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100 years ago today, Martha, the last Passenger pigeon in the world died.

To mark the hundredth anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon I would like to provide some excerpts from Project Passenger Pigeon. Please visit their website and their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectPassengerPigeon to read their message and help in the fight against species extinction.

Passenger Pigeons Were Unlike Any Other Bird in the World in at Least Three Important Ways
The Passenger Pigeon was a bird solely of North America, with the vast majority inhabiting a region from the Gulf States to Hudson’s Bay, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the upper Missouri River. Three things made them unique in all the world:

  1. they were the most abundant bird of the continent, if not the world: no one knows for sure how many there were but the most careful figure offered ranges from a low of three billion to a high of five billion individuals;
  2. they aggregated in numbers that darkened the sky for as much as three days: individual flights might have exceeded two billion birds; and
  3.  in literally decades, human actions reduced this incredible bounty to zero, when on September 1, 1914, the last of the species died. Given that it is extinct, very little was known about its relationships to other birds until recently.

http://passengerpigeon.org/differentpigeon.html

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“Passenger Pigeon wood carving by Mike Ford, on display at Chippewa Nature Center, Midland, MI.

“No photograph of a living passenger pigeon in the wild has yet been found.”

- Photo and excerpt from: http://passengerpigeon.org/differentpigeon.html

 

 

 

Mission Statement of Project Passenger Pigeon

2014 marks the centenary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. Numbering in the billions in 1800, the last bird died on September 1, 1914; driven to extinction by human activity.

Project Passenger Pigeon is an international effort to commemorate this anniversary and use it not only as an opportunity to familiarize people with this remarkable species, but also to raise awareness of current issues related to human-caused extinction, explore connections between humans and the natural world, and inspire people to become more involved in building a sustainable relationship with other species.

http://passengerpigeon.org/mission.html

How Everyone Can Get Involved

Project Passenger Pigeon is about reaching as many people as possible in our efforts to tell the compelling story of the passenger pigeon and to present current issues related to extinction, the relationship of people to nature, and how we can proceed in a more sustainable way.

To help bring that about, the Project has created, and is in the process of creating, a wide range of scientifically and historically accurate media resources that will make it easy for organizations to participate in this effort.

http://passengerpigeon.org/everyoneinvolved.html


It is not often that you see a pigeon of this colour:

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This poor roller pigeon was found in a garden and brought to my work (a veterinary practice) for assessment. As soon as I saw him I could see that he was very thin and needed care. We placed him in a warm cage with food and water, and left him to settle. The pigeon perked up after a while but was too weak to be interested in the food and water. I dipped his beak in the water to tempt him and he took the most pitiful little sip. My heart was breaking. I willed him to stay strong and survive his ordeal.

After examining him I found him to be in sound condition, no breaks or injuries, but simply extremely thin as if he had been lost for a while and unable to find any food (I’m not a vet, by the way, but I have worked with wildlife casualties, especially birds). It is a miracle that this pigeon wasn’t caught by a predator – his colouration making him an easy target (but I guess that some predator species do not see the same colours we do). The heat pad did its magic and the pigeon started eating a bit and looked livelier, however, it will take some time for him to regain his health and have strength to fly.

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The unusual thing is that this pigeon doesn’t have a metal identification ring on, only a plastic ring (ok, the second most unusal thing about him after being pink). I assumed that all fancy pigeons were ringed after they hatched so that their owners or breeders could identify them. So finding the owner of this pigeon will be impossible as the plastic ring hasn’t got any identification numbers on it.

I did manage to speak to someone at a roller pigeon club and they told me that roller pigeons are sometimes dyed different colours so that the owners can tell them apart when they are flying and doing their acrobatics. So that explains the pink dye.

We will have to find this pigeon a new home since he’s not a feral pigeon and won’t survive out in the wild. I shall keep you updated once I have more news on his progress.

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Previous posts about painted pigeons: Painted pigeons – is it right?, Pretty in pink?, and Promoting feral pigeons – by painting them?

26th June UPDATE:

“Pink” pigeon has gone to Blyth Wildlife Rescue for long-term care and rehabilitation. He is now in an aviary with other pigeons, settling in well, although looking the odd one out. :) We are grateful for everyone at Blyth Wildlife Rescue for taking him. Please visit their website and Facebook page to support them.

 


Pidge

1993 – 2014

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Rest in Peace

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Pidge on the 11th June, 2014, at the age of 21. In the past year Pidge’s health had deteriorated but he remained in good spirits and was cared for with love and devotion by his mate and the staff at Folly Wildlife Rescue. In the last months, as he was unable to walk very well, Pidge spent his days with his original carer, Annette.

Pidge was the first feral pigeon hand-reared and cared for by Annette (my former employer) at Folly Wildlife Rescue. He came to her as an orphaned baby in 1993 and she fell in love with him. Pidge lived as a free-flying pigeon for many years until he had a close-encounter with a sparrowhawk, after which it was decided that he would be safer in a large aviary with non-releasable pigeons.

All the staff and volunteers at the rescue centre fell in love with Pidge. He had charm and character and would entertain us with his behaviour all the time. Pidge would strut and coo to anyone who visited him. He LOVED people! He had such enthusiasm! Without fail, Pidge would fly over to me to greet me when I would enter his aviary to feed and clean. You couldn’t help but laugh and greet him back with joy. I believe he was the first pigeon that I met that opened my eyes to how wonderful pigeons are. It is possible to say that without meeting Pidge I may never have adopted my own pigeons.

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Pidge

Pidge wasn’t only interested in people, he also found love with a resident pigeon, Dora, and was very devoted to her. They were definitely the “celebrity couple” in the aviary, being so pretty and outgoing. Dora stayed by Pidge’s side when he fell ill, defending him from intruding hands (staff members who tried to clean the cage they were in) and giving him lots of cuddles and affection when he was unable to move about easily.

I can say for certain that Pidge will be greatly missed. He was a wonderful pigeon. Rest in peace, dear boy.

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If you would like to donate to Folly Wildlife Rescue in memory of Pidge, please visit their website: www.follywildliferescue.org.uk

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You can read more about Pidge on my previous posts: Pidge and the resident pigeons

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Pidge with his mate, Dora:

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For those who doubt the awesomeness of pigeons here’s some interesting facts for you: 17 ways that pigeons are cooler than humans by Megan McCormick

And some funny photos: 23 pictures that prove pigeons are actually the best by Tanner Ringerud

This website puts it nicely too: 21 reasons you should appreciate pigeons by Stephen Messenger

So, after reading all that, do you agree with me? Pigeons are amazing! :D

This Friday, the 13th of June, is Pigeon Appreciation Day and people around the world will be spreading the word and celebrating all that is wonderful about pigeons! Join us!!

FB-PAP-LOGO-Pigeon-Appreciation-Day


I love to knit, and after discovering a pattern for knitted pigeons, I love to knit pigeons! :D

With the permission of the pattern designer, I knit and sell the knitted pigeons on my website: www.revati.co.uk

I update my facebook page with announcements of when the pigeons are ready for sale: www.facebook.com/revati.co.uk

A while ago I knitted a prototype of a likeness of my pet pigeon, Elmo, to give to Elmo’s previous carer as a present. I’m thinking of knitting more “Elmo” pigeons to sell. I know that he has lots of fans around the world. :)

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I just wanted to share these lovely paintings of pigeons, by two talented ladies.

Pigeon XV by Lynda D’Amico ©2011, oil on wood, 9″x9″

Please visit Lynda D’Amico’s website, www.lyndadamico.com, as well as the Urban Pigeon Project for more paintings.

The Kiss by Christine Dobbin

Christine Dobbin is also selling pigeon cards. Please visit her website: www.christinedobbin.com, as well as her Facebook page, Pets by Christine.


The big news this month is that the Pigeons as Pets group are moving to Newcastle upon Tyne!!

As the old cliche goes, when opportunity comes knocking at your door, you answer! Which we did. So a new job and life up North is soon upon us, and I’m very busy preparing for the big move.

One of the first things I thought of was to find a pigeon-friendly rescue centre and vet. Our two disabled pigeons, Elmo and Georgie, are part of our family and I have to ensure that we have pro-pigeon contacts to help us if they become ill or if we need a pet sitter or help.

Some suggestions have come in from my facebook enquiry, so I will definitely be looking into them further:

Blyth Wildlife Rescue

firstvets in Heaton

I’ve also done an internet search and a few places came up that also look promising:

Robson & Prescott Veterinary Centre

The Sanctuary Wildlife Care Centre

So soon you’ll be reading about Elmo and Georgie’s new adventures in the north of England. Very exciting!! :D


PigeonsAsPetsAppreciationDayBanner

HAPPY PIGEON APPRECIATION DAY!!

The purpose of Pigeon Appreciation Day is to spread the word that pigeons are wonderful birds that don’t deserve the dislike and hatred they often receive.

Pigeons are amazing. I could list down all the amazing things they can do and have done - such as saving peoples lives in WWI and WWII. Thirty-two pigeons received the PDSA Dickin Medal for their life-saving action in conflict! - but I believe the list would go on and on since there are so many wonderful things about pigeons.

Don’t believe me? Well have a look at the videos of our two disabled pigeons, Elmo and Georgie, and see how lovely pigeons are: www.youtube.com/PigeonsAsPets

So please don’t dismiss the humble feral pigeon. They are intelligent, caring, and loyal birds. They are also full of character – as anyone who has had close contact with a tame pigeon will testify!

There are many, many people around the world who, through rescuing an injured or orphaned pigeon, now have a wonderful companion living by their side. We, at Pigeons as Pets, have personally received emails from many of these people telling us their story and sharing photos and videos of their pet pigeons. We feel privaleged to see into their world.

I believe that by celebrating pigeons on this day every year for years to come we all will help dispel the myth that pigeons are dirty and diseased. Humans once loved pigeons – they were used for food and as messangers, and their faeces were highly prized as fertiliser – and I think we will learn to love pigeons once again! (But hopefully not to use them for food anymore.)

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Two feral pigeons

A good way to show your appreciation is to support a pigeon-friendly charity, sanctuary or organisation. Here are a some suggestions:

Last year there were many posts about Pigeon Appreciation Day, so I think we need to keep up with the good publicity and promote pigeons!! :D

FB-PAP-LOGO-Pigeon-Appreciation-Day

Celebration time!

Our previous years posts: www.pigeonsaspets.co.uk/category/pigeon-appreciation-day

Finally, Elmo and Georgie both want to thank you for all the suppport and love!! It is so nice to hear from you, especially when you share photos and videos of your wonderful pigeons!


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:

Elmo portrait

Georgie portrait

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

Feather portrait of Emmett

Feather painting of Emmett

A portrait of a lovely King pigeon called Dovee (a.k.a. Super Dovee!) by Alina Kremer: www.alinakremer.com

Super Dovee portrait

Super Dovee portrait

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!


Georgie laid two eggs in March (on the 24th and 26th) and after the second egg she had post egg-laying paralysis in her legs which she’s had in the past. Usually, after a few days Georgie is better, however, this time I was worried that she was struggling with the condition so I decided to take her to the vets for a check up. Since Georgie gets terribly car sick I thought it best to take her to the vets in our town, Tunbridge Wells, instead of driving 40 minutes to the avian vet in Maidstone.

I took Georgie to the vets I work for, Culverden Veterinary Group, and she made an impression. She didn’t peck anyone, even when a bright light was shone in her eyes! Amazing!! Here’s their Twitter tweet about Georgie girl:

https://twitter.com/CulverdenVets

“Georgie the pigeon visited TW with her owner recently. We hope her leg’s on the mend!”

https://twitter.com/CulverdenVets/status/319919270681264128/photo/1

Georgie is fine now, after the care from the vets, but she did throw up in the car even with only a 5 minute drive. Poor girl. I don’t think she’ll ever feel good in the car.