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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! :)


It is very weird to think how far my husband and I have come in just a few short years. 4 years ago we didn’t know anything about pigeons, especially on how to look after disabled ones. So how did we end up with two special needs pigeons?

Well, it all began when I fell in love with feral pigeons, especially the babies, after I began to care and interact with them at work (a wildlife rescue centre). I was able to see up close and personal just how wonderful pigeons are. They are truly remarkable birds. However, I never thought in a million years that I would one day bring home a young disabled pigeon. Just a few months before we received Georgie, Richard and I were talking about adopting a cat (at that time I also worked part time at a domestic animal rescue and was falling in love with the elderly unwanted cats). However, those plans were quickly scrapped when a young pigeon needed a home. Georgie had been hand-raised at my work (after she was found on the ground as a baby) and was resisting all attempts for her to integrate into pigeon society. We knew she had sight problems and were trying to get her to live in the disabled pigeon aviary, however, Georgie was having none of it. She didn’t know how to eat seed (that ability came much later) and she didn’t like other pigeons. She only wanted to be with people.

One day, and I’m not quite sure how the idea came into my head (remember, at that time I had no knowledge of anyone keeping a pigeon as a pet), I decided to take Georgie home with the hopes that she would be happy living with us. That day has changed our lives.

It wasn’t hard to fall in love with George. Everything she did filled us with wonder and joy. Georgie opened our eyes and enabled us to even consider providing a home to another disabled pigeon. Without Georgie we most likely would not have Elmo. Because Georgie’s need was clear and evident and I saw her every day, I was able to see what it was she needed in order to be happy. It was only because my boss knew I had George at home that she was able to say, “Yes, I know of someone who will be able to give him a home,” when she received a phone call with the story of Elmo.

We cannot imagine our lives without Elmo and Georgie. I spend my evenings with Georgie on my lap and feel very blessed to have her. Elmo fills us with such joy (he’s such a clown!) and love – it is amazing.

So back to the beginning, when we first got Georgie. There we are, two people and a pigeon (and two geribls). Panic. I know nothing about pigeons. What does that behaviour mean? Why did George do that? What does that cooing noise mean? etc, etc. I began searching the internet for answers. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found forums and websites about pigeons as pets!

The first one I found was Pigeon-Talk and I quickly logged on and made some enquiries. Reading back on them I find my posts quite funny. You can clearly see that I knew nothing about pigeons. :) While I don’t claim to be an expert in everything pigeon, I do claim to be an expert when it comes to my Georgie and Elmo! I’ve learnt a lot in a short period of time. Later, we found the Pigeon Angels forum and met some lovely pigeon people. I learnt a lot from them too.

It was Richard’s idea to start this blog. He created it and then urged me to start writing every day (since he knows how much I love to write, although I’m a lazy blogger). It’s wonderful to share Elmo and Georgie with everyone around the world. The negative perception of feral pigeons needs to change, and the more pro-pigeon websites out there the better!

Thank you for reading my posts and I hope Elmo and Georgie have melted your hearts! :)

* * * * * * *

I have to make an apology now: although we have accounts with Flickr, Twitter and YouTube, I don’t really use them that often, only to post photos and videos. Please don’t take it personally if I don’t reply to a “friend” or “contact” request on those sites. I don’t really know how to use them and I prefer to use this blog and our Facebook page for all interactions (otherwise I feel rather thinly spread). Although I love keeping in contact with all the wonderful pigeon people out there, I find it hard to keep active on forums because of the constant stream of new posts. However, I do check in every now and then to see what’s going on.


The newest disabled resident pigeon has a name! :)

I spent some time in the aviary at work and watched him with the other pigeons and one name kept popping into my head. So a big THANK YOU to Dawn for the name suggestion of “Rudderford”!! :D

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Rudderford the handsome!

I think it suits him a charm. He has a lower back/pelvic injury that makes it hard for him to perch easily since he cannot lift his tail feathers for balance. So he tends to stick to the ground and flat hutch-tops that are easy for him to sit or stand on.

He came to us as a young pigeon and couldn’t stand at all. Unfortunately, his injury seems permanent but he has a home for life now and will hopefully pair up with one of the single girls in the aviary.

Rudderford isn’t tame and doesn’t like people coming close to him, however, with time he’ll soon realise that we won’t harm him and I’m hoping he’ll calm down.

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Standing on a flat surface is easy for Rudderford.

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Clinging onto a hutch top. Rudderford's tail feathers are tatty because he tends to lean back on them for stability.


I’ve talked about Elmo’s balance problems before and we’ve noticed that he finds it hard to stand on one leg and stretch out his other leg and wing at the same time (in the normal pigeon way).

One day Richard held Elmo on his back and touched his legs and Elmo stretched them out with full force and freedom! He loved it!! Finally, Elmo can have a proper stretch (with a little help from us)! :)

Here’s a short clip to demonstrate:

At work we had a surprising new arrival: A silver baby!

He was found on the ground, unharmed but not coping. He’s such an unusual colour. He’s so pretty. I’ve never seen this colouration in feral pigeons before. Maybe he’s a mix?

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And we’ve added a new pigeon to Dora and Pidge’s aviary. He came to us unable to walk and although he’s recovered from his original illness and injury, he’s permanently damaged – incapable of lifting his tail feathers and therefore unable to perch. He has to stay on a level surface.

I cannot think of a name for him. He’s a lovely blue bar with tatty tail feathers. Any suggestions?

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New resident pigeon


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.


In the last few weeks at work we’ve had in our first batch of baby feral pigeons of the year. Baby pigeons are found for different reasons, for example, they fall or get pushed out of their nest, cats catch them or building work disturb them. The lucky ones are taken to a pigeon friendly rescue centre where they will receive care and attention, and hopefully they are healthy enough to be released when they are older.

Our first baby was Hooper. He was found on the ground at a Hoopers Department Store by one of the staff. Hooper is now old enough to be out in an aviary with other feral pigeons. He’s flying about strengthening his flight muscles and eating greedily.

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Hooper

The second baby pigeon was Valentine, brought to us on Valentine’s Day. Valentine was found on the ground and taken to a vets who then contacted us. Valentine is growing steadily.

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Valentine

The third baby was Monday, thus named because it was on a Monday when he came to us. He’s another pigeon that was found on the ground. As soon as we’ve determined that he’s healthy he’ll be paired up with Valentine for company.

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Monday

And today another special little squab was brought to us. I’ve named her Maggie, after the volunteer driver who brought her to us from the vets. Little Maggie is a bit traumatised and scared, and has some small wounds around her beak and face. Hopefully, she’ll soon relax and start squeaking eagerly for the food I give her. Maggie has some interesting colouration and I look forward to seeing her grow up into a beautiful pigeon.

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Maggie


We received a wonderful Valentines present at work this year: a little pigeon squab!! So of course I had to name him “Valentine”. It was love at first sight. Actually, it was love at first squeak! I could hear him through the box he was transported in. A little “squeeaak, squeeaak”. The volunteer driver said that the baby had been talking to him throughout the journey.

I peered into the box and there sat a fat little dumpling, yellow fluff on his head, light grey feather quills sticking out like a pin cushion:

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Valentine pigeon. 14th Feb 2011

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14th Feb 2011

Valentine received lots of love and attention, was fed and put in a cosy nest in an incubator and he’s been steadily growing into a fine looking feral pigeon:

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Valentine on the 18th Feb

We’ve kept talking and cuddling to a minimum because we want him to remain as wild as possible so we can release him when he’s ready. Valentine has a teddy bear to cuddle up to though, so he’s got some soft comfort when he’s not being fed.

Today another baby pigeon (a bit older) arrived so once we’ve established that he’s healthy, he’ll be put with Valentine for company. That way they will both retain their pigeon identity and be releasable. :)

I’ve been feeding Valentine a bird rearing formula in liquid form, however, I wanted to provide him some solid food to aid his growth, so I gave him some seed from a jar:

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I got the idea when I saw the following website: Bottle Feeding A Baby Pigeon and I have to say it works a charm! :)

Valentine new immediatly what to do when he felt the seed against his beak and started gobbling it all down. He became very excited and flapped about in joy:

We all love this little fella and are eager to see him grow up into an adult pigeon. I’m particularly interested to see his colouring because at the moment he’s very light grey with only a bit of black on the wing tips and a bit of white near his rump. He’s very beautiful. I’ll keep you updated on his progress! :)