We'd love to hear what you think of our site. Please let us know by filling in the form below!

Social Network Links

What makes a pigeon so special?

As I watch Elmo laying on my husband’s chest while he strokes Elmo to sleep I can’t help but think that we may be one of the luckiest pigeon people out there (uh oh, methinks objections are abound!). Here is a 10 year old pigeon who has grown up with a disability and has been cared for so lovingly by his previous carer that he thinks he’s a person. He craves attention and affection, he is curious as to what we do (if we make a lot of noise he’ll run up to us to see what is going on), and he talks to us, e.g. calling us to his nest. Elmo loves visitors and will coo and dance around them, a sight that always amazes them (unless they have a bird phobia). I don’t think there are many pigeons like Elmo out there, however, each pigeon is special in its own way and it just takes 5 minutes of observation to see this.

Take Georgie for instance. At the moment she is sitting on her two infertile eggs, incubating them with all her motherly attention. She will not want to interact with myself or my husband during this time. I have to admit I find it hard to read what Georgie wants when she’s in this state. Her hormones and moods affect her wildly and I find myself having to take a deep breath as I watch Georgie destroy her clean cage (ripping the newspaper and walking about in the seed and water bowl). She obviously wants something but I cannot pinpoint it and I feel distressed. Most people would not find Georgie endearing in this state.

On the other hand, when she’s not broody Georgie is very easy to be with and extremely loving, and I can usually tell what she wants from the slightest movement. Guests will ask me ‘is she alright?’ and ‘what’s she doing?’ as Georgie goes about doing what’s normal to her (e.g. pecking at the air). Maybe to an outsider it is strange behaviour, but I can tell. And I feel a certain pride in this. Georgie is my pigeon and I know what she wants and needs. It’s a great feeling!

But it’s not just tame pigeons that are special. Today at work I had to force feed a pigeon that has a head shake and cannot feed for itself. Its disease will run its course but in the meantime we support it to help it recover. At first the pigeon resisted us and was scared. After a few days of popping peanuts down and pouring seed down its throat (we have a small ‘scoop’ to achieve this) the pigeon reverted back to a child-like state and started begging for food. It seems that it knows it cannot feed itself and has accepted our help. A small squeak, a wing waggle and vigorous gentle pecking of my fingers are all squab-like behaviours exhibited by this special pigeon. It melts my heart and I cannot help but want to hug it, however, I desire it to get better so that it can fly free again in a wild state.

If you take a moment to observe pigeons you might notice something special in them. I know many people think my husband and I are a bit weird since we choose to live with two pigeons and not a dog or a cat, but nearly everyone who has met Elmo has seen what a special pigeon he is and I like to think that they go away looking at wild pigeons in a different light.