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Elmo simply cannot stand not being the centre of attention. I was cuddling up to Georgie, taking a video of her sweet cooings and nibbles, when Elmo came over with his loud demanding coos and basically pushed his way over to get my attention.

Just see for yourself:

LOL! :)

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but no matter, here it is again: Sometimes Elmo will race after Richard if he leaves the room suddenly. I’ve been thinking that I should time him to see how quickly Elmo does it. Sometimes he surprises us both by being in the room so quickly. George has a knack of doing this too. You’ll walk into the bedroom, grab your jumper, for example, turn around and Georgie would be standing in the doorway. Gives you a shock!

I’ve also been trying to video Elmo when he has his “freak out” moments – usually when Richard has left the room and has accidentally closed the door so Elmo cannot follow him. Elmo does not like that at all and will run about flapping and going around in circles. The problem is that as soon as Elmo notices me filming him, he’ll turn his attentions to me and start cooing and dancing to the camera. Here’s my few attempts at secretly videoing Elmo (notice how I fail miserably!):

I hear a noise, a soft tapping in the corner of the room. I peer round the corner and see Elmo pecking softly at the closed door. He wants to go through, to search for Richard who has gone out. I open the door and Elmo eagerly searches the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, cooing in anticipation the whole time.

Disappointment. Richard is nowhere to be found. Elmo walks up to me and dances around my feet, “Where’s daddy gone? Where’s daddy gone?”

“What have you done to him?” Elmo accuses me. I try explaining that Richard has gone out for a while but that he’ll be back soon. Elmo doesn’t believe me. He thinks I’ve hidden Richard away so he continues to search the rooms and then dance around my feet – insisting that I go reveal where I’ve hidden Richard.

Eventually Elmo give up and goes back to his nest on the sofa to coo and call, waiting. He doesn’t accept my offerings of affection and attention. Not yet. He’s thinking of Richard and waiting for his return. He wants nothing to do with me so soon.

Elation! Richard has appeared and all is right with the world. Elmo runs about the room, cooing and bowing his head. His joy is contagious.

George has been twitching and cooing to me, as well as nibbling and preening me, ever so intently. She feels heavier too – as if she’s got eggs in her. She’s being very sweet and is constantly seeking out my attention. Dora used to do this too. She’d fly from one room to another – following my every move. When I’d cook Dora would peer over the top of the kitchen cabinet at my attempts at brewing up something nice. I got very worried she’d poo in my food or throw feathers and feather dust into the pot. (Sometimes I’d threaten to throw her in the pot if she didn’t behave… but I think Dora knew I’m a vegetarian so she’d call my bluff!). I had to keep Dora in her cage whenever I cooked, something she was not happy about. So I’m very happy she’s so loved up with her pigeon mate. She hardly says hello to me nowadays – only to demand treats.


Dora on my leg


Coming over to say hello.

Of course Georgie has to contradict me. Last week I mentioned that Georgie isn’t a morning person and is very cranky with me – often not wanting any cuddles before I go to work. However, this morning she was as sweet and gracious as she can be. As I was eating my breakfast she softly cooed to me, twitching her wings, and sung her song of contentment on my lap. With one hand wrapped around her body she eased into my fingers, her soft feathers and warmth melting into the palm of my hand. It is moments like these that make going off to work even harder.




In my early naive pigeon keeping days I innocently thought that pigeons are quiet birds, that they only occassionally cooed when in a mating mood. Little did I realise just how noisy they actually are! Pigeons coo all the time! Dora was almost evicted for it (in the end she was evicted to find a mate in an aviary). Even though Richard would be sitting right beside Elmo, Elmo would decide to jump off the sofa, waltz into another room and then coo incessantly and loudly for Richard to come to him. How demanding!

Sometimes Elmo and Georgie will have a cooing contest. George snuggled under my chin, cooing with contentment and Elmo in his nest cooing excitedly to Richard. If we touched them they’d explode into a song of love, each harmonising with the other, totally ignoring the fact that we might be trying to watch a movie or read a book in peace.

Pigeons in aviaries are noisy creatures too – the male strutting his stuff and cooing to attract the females, pigeons fighting for space on perches and for better nesting sites, and the males cooing in the nests with eagerness when the females choose to be with them. I have found that female pigeons tend to be quieter if they have a pigeon mate, however, if they have a human mate then they change into attention seeking little things. I think it may be because naturally male pigeons are always trying to impress the females, however, us humans don’t spend all our time cooing and dancing to our pet pigeon – we interact differently – and I think the female pigeons realise this and therefore take on the role of males; trying to get our attention instead. … Just my theory.

So beware those of you who are thinking of having a pigeon as a pet because you’ve been told they are quiet! :) … Well, compared to the loud screeches and imitations that some parrot species can do, then yes, pigeons are quiet. But they aren’t silent. They have a voice and will be heard! :)

Just listen to all the cooing in these videos:

Today there was a cooing contest between Elmo and Georgie – both calling to me! I had a half day at work today so I returned home early to do some much needed housework, all due to the fact that Elmo and Georgie are routinely pulling out their feathers in another one of their contests: Who can shed the most feathers in one sitting?! The slightly bald, pin cushion look must be in fashion this season. (Don’t be alarmed – they aren’t feather picking in the sense of captive parrots, rather just removing loose feathers during their moult.)

Anyway, back to the housework and a freshly clean home – a task not liked but a sight and smell much loved. So there I was with a duster in one hand, vacuum cleaner in the other (don’t you just wish you could extract an extra pair of arms when needed?), the washing machine on with its second load, the tumble dryer on with its first – and above the noise of all this I could hear both Elmo and Georgie cooing loudly in their spots on the sofa, stubbornly ignoring the fact that I was preoccupied and not available to cuddle them.

Earlier, Elmo and Georgie were ecstatic to have me home early – both singing and dancing in their pleasure (Georgie twirling on the spot, Elmo prancing about). I gave them both individual attention – lots of kisses and cuddles – but had to break away to start the housework. They obviously didn’t approve of this and made it clear by their loud and insistent cooing.

How could I ignore them? How could I be so cruel as to not spend another hour cuddled up to them? … But being the non-domestic Goddess that I am, I knew that if I stopped for a moment in between the housework I’d never start up again. So, I put on my blinders and ploughed through the work until the house was spick and span, after which I treated myself to a drink and snacks whilst watching day-time TV with Georgie on my shoulder snuggled into my hair and Elmo by my side – asleep in his nest – all cooing subsided and fulfilled. Bliss.

Georgie girl cracks me up. She’s so funny and sweet, and everytime I look at her I just want to cuddle her because she’s so cute. And she does things that make me smile.

So there I am in the shower, belting out “Someday I’ll be Saturday Night” by Bon Jovi (my favourite shower song!), when I hear Georgie cooing by the bathroom door. Now, earlier I had placed her on the backrest of the sofa – safe from Elmo’s reach – and out of my way as I go about doing the housework. Georgie seems happy to stay there and settles down. Then I go have a shower and am away for a while.

Now either Georgie realised that I had left the room and decided to find me, or she heard me singing and was attracted to my ‘call’ (since Georgie often reacts to my voice as if I’m her mate calling her). Either way I find it very sweet of her to have found me (being semi-blind and all)!

The bathroom door was a bit open so I call to her to get her to come into the bathroom, but George reacts as she normally does to my voice by doing a little dance and she invariably pranced away from the door. I go silent and then a moment later I hear her call to me. So I call back and I can hear Georgie fanning out her tail across the carpet as she does her little dance. Sweetheart! But she doesn’t enter the bathroom and continues to call to me. Once I had finished with my shower and am wrapped up in a nice fluffy bathrobe, I go out and pick up Georgie who explodes into a flurry of coos and twitches as she cuddles up to me.

Say what you will, but I know that Georgie loves me! :D

As many have already gathered, I find pigeon aviaries very soothing and relaxing to be in. The sound of male pigeons cooing to their mates and the ‘tap tap’ of their feet as they dance along a perch are particularly entrancing. It is such a shame that there aren’t enough people out there that keep disabled pigeons – they are a joy to watch and care for!

All the pigeons, bar one, in the tame/disabled aviary at my work are paired up. I’ve been wanting to find the lone male pigeon (Stanley) a mate for a while now since he is in love with Dora and is always trying to follow her but cannot because he cannot fly. Poor dear!

So when a pretty little pigeon came in a month or so ago that had what appeared to be a broken wing, my hopes were raised and I immediately marked the pigeon for keeps. The pigeon had been hit by a golf ball at a golf course and its left wing was dropped and swollen.

P1030491My gut instinct said the pigeon is female – she’s just so pretty and petite! But my track record of sexing pigeons hasn’t been great so I wasn’t going to bet money on it. :)

However, a few weeks ago when I was feeding a baby feral pigeon I heard our golf pigeon cooing in a very wistful way and I saw her watching me feed the baby pigeon. I put the baby pigeon near her and she started getting very excited. The baby pigeon, already quite excited because it wanted more food, started pecking at the cage bars at the adult pigeon, begging for food, and on an impulse I put the two together. To my amazement I saw the adult pigeon trying to feed the baby!! It was such a sweet and loving moment to watch. I was then sure that the adult golf pigeon is female. She must have had babies (or was sitting on eggs) at the time of her injury, therefore her desire to feed a baby pigeon was strong. That thought makes me quite sad though because I don’t know what’s happened in reality (is the dad pigeon looking after the babies?).

Due to the location of the golf course I named the golf pigeon Hilda. She has such a character and is quite unafraid of humans. Here she is telling me off for putting my hand in her cage:

After treatment and seeing that her wing was still dropped I moved Hilda into the resident pigeon aviary to see how she gets along and to hopefully pair up with Stanley the lonely pigeon. Here’s what happened (Stanley is the white pigeon with the bald patch on his head):

All the male pigeons came down to see the newcomer and strut their stuff in front of her.


Hilda (in between the two white and grey pigeons) with the male pigeons.


Stanley (left) dancing at Hilda (right)

I was certainly hopeful that Hilda is pretty enough to win Stanley’s heart, however, today when I went to see the pigeons I noticed that Hilda can now fly and was sitting on the top perch, far away from Stanley’s reach. I’m happy that Hilda’s wing has healed and that she can fly but sad that Stanley and her aren’t a pair. I’m not sure that I will release Hilda now that she can fly since she is still quite approachable and tolerant of us – maybe a bit too tolerant, which might be why she got hit by a golf ball?

P1030552The other day we received a very special boy at my work – a 1 year old feral pigeon that had been hand-reared and was very tame and human-oriented. The pigeon, called Sebastian or Coo-face (very sweet!), is a very healthy specimen and has a great character. The person who had raised him thought it was time to see if Sebastian would find a mate and to also give him a better quality of life – which we hope to provide.

First we need to see how Coo-face reacts to other pigeons, then, if the outcome is good we’ll rehome him to an aviary of tame and disabled pigeons with the hopes he’ll pair up with a lovely lady pigeon and start his journey to becoming a pigeon.

If, however, he doesn’t seem very interested in other pigeons we’ll have to rehome him to a home that can give him the personal attention he needs. I have to admit I want to smuggle him home with me (to see if he’ll like Georgie) – but we tried that before, with Minnie, and it didn’t work out at all (see: Minnie’s new home). But I’m still eager to find Georgie a mate, however, maybe a human-imprinted pigeon isn’t the best bet since Sebastian will probably only be interested in us not Georgie!

One day I hope to have a special aviary suited for Georgie and her mate if we ever get to find one for her. There’s bound to be a pigeon out there that finds her irrestistible! In the meantime I might introduce Georgie to Sebastian just to see if he’ll take to her, however, it’ll have to be at my work since I don’t want to upset Elmo in any way (what a spoilt boy he is!).

Sebastian loves to spend time on my shoulder at work, which can be very distracting because all I want to do is cuddle him, and when he’s in his cage he coos away at me to get my attention! I shall soon try him in the resident pigeon aviary to see how he reacts to other pigeons and I’ll post my findings.

Doesn’t Sebastian boy look like a bigger version of Minnie? :)



In yesterday’s post I posted a video of my husband bowing his head and cooing to a tame pigeon who responded by flying onto his head and shoulders. The pigeon reacted to his attempt at talking pigeon, which we found very amusing, despite being a behaviour we had seen before.

After we had lived with Georgie and Elmo for a while our behaviour towards other pigeons changed. When I first met Dora at a wildlife rescue centre I bowed and cooed to her and she responded by rushing up to me, fanning her tail and dancing around in a circle. I found her response amazing and couldn’t wait to try it out with other feral pigeons! Sure enough, both my husband and I found that when you bow your head and coo like a pigeon you’ll get some sort of a response from the receiving pigeon – ranging from a slight cock of the head to a full blown rush and dance routine!!

It tends to work more on feral pigeons that are a bit tame (either because they had been hand-reared or because they are used to being around humans). Little Minnie also responded well to bowing and a bit of cooing. And today I bowed and cooed at a feral pigeon at work who was making too much noise in the I.C.U. (it kept calling out for attention) and it stopped what it was doing, cocked its head at me and made a movement as if it was going to come towards me, however, it then thought against it and just watched me making a fool of myself as bowed my head, shook my shoulders up and down and cooed like a pigeon (or tried to at any rate).

I don’t know what we’re saying in pigeon when we imitate their behaviour, but it seems to attract their attention and encourage a response. Maybe we’re being a bit too flirtatious? Whatever message we’re conveying with our silly behaviour it is certainly getting their attention!