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Pigeons are very curious. They see something out of place and after the inital “what in the world is that?” reaction, they have to go over to investigate the new object.

We were sorting out some old things in the house, packing them away to sell, and Elmo had to see what all the mess was about. Elmo’s getting really good with his flying, much better coordination and control than when he first came to us. He still cannot fly properly, but he’s able to launch himself onto objects at a greater height than before.

So here’s our boy in his “What you got going on over there?” curiosity:





And Elmo’s not the only one who thinks boxes are fun! :D


There are a few words used by pigeon lovers on the net that makes us smile and tut at the same time when we see it posted: “Oops” babies! :)

These words announce the discovery of baby pigeons that have slipped our birth-control vigilance. We smile because we are delighted to see little babies but tut because we know we should have checked more carefully but somehow we slacked and missed those eggs. Sometimes, pigeons will go to great lengths to hide their eggs from us so the babies remain hidden for a long time (Dora hid under a hutch: Dora’s first babies).

Now why on Earth would I be writing about “oops” babies?! … Have you guessed yet? :)

Dora’s aviary was having a major clean. A hutch was lifted and underneath we discovered these little critters:


Baby field mice

Ok, so they’re not pigeons but they are sooo adorable! 8 little field mice and 1 big fat mamma mouse! Next to the nest is a big pile of peanuts. After our shock and a quick photo, we placed the hutch back to leave the family in peace. We’ll check on them later when they are old enough to fend from themselves: then the fun begins! Catching them all up and releasing them. I’m not sure if the mother mouse can get out of the aviary since the wire is quite small, however, mice are quite capable of squeezing through small spaces so she may be coming and going easily. Whatever the case, she’s obviously finding life with the pigeons a breeze: plenty of food and bedding around and no predators!

In other news, Teresa (a disabled pigeon) is still not using her legs properly and we have been unsuccessful in finding a cause (read: News about pigeons in Dora’s aviary). I put her back in Dora’s aviary to see how she would cope, and the male pigeons swamped her – cooing and dancing on and around her, making it impossible for her to escape from their unwanted attentions. They stood on her wings and basically penned her down. I quickly removed her and knew that she would not be able to live in the aviary in her condition. So I set up a smaller pen outside and gave her two other white pigeons for company and they are all getting along fine. No fights or unwanted behaviour.


Teresa (left) and a friend

The other two white pigeons are youngsters that were orphaned and ill, but are now fine and growing up beautifully.


Teresa (left) and co in their outside pen

Birdie pigeon is looking much better now that her feathers have grown back:


Birdie girl

And Tux and Burko have decided that they want to nest in the hanging basket instead of the hutch I provided:


Burko (left) and Tux (right)

Dora and her mate, Pidge, are doing very well. Dora’s sitting on a fake egg and being very demanding. As soon as she sees me (from across the field) she’ll cling to the aviary wire to let me know that she’s expecting me to come over with peanuts. Woe betide me if I come empty-handed!!


Dora and Pidge


Dora's aviary

Elmo has decided to make his own Percy Pigeon. :)

Having found the wonderful world of knitted pigeons, we couldn’t wait to receive our very own Mr. Pigeon, which we did in June (see: New addition: Mr. Pigeon!). While Elmo loves Mr. Knitted Pigeon, I think he wants another one (greedy boy!) so he stole my wool and knitting needles to start on the project:


Elmo covered in wool


Elmo takes the knitting needles

I’m new to the knitting game, so it may take me a few years to actually knit a pigeon – but it will happen one day, and when it does, I’ll post the results. Cannot promise, though, that it’ll look like a pigeon (might be a mutant one). :)

I love pancakes, Richard loves pancakes, but Georgie LURVES pancakes! :)


Georgie sneaking over

I completely forgot to add pancakes to the list I wrote about the other day (See: Things we cannot do in peace because of our pigeons). While Elmo can take them or leave em, Georgie must have pancakes. So after I had a few myself, I had to let Georgie eat some too (before she leapt onto my plate), minus the jam of course.

Now, some of you may be thinking that all I feed my pigeon is crisps, toast and pancakes, however, that is not the case at all. These are occassional treats – and Georgie only ever gets a little bit – because as we should all know by know, fatty, salty, greasy food is never good to eat in excess. Pigeons included.

Because of Georgie’s bad eyesight it can be hard to introduce new foodstuffs to her diet, but if she likes the smell and taste of it she usually begs for more (once I’ve somehow managed to get her to peck at it. I mean, how is she supposed to know the thing I’m holding to her beak is food?).

Elmo, on the other hand, can see the food and choose accordingly, green being an attractive quality to any food item. Weirdly, though, he doesn’t like defrosted peas.

There are a few things we simply cannot do in peace because of Georgie and Elmo (our imprinted, disabled, feral pigeons).

We cannot:

  • drink a hot beverage
  • eat crisps, popcorn, toast or anything green
  • read or do anything on the floor

You may be wondering why? Well, for the simple reason that our pigeons will not leave us alone if we do the above mentioned things.

As soon as Georgie hears me stirring any hot beverage (that telltale sound of spoon tinkling against a ceramic mug) she starts dipping her beak down as if she is drinking from the mug. When she realises that the hot drink is nowhere near her, she locates me and tries to get to the drink for a sip, which, of course, is not a good thing for her and which I prevent from happening at all costs. However, it does make for a rather silly dance as I try to sip the drink at an awkward angle with Georgie on my shoulder dipping her beak to do so too. If I push her away she becomes angry and delivers some sharp pecks before she resumes her beak dipping behaviour. She never behaves like this when I’m drinking something cold.

I cannot eat crisps alone because the rustling sound of a crisps packet must mean “Come over and peck at me” in pigeon. Without fail, every time I open a crisps packet at home the sound of that action drives Georgie mad and she jumps over to me to take her share. Now I know that excess salt is bad for any creature so I try my best not to let Georgie eat crisps, however, once again this proves difficult when you have an insistent pigeon on your lap pecking away at the packet and your hands. I often have to put Georgie on the floor while I try to enjoy the crisps in peace, however, more often than not, I have to let my pigeon peck for a while at my salty fingers to get her salt kick (if not, I have one grumpy pigeon on my hands).

Toast is another favourite food item of Georgie’s and it seems she can smell it when it’s on my plate because she’s always there to try to steal a slice, usually with Elmo not far behind.

Elmo has a popcorn addiction. Georgie used to love popcorn too but not anymore (for unknown reasons). My husband and I cannot enjoy a bowl of popcorn in peace when watching a movie because Elmo insists on joining us. We have to break a few pieces up and let Elmo peck at them on the sofa just to keep him busy while we enjoy the bulk of the popcorn. Elmo is also attracted to green food items, spinach and lettuce being his favourite.

Regarding not being able to read or do something on the floor, this is all down to noisy Elmo. Imagine this: you fancy a different scene so you sit on the floor and start playing Solitaire with cards or lay down some magazines to browse through. All of a sudden you hear a thump noise as a pigeon lands on the floor and then makes his way over. You have nothing against a curious pigeon, such behaviour simply shows how wonderful the species is, but you do have something against said pigeon standing smack-bang on top of the cards or magazines. Right in the middle. Looking up at you with, “Whatcha doing?” eyes. He may then start to peck at the items he’s standing on (Photo examples: Elmo boy photos).

Here’s some photos I took this evening:


Our sofa has some storage space under it. Elmo is checking out the new sights from high up.


Elmo boy


Georgie trying her best not to be noticed (since she hates cameras).

I love living with pigeons. They’re just the best. :)

Elmo has been incredibly nice to me now that I get home from work before my husband does (who is Elmo’s “mate”, so to speak). Elmo tucks his head under his body, twitches his wings and coos invitingly to me, basically saying, “Come over, give me a cuddle, I love you.” What a sweetheart!

The other day we had burritos (veggie for me) and Elmo came over and very sweetly asked for some. It’s amazing how he does this. A particular look comes on his face and he makes sweet little movements – it’s hard to explain (and wonderful that we understand what he wants. He’s a pigeon, for crying out loud!). I tried to get it on camera, however, every time I took it out Elmo stopped what he was doing and started dancing to the camera. Show-off!


Elmo and the empty plate

Some of you may know already that I’m a bit of a bookworm, a bookaholic if you may. I have 371 books and not a big enough bookcase to store them in (books are currently being used as a make-shift table in places). I keep my pigeon books and some bird and wildlife care books on my desk at easy reach and Templeton, the rat and Mr. Pigeon have pride of place on them to keep me company. :)

One day I’ll have to write a book about living with pigeons. In a way, this blog is keeping everything on record so that I can one day piece it all together.


Templeton and Mr. Pigeon guard my books

We nipped over to Aarhus, Denmark, for a long weekend to meet some friends and as usual my pigeon-seeking eyes were on alert. I saw lots of woodpigeons in the city but only a few feral pigeons. I didn’t have my camera with me so unfortunately I haven’t got any photos to show you.

I was surprised to see so many woodpigeons in the city centre since I never see them in those locations in the UK, only in parks and woodland. There are quite a few parks and trees on the streets in Aarhus so maybe that’s why the woodies were in the centre too. And I was very surprised not to see many feral pigeons. Where were they hiding? I have a little theory: Aarhus is very clean, not a lot of litter on the ground, so not many scraps for feral pigeons to eat.

We didn’t take our two pigeons with us. I’m afraid we had to leave Elmo and Georgie at home, however, they invited a few pigeon-sitters over to keep them company. :)

Since we returned late at night and darling Elmo was too tired to give us his full “happy-to-see-you” dance routine, he couldn’t contain his joy in seeing us in the morning and leaped onto the bed to wake us up! What a silly boy! :D