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It is very weird to think how far my husband and I have come in just a few short years. 4 years ago we didn’t know anything about pigeons, especially on how to look after disabled ones. So how did we end up with two special needs pigeons?

Well, it all began when I fell in love with feral pigeons, especially the babies, after I began to care and interact with them at work (a wildlife rescue centre). I was able to see up close and personal just how wonderful pigeons are. They are truly remarkable birds. However, I never thought in a million years that I would one day bring home a young disabled pigeon. Just a few months before we received Georgie, Richard and I were talking about adopting a cat (at that time I also worked part time at a domestic animal rescue and was falling in love with the elderly unwanted cats). However, those plans were quickly scrapped when a young pigeon needed a home. Georgie had been hand-raised at my work (after she was found on the ground as a baby) and was resisting all attempts for her to integrate into pigeon society. We knew she had sight problems and were trying to get her to live in the disabled pigeon aviary, however, Georgie was having none of it. She didn’t know how to eat seed (that ability came much later) and she didn’t like other pigeons. She only wanted to be with people.

One day, and I’m not quite sure how the idea came into my head (remember, at that time I had no knowledge of anyone keeping a pigeon as a pet), I decided to take Georgie home with the hopes that she would be happy living with us. That day has changed our lives.

It wasn’t hard to fall in love with George. Everything she did filled us with wonder and joy. Georgie opened our eyes and enabled us to even consider providing a home to another disabled pigeon. Without Georgie we most likely would not have Elmo. Because Georgie’s need was clear and evident and I saw her every day, I was able to see what it was she needed in order to be happy. It was only because my boss knew I had George at home that she was able to say, “Yes, I know of someone who will be able to give him a home,” when she received a phone call with the story of Elmo.

We cannot imagine our lives without Elmo and Georgie. I spend my evenings with Georgie on my lap and feel very blessed to have her. Elmo fills us with such joy (he’s such a clown!) and love – it is amazing.

So back to the beginning, when we first got Georgie. There we are, two people and a pigeon (and two geribls). Panic. I know nothing about pigeons. What does that behaviour mean? Why did George do that? What does that cooing noise mean? etc, etc. I began searching the internet for answers. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found forums and websites about pigeons as pets!

The first one I found was Pigeon-Talk and I quickly logged on and made some enquiries. Reading back on them I find my posts quite funny. You can clearly see that I knew nothing about pigeons. :) While I don’t claim to be an expert in everything pigeon, I do claim to be an expert when it comes to my Georgie and Elmo! I’ve learnt a lot in a short period of time. Later, we found the Pigeon Angels forum and met some lovely pigeon people. I learnt a lot from them too.

It was Richard’s idea to start this blog. He created it and then urged me to start writing every day (since he knows how much I love to write, although I’m a lazy blogger). It’s wonderful to share Elmo and Georgie with everyone around the world. The negative perception of feral pigeons needs to change, and the more pro-pigeon websites out there the better!

Thank you for reading my posts and I hope Elmo and Georgie have melted your hearts! :)

* * * * * * *

I have to make an apology now: although we have accounts with Flickr, Twitter and YouTube, I don’t really use them that often, only to post photos and videos. Please don’t take it personally if I don’t reply to a “friend” or “contact” request on those sites. I don’t really know how to use them and I prefer to use this blog and our Facebook page for all interactions (otherwise I feel rather thinly spread). Although I love keeping in contact with all the wonderful pigeon people out there, I find it hard to keep active on forums because of the constant stream of new posts. However, I do check in every now and then to see what’s going on.


Happy Easter everyone!

The Easter bunny visited and surrounded Elmo and Georgie with presents. He also gave Georgie a pretty yellow bow to wear.

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Elmo meets the Easter bunny!

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Elmo surrounded with presents!

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Georgie comes over to claim her half.

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Pretty Georgie!

Disclaimer: Do not give chocolate to pigeons (or any non-human animal) because it is poisonous to them.


Richard ordered some minicards from MOO, a great online printing company. The cards arrived yesterday and they’re brilliant!! :)

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Now I can go around handing them out to people on the street – spreading the pigeon love. … Ok, maybe not quite like that, but they’re handy little cards to give out if I meet someone who’s interested.

Elmo approved of the cards. We handed one to him and his first reaction was to take it to his nest and tuck it under him:

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Check out our darling boy:


The sun is up and the curtains are drawn, however, sunlight is seeping through and the room is light. A little feral pigeon is waiting patiently on the bedside table for his mummy and daddy to wake up. What’s this? One of them stirs, turns over. Cue loud cooing and wing waggling from the pigeon. “Good morning, mummy. Good morning, daddy,” he’s saying. No response from the bed. The humans haven’t woken up yet. The pigeon goes quiet again, settles down and waits. Again, one of the humans have moved and the pigeon starts cooing, calling them to wake up. This occurs every time there is movement from the bed. The pigeon is waiting and watching.

Eventually the humans wake up. Cue ecstatic morning greetings from the pigeon on the bedside table. Mummy and daddy greet him back. Having a lie in is nearly impossible when you have a watchful pigeon by your side.

This is how we are woken up by Elmo in the weekend. If Georgie hears us getting up and moving about she’ll jump at the bars of her cage, demanding to be let out. So, the other morning I went to get her and brought her back to the bedroom. I wasn’t ready to get up and start the day just yet, so Georgie was allowed to be on the bed for a bit.

Elmo tucked his head under his body and waited for Richard to give him a cuddle. The head-tucking is a quirk of Elmo’s (a possible side effect from having had PMV as a baby). We find it so adorable.

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Georgie is thinking of having a preen. Elmo's keeping an eye on her.

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Georgie preening. Elmo decides to hop off the bed.

After a bit of time on the bed both pigeons decide to hop off the bed to start their day. Elmo hides behind the bedroom door – a favourite cooing spot – and calls incessantly to us. Georgie finds a nice spot behind the mirror and coos and dances excitedly when I come down to see her.


It has been a fabulous week of sun and clear skies. After so many weeks of rain and mud it’s a welcome break.

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I took the pigeons out on Friday for their first real time out in the garden this year. They each had a turn in the pen in the sun. We cannot trust Elmo nor Georgie out in the garden without some form of protection. Georgie, being mostly blind and unable to fly properly (she usually ends up flying backwards), has a habit of taking off suddenly if spooked – which is what can happen in the garden with the strange environment and sounds. Elmo, being an ex-PMV sufferer, cannot fly properly either. He hasn’t got the flight muscles nor coordination, however, he can fly up quite high for short bursts if frightened and potentially end up in an undesirable place (e.g. over the hedge onto the railway track that’s on the other side of our garden). We therefore have two options when taking Elmo and Georgie outside: 1) put them in the enclosed wired pen, or 2) put a flight harness on them.

When we first got Elmo we used to take him out without a harness or putting him in a pen. We thought that since he could see and was unable to fly properly, he wouldn’t get himself into trouble. We soon learnt how stupid we were and how dangerous the situation really was (read: Fly, birdie, fly!).

What used to happen with Elmo is that he’d spend some time with us in the garden. He’d be pecking at the dirt and grass – as happy as Larry – then suddenly he’d decide he’d had enough and walk over the pebble path back to the front door round the corner of the building. He’d wait there until Richard let him into the flat (which would be fairly quickly since we didn’t like him being out of our view). On one occassion Richard and I were in the garden, lying on the grass, when all of a sudden a little Jack Russell terrier appeared by our heads. It was our uncle’s dog, Minnie. Luckily, we had already put the pigeons back in the flat so there was no danger, however, it really sunk into my mind that had Elmo been free in the garden at that moment, Minnie would have attacked him in a heartbeat. And what if Elmo had gone to the front door at that moment, out of our view when Minnie came over? It’s too horrible to think about. We immediately stopped letting Elmo roam free in the garden and got the pen and harness for our pigeons.

Yesterday Georgie had a refreshing bath after her time in the sun, however, Elmo wasn’t interested in the water.

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Georgie bathing!

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Georgie in the sun

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Georgie falling asleep

When I placed Elmo in the pen he shook like a leaf – he was very excited and I think a little scared of the new environment. I had to bob my head to divert his attention, which worked, because then Elmo calmed down and started pecking at the grass and enjoying the direct sunshine.

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Elmo in the pen

A single feral pigeon came down to look for seed on the ground and Elmo was quite curious. He stared intently at the pigeon until the pigeon noticed him, and then the feral stared back. Funny.

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Feral pigeon staring

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Elmo staring. Poor boy looks like he's in jail!

We also had a sweet little robin visit:

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The newest disabled resident pigeon has a name! :)

I spent some time in the aviary at work and watched him with the other pigeons and one name kept popping into my head. So a big THANK YOU to Dawn for the name suggestion of “Rudderford”!! :D

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Rudderford the handsome!

I think it suits him a charm. He has a lower back/pelvic injury that makes it hard for him to perch easily since he cannot lift his tail feathers for balance. So he tends to stick to the ground and flat hutch-tops that are easy for him to sit or stand on.

He came to us as a young pigeon and couldn’t stand at all. Unfortunately, his injury seems permanent but he has a home for life now and will hopefully pair up with one of the single girls in the aviary.

Rudderford isn’t tame and doesn’t like people coming close to him, however, with time he’ll soon realise that we won’t harm him and I’m hoping he’ll calm down.

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Standing on a flat surface is easy for Rudderford.

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Clinging onto a hutch top. Rudderford's tail feathers are tatty because he tends to lean back on them for stability.


Elmo is now officially friends again with the bedroom window sill (Elmo has free reign in the bedroom when we’re at work). Last year, during the summer, he spent a few hours every day on the window sill watching the live drama show that occurs in our garden (click on the Categories tab above and select “Garden” for posts about the garden). During the winter, however, he stopped standing on the window sill and I had no idea why. But I think I’ve now figured it out! The window sill is cold during the winter!! There are some ventilation strips above the window and there must be a bit of a draft which was too cold for Elmo. Now that summer is well on the way and the air is a warmer, Elmo has decided that it’s no longer too cold by the window. I’m almost 100% about this. (I have so many theories.)

I’ve caught Elmo out a few times – he’s been flirting with the woodies and feral pigeons! Which is so funny because he cannot stand Georgie so why flirt with other pigeons? Sometimes when I return home I can hear him cooing and when I open the door he’s dancing and cooing on the window sill to visiting pigeons. I don’t know if they notice him but it must be a funny sight for them. They probably think we’re horrible people because we’re keeping a pigeon indoors. If only they knew the life of luxury that Elmo and Georgie have! They’d all be queuing to get inside!! LOL.

I had a half day at work today so I’ve been spending a bit of quality time with Georgie and Elmo. They’re ecstatic to have me home early: they were dancing and prancing about with excitement for the first hour or so. :)

Now Georgie is on my lap and she’s fidgeting about. I think she wants to nest and is finding my lap unsuitable, which is bizarre because usually my lap is the best spot! Earlier I found her in different places that she was exploring for their suitability as a nest site.

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"Is this a good spot?" Georgie in the bedroom.

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"Maybe here?" Georgie on my bag in the corridor.

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"How about here?" Georgie in the coffee table shelf.

Also earlier Elmo jumped up onto the “pigeon-free” sofa, and after a quick photo I removed him from it. Our pigeons have full access to the whole flat except for our smaller sofa which is in my reading corner. We want to have at least one surface (besides the kitchen counter tops) that doesn’t get bombed with pigeon poop. :)

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Elmo on the forbidden sofa!

Elmo wasn’t impressed though. He quickly ran away in a strop. But as soon as I pointed the camera at him he came running back with his tail fanned out and he made some impressive flirting moves to the camera.

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"Here I come!"

I also managed to take a video of Georgie and Elmo mucking about. In this video Elmo is playfully preening a plastic bag. I’m lying on my stomach taking the video and Georgie climbs onto my back and takes offense to the camera. You’ll hear her coo angrily and wing slap as I turn the camera towards her!

Elmo is moulting around his face and he’s got lots of flecks of white there which are in fact new feather growth still in their follicles. He looks quite different but soon he’ll be back to his normal grey self (he does have a few white feathers on his head).

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New feather growth on Elmo's head.