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We have a new pigeon member in the household. Please give Funky Pigeon a warm welcome! :)

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I’m not sure Elmo is impressed with this new addition.

Elmo has a long history of attacking any soft toy that we try to pair him up with. I guess Elmo really does only have eyes for his human mate, Richard. :D

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We wish our darling, funny boy a very happy hatchday! Elmo is now 13 years old! :)

HAPPY HATCHDAY, ELMO DEAR!

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Elmo enjoyed his birthday treats (with Georgie trying to join in) and had some exercise in the garden. He loves it out there! :)

For those of you who are not familiar with Elmo’s story, please read the following short bio:

Elmo is a feral pigeon and hatched in 2000. He was found as a baby with paramyxovirosis which he recovered from but was left with permanent damage (such as balance problems and inability to fly properly). He was living indoors with a lady and became imprinted on humans, craving their attention.

In 2008 Elmo was brought to a wildlife rescue centre for rehoming after his owner was unable to continue to look after him.

Due to his unique nature Elmo had to be rehomed to a household that could give him the attention and care he needed, since Elmo doesn’t like other pigeons at all and wouldn’t be happy in an aviary. The staff at the rescue centre knew that since we already had an indoor pigeon, we most likely wouldn’t mind having another one, so when they asked us if we could adopt Elmo it didn’t take us long to say yes!

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Last night we had an unexpected visitor in our garden. Isn’t he just the cutest?

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We never thought we’d see a hedgehog in the garden since we have badgers in the area so we were very surprised when this guy turned up on our doorstep. We gave him some dinner and he munched on it quite happily even with the light on. :)

I wonder what Elmo would make of him? :D


Today we had a good chance to spend some quality time with Georgie and Elmo, our two disabled and tame pigeons, after the busy past few weeks. With the cold and rain giving us a break we took them out into the garden for a bit of sunshine and relaxation. Elmo went mad when he saw how long the grass had grown and tried to eat the grass seeds. He didn’t have much luck since his balance isn’t very good, but he looked like he was enjoying himself: flapping about, pecking at the tall grass.

After a few minutes in the sun both Elmo and Georgie were panting from the heat so we let them cool off in the shade and also gave them the option to have a bath. Georgie flatly refused but Elmo was beside himself with joy!

When Richard poured the water onto him, Elmo was in heaven! :)

I think the photos and video speak for themselves:

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Elmo

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Elmo

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Georgie

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Georgie

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Georgie

They say that having an animal such as a dog or cat as a companion relaxes you and can extend your lifespan. I think they should definitely add pigeons to the list!


Richard and I were on holiday recently and we sadly had to leave our two disabled pigeons at home, however, they were in the care of two lovely pigeon-sitters who ensured the Elmo and Georgie had everything they needed. This would usually mean human company as the top priority, however, this time both pigeons were broody and sitting on fake eggs the whole week. So it was an easy job for the sitters to come in and clean and give fresh food and water with Elmo and Georgie snuggled up in their nests (separate! Elmo sadly hates Georgie). I had to warn the sitters that Elmo WILL attack their feet since he gets very protective when he’s broody. I just hope he didn’t scare them away! :)

Upon returning home Georgie and Elmo decided to leave their eggs alone and snuggle up to us instead and so there was a happy home welcoming. And the weather stayed lovely so I was able to take them both out for some more adventures in the garden!

I think Georgie is the Sunbathing Queen!! :)

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I love taking my pigeons out into the sunshine. They really enjoy it and love to explore the garden. I particularly love looking at Georgie in the sunlight. All the little feathers on her head and face shine and are really distinct. They look amazing! And Georgie has such a delicate little face, she’s a real stunner even though she’s not very colourful.

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Since Elmo can see normally, watching him explore the garden is a joy. He peers into the grass to see if there are any clumps of earth he can peck at and eat, he’ll pick up different twigs and shake them about in his beak, and he’ll play with the long pieces of grass. Elmo often ‘tells’ me when he wants to go outside by standing near the front door. If I haven’t noticed him there he’ll fall alseep, and I’ll find him in that position later and take him out for a play in the garden.

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Here’s Elmo playing with a stick:

Georgie preening in the garden:

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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.

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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).

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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:

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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! :D

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Georgie lays an egg.

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:

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And Georgie certainly had fun:


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. :D

(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:

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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:

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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!!

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Here are Elmo’s past broody dates:


As promised, here’s an update about dear Pidge, the 20 year old feral pigeon who our Dora has bonded to.

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Poorly Pidge

Some of you may have read my last post about my visit to Dora at her home at Folly Wildlife Rescue, but if not, please do so: Visiting Dora

I received an email from the hospital manager about Pidge’s visit to an avian vet who checked him over and concluded that Pidge has arthritis in his ‘elbow’ joint which has fused together, so Pidge is now using his leg as a prop, which would certainly explain why Pidge is unable to stand up properly anymore.

The darling boy will now be living permanently indoors with his mate, Dora, for company. Since Pidge also likes people, he’ll be happy to receive a lot of love from the rescue centre staff and volunteers.

We wish him well and send him all our love!!

Here’s Pidge a few years ago flirting with me:

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Handsome Pidge

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Pidge and Dora and their two babies (on the left)

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Pidge and Dora attack my fingers

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Happy couple!