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I’m so happy!!! :D

Today I went to see Dora in her aviary (actually, the disabled/tame pigeon aviary at work is called “Pidge’s aviary” after Pidge the original tame pigeon who lives there and who is paired up with Dora now) and what do I see?! Only that my match-making hopes have been realised: Maddie, the new female tame pigeon has found love with Lord Nelson, the old West of England fancy pigeon who’s been a bachelor for too many years.

Here are the newlyweds side by side:


Maddie (left) and Lord Nelson (right)

They make a lovely pair!! So pretty!

Ps. Maddie’s story: Maddie, another friendly feral pigeon

Just now I took a few photos of Georgie on the floor. She was standing there pecking at the air – completely in a world of her own – and surprisingly she didn’t respond to the camera light going on as I took photos of her (I disabled the flash though because I know that that would definately snap her out of her daydreaming).


So there I am, lying on my stomach, snapping away when these appear in front of the camera:


Elmo just has to be involved in everything that happens in our home!! :)

I tried to shoo him away but he just kept running over to me, cooing and prancing about like the little attention seeker he is! At one point he tried to mate with the camera! Silly boy.

Not happy with me ignoring his advances Elmo then proceeds to claim me by jumping onto my back and dancing up and down.


Pigeons can be so demanding!! :)

Ps. Georgie’s eye looks better. She’s no longer closing it and it doesn’t look dry. Yay!

Two days ago I posted Goddess of the Sun in which I wrote about Georgie being out in the garden, having a good time soaking up the rays of the sun. Well, after I had posted that I noticed that Georgie was closing her left eye a lot. We checked her eye to see if she had anything stuck in it but we found nothing. Instead we noticed that her eye looked very dry. Her right eye was normal looking.

Georgie’s left eye is the one that is quite cloudy, as seen in this photo:


All day on Sunday Georgie kept closing her eye and first thing Monday I got some eye drops for her, which we applied (too early to say if it has helped).

I think that maybe her day out in the sun caused her eye to dry up so when I take her out next time I’ll put a drop on her eye and see if that helps. If it doesn’t then a trip to the vet will be in order.

When things like this happen I feel very sorry for George because she cannot tell me in words what’s wrong. She relies on us to take care of her and understand what she needs, and when she’s having a bad day or has health problems it can be hard to interpret her needs. It can be hard to do the right thing because on the one hand you don’t want to over-react and take your animal to the vet for tests and injections, but on the other hand, if you are slow to react you can make things worst. I guess all you can do is trust your instincts to know what action to take in bad situations.

When Georgie became eggbound last year (Georgie eggbound) it was tough to sit back and wait for her to respond to the treatment she had to help her expel the egg. Although I had sought veterinary advice and done what was needed, I still felt very powerless and as if I hadn’t done enough to help her. I now can see that we had done everything right in helping her in that situation, which gives me confidence to respond if it ever happens again, but I think there’ll always a part of me that fears the worst.

Ok, gotta stop this train of thought now.

I love my pigeon and my pigeon loves me! :)

The new pigeon aviary at my work has been completed and I moved the resident tame and disabled pigeons into it with much excitement and joy! It is a much larger and spacious aviary for them and has better designed perches and nesting areas (not that we want to encourage them to nest but it is such an ingrained behaviour that you cannot prevent. We just have to keep taking away their eggs and replacing them with fake ones). I’ve ordered a nest bowl to try out in the aviary (it hasn’t arrived yet though) and if it helps with them feeling settled I’ll order some more for all the pigeon pairs.

I have to add a bit of furnishing inside such as logs, ladders (so that the disabled pigeons can get to some of the perches), a bathing water dish and small hutches for the non-flighted pigeons to nest in. I want the flighted pigeons to first establish their nesting area in the designated spots before puting in hutches for the non-flighted pairs. If I put in the hutches now the flighted pigeons might try to use them instead (which they will), which defeats the purpose of having nesting spots high up.

Here’s what the aviary looks like:


This photo was taken before the pigeons were moved in which is why it looks bare.

There are two nesting ledges on either end of the aviary. There are four rectangular perches, two high up and two lower down. Either end of the aviary is covered for shelter. The middle section is open to allow sun and rain in. The wood piece on the ground in the photo is going to be a tray where the food is placed (in containers) to prevent seed from falling to the ground (which will attract rats). The aviary is double-wired throughout (top and bottom too) to prevent birds of prey from getting to the pigeons and to keep out rats and mice.


The dividers on the nesting ledge aren't in place yet in this photo.


Pidge and Dora (left) claiming their nest area, with Fleur and Marmalade next door.


Gorgeous Dora!

I could spend all day in the aviary. It is very relaxing to watch the pigeons fly about and court each other. One day I hope for a similar aviary for our home.

Today has been very hot and sunny – I just had to go out and lie in the sun with a good book to read. Since I haven’t had the opportunity to take Georgie out in the past few weekends today I set up her outside pen and put her in it with a shallow dish of water for her to bathe in if she wanted. Sometimes Georgie’s a bit scared when I take her out into the garden but not today. She immediately started pecking at the grass and walked about picking up leaves to shake and break up. Then she preened herself a bit and sunbathed for a while too. She was loving the sun! Georgie spread out both her wings as well as fanning her tail feathers out to soak in as much sun as possible. Direct sunlight is so important for pigeons (any living thing really) and I think she missed it.

Direct sunshine is required for vitamin D production (which helps the absorption of calcium), which is essential for healthy bone growth and strength. It is not enough to simply put a caged bird near a window to receive sunlight since the UV part of the sunshine that helps vitamin D production is filtered out when going through window glass and therefore the bird won’t receive the benefits. It is therefore beneficial to have a UV lamp to shine on a caged bird (for the required amount of time) especially during the winter months. Since birds can see UV light (feathers reflect it) a lack of UV light can also affect a birds behaviour, particularly its breeding behaviour.

After she had sufficiently baked herself in the sun I splashed some water on George and she walked over to have a bath to cool down. As usual she looked quite comical with her feathers sticking out in odd ways. Georgie sat in the water dish and puffed out her feathers and had a bit of a snooze. By this time I was very hot from sitting in the sun and envied her. I wish that I had a pool to bathe in to cool down! It is times like that that I really miss Finland – the Land of a Thousand Lakes!! Oh, to be able to go to a lake and have a swim whenever one wants! What freedom and joy!

Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera on me to take a photo of George enjoying the sun, but you can all imagine how sweet she looked as she played in the grass and then in the water. What a darling girl!

Here’s a photo I took a while ago. I think the colours and shapes are very nice. Reminds me of lazy summer days.


It’s amazing how birds fly, utterly beautiful in slow-motion.

Weighed the pigeons today. Georgie is 305 grams, which isn’t great. We’d prefer her to be above 320 grams. Elmo is a nice 368 grams! It’s the heaviest he’s been.

George is quite easy to weigh – I just put her on the scales and she stands there. Elmo on the other hand is not quite so easy. If I put him on the scales he runs about trying to attack me, so my hubby has to put him on the scales – in which case Elmo runs about trying to court him. So Richard has to try to calm Elmo down to get him to stand still for a moment so we can get a true weight number. It can take a while.

Georgie stands by and just shakes her head in disbelief at Elmo’s behaviour, proud of the fact that she does it like a pro. Here she is shying away from Elmo who’s just walked past her:


Before I tell you about Maddie, I just want to say how much I LOVE our new website design!! It is amazing!!! I’m very proud of my husband who spent many evenings designing it. All the coding looked like gibberish to me but Richard understands what it means. It’s a bit like the Matrix and the coding they first see on the computer screen. :)

MaddieSo, about Maddie. She’s a lovely feral pigeon that had made friends with some people at a care home, however, due to health and safety regulations the warden had to remove the pigeon. Since he liked the pigeon he brought it to my work for rehoming (I’ve actually already introduced you to Maddie before in “If we could walk with the animals, talk with the animals”, except back then we didn’t know if she was a girl or a boy).

It seems I’m always saying that we (at the rescue centre) are going to release pigeons but then end up keeping them (as was the case with Peaches). We strive to release the majority of the rescued pigeons we receive, however, if they are fancy pigeons, disabled or extremely tame, we rehome them to aviaries. After seeing how friendly Maddie was I decided to see if she would like to live in the tame/disabled pigeon aviary at work. I mixed her in and quickly established that she was female – which is a bonus since there are two bachelor pigeons that need a mate in the aviary – and hoped that she’d pair up with either Lord Nelson or Stanley.

A few weeks later and she doesn’t seem much interested in the male pigeons, except for Pidge, Dora’s mate. When I went in and sat down in the aviary Pidge flew down and started dancing to my hand. Maddie seemed extremely interested in what he was doing and wanted to fly down but Dora had beat her to it. I think Dora was jealous of Pidge’s attentions. I think I’ll need to let Maddie know that there is no way that Dora will let her steal Pidge from her, so she’d better turn her attentions to the single boys!

When I came to work on Monday my boss took me aside and informed me that a pigeon had escaped from the aviary in the weekend and wanted me to identify which one is missing. I was upset but when I went to the aviary I saw the escapee sitting on top of it. It was Maddie!! She was desperate to get back in, however, was a bit cautious of us and wouldn’t let us come near to catch her. We set up a big cage trap we have (humane of course) but all we caught was an ex-battery cage hen. Silly girl!

Later in the day I gave the pigeons some treats and Maddie was desperately trying to go through the bars at the top of the aviary to get to the treats. I knew that now was the moment to catch her. Shaking the bowl that contained peanuts I lured her down and managed to grab her. After a quick check up to make sure she wasn’t injured in any way, I put her back in and she ate to her hearts content. A few days out in the ‘wild’ made her realise that the aviary was the best place to be. Her new home. I only hope she pairs up with one of the single boys and I’m sure she’ll be happy as Larry. :D

More photos of her to come soon.

Ps. The new pigeon aviary at my work is nearly completed and I’m hoping to move the resident pigeons into it later this week. I cannot wait. It is such a great aviary – much bigger with proper nesting areas and proper perches. Photos to come soon!

When we moved into our new home back in December 09 we had 2 feral pigeons come down and eat from our ground feeder. This number has grown exponentially (as you can imagine), and whilst we love having well over 42 pigeons coming down 2-3 times daily, we are a little worried about neighbours. The last thing we want is pest control companies coming round while we are away at work.

So we are going to gradually reduce their food in an effort to reduce their numbers. At its peak we would thrown out 4-5 cups of peanuts and 4-5 cups of seed a day (25kgs peanuts and 25kgs seed a month).

It’s heartbreaking, but we’re reducing down to a cup of each in the morning, and a cup of each in the evening too. Many of the pigeons that now visit us are this years young so they need to learn to find food elsewhere. They cannot be totally dependant on us. Hopefully, with the slow food reduction they’ll realise there isn’t enough food for the whole big flock and move on to forage further afield. We will miss them but we really don’t want to create a problem.



A while back we posted about Elmo attacking the underside of his nest (in Mood swings) and of being scared of a blue water tray in the garden (in Fly, birdie, fly!). His behaviour got me thinking. … In the old flat I used to wear a big blue bathrobe after having a shower and Elmo was very scared of it. There seems to be a connection here. I think Elmo doesn’t like the colour blue. In some situations he’s scared of the colour and in another he freaks out and attacks the offending coloured object. … I tend to wear blue quite often (my work uniform is blue for instance) and Elmo always attacks me with vigour. … Maybe I need to start wearing more green, which is Elmo’s favourite colour (I guess because it reminds him of all the nice green things he can eat such as lettuce, grass, peas, etc.).

Elmo can be quite intimidating, as demonstrated by this photo:


Imagine waking up to this in the morning?! It’s a look that says, “Wake up now or I’ll peck you!” :D