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At the beginning of last year I wrote about how many eggs Georgie has laid (click here to read the post) and I feel I should update the list.

Here are the numbers:

  • 2008 – 2 eggs
  • 2009 – 16 eggs
  • 2010 – 7 eggs
  • 2011 – 8 eggs
  • 2012 – 20 eggs
  • 2013 – 14 eggs
  • 2014 – 3 eggs to date

That makes 70 eggs in total.

I captured the moment when Georgie laid an egg this month:

Poor darling, it always looks a bit painful and stressful, but Georgie takes a moment to recover and is fine. It is interesting when you see the egg laying behaviour because now I can recognise it for what it is. The first time I saw her all puffed up and moving her tail in that manner I was quite alarmed, especially since we thought Georgie was a boy! Certainly wasn’t expecting an egg to appear! :D

Moments before she started to lay the egg (in the video) Georgie was in her nest on the sofa and Hugo boy (our pigeon-fearing cat) was very intrigued in what was going on. Georgie was all puffed up and looking different and I think Hugo thought she was something other than a pigeon. I moved her to her cage so she could lay her egg in there. If I were to move her after she had laid the egg then there would be a big chance she’d reject the relocation and insist on going back to the sofa. This has happened in the past so now I know to quickly move Georgie and her nest to her cage for the egg laying to ensure she incubates them happily in her cage. Thankfully, her eggs are infertile so I don’t have to worry about Georgie rejecting them, although I prefer her to incubate instead of laying another pair of eggs so soon after the first pair.

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Georgie girl all puffed up

 


We knew something was up when Elmo started to do this:

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Where's Elmo?

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Elmo trying to go under the sofa

He was being broody but for some reason wasn’t nesting in his beloved cat igloo bed. When I showed him a fake egg Elmo immediately tried to sit on it (still in my hand!!). After placing the egg into his igloo bed Elmo was happy to nest in there. What a silly little boy! :)

I’m sure he’s super jealous of Georgie’s ability to lay eggs. If only he realised that if he didn’t attack Georgie she might let him incubate her infertile eggs. If Elmo ever did decide that he fancied Georgie I would be besides myself with joy! Imagine the two having babies?!! :D

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Georgie and her egg


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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Georgie wasn’t impressed that Elmo is stealing all her broody glory so she laid some eggs to compete. We now have two moody, broody little pigeons.

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Ps. We moved Georgie’s nest out of the cat igloo bed so she can have easier access to food and water in her cage.


Elmo is happily (and moodily) sitting on his fake eggs.

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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:


The past few weeks have been upsetting for all of us. Elmo has been in a foul mood and nothing Richard and I do seems to make him happy. We don’t know what has happened to upset Elmo so much but we’re trying our best to improve things so Elmo feels better.

Here’s what I do know:

  • Elmo’s bad mood started shortly after we went on holiday.
  • Elmo started moulting during the week of our holiday.

Now I could understand his bad mood if we had left him for a week, but no, we didn’t leave at all! We stayed at home for our holiday, so what’s Elmo so angry about? Was it my constant presence (since I’m the rival)? I know that my pigeons can feel vulnerable when moulting, but Elmo’s behaviour is a bit extreme.

Elmo has now stopped moulting and we have gone back to work, but he’s still not his usual cuddly-cute, happy self. :(

The day we went back to work Elmo did show a bit of his usual behaviour – he cooed to us and greeted us – but that was short lived. He’s a bit better with Richard, no longer pecking him like he was during our holiday, but he’s not showing him the love that he usually does. I’m finding this all a bit stressful since I hate to see Elmo so angry.

All Elmo does now is chase me about the flat to attack my feet. I know the difference from his playful attacking behaviour, and this is not it. He wants to hurt me and he attacks in anger. The last time he was like this was when he was broody and sitting on the fake eggs.

I really hope Elmo feels better soon because I feel he’s also getting stressed about the situation. I’ve been giving him treats and trying to be loving but Elmo does not want me to be around him, so I will try to keep out of his way.

Even the sight of the camera didn’t excite his usual amorous feelings towards it!

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Elmo giving me the evil eye

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Elmo staring me down


Like any creature on the planet Elmo has days when he’s not ‘feeling it’, if I may use an expression of mine. Sure, we’re all entitled to feeling a bit blue and moody, but when Elmo is in such a mood it worries us since it’s harder to find out why he’s in such a mood. But this mood may only last a day and the next morning he’ll be his usual clownish, attention-seeking self. So we often don’t know the reason behind the behaviour change.

When Elmo is moody he won’t coo to us, nor react to our head-bobbing (a behaviour that often elicits head-bobbing in return, as well as a pigeon strut). He’ll peck our fingers – yes, even Richard’s! – and basically keep to himself – yet, he’ll remain in our company (never going off into a corner).

Now, since birds are notoriously good at hiding illness, such behaviour change can cause alarm. I am aware of this so I am always on the look out for any other signs of illness (e.g. changes in droppings, appetite, feather condition, etc.). Thankfully, I haven’t seen any other signs to worry me that Elmo would be ill – if he was he’d be whisked away to the vet in a heartbeat!

Over the weekend Elmo had one of his mood swings. Since Georgie is incubating her fake egg we thought maybe her broodiness was rubbing off onto Elmo. So Richard placed the other fake egg into Elmo’s nest and that evening Elmo sat on the egg and accepted our offerings of straw to cosy up the nest. The next morning, however, Elmo had rejected the egg and wasn’t interested in it anymore so we took it away. Shame, we thought he’d enjoy being broody again, but we were wrong. (For the story of Elmo’s broodiness, please read the following posts: Elmo is broody!!, Moody Broody Elmo, Broody day three and Eggless Elmo.)

Two years ago Elmo nested on the fake eggs and here’s a video of it:

After a day of Elmo ignoring us it was nice to have him showing some interest – which happened when Richard had his dinner of chicken and rice. Elmo went a bit mad with desire! He wanted some chicken and rice!!

Ok, maybe I should explain, Elmo isn’t a vegetarian. He likes to eat rice, but only if it is coated with some sort of meaty sauce. I kid you not. He’s special that way. :D

I’m a vegetarian so I find Elmo’s carnivorous/cannibilistic appetite a bit confusing. (Secretly, I think it might simply be the spicing, not the meat that Elmo likes.) The first time Elmo showed this interest we decided to take a video of it for proof:

Sadly, I didn’t take any video of Elmo’s recent meat cravings. I wish I had – his behaviour was hilarious! Elmo was staring at Richard’s plate with such an intensity that I had to warn Richard to move the plate before Elmo jumped onto it. Then Elmo watched Richard’s every move as he ate – begging with his eyes to join in. When he was allowed to peck at a few meaty grains of rice Elmo couldn’t believe his luck. You’ve gotta love him!!


Today both Georgie and I had had enough (read yesterdays post to catch up). I removed the nest and infertile egg after Georgie had quickly become restless and fed up from the 16 days of non-stop incubating, and now she’s settled and calm. By tomorrow she’ll be sitting on my lap, cooing contently once again. I cannot wait.

Yes, the past two weeks have been quiet and easy going without Georgie’s constant attention-seeking behaviour, so I was happy for the break, however, soon after a week of being pigeon free I really started to miss her affections and company. … And Elmo wasn’t being obliging in filling the void. … No matter how hard I tried to bribe him to love me instead of my husband.

I had forgotten how hard it is to deal with Georgie during her broodiness. You can forgive me since it has been 8 months since the last time she had laid an egg. But now that we are once again egg-free things should hopefully go back to normal. I must simply remember not to encourage her broodiness. I don’t want more eggs anytime soon.

Here’s the darling girl sitting down in a calm manner. How cute is she?! (Thankfully she didn’t climb onto the pink and white fleece!)

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George has in fact filled out very nicely in the past month. She feels really chunky and solid, which I’m very happy about since she has always been a bit too slight and thin. I hope she doesn’t loose her “pregnancy” weight! :)

And I mustn’t forget dear Elmo. I know I haven’t been writing much about him lately, which I will try to rectify soon. Do you know that pigeons seem to synchronize their behaviours? Well, Georgie and Elmo certainly do. Today, Elmo had a bath right after Georgie had one, then they both sat on the sofa to dry off. Then a little while later, at the same time, they began to preen. And then it was time for a nap. Here’s the boy zonked out. This is why we love him so much! :)

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