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Pigeon Rescue: people who can help
Links to various pigeon-friendly organisations, groups, rescue centres, and vets that can help with injured, ill or orphaned pigeons and doves.
The problem of chronic egg laying
Talking about the problem of continuous egg laying in birds (e.g. risks to health) and possible solutions.
Welfare of fancy pigeons
Discussing the genetic welfare problems of some fancy pigeon breeds.
How to tell if a pigeon is male or female
Explaining a bit about sexing pigeons.
The scoop on pigeon poop!
Are pigeon faeces dangerous to humans and can it be used as fertiliser?
Pet pigeons - what we mean
Explaining what we mean when we talk about keeping pigeons as pets. In brief: We mean keeping tame, imprinted or disabled pigeons that would not otherwise survive in the wild.
Feral pigeons and disease – do pigeons carry disease?
Do pigeons pose a threat to the public and your health. The quick answer is: No, they do not. Don’t believe me? Well, read the full article to find out.
Hand-rearing pigeons - right or wrong?
Controversial post on whether it is right to hand-rear a pigeon on its own and therefore potentially cause them to become imprinted on humans.
Why we don’t normally see baby pigeons, their growth rate (photos included) and info on what to do if you find a baby pigeon.
Pigeon Rescue: what to do with injured, ill and orphaned pigeons
Information on what to do, as well as links to various sites about pigeon rescue.
There’s something very special about having a portrait of your pet animal, especially by an artist who captures the spirit of your pet.
We are lucky to have a painting of Elmo and one of Georgie:
These were painted by Ciara Healy: www.ciarahealy.com
The following portraits are of other people’s pet pigeons and they allowed me to share them with you to admire.
I think they are both beautiful and unique.
A painting of Emmett, a 20 year old pet feral pigeon, on two of his own feathers. Painted by Bobbie Momsen: www.bobbiesbirds.com
A portrait of a lovely King pigeon called Dovee (a.k.a. Super Dovee!) by Alina Kremer: www.alinakremer.com
Dovee is an ambassador for Mickacoo Pigeon & Dove Rescue. Please visit their website: www.pigeonrescue.org
You can buy Super Dovee merchandise: http://www.printfection.com/MickaCooGear/SUPER-Dovee
Not only will you have a copy of this lovely portrait, you will also be supporting a wonderful organisation.
If any of you have a painting, sculpture or other type of portrait of your beloved pet pigeon or dove, I’d love to see it! Please contact me by commenting on this post or by clicking on the pink ‘Feedback’ tab on the right of the website. Thank you!
This year we’ve been blessed with a wonderful sunny May Bank Holiday weekend (in the South East of England at least), and I’ve certainly been taking advantage of it and had a wonderful time out with Elmo and Georgie in the garden.
It’s such a pleasure to know that my disabled, indoor pigeons are gaining so much from being in the sun. And I know they enjoy it too because of their behaviour. Georgie wouldn’t stop sunbathing – stretching out her wing and tail feathers to maximise their exposure to the sunshine. She was loving it! … When she started panting I knew she was a bit too hot so I gave her a drink of water and put her in the shade to cool off.
Elmo simply wanted to stand on the picnic blanket and preen by my side. He kept stepping closer and closer to me in between bouts of preening until he was right against my leg – which he then started tickling with his beak (as if he was preening it).
I really do hope this summer will be a sunny one so Elmo and Georgie have more goodness in the sun!
Earlier last week I saw a lovely brown coloured feral pigeon in our garden:
We’ve had one before (see: Brown pigeon) so it may be the parent of this one. Such a pretty colour!
No sooner had Elmo decided he had incubated the fake eggs for long enough (9 days) when Georgie thought it was her turn and laid an egg! So now she’s all moody and broody while Elmo is back to normal. Go figure!
We were blessed with the sun shining throughout the weekend and so we spent most of our time out in the garden with our two disabled pigeons. They love to sunbathe and enjoy pecking at the grass and eating bits of dirt. I hope we have more sunny days so I can take them out often during the spring and summer. We sure need it after the dreary winter!
Looking at the photos I took of Elmo I can see how much he loved last weekend:
And Georgie certainly had fun:
Both Elmo and Georgie had a shower and bath this morning. We then took them out to dry in the sunshine and I must say it was such a lovely morning, so relaxed and peaceful. Our pigeons took the lead and showed us how to have a lazy Saturday out in the garden, preening and soaking up the suns rays. Pigeons know best!
After coming back into the flat Elmo wanted to spend some time on the windowsill preening and watching the other birds flit about in the garden:
Aren’t the manuals appropriate for such a flight-challenged pigeon?
Georgie loves it when I sing or hum to her. She finds certain songs irresistible, such as ‘Mmm mmm mmm mmm’ by the Crash Test Dummies. She also likes the Dr Who theme tune.
I took a video of Georgie’s reaction to my off tune humming:
As you can see, Georgie gets aroused. … Silly girl. I often tell her off for being so rude. Georgie will present herself on odd occasions, sometimes without any obvious reason for her arousal. I guess she is just in love and likes to show it.
(As I’m watching the video Georgie is getting excited over hearing my voice through the computer!)
In other news, Elmo is still broody and sitting on his fake eggs:
I’m not sure how long we’ll allow him to incubate but he seems content enough to perform his ‘daddy’ duties for now. When Elmo gets bored of it all we’ll take away the eggs and hopefully Elmo will revert back to his normal cuddly cute self.
I’d like to leave you with some photos we took of us in the garden with Elmo and Georgie on a sunny afternoon last month:
I’m happy to announce that the problem of Elmo’s unhappiness has been solved!!
Elmo is broody!!!
I’d like to thank everyone for your comments on yesterdays blog post directing us towards this conclusion!!
Last night Richard placed two fake eggs in Elmo’s nest and Elmo IMMEDIATELY sat on them. It was like he has been waiting these past few weeks for Richard to lay them for him (I bet Elmo is thinking, “What took you so long?”). The only reason I originally dismissed the idea that Elmo was broody when we first started noticing his moodiness is because Elmo was attacking Richard as viciously as he was attacking me. In my mind that didn’t add up (why attack your mate?). But having now read back a few of my previous notes about Elmo being broody, this was what he did the last time he was broody. I just didn’t remember it.
I feel bad for Elmo that it took us this long to figure things out. We won’t be making that mistake again. Elmo is now sitting on his eggs and although he is still attacking me, he seems settled and content to be finally incubating. He’s no longer pecking Richard’s fingers and has been twitching happily to him. I am so relieved!!
Here are Elmo’s past broody dates:
The past few weeks have been upsetting for all of us. Elmo has been in a foul mood and nothing Richard and I do seems to make him happy. We don’t know what has happened to upset Elmo so much but we’re trying our best to improve things so Elmo feels better.
Here’s what I do know:
- Elmo’s bad mood started shortly after we went on holiday.
- Elmo started moulting during the week of our holiday.
Now I could understand his bad mood if we had left him for a week, but no, we didn’t leave at all! We stayed at home for our holiday, so what’s Elmo so angry about? Was it my constant presence (since I’m the rival)? I know that my pigeons can feel vulnerable when moulting, but Elmo’s behaviour is a bit extreme.
Elmo has now stopped moulting and we have gone back to work, but he’s still not his usual cuddly-cute, happy self.
The day we went back to work Elmo did show a bit of his usual behaviour – he cooed to us and greeted us – but that was short lived. He’s a bit better with Richard, no longer pecking him like he was during our holiday, but he’s not showing him the love that he usually does. I’m finding this all a bit stressful since I hate to see Elmo so angry.
All Elmo does now is chase me about the flat to attack my feet. I know the difference from his playful attacking behaviour, and this is not it. He wants to hurt me and he attacks in anger. The last time he was like this was when he was broody and sitting on the fake eggs.
I really hope Elmo feels better soon because I feel he’s also getting stressed about the situation. I’ve been giving him treats and trying to be loving but Elmo does not want me to be around him, so I will try to keep out of his way.
Even the sight of the camera didn’t excite his usual amorous feelings towards it!
Some of you may have seen on facebook the photo Georgie Pigeon posted of Elmo having his first experience with bubble bath. I thought that it would be nice to share all the photos of him investigating the bubbles. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: No pigeon was harmed in this photoshoot.
I opened the front door to put out the recycling and Elmo stepped onto the doorstep. It was a very windy day so I was prepared to pick him up if he tried to walk out to the garden. Didn’t want him to become spooked by something blowing in the wind or the wind to excite him into flapping and lift him over the hedge and onto the railway track. Too much of a risk to let him out on a windy day. So I was prepared to stop Elmo from walking any further than the front door, but Elmo simply stood on the doorstep and looked out at the plants blowing in the wind.
He seemed to be enjoying the feel of the crisp wind blowing at him and he started to preen his feathers. I sat down next to Elmo and watched him. He didn’t want to go any further but he did want to feel the wind. As a predominantly non-flying pigeon Elmo hasn’t really had much experience with feeling the wind beneath his wings. Sure, he can flap about and get a bit of lift into the air, but he doesn’t have much stamina and cannot actually fly from point A to point B. When we first got Elmo he used to do somersaults in the air when he tried to fly, loosing control and flipping around, often hiting the floor hard. He soon stopped doing that (thankfully) and we’re no longer worried he’ll hurt himself when flapping about.
We like Elmo to experience the elements, even if it’s for a short period of time. If it snows, we take him out. If it rains we’ll stand in the rain with him for a while. Elmo will often choose when he wants to go back inside and we let him. Of course, sunshine is the favourite of all pigeons, so I try my best to be out in the sun with him when its sunny. But I feel it is important for Elmo to also feel the other elements, and Elmo appears to agree with me. He wanted to feel the wind that day, safe in the doorway of his home, so we did. It was a lovely quiet moment, and I felt really happy watching him enjoy the wind.