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At work we have our fair share of baby pigeons that I have the responsibility of hand-feeding. And I must say that whilst some mornings I cannot see past the flapping wings and hear through the intense squeaks, I enjoy feeding them immensely. Baby pigeons – squabs or squeakers as they are called (depending on their age) – are irresistibly cute and crave your attention for food and comfort. It is hard not to fall in love with them.

Note: Just to be clear here – I work at a wildlife rescue centre so all hand-reared pigeons are released once they are old and healthy enough. We aim not to tame them because they need to be released as wild birds.

There are two little darlings that spring to mind now and I want to share the following video clips to demonstrate how adorable baby pigeons can be. Although they are still begging for food from me they are perfectly able to eat seed on their own, which you can see in the videos:

I love the way they put their wings over each other’s back and pat them on the back! Funny!

What darlings! :)

As for feeding baby pigeons, there are many different methods (see end of paragraph for links). At my work we use the ‘gavage’ or tube-feeding method – it is clean and easy once you know how to do it safely. Other methods lean towards a more natural way of feeding them (and I love that idea!) – I think these are good if you only have a few pigeons to rear, since these methods can be a bit messy and more time consuming. The trick is finding which method suits you best – all are good ways to hand-feed pigeons!

Tube feeding a pigeon

Syringe method

Caring for a baby pigeon

Bottle feeding a baby pigeon

I recently tried the latter method (bottle feeding) to help boost the food intake of the baby pigeons with seed instead of just formula and it works really well – as long as the pigeon isn’t afraid of you. If they are then they won’t start eating from the jar – a little encouragement and patience is needed.