basis we decided that she needed a proper nest, so we bought her a guinea-pig nest from the pet shop. It is perfect: soft, has a border and is machine washable. Before we got her this nest Georgie used to try to make one from our jumpers or fleeces that were left on the sofa. Now, whenever we know she’s about to lay an egg, we take her nest out and let her line it with shredded kitchen-roll. Georgie loves it.

We then noticed that occasionally Elmo seemed to make a nest on our jumpers so we decided to get him a nest too. And here’s how he’s taken to it:

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Elmo loves his nest!


First installment of our Video Fridays, when we’ll post a different pigeon videoclip that we’ve found on the net. Enjoy!

This is wonderful:

So sweet. :D


A few people have asked us why we have pigeons as pets. I know it seems an unusual choice when you first hear it but actually there are many people out there who have pigeons as pets, be it because they found a baby pigeon and hand-reared it, they have pigeons in aviaries for show or simply for the love of having them, or, like me, they work at a rescue centre and end up taking some of their work home. :)

Having non-flighted pigeons living in your home is a bit different than having flighted pigeons. We had a flighted pigeon, Dora, living we us for a while and it was a completely different scene. You have to be extra careful about windows, you have more droppings to pick up at higher levels (e.g. bookshelves, cabinets, down door frames) and you may have more feathers and featherdust floating down at you.

Non-flighted pigeons are restricted in their movement and I find that they are easier to clean up after and to keep an eye on. I’m not advocating in any way that you wing-clip or harm your bird to make it unable to fly. Flying is a born right for all birds (except, of course, the non-flighted species) and it is cruel to take that away from them (I guess it may be the equivalent of a person being wheelchair bound).

The reality of keeping any animal is that you will need to care for them constantly. It is not something to take on lightly. My husband and I have previously cared for dogs, cats, mice, snakes, rabbits, chickens, tortoises, fish, pigs, rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, budgerigars, cockatiels and hamsters in our childhood and teenage years. Each species have their own needs and requirements but the principle is there: daily fresh food and water, clean bedding, proper housing and temperature, exercise (where applicable. Fancy taking a fish for a swim!) and human company.

However, I have to say that tame and imprinted pigeons are one of the most demanding animals I’ve had. Since both Georgie and Elmo are imprinted on humans they think that we are the same species. That means they aren’t happy unless they are in our company. If we were to put both Elmo and George in an aviary with other pigeons they wouldn’t want to be there; they’d be scared, lonely and become depressed. This means that we have George and Elmo living in our flat, sharing our sofa, floorspace, laps and food. And we do this gladly!

Anyone who meets Elmo thinks he’s the coolest pigeon alive. How could they not when they see him prancing excitedly up to them, cooing, bowing and fanning his tail out in greeting? Who couldn’t fall in love with him?! :)

So when people give me a weird look when I tell them I have two disabled pigeons living with me I simply smile and invite them to come meet them. They’ll soon change their views.

:D


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Georgie yawning

Pigeon yawning. So very funny and sweet.

We’ve noticed that when Georgie or Elmo are in the sunlight – sunbathing or otherwise enjoying the warmth – they start to yawn. Every minute or so in the sun will cause them to yawn. Why is that?

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Georgie giving it her best! :)


We have this rule in our household, called The Pigeon Rule, and it goes something like this: if someone has a pigeon on them then they are exempt from doing anything.

For example:

“Honey, can you open the window please?”

“Sorry, got a pigeon on me.”

“Oh, ok. I’ll do it myself then.”

This rule started because Elmo and Georgie would (and still do) fall alseep on our lap and we were (and still are) reluctant to disturb them to get up. So whoever is pigeon free has to do the chore. … The Pigeon Rule has led to some people (no names mentioned… ahemRichardahem) to cheat:

“Honey, can you please do the dishes?”

“Sorry, got a pigeon on me,” as he picks up Elmo and places him on his lap.

“Is that so? … Well, so do I!” Picking up Georgie.

Maybe we need some ground rules established for The Pigeon Rule. :D


Georgie girl has bonded to me and doesn’t always play nice with Richard but the best way for him to bring out her good side is to sing to her, which she loves. She’ll fan her tail out and run to you. If she’s already on you she’ll leap towards your face in her eagerness to be near your head (it seems that she wants to be where you head is, so she’ll go from one shoulder to the other in her attempt to be where your head is. … It’s quite funny).

My favourite song to sing to Georgie comes from an episode of The Simpsons. In it, Homer sells his Duff Blimp ticket to enter Lisa into a beauty pagent and he’s at Moe’s bar lamenting the loss of the ride. He sings the following words: “Hey there, blimpy boy, flying through the sky so fancy free.”

Georgie likes it when I sing this: “Hey there, Georgie girl, flying through the sky so fancy free.” :D


There was once a time when my husband and I could sit down and have a meal with no interruptions or drama. Our two pigeons have changed this. What should be an easy sit down meal becomes a war ground – a pigeon on either side of us, staring at our food, climbing onto our lap towards the food. Any unattended food has to be guarded by the remaining person lest Elmo jumps onto the plate. Most meals must be eaten with our bodies leant over the plates, protecting them from the pigeon trying to get to it.

Why don’t we simply put our pigeons away while we eat? That would be a simple solution but we don’t want to. Call us overindulgent if you wish! :)

The smell of popcorn, as mentioned in previous posts, is enough to get Georgie’s and Elmo’s beaks watering. Other welcomed food are oven-baked chips and pancakes. Elmo is particularly partial to anything green such as lettuce and cabbage, however, his second all time favourite is rice mixed with any kind of meat, e.g. beef strogonoff and chili con carne. Funnily enough Elmo won’t touch plain cooked rice. It must have some sort of meaty sauce mixed with it.

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Elmo tucking into pizza!


Today has been one of those lovely Saturdays we always wish for.

It began at 7.30am with Elmo cooing softly on the bedside table. He had been awake for a while since it was light outside and started cooing when he saw Richard move in the bed. I decided that it was a bit too early to get up, being Saturday and all, so dozed off to wake up an hour later quite relaxed and rested.

Elmo greeted us as usual and when we didn’t pay enough attention to him he jumped onto our pillows by our heads and cooed. As soon as we opened the bedroom door we heard Georgie leap from her perch in her cage. She was eager to get out and greet us too.

The day was a cold one but sunny and clear. George came to the bed too and we put her in a sunny spot. She settled down and sunbathed in all her beauty, yawning every minute or so (why do pigeons yawn in the sun?).

After a lazy morning Richard and I went to my work to collect three fancy pigeons to deliver them to their new home. Although I don’t know the circumstances of their capture, the three pigeons cannot be released in the ‘wild’ since they are of a fancy breed and wouldn’t do well in the ‘wild’. I tried finding out what breed the pigeons are, however, after searching the net I only found out that one is a Lahore. Anyone know what the other two are? (See photos below.)

After a quick shop and lunch in town we returned home to clean and refill the bird feeders in our garden (with three pigeons watching our every move from the neighbouring house and a robin watching us from the hedge). Elmo came out with us for a walk in the grass – an activity he loves.

We then settled onto the sofa to watch a Disney movie (my favourite type! :) ). Georgie stood by my head on the backrest, pecking the side of my face and ear gently, and Elmo fell asleep by our side. It was so perfect and peaceful. Pigeons, sun and no worries. :)

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Lahore

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-12°C means little to this little guy :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0mvHXKg2bI