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Elmo clearly doesn’t have the same body image as most other pigeons. The other day I actually saw him run away from a feather that was sticking out oddly from his wing! I find it hard to describe and you had to be there to really understand how hilarious and absurd he was behaving. Elmo was running away from a feather that was sticking out of his wing!!!! How ridiculous is that?! (Richard has previously reported Elmo’s funny feather behaviour: Elmo the human pigeon)

Another behaviour that makes me laugh is sometimes when Richard gets up to get a drink Elmo will chase after him like he’s afraid Richard will disappear. He is so quick!

And Georgie has her funny behaviour too. When she’s in her real lovey dovey mood she’ll stick to me like glue. When I lie on the sofa watching TV Georgie insists on sitting right under my chin. It would be alright if she only didn’t move about so much (she likes to move her legs back and forth as if she’s making a nest). If I’m not wearing a jumper or high-necked shirt then she really scratches up my neck and chest. Ouch.


Today was officially Elmo’s live webcam debut.

In the morning he spent most of his time at his new favourite location: the window ledge! Here he likes to watch the feral pigeons visiting the garden for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also to catch a glimpse of our lovely neighbour who also feeds the birds in our (shared) garden.

Then, after lunch, Elmo got camera shy and hid for a few hours by the door out of sight of the webcam. I image he just fell asleep. :)

I don’t know how many people logged on to see him live, but I hope you weren’t too disappointed when Elmo went out of view for so long. To be honest, Elmo does spend a lot of his time sleeping so you might not be very entertained when you go to view him on the webcam. But it is nice to check in on him in real time and see what he’s doing.

PigeonCam Snapshot

Elmo on the window ledge


Welcome to PigeonCam!

We bought an IP camera in order to keep an eye on our precious pets while we are away on holiday. It’s a great bit of hardware and I’d recommend it to anyone. To access our PigeonCam click on the “PigeonCam” icon on the right of our website. It is early days yet with this so please bear with us. Changes may later occur. At the moment you will only be able to view Elmo (who has the run of the bedroom while we are at work).

Pigeon Hiding Places

Elmo can normally be found:

  • On the foot of the bed, near the window
  • On the chest of drawers directly beneath PigeonCam
  • On the covered bedside table
  • By the door (to the right of PigeonCam)

Operating Hours

PigeonCam is normally online between 8:30am and 4:30pm Mon – Fri.

Instructions

The image updates every 1.5s. You can control the camera using the arrows which overlay the stream or the arrow keys on your keyboard.

NB: Please be patient when controlling PigeonCam. The image only refreshes every 1.5s so your control will NOT be immediately evident.


Richard’s uncle found a feral pigeon in a carpark that was unable to fly. He picked it up and called us. We collected it that evening and the next day I took it to work (a wildlife rescue centre) for care and treatment.

This is her the day after she was admitted:

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10th March

At first she couldn’t lift her wings up very far and could only hop a bit off the ground. She wasn’t particularly ill (droppings fairly normal, no other symptoms). She was very tolerant of being handled and wasn’t afraid of people. She came from a town and was obviouly used to having people around. We named her Misty (a mutation from “Miss T”; the T stands for ‘Tony’ after Richard’s uncle).

Misty received medication and loving care, and two weeks after being rescued she was fit for release. Richard and I wanted her to be released where she was found, however, at the last minute this wasn’t an option so we decided to release her from our home in the hopes that she’d join the flock of pigeons that visit our garden. Here’s her release:

A few days later we recognised her in the feral pigeon flock (by her colouring and behaviour). It’s nice to see her and know she’s found a new family.


As promised here’s an update on Minnie’s and mummy pigeon’s new life:

We visited them today and I have to say that it was lovely to see Minnie again. As soon as she saw us she jumped onto the aviary mesh and started flapping to get our attention. She obviously recognised us and was happy to see us!

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Minnie (right) and her new mate

Minnie has paired up with a handsome big boy and she laid her first ever egg last Wednesday (14th April). She’s only 7 months old and still just as small. Minnie laid only one tiny egg, which was quickly replaced with a dummy egg. When Richard and I arrived at the aviary Minnie’s mate was incubating it.

The mummy pigeon hasn’t had as much luck unfortunately! :(

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Mummy pigeon

Although there are two other single males in the aviary neither have courted her, which I find surprising since she was such a big hit with the male pigeons at my workplace. But at least she is in a safe environment.

One of the single males is currently trying to steal a female from another male but maybe he’ll realise he cannot have her and will concentrate on the mummy pigeon.

The other single male is a white dove and only likes white females. Here he’s excitedly courting a new female arrival (who has a broken wing):

We’re very happy with Minnie’s new life and wish her the best with her mate. They make a handsome couple!

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Minnie's mate is bigger than her which this photo doesn't show.

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Minnie's mate


I used to watch Sesame Street when I was young, however, I don’t remember that Bert had a pet pigeon. How did I miss that?!

So Bert’s pet pigeon is called Bernice. Here are a few videos of her (or should I say “them” since Bernice seems to have changed colour!):

Bert also created a dance called “Doin’ the Pigeon”, which goes a little like this:

I think it’s great that Bert loves pigeons! Hopefully many children out there have become interested in pigeons because of Sesame Street. Here’s another video:


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27th February 2010

A while back a mummy pigeon and her two babies were brought into my workplace because the pigeon pair had nested on the ground in a hospital courtyard where it was due to have renovations done. The mummy pigeon has a broken wing and cannot even hop off the ground, which is why they had nested on the ground. The hospital staff had been kind enough to feed her and shelter her from any harm, however, they needed to relocate them because of the renovations. They had tried to catch the whole family but the daddy pigeon flew away and they never caught him.

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10th March 2010

Actually, the hospital staff thought the mummy pigeon was the daddy! I didn’t ask them why they thought this (silly me!) and so for a few weeks we called the mummy pigeon a daddy until we later found out that she was female. We found this out simply by the behaviour of other pigeons in an adjacent aviary. All the male pigeons took one look at the big, healthy and pretty mummy pigeon and begun their courtship campaign! If the wire hadn’t been between them she would have been worn out by their advances.

The babies grew and grew under mummy’s loving care at the rescue centre and they are due to be released once they are big and strong.

Here’s a video of mummy feeding one of her babies:

The mummy pigeon had to be rehomed because of her broken wing. I knew of someone who was looking for female pigeons to pair up with her male pigeons and so on the 27th March we took mummy pigeon (and another female pigeon that needed rehoming) to her aviary and got her settled into her new home (see Minnie’s new home).

This Saturday we will be visiting the aviary and we’ll be taking plenty of photos and will have an update for you on the mummy pigeon (as well as Minnie).

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27th March 2010 - Taking her to her new home!


On Sunday night we watched the 2005 WWII pigeon cartoon ‘Valiant’. At the end of the movie they stated that of the 54 Dickin Medals* awarded to animals in war, 32 of them went to messenger pigeons (18 to dogs, 3 to horses and 1 to a cat). I thought that was pretty awesome! Pigeons have so many uses and they certainly deserve recognition for all the wonderful things they do.

The story of Cher Ami and G.I. Joe pigeons are quite well known so there’s no need for me to retype what has already been written. You can find their stories at http://nationalpigeonday.blogspot.com/2008/03/history-of-cher-ami.html, http://www.wingswest.net/pigeons/Warpigeons/warpigeons.html and http://pigeonexpresso.com/famous-pigeons.html if you haven’t heard of the heroic deeds they did. There seems to be quite a few war memorials for animals around the world and one is the Animals In War Memorial in London which I haven’t yet been to but it looks like an interesting place to visit: http://www.animalsinwar.org.uk/index.cfm?asset_id=1373 I don’t go to London often (I’m a country mouse by heart), however, I will try to visit the war memorial some day soon.

After watching ‘Valiant’ I also thought that there aren’t enough pigeons in animated movies out there. The pigeons in the 2008 animated cartoon ‘Bolt’ are pretty cool, however, they don’t play a major role. There are numerous short animated film starring pigeons that can be found on YouTube but not all of them are nice.

When I get some free time I’ll compile a list of favourite short pigeon animations. In the meantime we’ll just have to pray that Pixar/Disney etc. start making more pigeon movies – it’s not like there’s a lack of story ideas and inspiration out there!!

* In 1943 Maria Dickin, the founder of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a British veterinary charity, instituted the Dickin Medal to honour the work of animals in war.


I’ve already mentioned that Georgie doesn’t like the light in a camera in the short post Likes and dislikes. I just want to elaborate on this.

Georgie likes to pose in very cute and adorable poses and I often want to photograph her, however, as soon as I press the camera ‘photo taking button’ (whatever it’s called) the little red light goes on as the camera focuses and Georgie sees this and is immediately on the defense! Sometimes she doesn’t notice the red light and I can get the photo, however, if the flash goes off she is very angry/scared and puffs her feathers out.

Here’s an example:

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Georgie relaxed on her eggs

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Georgie all puffed up after camera flash went off.

All this makes photo taking very difficult because often Georgie moves into a defensive pose before I can get the cute desired photo. Camera shy maybe?


We play a game with Elmo called “Where’s your head?”

Sometimes, in his excitement, Elmo’s head disappears when he’s cooing to Richard.

Here’s what I mean:

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Sweetness! :D

He has actually tripped over his own head when he’s done this and somersaulted.