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Many of you may know that Elmo sleeps on Richard’s bedside table. He wouldn’t have it any other way. But before Elmo is placed there for him to settle down to sleep he must have a drink!

If Elmo hasn’t had a drink right before bedtime he’ll walk around in circles on the bedside table and won’t settle. This happened one night (probably last year or so) and I said aloud, “I wonder if he’s thirsty?” Sure enough, once placed into the cage that holds his food and water, he went straight to the water bowl and nearly drunk it dry!! It happened another night and we then realised that Elmo had to have a drink before going to sleep. (Don’t we all?)

Some evenings we’re not sure if he’s already had a drink (e.g. while we were brushing our teeth) so Richard will place Elmo in the cage and wait for him to take a sip. Obviously, if he’s already quenched his thirst he’s not interested in the water. But Elmo soon started to teach Richard what he wants. If Richard gives Elmo a kiss before placing him in the cage, Elmo will have a drink (and then expect another kiss and lots of praise!!) – even if he’s already had a drink, in which case, Elmo will take a tiny sip (just to satisfy our request) and then run over for his praise. If Richard doesn’t give Elmo a kiss beforehand, Elmo will not touch the water.

Pretty clever! :)

The other night Elmo was in a trance, completely trusting in everything Richard did, even when placed on his back – as you can see:


Elmo asleep on his back

After yesterday’s egg laying drama (please read: Valentine present) Georgie is happy sitting on the egg in her own nest. I guess we’ll get a second one tomorrow, although last time Georgie only layed one egg.

I do end up missing Georgie’s company and attention when she’s incubating but I know that it’s probably better for her psychologically to go through the motions than to interrupt her broodiness. She’s such a sweetheart (and sometimes a real pain!) and every day I’m in awe of my pigeons. They are amazing creatures and although their continuous pooping can be a real pain in the backside sometimes, their love and affection towards us is so inspiring.

So far we have captured on video Georgie laying an egg three times. Last year she had layed one in Elmo’s nest, but that time he was on the floor so he didn’t know it. :)

Here are the videos:

Georgie gave us a Valentine’s present: an egg! :)

We knew one was imminent from her behaviour (nesting and mating displays), dropping consistency (very loose) and body posture (arched lower body and tail feathers), however, her decision on where she wanted to lay the egg took us by surprise.

At around 8pm Georgie raced across the sofa from her end, climbed over Richard, and jumped onto Elmo’s nest with him still in it!! We quickly removed her before Elmo attacked her and placed her in her nest, however, she had made up her mind and wasn’t going to change it! Georgie raced across again to Elmo’s nest, so this time Richard covered Elmo so he couldn’t see her, and Georgie settled down next to Elmo and laid her egg.


Georgie (right) with Elmo (left) in his nest.


Georgie lays her egg! Elmo has a look to see what's happening.

After Georgie had laid her egg (which is infertile, by the way) we placed her and her egg in her nest but unfortunately Georgie doesn’t recognise it as her own and is trying to get back to Elmo’s nest. Oh dear. Elmo is keeping her at bay with threatening pecks but I think I will have to take the egg away to stop Georgie from being too broody and to stop her harassing Elmo.

We caught the egg laying on video. The egg appears towards the end (2:27).

Humans don’t have the monopoly on motion sickness. Many species can become ill from travelling in a car, something that I never really thought about before – so when my semi-blind pet pigeon, Georgie, started to throw up during car journeys, I was a bit surprised. My poor girl – it must be worst for her since her vision is blurred already from her scarred eyes. (Read up on the causes of motion sickness: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Motion-sickness/Pages/Causes.aspx).

Elmo, on the other hand, is a trouper in the car. Nothing in the car fazed him. When we drove down to Cornwall (a 6 hour journey for us) Elmo was quite content in his travel cage – eating, sleeping and cooing happily. No motion sickness for him. (We didn’t take Georgie with us because we already knew she didn’t like travelling. She had to stay with a pet sitter.)

There doesn’t seem to be much online about motion sickness in birds – only the usual instructions on slowly introducing longer car journeys to help the bird get used to the motion (which I don’t think would work with Georgie because she vomits after 10 minutes of being in a moving car) – and some people suggest giving ginger or camomile tea to sooth the gut. I haven’t tried those on Georgie yet since we haven’t had the need to take her anywhere lately, but one day I’d like to take her on holiday with us so we need to have a plan in order.

I would really appreciate hearing your experiences with motion sickness in birds – particularly pigeons – and if you know more about the science behind it all, please let me know! :)


Elmo in his travel cage


Georgie hops into my case when I'm packing

I always worry about wildlife when it snows unexpectedly – for them, not so much for us. Although, who knows if they can predict when snow will come? Maybe they are prepared for the cold snap. Even so, I worry. Especially when I look at my two pampered pigeons resting snuggly on the sofa without a care in the world.

This morning we awoke to a white world:


Our garden under snow

So the first thing I do is bundle up and go put out some fresh food for the wildlife that visit our garden. I can see from the tracks in the snow that foxes and cats have already sniffed about for any scraps of food. They’ll receive their dinner later but for now the birds must get a helping hand.

Peanuts, seed, defrosted sweetcorn and bread are put out for the pigeons, blackbirds, blue tits and robins that frequent the garden. (I sadly didn’t have time to stock up on fat balls and other yummies this week, so I had to raid my cupboard for anything edible for the birds.)

From the warmth of our home I take photos of the birds I see in the snow. I notice some long-tailed tits (occassional visitors) and a rarer visitor, a song thrush!


Our resident woodpigeon


Our other resident woodpigeon




Our resident robin


Our resident robin


Blue tit on the peanut feeder

Previous posts about snow in our garden (with photos of our pigeons in the snow!):