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Pigeons and doves have a long history with the Olympics. From 700 BC to 300 AD homing pigeons were used in the Olympic games. In fact, the quickest way to share the results were by homing pigeon.

Doves were released as a symbol of peace after the cauldron was lit at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympic Games in 1986. This became a tradition from 1920. At the 1988 Seoul Games the order was reversed and many doves were inadvertently burnt alive, causing an outcry from animal welfare charities, resulting in the end of the tradition.

At the London 2012 Olympic Games the message of peace was symbolised by the ‘release’ of the Dove bikes: 75 riders who rode around the stadium ring wearing large dove wings:

For more information please visit: Opening Ceremony: The secrets behind the ‘dove bikes’


Recently I looked through all the photos and videos we have of our Elmo and Georgie and I found some that I hadn’t yet shared with you, so I would like to do so now.

You may remember when I wrote about the tabby cat that visits us (back in November 2011: Elmo meets a cat!). Here’s photos of the cat relaxing on our sofa with an unimpressed Elmo on her back:

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The cat (which I believe is female) doesn’t care at all about our pigeons – she’s only interested in us – and we’ve had a lot of fun in seeing Elmo chase her away when he decides she’s taking too many liberties on the sofa with us! :)

Before Elmo came to live with us he used to live in a household with many cats, rabbits and other birds (for the first 8 years of his life). He used to sleep on the bed with an elderly cat and also had play fights with the rabbits. Elmo now only has to put up with Georgie’s presence (and the occasional visit from the cat) and I’m sure he feels like the king of the home. Elmo probably has lots of precious memories of his previous life. I wish I could have been there to see him as a baby and to watch him play with the cats and rabbits. Sadly, I haven’t been able to get hold of any photos of Elmo from his previous life.

Now that I start work in the afternoons I spend my mornings at home with Georgie and Elmo. Elmo used to always attack me and consider me a threat to his relationship with my husband, but now he’s getting used to my company and requests cuddles and attention.

Here’s Elmo when he discovered Georgie’s empty nest and decided to nest in it himself:

Sometimes, however, Elmo remembers that he’s doesn’t like me (in principle) and will attack my fingers:

In the video you can see Georgie in her nest being all moody and attacking the nest. She does this sometimes before she lays eggs. Silly girl.

Most of the time, though, Georgie is loving and likes to preen my arm. It tickles at first but then Georgie gets really excited and starts to pull at the hairs and skin, which can hurt. Elmo also likes to preen arms. It’s their way of telling us they love us. In the wild a pigeon will preen its mate around the face to strengthen their bond and as a sign of affection. It’s lovely to see and we are honoured that our pigeons preen us. :)

Georgie preening my arm:

Elmo preening my husband’s arm:

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I love living with pigeons!

:D