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This morning we took Georgie and Elmo to see their new vet (since their previous one retired). It was just a quick ‘meet n greet’ to get a feel of the new exotic animal vet and let him meet our pigeons. Georgie threw up a few times on the 30 min journey – poor girl, but Elmo was fine. He doesn’t get car sick at all.

So there we are at the new vet centre and wondering what the vet will be like when out comes this huge, long-haired bear of a man – clad in what looked like a Hawaiian style shirt – with arms as thick as tree trunks! To say we were surprised is an understatement. Our first impression was that he looks like a beach bum.

However, as the well known idiom goes: “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” we quickly realised that our impression was erroneous. The new vet is perceptive, knowledgeable and insightful – as well as being a very nice man. He handled Georgie with care (his hands nearly covered her completely when he held her!) and checked out her eyes. He asked us about her condition – whether she had had any discharge from her eyes (- None at all) and he applied some drops to see if there was any ulcers in her eyes (- None found! Phew!). After I said that her right eye had cleared up over the past 2 years, the vet said it may be worth a try if some eye drops would help clear them even more. This is something we are keen to try since it would be wonderful if Georgie could see better. When I mentioned that another vet had said she had glaucoma, he said that she didn’t have any of the signs or symptoms of glaucoma. This is something we had suspected a long time ago and were happy to hear it confirmed!

The vet seemed impressed with Georgie’s behaviour – she was very calm and stood tall, pecking at the air with content. He said she is in good body condition and was happy with her health in general.

So then it was Elmo’s turn. We were a bit worried how Elmo would act since he’s all broody – and on top of that – he’s moulting!! There were feathers EVERYWHERE this morning in the bedroom. We woke up to see the floor covered in them and were a bit surprised to see Elmo on the bedside table fully feathered – that’s how many feathers were on the floor!! So with Elmo being moody about his eggs and feeling sensitive about his moulting, we weren’t sure if he’d behave himself with the new vet.

Elmo was placed on the table and he took one look at the burly, loud-shirted man and didn’t seem very impressed. He didn’t coo or dance at him at all – just stood still (shaking slightly) as the vet examined him. Good body condition overall – which is good. The vet checked his ears after we said that we think he’s a bit hard of hearing – but initial examination came back clear – which is also good. Elmo behaved himself but did not show off like he would normally do – so the vet didn’t get the full Elmo show. Pity.

All in all, the trip was a success and we are very happy with the new vet. It’s always good to have a good exotic animal/avian vet on hand because they have extra training and more experience with birds, reptiles and amphibians. A regular cat and dog vet might not be able to help with bird enquiries and problems – and I certainly would not feel comfortable with taking Georgie and Elmo to a non avian vet.

The pigeons in Bolt are funny:

Squueeak, squueeak!


Two juvenile pigeons – one white, the other grey – are ear level and talking to me. They want my attention and are making their desires known loud and clear!

I’m standing still in an aviary that contains 7 pigeons – two racers, one white dove and four ferals. All the pigeons are juveniles, except for the two racers, and are very friendly – too friendly in fact. Instead of interacting and making friends amongst themselves they are directing all of their attention and affections to me.

I have two squeakers near my head and two others on the floor gently pecking at my toes and feet. This is bliss, I think. I could spend the whole day in the aviary with the pigeons showering me with their affection. I have a clear and vivid image of the pigeon men you see (a subject I want to elaborate on later). I can understand completely the satisfaction and joy they must get from the pigeons that choose to befriend them. It is so relaxing and soothing to have pigeons on you – gently pecking and preening your feet, arms and neck.

It is a very simple joy.

Elmo has calmed down a bit, however, I have to put a big cushion barrier on the sofa to stop him from attacking me when I sit there. But at least he’s not following me around trying to chase me off.

Georgie still hasn’t laid any eggs and is now not showing any signs that she will. Maybe she thinks that Elmo has stolen the show so why bother being broody when Elmo is already doing it? If only we could somehow combine the two – make Elmo and Georgie fall in love then they could be broody and moody together!

Elmo has tucked the harness into the nest around the eggs and has a few feathers sticking out too. I think it is so funny that he’s not afraid of them now and sees them only as nesting material. I bet you anything that after his broodiness he’ll be scared of them again!

So yesterday I reported that Elmo has gone all broody on us. We are still unsure what to do now because his behaviour has changed quite a lot. He’s over-protective, moody and angry.


Proud daddy on his eggs

When we left this morning for work we put Elmo’s nest and his fake eggs in the bedroom so that he didn’t get frustrated about being seperated from them during the day (usually his nest stays in the living room). Richard kept an eye on him on the webcam and he saw that Elmo spent most of his day sitting on the eggs. Sweetheart!

Upon our return Elmo hopped off his nest, walked past me into the living room and helped himself to the peanut jar on the sofa. He didn’t say a word to me – not a coo or a dance in greeting. Now that’s a first!!

After he’d had his fill of peanuts he then proceeded to attack me. And this he did the whole time I prepared and tried to eat my dinner. Elmo was relentless! He ran after me as I walked about the flat – attacking my feet – and when I sat down to eat he jumped onto my lap and attacked my hands. He would not give up! In the end I had to put him back in the bedroom so that I could eat my dinner in peace. When I let him out he wasn’t too pleased with me at all and began his hate campaign against me. I think that now that he’s gone broody Elmo thinks the whole flat is his and is trying to chase me out.

We’re worried that he’ll cause himself harm with his obsessive attacking – we’re not sure if we should take the eggs away from him or let him sit on them for a few days to get it out of his system. I’m inclined to let him sit on them for a week. I don’t like the idea of pulling them just when he’s getting started, however, I don’t like to see him stress out about my presence. Short of me actually leaving the flat for the week (there’s some really nice hotels in the area!), there’s nothing I can really do to stop him from attacking me. If I interact with him and try to push him away he just gets even more aggressive. Richard will just have to keep Elmo occupied whilst I’m around.

I think I’m painting a rather negative picture, however, at the moment Elmo is not bothered with me as I type this up at my desk. I hope that once he realises that I’m not going anywhere – and if I don’t look or go near him – he may calm down.

A weird thing about Elmo’s broody behaviour – it seems to have made him rather fearless!! As reported previously, Elmo is scared of feathers and the harness, however, now Elmo thinks they are both excellent nesting material!! What a funny boy!



OMG!! OMG!! Elmo has gone broody!!

The other day Elmo took a liking to Richard’s new mobile phone cover. It was very funny to watch because he was very interested in the cover but he wasn’t try to mate with it. We didn’t understand what he was doing – gently pecking it, fluffing out his belly feathers. It was a new behaviour for us to see.


Today he did the same thing to the cover and I thought “It’s like he wants to nest on it.” I mentioned this to my husband and I asked him to put the two fake eggs we have in Elmo’s nest to see how Elmo reacts to them.

To our amazement Elmo started to gently peck at the eggs, fluff out his belly feathers and tried to push the eggs under him! We captured the moment on video:

As I’m writing this Elmo is sitting in his nest, all fluffed out and broody. Although the eggs aren’t under him – they’re next to him in the nest – he’s acting as if they are. Which is good enough for him I guess!


We’ve never seen this behaviour in Elmo before. It is very sweet and endearing to watch. Richard tried to stroke Elmo and Elmo attacked his hand! Something he’s never done before on purpose!! We were quite shocked. We’ve decided to leave Elmo alone in his nest to brood.

We have no idea what has triggered this broodiness in him and we’re not sure what is going to happen now – how long will Elmo be broody? I’ll report more about this later.

This summer has been so nice. Sunshine and hot weather – perfect for taking pigeons out into the garden for sunbathing and playing in the grass.

I slipped the harness on Georgie with minimum fuss (hooray!!) and took her out. Georgie is getting used to the harness, however, she still tends to stand still for a while before she makes her move (preen, sunbath, fly).

Here’s my girl out in the garden today:


Panting in the heat


Sunbathing time!


Are you one of us?

It was quite funny actually how quickly the feral pigeons flew down when they saw me carrying Georgie into the garden – it was their cue! I put her down near the peanuts and the pigeons warily, but quickly, started gobbling up the peanuts around her. Georgie wasn’t sure about them at all and you can see it in her posture in the video – and the ferals weren’t sure about her either – keeping an eye on her as they got closer and closer.

I’m still waiting for a handsome male pigeon to coo and dance to her! Surely she’s pretty enough to attract some male interest?!

Feeling a bit frustrated and stupid. I think Hilda, the golf pigeon, is in fact a Harry. Saw ‘her’ cooing and strutting ‘her’ stuff to one of the female pigeons in the resident aviary. I really do have the worst time trying to guess the sex of a pigeon. :(

You’d think it simple: Males dance to females; females don’t dance like males!

However, both Dora and Georgie – who are proven females (the ultimate proof: an egg pops out of them!) – coo and dance to me like males do. So you can understand my confusion in trying to sex a pigeon (please try… don’t lose faith in me just yet!! :) )

Also, to add to my confusion, sometimes I’ve seen the male pigeons in the aviary dancing to other males – and to my eye the song and dance looks just like a courtship dance – however, it could be a territorial dance or other emotion/purpose. I cannot always determine the difference.

I think that I need to spend a day or two living in a pigeon aviary to really get to the bottom of their behaviour. Pigeons keep surprising me with their character and behaviour, and there is a lot to learn about them. Learning about pigeon behaviour from two imprinted and disabled pigeons really isn’t the best way, since their upbringing and circumstances are quite unique and they are not at all like wild feral pigeons. I can imagine that different fancy pigeon breeds also have unique behavioural characteristics.

I know I keep saying ‘one day’, but really, one day when I have a pigeon aviary for disabled and other pigeons that need to be kept in captivity I will learn so much from them. I really cannot wait.

Some more pigeons working in the TV industry. I think the first advert is very funny.

The following adverts aren’t very nice:

Georgie - She’s looking ready to lay eggs any moment now. She’s had 3 months rest (last time was in the beginning of April) so we are expecting her to drop a few any time soon. She’s moody, nesting and feels egg-heavy, however, she’s not holding her tail in the hunched position like she usually does when she’s about to lay eggs. .. Maybe she’s going to go through phantom egg laying?

Elmo - Nothing much to report. He’s his usual happy self. Still runs away from his own feathers when they drop off. Still defending his territory on the sofa from me and George. Still eating lots of peanuts.

Dora – She’s very happy with her mate, Pidge, in the aviary. I love to hear her cooing and chatting to him when she doesn’t know I’m listening. I’ve got to record her voice because she has a beautiful voice!

Minnie - No current news on how she’s doing, however, the last thing I heard is that she’s happy with her new role as Mrs Fancy Pigeon. Not interested in people anymore. … I’m a bit sad about that but happy that she’s paired up and thinks she’s a pigeon. It is so confusing for them when they think they are human.

At work – Seperated the juvenile feral pigeon from the white pigeon because the white one wasn’t happy with him (for more info please read yesterdays post). Will try again at a later date when there’s an aviary free to put in all the juvenile feral pigeons. That way there’s more space for them to run away from each other if they need to and to have their own personal space. I’m sure they’ll all get along fine in an aviary (till it’s time for release).