We'd love to hear what you think of our site. Please let us know by filling in the form below!

 
Social Network Links
Pages
20140125_101051

Elmo pigeon

My two pigeons live indoors since they are both disabled and bonded to humans. I have written a lot in the past about their special needs and their requirements for living indoors, especially stressing the importance of ensuring their emotional needs are met as well as their dietary ones. One of the latter requirments are minerals. Out in the wild pigeons will find and eat minerals to supplement their diet (as do many other animal species), but where in my household are Elmo and Georgie going to find these minerals?

When I bought the first red mineral pick-pot I was amazed at how quickly Elmo knew that it was for eating and at how much he enjoyed doing so. When out in the garden Elmo would always eat some dirt, so I knew he had the need for minerals, but how did he know that the pot contained them? Whatever the answer, Elmo started a love affair with the pick pot and I had to ensure that I had a steady supply of them (previous posts about the subject: Pet pigeons can be so silly sometimes… and Pigeon video introduction)

After a house move I had to think of where to put the pick-pot so Elmo could enjoy it. I had concerns about putting it in the kitchen – which is where it was in our previous home – because the spillage was great (Elmo is not a neat eater!) which left the floor stained pink. So this time I placed the pot in Elmo’s little corner near his food and water since the area is covered with a cloth that I can wash.

What did Elmo do? He ignored the pot completely. Instead, he’d walk into the kitchen and look about for the pot there, even though it is a completely different kitchen with a different layout. Elmo seemed to have it in his head that the pick-pot belonged in the kitchen. I kept showing Elmo where the pot was near his food but he would simply ignore it and walk into the kitchen. I watched him do this for a while before I gave in and put the pot in a corner in the kitchen. Elmo immediately went up to it and ate some minerals. Pigeon 1, human 0.

2013-12-18 14.35.30

Elmo is reunited with his beloved mineral pick-pot.

I left the pick-pot in the kitchen for a week then moved it back into Elmo’s area in the living room. I didn’t want the minerals to stain the floor and I also wanted Elmo to have access to them all the time (he’s not allowed in the kitchen when we’re out at work). Thankfully, Elmo realised that the pick-pot was now in his area and continued to use it there, so I am now happy with the knowledge that he isn’t going without at any point. :)

In other news, Elmo briefly perches on our door. He didn’t look impressed with being so high up – since Elmo cannot fly he’s always at a floor level – so we quickly took him down. :)

2013-12-07 12.08.36


I seem to find it difficult to write about only one of my lovely animals at a time. I have to include all three, especially when they spend their evenings snuggled up to us and keep us occupied with their shenanigans. The sofa subject is a cause of friction since both Hugo and Elmo think that Richard’s lap is their spot. This photo was taken on one of those rare occasions when Elmo tolerated Hugo’s close proximity (he usually launches an attack of pecks and wing slaps):

2014-01-18 17.51.27

Elmo (left) and Hugo (right).

Georgie doesn’t have this problem. She only has to share my lap with my knitting, which is more of a problem for me since she will grab the needles and give them a shake whilst I try to knit.

2014-01-11 17.39.39

I seem to remember a time when I only had to worry about keeping two animals on the sofa apart to avoid a fight (read: A complicated relationship), now I have a cat to think about too! Sometimes Hugo is hesitant to jump on the sofa when Elmo and Georgie are on it, and he’ll give me this thoroughly fed up look:

2014-01-11 17.33.51

But when he finds himself on a pigeon-free sofa (at last!), Hugo can relax!

2014-01-12 19.41.19


After looking at some wonderful photos and videos of multi-species households online, I thought about our own multi-species family. We never meant to adopt pigeons – it just kind of happened – and we certainly never thought we’d adopt a cat (pigeons + cats = chaos?). … Well, in this case, the cat adopted us first. (Click on ‘Hugo the cat‘ for his story.)

Can different species live in harmony? Certainly. Even predator and prey species can co-exist without the expected kill. It is, however, never ideal to deliberately put predator and prey species together. Often though, like in our case, the animals themselves reveal their nature and show that living without killing is possible, and a multi-species household is created.

We were very careful when Hugo the cat first came into our lives. It was a while before we introduced Elmo and Georgie to him. If Hugo had shown any sign of predatory interest in our pigeons he wouldn’t have been allowed back in. But Hugo in fact showed us the opposite. He was afraid!

What makes a cat afraid of a pigeon? I’ve seen Hugo stalk and kill a bug, but he wouldn’t dare try that with our pigeons. He’s curious and will come over to sniff them, and sometimes he wants to play with them, but he’s never stalked Georgie or Elmo. If Hugo is too interested in Elmo, Elmo will try to peck him to tell him to back off, and Hugo will run away.

Georgie tolerates Hugo more than Elmo does. Here she is standing on him for no apparent reason:

2014-01-11 18.57.04

And here’s Elmo coming back into the living room with Hugo waiting for him to pass so he can go into the kitchen. Such manners! :)

P1120669

As always, I tried to take video of my pigeons and Hugo together, but they were camera shy. I shall keep trying. :)


Happy New Year!

2014 is going to be a fantastic year – I can feel it. :)

And what better way to spend the beginning of the new year than to take photos of your beloved animals. … Or attempt to, as is the case with me and my lovely pigeons. I don’t think I’ve managed to take a single clear, crisp photo of Elmo and Georgie. The light has either been too dim or they’ve moved or my camera pretends to be something other than a camera when I try to take a photo (I think it secretly wants to be a radio).

I was so hoping to show you some wonderful photos of my darling pigeons, but instead you shall gaze lovingly at the blurry shots of Elmo and Georgie. I know that you know they are wonderful pigeons with big personalities, but I would like to portray this through the medium of photography. I must try harder. And also to cure Georgie of her hatred of flashing lights (always a detriment when taking flash photography). And Elmo is so vain that as soon as he sees the camera he has to move about and dance to it. … I know what you’re thinking, “Excuses, excuses.” :)

So after all that, here are the first photos of Georgie and Elmo in 2014:

P1120672

P1120674

P1120677