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After returning back from my week in Hungary I was very eager to see my Dora again, as well as all the other lovely pigeons she lives with (for photos of them all, please click here).

As I stepped into the aviary Dora and her mate, Pidge, were already by the door ready to greet me, both for different reasons: Dora, to demand peanuts! Pidge, to try to mate with my hand! Pidge is 18 years old and had been hand-reared from a baby. He loves people as well as pigeons, so while he’s now paired with Dora, he likes to flirt with any human who visit him. :)

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Pidge (left) and Dora (right) defend their nest

I give Dora a hug and a kiss with Pidge on my head (I think he’s also jealous of the attention) but she’s already trying to tell me off. “Where’s the peanuts?!” she coos. Then Pidge and Dora fly up to their nest area and defend it from intruding hands. … I only want to pet them, but what do I get in return? Pecks!!

In the neighbouring nest I see Rudderford and Mousie – the newlyweds. I’m happy they’ve paired up. Pigeons are so gregarious and loving; they need company, especially if they live in an aviary.

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Rudderford (right) and Mousie (left)

The newest member of the aviary, Button, hasn’t paired up with anyone yet, and the only single girl left now is Teresa. Will they pair up? Possibly. Although, Davey is single too and hasn’t paired up with Teresa yet (Teresa could be still in mourning after loosing her mate, Hookbill). But Davey is in love with Peaches who is paired up with Stanley. Pigeon relationships: Complicated or what! :)

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Button resting on a log

List of all the current resident pigeons (fancy or disabled) at my work:

  1. DORAfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Pidge)
  2. PIDGEmale - feral pigeon (paired with Dora)
  3. GERTIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Marmaduke)
  4. MARMADUKEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Gertie)
  5. FLEURfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Marmalade)
  6. MARMALADEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Fleur)
  7. MADDIEfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Lord Nelson)
  8. LORD NELSONmale - West of England Tumbler breed (paired with Maddie)
  9. PEACHESfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Stanley)
  10. STANLEYmale - feral pigeon (paired with Peaches)
  11. SPECKLESfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Horatio)
  12. HORATIOmale - Highflyer/Tippler breed (paired with Speckles)
  13. LUMIfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Turk)
  14. TURKmale - Turkish Takla breed (paired with Lumi)
  15. MOUSIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Rudderford)
  16. RUDDERFORDmale - feral pigeon (paired with Mousie)
  17. TERESAfemale - feral pigeon (single)
  18. DAVEYmale - feral pigeon (single)
  19. BUTTONmale - feral pigeon (single)
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One end of the aviary

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The other end of the aviary


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Button

Yesterday I introduced you to Button, a disabled feral pigeon who is desperate for a mate. I thought he would be a good match for my disabled pigeon, Georgie (read: Pigeon matchmaking – part 1).

Last weekend I brought Button home and we sectioned off a part of the living room (with sections of a wire rabbit run) for him to get used to us and our pigeons. Button is a feral pigeon that was found as an adult unable to fly (from a dislocated/broken wing) and was cared for by his rescuers for 8 months. So although he is tolerant of people he doesn’t like to be approached or touched.

I thought that in order for a pigeon to fall in love with Georgie then they would have to be a friendly or tame pigeon that isn’t imprinted to humans. That way the pigeon wouldn’t be afraid of us but would also not be too interested in us to ignore Georgie.

I could hardly contain my excitment in the pigeon matchmaking. I watched Button’s every movement and curious glances. I let him walk about in his sectioned-off area and had to stop myself from putting Georgie in with him immediately. I knew that Button would be afraid and unsure about his new surroundings – espcially because of Elmo’s advances! Elmo came charging over, cooing and dancing on his side of the fence, basically letting Button know that Elmo is the king of the house and that Button better watch out! Elmo does not welcome pigeon intruders.

After about an hour of Button exploring and getting used to his surroundings I placed Georgie on the floor by the fence and watched with bated breath. Sadly, the “love at first sight” reaction I was hoping for didn’t happen.

Button was not attracted to Georgie. He didn’t respond to her presence for a long time. Only after I started to pet Georgie and she got excited did Button react a bit but not in the excited “Wow, you’re gorgeous and I want to marry you” type of behaviour I was hoping for. So you can imagine my utter disappointment.

However, I knew that I was being too hasty. Afterall, Button had only been with us for a few hours! So the next day I continued to watch what Button did and how he responded to seeing Georgie walking about the flat. I knew that soon he’d find his voice and start calling to her. And I was right. On the third day (Sunday) Button began to coo a lot. He was establishing his territory and calling for a mate.

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Georgie (foreground) and Button in the background.

Georgie, despite her sight problems, knew that there was another pigeon in the house the instant I had placed Button’s cage down. She was very curious and kept walking up to it and when we put the fence up she kept trying to get through it. She knew that there was a pigeon there and she wanted to say hello. So when Button started calling, Georgie came running!

She danced and pranced to his cooing and I was as excited as she was. Here’s the moment, it is now happening: Georgie will have a pigeon mate!

I placed Georgie on the other side of the fence and thought I would see a lovely pairing. I was sadly wrong.

Button attacked Georgie and so I quickly took her away. When Button started calling to her again I placed her back with him, however, all attempts ended up the same way. Button would coo and call to her and when Georgie got too close he’d attack her. I couldn’t let it happen anymore so I seperated them for good.

Button wants a mate but he doesn’t want Georgie. :(

Here’s their first meeting through the fence. As you can see, Georgie is responding to Button’s cooing but he’s not really giving her the proper “come hither” coo nor is he dragging his tail feathers when he prances about. All this shows me that he’s not really into Georgie, rather, he’s just being territorial.

In the end, Georgie also didn’t want anything to do with Button and she ignored him. I was very sad about it because I knew how much Georgie wanted to befriend Button. However, I wasn’t going to let him attack her every time she tried to come close, so I took Button to work on Monday and placed him in Dora and Pidge’s aviary to find a mate in there. There are a few un-mated female pigeons that I’m sure he’ll court and eventually pair up with. So although it didn’t work out for Georgie and Button, I know that Button will be happy and Georgie is still very happy with me as her mate.

Here’s the naughty boy in his new home:

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Button in the aviary

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Button with Davey and Teresa (the white pigeons behind Button)

So my search for a pigeon mate for Georgie continues. I know that one day I’ll find her a suitable mate, it will just take time. I’m not going to force anything though. I don’t want to stress Georgie out by parading numerous male pigeons in front of her. I know that one day a special male pigeon will come by who will be perfect for her.

My criteria now is: a flight-abled pigeon (because he’ll have to be able to get away from angry Elmo) that is friendly to humans but not imprinted. Should I place a lonely hearts ad for Georgie? :)


For quite a while now I’ve had the feeling that Georgie would like to have a pigeon mate.

As many of you know Georgie has distorted and limited vision because of the scarring on her eyes which is why she was hand-raised and is therefore very tame. Georgie is bonded to myself, however, she does react to Elmo’s cooing and often approaches him when he’s calling out lovingly to Richard (never to Georgie! Elmo cannot stand Georgie and is completely imprinted to humans and loves my husband, Richard).

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Georgie on my lap

Georgie responds to my voice and will dance and coo when I call her name or sing to her. She’ll also often present herself for mating when I talk to her. In this way, I know that Georgie thinks I’m her mate and hears what she wants when I talk to her (whatever I’m saying to her is lost in translation). When I see Georgie responding to Elmo’s pigeon talk, I know that she understands him and mistakingly thinks that Elmo is talking to her when he’s in fact cooing to Richard.

So I’ve been wanting to find Georgie a pigeon mate to give her the full pigeon interaction that I cannot give her (e.g. preening, proper pigeon cooing). However, previous experience has taught me that other pigeons don’t know quite how to react to seeing her eyes and her slightly non-pigeon behaviour (Georgie’s movements and reactions to other pigeons is different because of her limited vision). Both Dora and Minnie tried to peck Georgie’s eyes at first.

At one point I was worried that male pigeons wouldn’t be attracted to Georgie because of her eyes. I needed to know how other male pigeons besides Elmo (who doesn’t think he’s a pigeon at all anyway) would react to Georgie, so we took her once to Dora’s aviary to see what would happen. Most of the male pigeons came down to dance and coo to her. Whether it was to say they liked her or to show her who’s boss, I don’t really know. One male was quite insistent and pushy (he kept bumping his chest against her), and in the end Georgie told him to back off with a swift peck!

So what am I getting at here? Well, a few weeks ago a feral pigeon came to my work who I thought might just fit the bill for Georgie. He is disabled (dislocated/broken wing), tolerant of people (he had been living with the couple who found him for about 8 months), and is desperate for a mate. When I heard that this pigeon, called Button by his carers, needed a mate and a new home I thought he would be a perfect match!!

I brought Button home last weekend and couldn’t wait to introduce him to Georgie, however, I knew that I had to take things slowly and not force the situation. Richard and I put up a small room divider to keep Elmo from attacking Button (which is Elmo’s first reaction to any pigeon intruder) and we let Button get used to his surroundings.

Here’s the handsome boy stepping out of the travel cage to explore:

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Button takes his first steps

And here’s Button on top of his travel cage cooing his head off:

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Button cooing

A lot happened that weekend, however, it’s getting late now so I will write about it another day.


Happy Pigeon Day everyone!

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Yummy cakes! :)

To show our gratitude and love towards pigeons on this day, Pigeon Appreciation Day, we first gave Elmo and Georgie, our two disabled feral pigeons, a big hug and a kiss. Being extremely tame and imprinted to humans, they both reciprocated with wing waggling, cooing and gentle pecking.

We then covered the garden with peanuts. Not a blade of grass to be seen! The visiting feral pigeon flock descended and proceeded to pick the ground free of peanuts. Unfortunately, being in a rush to get to work, I didn’t have time to take a photo.

The injured and orphaned pigeons at my work, a wildlife rescue centre, received lots of treats and affection from me. Dora practically leapt into my arms when she saw the peanuts and other treats I brought over. There was a feeding frenzy as they all jostled around the feeder to get the best bits. (Dora is tame pigeon who used to live with us but is now living in an aviary with some fancy and disabled pigeons at my work.)

When I returned home I immediately put out some more peanuts, as well as sunflower hearts and other seed, however, to my amazement, not a single pigeon flew down!! I think they’ve been going round to other pigeon parties, stuffing their crops full before coming back to our home for a rest.

Later when I looked out the window I saw this fella eating the treats:

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Elmo and Georgie received a jar of one of their favourite treats: sunflower hearts! We also bought some mini-cakes to enjoy. Don’t worry, the chocolate ones were for us! (Chocolate is poisonous to many bird and mammal species.)

Georgie didn’t seem to want any mini-cakes (I think she was full from all the sunflower hearts she gobbled up!), and Elmo simply tried to mate with them – silly boy! So there were more for us humans. :D

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Georgie (left), Elmo (right) and our newest addition, Mr. Pigeon (front right)

I hope you all have had a wonderful day filled with pigeons and love!


I miss Dora. It’s become very busy at work; with all the baby birds to feed (every 20-30 minutes) and the constant cage cleaning, I haven’t really had time to spend time with Dora and the rest of the pigeons in the resident pigeon aviary.

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Dora and Pidge (in the background)

A few weeks ago I went over to say hello to Dora and she gave me lots of pecks and wing slaps for coming too close to her nest and fake eggs. Her mate, Pidge, was happy to see me though and tried to mate with my hand. Again. He gets confused and I think that’s why Dora tells me off. She thinks I’m stealing her mate from her!!

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I’ve been observing the new pigeons in the aviary (before the busy period began) and Lumi (which means “snow” in Finnish) has paired up with the Turkish Takla pigeon, Turk.

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Lumi (left) and Turk (right)

They make a very pretty couple, and here they are romancing, with Pidge interrupting them:

Lumi came to my work after she had been caught by a cat and had extensive injuries on her head and body. She healed up nicely, however, she lost her left eye. Turk was found in a garden and picked up because he’s obviously not a wild pigeon. He must have become lost from his flock and aviary, however, since he didn’t have any form of identification on him (no tattoo on his wings, microchip nor ring with numbers on it) we couldn’t find his owner.

Here’s what Lumi looked like upon arrival:

I know I keep saying this, but one day – one day!! – I will have an aviary of my own with lots of disabled and unwanted fancy and racing pigeons in it. And then I would have to open up a sanctuary for pigeons! I’m sure I would receive a lot of support from all the pigeon lovers around the world! :)


Georgie still isn’t talking to me (she’s on her “eggs”) and Elmo thinks I’m the perfect person to practice his latest karate moves and pecks. I have a very long scar on my hand from his kicks!

So I’ve been getting all the hugs and cuddles I can from the pigeons at work. :)

Dora was actually nice to me today – I managed to get a cuddle from her without being pecked to bits. She was obviously not feeling territorial nor possessive over her nest and mate. It’s nice for a change.

I spent a little time in the pigeon aviary at work with the fancy, tame and disabled pigeons. I love watching all the “pigeon politics” that go on.

There’s nothing quite as peaceful and serene as being amongst pigeons. I simply love it.


Big Bob

Big Bob

This year we sadly lost another resident pigeon at work. Big Bob was an older, disabled feral pigeon (he had a broken wing and couldn’t fly) and had been living in the resident aviary for many years. One day in February we noticed that he was hunched and shivering. He was brought into the heated unit for observation and care, as well as to receive medication. Sadly, a few days later he died. He will be sadly missed.

We kept an eye out for any signs of illness in the other pigeons in the aviary, and thankfully, none of them showed any signs of illness or have died. We believe that it was simply Big Bob’s time to go. He had a good life with a mate (who sadly died in August last year) and was a real sweet pigeon. He wasn’t tame but he tolerated my presence whenever I went into the aviary to talk to Dora and Pidge.

After such a sad depature we had some pigeons that were waiting to join the gang in the resident pigeon aviary, being unreleasable for one reason or another: One is fancy, others are disabled, and two are racing pigeons that needed a new home after their owner had passed away.

To see all the pigeons in the aviary please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pigeonsaspets/sets/72157623805901094/

Please welcome the following pigeons to live with Dora and her mate, Pidge:

Lumi

Lumi is a white pigeon that had been caught by a cat when she was a baby. She had extensive injuries and her left eye is shrivelled. She became very tame due to her long-term care. Lumi means "snow" in Finnish.

Turk

Turk is a Turkish Takla breed. He does backflips when he flies.

Mousie

Mousie is a racing pigeon that had to be rehomed.

Gertie

Gertie is a racing pigeon that had to be rehomed.

Speckles

Speckles is a feral pigeon. She had a broken leg and broken wing, which have healed, however, she has limited flight.

Davey

Davey is a white feral pigeon. He has a broken wing and cannot fly.


I feel a bit stupid. A while back I was trying to sort out the resident pigeon aviary, called “Pidge’s aviary”, at my work – kitting it out with all the proper pigeon paraphernalia – however, I was finding it hard to buy the things I wanted (e.g. fake eggs, mineral pick pots, nest bowls, etc.). All the pigeon supply companies I contacted either didn’t have things in stock, were having technical problems and couldn’t process orders or had shipping problems. So I was really struggling. Somehow I managed to get the things I wanted, however, the ceramic nest bowls still eluded me.

Last week I visited the feed store my work orders straw and seed from just to have a nosy around and see what they had to offer. And what do I see on the top shelf, almost out of sight?! Yes, you guessed it, a whole stack of nest bowls!! And all this time I could have simply asked the feed store if they had any pigeon things and it would have saved me the trouble of the countless hours of internet trawling!! Grrrrr…. Stupid me!

Anyway, now I have the bowls and I very happily gave one to each of the pairs in the aviary and Pidge and Dora were ecstatic! They finally have a big enough nest to sit in side by side in love. :)

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I had to attach the nests to the ledge so they won't fall off.

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The male pigeons checking out the new furniture.

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Dora and her mate, Pidge, are happy!

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A year ago today my husband created this blog to brag about our darling pigeons, Elmo and Georgie, and to help advocate pigeons as the fantastic species they are.

I was left in charge of the writing side of things whilst my hubby took care of the design and maintenance aspects. The goal was to post something every single day, without fail.

I have to admit, at times it has been hard to come up with subjects to write about (especially if I was ill) and often I cheated by simply posting an article I had seen or by posting videos on Fridays. To my dismay it was harder than I thought to find pro-pigeon videos to post. Thankfully, our wonderful pets kept us entertained with lots of adventures to write about and I’ve been busy throughout the year taking photos and videos of them.

We are very fortunate to have connected with other pigeon lovers in the world and share with them our experiences. I cannot thank you all enough for all the advice, fun and love we have received!! It has certainly been an adventure! :)

During this year of blogging we have learnt so much from our own two pigeons as well as from watching the wild ones in our garden and in town. Elmo and Georgie give us so much love and we have been trying to spread that to others.

I hope to continue this blog with lots more adventures and interesting stories about pigeons. It may not be every day now – it has been a marathon of blogging! – but I’ll certainly try to keep up a steady flow of posts.

Thank you all for following and sharing the pigeon love!!

We wouldn’t be here doing this without your support! :)


In our old flat we allowed Dora (when we had her) to fly free. She would spend most of her time either on the bookcase, on the kitchen cabinet tops, or perched on the window (the old sash type).

One lazy Sunday we were watching TV when our intercom went off. On answering, a frantic voice said “Do you know you have a pigeon in your house?!”. I had to assure them she was ours, and was absolutely fine.

I wonder how many people have walked past and thought ‘That poor pigeon’s stuck in that flat’. Poor pigeon indeed!