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This is a wonderful story about a little woodpigeon hatched on a flower box on a window sill in Paris:

In late June 2008, a Wood Pigeon couple began to trash the geraniums in the flower box of my office window. I chased the pigeons away several times, but they persisted. Then I noticed a nest. I decided to let them stay and see what would happen…

An egg appeared.

Please click on the link to read the rest of the story! Well worth it! :) http://www.hopeinparis.com/hope

And a beautiful slide-show about Hope:


The following information is from a fantastic book about hand-rearing birds. It includes rearing guides for a variety of different species.

Hand-Rearing Birds

by Laurie J. Gage and Rebecca S. Duerr

2007, Blackwell Publishing

Chapter 20: Pigeons and Doves by Martha Kudlacik and Nancy Eilertsen

The number and variety of hand-feeding diets being used in rehabilitation and captive breeding are such that they cannot all be covered in a short chapter. The underlying principle is to mimic the natural diet as much as possible.

The first 2-3 days of life, columbids are fed crop milk, which is high in protein and fat. About day 3 or 4, small amounts of regurgitated seed are added to the milk; crop milk production ceases about day 7-9 and regurgitated seed is fed throughout the fledging period.

Table 20.1. Mourning Dove tube-feeding schedule (weights based on California population). Feed hatchling diet to chicks of weights in bold. Birds on the hatchling diet may not require as frequent feeding as is listed. Check the crop at the interval and feed when crop empties.

Weight (grams) Quantity (ml) Hours between Feeds
10 1 1
15 1.5-2 1-1.5
20 1.5-2.5 2
25 2-3 2
30 2.5-3.5 2
35 4 2
40 5 3
45 5 3
50 6 3
55 6 3
60 6-7 3

Above 65 grams, skip meal if any seed in crop

65 6-7 3-1/2

Newly admitted juvenile mourning doves over 70 grams will usually self-feed unless debilitated, emaciated, or otherwise compromised.

70 8 4
80 8 4

Above 90 grams, do not tube-feed unless bird is debilitated. Healthy juveniles will almost always self-feed at 90 grams.

90 9 3x/day
95 9-10 3x/day

Expected weight gains of hand-reared Mourning Doves and Rock Pigeons.


It’s terribly easy. In fact, if you don’t watch out one day a pigeon may befriend you and you’ll never look back. You’ll be hooked. :)

Here are some stories of pigeons and people becoming friends:

Your stories about pigeons at PigeonWatch

Stories about pigeons on Diamond Dove

On me ‘ead son! Real-life Dr Doolittle nurses sick pigeon back to health – and makes a friend for life

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In pigeons, both the mother and father feed their babies crop milk. It is amazing to watch these dedicated parents lovingly feed their babies:


So yesterday I talked about how I am sometimes surprised to see Georgie so sleek and healthy after a full day of being around injured and ill pigeons. I thought I should show you a few rescued pigeons. The following 3 pigeons are all doing fine (so far), and we are working on getting them in tip top shape.

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Popeye (as named by his finder), a feral pigeon with an eye infection.

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Tiny-tot, a baby feral pigeon that is a bit underdeveloped and not growing as quickly as he should.

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This white pigeon was caught by a cat and has extensive injuries to the face and chest, which are now healing well.

This last pigeon was shot with a BB gun and unfortunately died a few days later after she was admitted. Her wounds had been cleaned and she received the medication she needed but the infection and injuries were too much for her.

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White pigeons/doves make easy targets for cruel people.

It is amazing how some people think shooting pigeons is alright. Many don’t die immediately from the shot, rather they fly away with a wound that quickly becomes infected, leading to a slow death. These shot pigeons are often caught by cats or sparrowhawks because of their injuries. The few lucky ones are picked up by concerned people, however, many don’t survive because their weakened state and infections are too far gone. I just hope that more people begin to see how unacceptable animal cruelty is. Lead by example and show compassion. Pigeons are amazing animals and deserve to be treated with kindness.


Some videos from WysInfo Docuweb (more videos on their website: Life of a Baby Pigeon and A New Sibling Squab).

1 day old:

5 days old:

6 days old:

16 days old:


I won’t go into my love/hate relationship with a certain video website, so here’s the video of me feeding a little squeaker stock dove:

I just love the way baby pigeons beak your fingers when they want food. They are such sweet, endearing creatures and I just cannot get enough of them! :)

Although this week at work my love of pigeons is being tested. We have way too many babies and I have to feed them all in the morning and late afternoon. I love it but it really takes a long time to get through them all. … Who am I kidding? My love is not being tested, just my endurance! :)


I’ve only seen the lesser known or overlooked stock dove (Columba oenas) a few times – and the other day a squeaker was found out of its nest and brought to my work. I fell in love with it immediately!

I like to think of the stock dove as being a mixture of a feral and a woody. They are similar in shape and size to a feral pigeon but have more similar colouration to woodpigeons (this is just how I see them – for a more accurate description, please visit: http://www.garden-birds.co.uk/birds/stockdove.htm). The most distinctive features are their black eyes!

Here’s the little squeaker stock dove. Isn’t he a beaut?! :)

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At first he was scared (the baby pigeons are almost always are), but after his second feeding of the day he emited a tentative squeak, then a slight hesitant wing shrug. Once he realised that our hands equaled food all his fears fell away and he begged sweetly for food. I have a video of him doing this but once again have failed to upload it (…deep breath, don’t freak out…).

Today I watched this little fella gobble seed down, so I won’t need to hand-feed him for long. He’s already starting to shy away from us again. I hope to take photos of his progress as he grows into an adult, and I’ll keep you posted.


As promised, here are a few photos of little Widget who has grown up and is almost ready for release:

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Handsome boy! :)

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Widget (second from left) with other collared doves

This is Dotty (mentioned in yesterdays post), another tiny collared dove, with her wood pigeon friend:

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Dotty (front) and friend

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The baby woody is bigger than older Dotty

She’s grown nicely but is still a tiny tot. This was Dotty on her arrival at my work on the 20th Sept:

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Ps. I was going to post a short video of Elmo welcoming us home, but the upload was too slow and messed things up so I’ll try again another time.


Watched Georgie through the window before entering our home and she was on her perch having a quiet preening session. As soon as she heard us at the door she lept off the perch and was waiting for us to let her out. Eager! :)

Elmo was on the window sill. Sometimes he hears us come home, in which case he’ll be cooing and dancing on the bed or on the floor with anticipation. Today he didn’t but as soon as he saw me peering in he lept from the window sill onto the bed and started his greeting dance. We really should capture it on video one of these days.

Elmo likes to preen my husband and here he is in his loving mood:

Sometimes, though, Elmo preens a bit too much and little red marks appear on Richard’s arm (where he’s pulled a little bit of skin off). Ouch.

In other news, little Widget has grown up into a slightly scruffy looking collared dove and is in an aviary with other collared doves, waiting for a break in the weather to be released. Hooray! :) (Photos to come if I manage to remember.) We had another little 1 day old baby collared dove in, which I have named Dotty since she’s as small as a dot.