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

 
Social Network Links
Pages

Pidge

1993 – 2014

pidge 1

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.

Untitled

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

P1110098

P1040481

Pidge with his mate, Dora:

P1030382

P1070008

P1040650


Davey has a mate – finally!! :D

I’m so happy to announce the romance between Davey and Jules!

P1080659

The happy couple: Jules (left) and Davey (right)

If you don’t know about Davey’s plight please read: Once again, pigeon matchmaking

Last week I had to take Jules away from the aviary because one of the pigeons had pecked her and she was bleeding around her right eye. Thankfully, there was no damage done and after receiving pain relief medication and a few nights away to recover she was fine. While Jules recuperated I went into the resident aviary to see what could have been the problem and quickly identified that a lack of nesting sites was probably the main issue. A few of the flighted pigeons had taken up the hutches on the floor to nest in instead of using the nests on the shelves higher up, which left the flightless pigeons (from broken wings) no place to nest. So Jules had probably tried to go into one of the occupied hutches and was attacked.

I found some empty hutches and put them in the aviary and the nestless couples went to investigate the new properties.

P1080657

Property to rent!

Button, who has a broken wing, and his flighted mate, Davina, decided the top hutch was the perfect spot to nest in. Button manages to get to the top hutch by hopping from the log to the hutch. They seem very happy together and I heard Davina’s loving coos to Button when I went to take a photo.

P1080650

Davina (left) and Button (right) in their new home

Davey and Jules have taken up residency in the bottom hutch! Which means that every couple now has a place to nest in and peace should reign. … But pigeons can be such territorial little sods that I’m sure the males will be visiting each spot to see if it is better and if they can turf the occupiers out. C’est la vie!

I love this photo of Davey marching into his home to greet Jules:

P1080669

Davey entering the hutch

P1080670

Jules (left) and Davey (right)


I find it almost unbearable to listen to a single male pigeon coo desperately for a mate. It tugs at my heart. I must find the pigeon a mate!

In the resident pigeon aviary at work there are two single males and one single female pigeon. The female, Birdie, is not interested in pigeons at all, only humans, so she pretty much ignores the single males who were desperate to mate with her when she first arrived.

Button, one of the single boys, has been quite patient in his wait for a mate, but Davey boy, the other single boy, has been cooing and dancing every day in his attempt to attract a mate – or rather, to steal a mate from the other males.

So when two racing pigeons arrived at work in need of a home my hopes were raised that they were female. One laid an egg shortly after arriving, so she is obviously female. But we’re still not sure about the other one. Only one way to find out: Mix them with the others and see what happens!! :)

But let me tell you first about the confirmed female racing pigeon, whom I’ve named Davina.

P1080519

Davina

She was brought to my work because of the “mess” she and her feral pigeon mate was making on a couple’s property. She hadn’t flown home after a race and had taken up residency in Kent with her new mate. The couple caught her and took her to Devon where they released her, hoping she would fly back to her original home. … She made it back to Kent before them. … For fear that something bad may happen to Davina if we released her, we made the decision to try her in Dora’s and Pidge’s aviary. Davina is a lovely blue bar and immediately paired up with Button, much to poor Davey’s annoyance. He tried so hard to woo her but she only had eyes for Button. Button is naturally extremely happy with his beautiful mate.

P1080542

Button (left) and his new mate, Davina (right).

The second racing pigeon arrived with a broken wing, which is actually locked down in position and the pigeon cannot lift it at all at the moment. I’ve given the pigeon a unisex name: Jules. :)

Jules

Jules

When Jules was put into Dora’s aviary Davey was ecstatic. Have a look:

I’m praying that Jules is female and that she falls madly in love with Davey. He so deserves it!

:D

Here’s a list of all the current resident pigeons (fancy or disabled) at my work:

  1. DORAfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Pidge)
  2. PIDGEmale - feral pigeon (paired with Dora)
  3. GERTIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Marmaduke)
  4. MARMADUKEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Gertie)
  5. FLEURfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Marmalade)
  6. MARMALADEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Fleur)
  7. MADDIEfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Lord Nelson)
  8. LORD NELSONmale - West of England Tumbler breed (paired with Maddie)
  9. PEACHESfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Stanley)
  10. STANLEYmale - feral pigeon (paired with Peaches)
  11. SPECKLESfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Horatio)
  12. HORATIOmale - Highflyer/Tippler breed (paired with Speckles)
  13. LUMIfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Turk)
  14. TURKmale - Turkish Takla breed (paired with Lumi)
  15. MOUSIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Rudderford)
  16. RUDDERFORDmale - feral pigeon (paired with Mousie)
  17. TUXfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Burko)
  18. BURKOmale – feral pigeon (paried with Tux)
  19. DAVINAfemale – racing pigeon (paired with Button)
  20. BUTTONmale - feral pigeon (paired with Davina)
  21. JULES – racing pigeon (single)
  22. DAVEYmale - feral pigeon (single)
  23. BIRDIEfemale - feral pigeon (single)

Late last year two fancy pigeons were brought to my work because they had been found in the wild unable to cope with being out of captivity (they had either escaped or been stupidly released). They came in separately, but once they were put in an aviary together they promptly fell in love. :)

One is a male West of England Tumbler and the other a female of unknown breed (possibly a mix. Any ideas?).

P1080259

West of England Tumbler pigeon on the right

P1080261

Unknown fancy breed on the left

P1080264

They love each other!

We found them a forever home since the resident aviary at work is full, and the day I put them in their carrier to wait for their transporter was a loud one. As soon as the male Tumbler started cooing to his mate all the other pigeons in the Intensive Care Unit started cooing too. He also set off the baby pigeons we had in there. Just listen:

What darlings!! :)


Remember Davey pigeon’s foot injury? (See: Davey pigeon in care) Well, it healed up nicely, no infection or other complications, so we removed the stitches and put him back into Dora’s aviary. All the male pigeons came down to greet him and Davey got straight to work in establishing his territory after having been away for a week and a half. :)

Last week it was rather wet and windy so it was a relief to have Dora’s aviary cleaned and given dry bedding (the pigeons love fresh bedding. I love watching them pick up bits of straw to take to their nests). But of course it rained today so the aviary is a bit wet again. The pigeons don’t mind the rain to be honest (they do have shelter in the aviary). I often see them with their wings up to let the rain wash their “wing-pits”. :)

I went over to check for eggs to replace with fake ones and to do a quick visual check of all the pigeons in there. Everyone looked fine and healthy, which was of course a relief after the scare when Davey injured his foot.

I managed to take a few videos of Dora and the other pigeons for your viewing pleasure. As usual, Dora had fun attacking my fingers while her mate, Pidge, thought they were worthy recipients for mating.

Here’s a list of all the current resident pigeons (fancy or disabled) at my work:

  1. DORAfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Pidge)
  2. PIDGEmale - feral pigeon (paired with Dora)
  3. GERTIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Marmaduke)
  4. MARMADUKEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Gertie)
  5. FLEURfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Marmalade)
  6. MARMALADEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Fleur)
  7. MADDIEfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Lord Nelson)
  8. LORD NELSONmale - West of England Tumbler breed (paired with Maddie)
  9. PEACHESfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Stanley)
  10. STANLEYmale - feral pigeon (paired with Peaches)
  11. SPECKLESfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Horatio)
  12. HORATIOmale - Highflyer/Tippler breed (paired with Speckles)
  13. LUMIfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Turk)
  14. TURKmale - Turkish Takla breed (paired with Lumi)
  15. MOUSIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Rudderford)
  16. RUDDERFORDmale - feral pigeon (paired with Mousie)
  17. DAVEYmale - feral pigeon (single)
  18. BUTTONmale - feral pigeon (single)
  19. BIRDIEfemale - feral pigeon (single)
  20. TUXfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Burko)
  21. BURKOmale – feral pigeon (paried with Tux)

Last week at work I was informed that a lot of blood was found on the floor of Dora’s aviary. Trying not to panic (thoughts of dying and dead pigeons flooding my mind), I quickly went to her aviary to see what was wrong. Sure enough, there was a lot of blood soaked into the floor substrate and my eyes whipped about to every pigeon in the aviary to find who was injured.

Two possible causes for the blood came to mind: 1) a toe nail had broken at the quick or 2) a rat had bitten one of the pigeons through the wire. Where there is food there will inevitably be rats, and while I haven’t got a problem with wild rats at all (meaning that I don’t mind if they are about), aviaries do need to be rat proof to protect the pigeons in them. Dora’s aviary is rat proof, however, it doesn’t have a solid floor, only wire (something I would like to change), and the rats have started to dig underneath, trying to find a way to the food. As I stood in the aviary I noticed that a wire panel had seperated from the frame and a hole had appeared. My heart stopped. Had a rat gotten into the aviary and attacked one of the disabled pigeons? As I searched for the source of the blood my thoughts were running wild with dread. “Please, please, let them all be safe,” I prayed.

Then I saw Davey with blood on his foot (Davey came to the wildlife rescue centre in 2010 with a broken wing and he cannot fly). Upon inspection I found that the pad on his left foot had been sliced open, possibly from a rat bite or from cutting it on the wire of the seperated floor panel. The 20 other pigeons in the aviary were all unharmed.

So Davey was brought into the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.) for treatment. We cleaned the wound and attempted to bandage it, however, it kept bleeding. We booked an appointment at our local veterinary surgery for them to suture the wound. Here’s the result:

P1080140

Foot stitched up

Davey pigeon is on pain relief and antibiotics, and thankfully the wound is clean and healing nicely. Here’s the boy after his trip to the vet:

P1080141

Davey pigeon in care

I managed to fix the floor panel after ensuring that there were no rats in the aviary, as well as checking for any other holes. Davey doesn’t have a mate so there is no one pining away for him while he’s away from the aviary. He seems quite content in I.C.U. – cooing and dancing for the female pigeons he can see in the other cages. He’s got a very loud voice and I can hear him talking when I walk past I.C.U. :)

I’m sure, in a week or so, Davey will be back in his aviary.

Ps. My pigeon is quite ill but still very feisty. (Read about it: Personal rescue)


We sadly lost Teresa, a disabled white pigeon, today. She passed away in the afternoon after living in the resident pigeon aviary at my work for over 6 years due to a broken wing. While we don’t know how old she was when she was first brought to the rescue centre, we could, however, see that she was an older girl.

A few months ago we noticed that Teresa found it hard to walk about, especially if the ground wasn’t even, so we housed her in a seperate pen with two young pigeons for company (the males in the resident aviary were harassing her too much and she couldn’t get away from them easily), and she was fine with them and living her life as comfortably as possible until the end. She had received pain relief and other medication to help her with her mobility but we noticed no improvement.

Teresa was a reserved pigeon but loved her side of a nesting hutch and defended it from all intruders. I was very sad when her mate, Hookbill, died suddenly last year and was hoping she would pair up with one of the single male pigeons, but she didn’t seem to like them at all. Teresa never remated.

I hope that the life we provided her was good enough and that she didn’t suffer in her last hour of life. I was sadly not there to see her pass away. I will miss her.

P1030249

Beautiful Teresa

P1040640

Teresa (top right)

Teresa in her half of the hutch, defending it from Stanley (bottom right), the late Big Bob (top left) and Peaches (bottom left) who tried to cohabit together in the other side of the hutch.


A few days ago I spent a bit of time in Dora’s aviary at work – to check up on the resident pigeons there (a mixture of fancy, tame, and disabled pigeons), as well as to spend some time with Dora who used to live with us at home.

One thing I noticed immediately was that all the nesting pigeons (on fake eggs) were male pigeons, except for Dora! She was the only female to be incubating eggs. I don’t know why her mate, Pidge, wasn’t on duty – maybe Dora is a pushy girl and didn’t trust his commitment? Maybe Pidge isn’t as broody as he should be? Whatever the reason, it was quite funny to see the girl in her nest bowl, cooing away to Pidge while he pranced about on the perch to me (Pidge likes people as well as pigeons).

And as soon as I put my hand over to stroke her, Dora gave me the usual greeting:

Here’s Horatio (paired with Speckles) on incubating duty:

P1070618

Horatio in his nest

And the new pigeon, Burko, (paired with Tux) is a very good mate – protecting his fake egg from my intruding fingers:

P1070615

Burko in his nest

Rudderford has been through a moult and his new tail feathers aren’t as tatty as the previous ones, although I suspect they will soon fray at the ends again since he has trouble standing up properly (due to an injury).

P1070626

Rudderford


There are a few words used by pigeon lovers on the net that makes us smile and tut at the same time when we see it posted: “Oops” babies! :)

These words announce the discovery of baby pigeons that have slipped our birth-control vigilance. We smile because we are delighted to see little babies but tut because we know we should have checked more carefully but somehow we slacked and missed those eggs. Sometimes, pigeons will go to great lengths to hide their eggs from us so the babies remain hidden for a long time (Dora hid under a hutch: Dora’s first babies).

Now why on Earth would I be writing about “oops” babies?! … Have you guessed yet? :)

Dora’s aviary was having a major clean. A hutch was lifted and underneath we discovered these little critters:

P1070521

Baby field mice

Ok, so they’re not pigeons but they are sooo adorable! 8 little field mice and 1 big fat mamma mouse! Next to the nest is a big pile of peanuts. After our shock and a quick photo, we placed the hutch back to leave the family in peace. We’ll check on them later when they are old enough to fend from themselves: then the fun begins! Catching them all up and releasing them. I’m not sure if the mother mouse can get out of the aviary since the wire is quite small, however, mice are quite capable of squeezing through small spaces so she may be coming and going easily. Whatever the case, she’s obviously finding life with the pigeons a breeze: plenty of food and bedding around and no predators!

In other news, Teresa (a disabled pigeon) is still not using her legs properly and we have been unsuccessful in finding a cause (read: News about pigeons in Dora’s aviary). I put her back in Dora’s aviary to see how she would cope, and the male pigeons swamped her – cooing and dancing on and around her, making it impossible for her to escape from their unwanted attentions. They stood on her wings and basically penned her down. I quickly removed her and knew that she would not be able to live in the aviary in her condition. So I set up a smaller pen outside and gave her two other white pigeons for company and they are all getting along fine. No fights or unwanted behaviour.

P1070522

Teresa (left) and a friend

The other two white pigeons are youngsters that were orphaned and ill, but are now fine and growing up beautifully.

P1070524

Teresa (left) and co in their outside pen

Birdie pigeon is looking much better now that her feathers have grown back:

P1070468

Birdie girl

And Tux and Burko have decided that they want to nest in the hanging basket instead of the hutch I provided:

P1070473

Burko (left) and Tux (right)

Dora and her mate, Pidge, are doing very well. Dora’s sitting on a fake egg and being very demanding. As soon as she sees me (from across the field) she’ll cling to the aviary wire to let me know that she’s expecting me to come over with peanuts. Woe betide me if I come empty-handed!!

P1070479

Dora and Pidge

P1070476

Dora's aviary


Last week at work I noticed that one of the disabled pigeons in Dora’s aviary was sitting down a lot and was very reluctant to move about. It was Teresa, an old girl with a broken wing (old injury). After examing her I found that she had hurt one of her legs, however, there wasn’t anything obvious (no breaks, cuts, etc.). She was just reluctant to use it. So I took Teresa into the intensive care unit (I.C.U.) to receive the care and bed rest she needs.

P1070345

Teresa in a hospital cage

Teresa is still in I.C.U. on medication (pain relief, etc.) and bed rest, and she’s eating lots and her droppings are normal. I’m hoping she’ll be on her legs and back in the aviary with her friends soon.

In other news, we have two new resident pigeons to join Dora and the gang! :)

Burko

Burko, a tame feral pigeon

Burko is a grey checker feral pigeon that was found on the ground in February. He was healthy but was simply not flying. It is thought that he had just fledged and maybe got dazed and confused. After a bit of care Burko started flying again.

Tux

Tux, a tame feral pigeon

Tux is a black and white pied feral pigeon. She was found in March, all wet and oily with a damaged left wing. The wing healed within a few months, by which time Burko had wooed his way into Tux’s heart, since the two had been living in the same house together (with a few cats too). Both are a bit too friendly towards people and cats so they cannot be released and were brought to my work for rehoming.

P1070392

Burko and Tux in their new home

Tux and Burko settled in fine in Dora’s aviary and I’m sure they’ll be sitting on eggs soon (fake ones when I sneakily replace them). I cannot wait to get to know them better. When they were in the isolation pen Burko kept attacking my fingers in a playful manner, so I can see he’s a very feisty pigeon, however, Tux was not so keen to interact with me. I think she’s a bit more timid and may take a while to get used to me and her new surroundings.

P1070397 names

Some of the pigeons in Dora's aviary

Remember Birdie girl? Unfortunately, she hasn’t chosen a mate yet. Neither Button or Davey have stolen her heart. :( I’m afraid she may never choose a pigeon mate, rather preferring a human companion. If she seems unhappy I will have to rehome her to a loving home, however, at the moment she doesn’t seem unhappy with the pigeons. I will keep an eye on her and assess the situation later. On a happier note, Birdie’s feathers are growing back so she should look like a proper pigeon soon. :)

List of all the current resident pigeons (fancy or disabled) at my work:

  1. DORAfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Pidge)
  2. PIDGEmale - feral pigeon (paired with Dora)
  3. GERTIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Marmaduke)
  4. MARMADUKEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Gertie)
  5. FLEURfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Marmalade)
  6. MARMALADEmale - Archangel breed (paired with Fleur)
  7. MADDIEfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Lord Nelson)
  8. LORD NELSONmale - West of England Tumbler breed (paired with Maddie)
  9. PEACHESfemale - fancy pigeon (paired with Stanley)
  10. STANLEYmale - feral pigeon (paired with Peaches)
  11. SPECKLESfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Horatio)
  12. HORATIOmale - Highflyer/Tippler breed (paired with Speckles)
  13. LUMIfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Turk)
  14. TURKmale - Turkish Takla breed (paired with Lumi)
  15. MOUSIEfemale - racing pigeon (paired with Rudderford)
  16. RUDDERFORDmale - feral pigeon (paired with Mousie)
  17. TERESAfemale - feral pigeon (single)
  18. DAVEYmale - feral pigeon (single)
  19. BUTTONmale - feral pigeon (single)
  20. BIRDIEfemale - feral pigeon (single)
  21. TUXfemale - feral pigeon (paired with Burko)
  22. BURKOmale – feral pigeon (paried with Tux)