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With the weather taking a turn for the worst – cold, windy and lots of wet white stuff falling from the sky – Georgie and Elmo have made the wise decision to hunker down for the day in the warmth and safety of our home. Georgie peered out the window this morning to “see” what all the fuss was about and turned round to let me know that she didn’t need to have another experience out in the snow.

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Georgie

So she got fed some pancakes instead! :)

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Pancakes!

Elmo didn’t want any, the silly boy. He decided the floor was comfy enough to nap on:

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Elmo


I cannot believe I haven’t told you about Elmo and our new glass table!

Well, here goes: When we eat at the table Elmo wants to join us since he doesn’t like to be left alone the sofa. It is obviously nearly impossible to eat with a hungry pigeon trying to steal our food (which is what would always happen before we bought the table) and since we’re not about to let Elmo share the table with us when we’re eating he gets into a bit of a strop about being excluded.

Once we’re all done and the table is cleared we sometimes let Elmo join us at the table. We quickly noticed that he wouldn’t stand on the glass, only on the placemats. I’m a bit ashamed to admit we’ve had lots of fun with removing the placemats and seeing Elmo’s shocked reaction to standing on glass, which to him must seem like he’s hovering in mid-air!! :)

In this video I first place Elmo on the glass and Elmo, instead of walking to the placemat, jumps from where he’s standing. I then try push him off the placemat onto the glass and Elmo puts on the breaks!!

The other day I caught Elmo cooing to his reflection in the oven. Was he flirting with himself or did he think that there was another pigeon there to ward off? I may never know, however, there are indications that pigeons can recognise themselves: “So that’s what I look like!” – Pigeons and self-recognition


I love pancakes, Richard loves pancakes, but Georgie LURVES pancakes! :)

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Georgie sneaking over

I completely forgot to add pancakes to the list I wrote about the other day (See: Things we cannot do in peace because of our pigeons). While Elmo can take them or leave em, Georgie must have pancakes. So after I had a few myself, I had to let Georgie eat some too (before she leapt onto my plate), minus the jam of course.

Now, some of you may be thinking that all I feed my pigeon is crisps, toast and pancakes, however, that is not the case at all. These are occassional treats – and Georgie only ever gets a little bit – because as we should all know by know, fatty, salty, greasy food is never good to eat in excess. Pigeons included.

Because of Georgie’s bad eyesight it can be hard to introduce new foodstuffs to her diet, but if she likes the smell and taste of it she usually begs for more (once I’ve somehow managed to get her to peck at it. I mean, how is she supposed to know the thing I’m holding to her beak is food?).

Elmo, on the other hand, can see the food and choose accordingly, green being an attractive quality to any food item. Weirdly, though, he doesn’t like defrosted peas.


There are a few things we simply cannot do in peace because of Georgie and Elmo (our imprinted, disabled, feral pigeons).

We cannot:

  • drink a hot beverage
  • eat crisps, popcorn, toast or anything green
  • read or do anything on the floor

You may be wondering why? Well, for the simple reason that our pigeons will not leave us alone if we do the above mentioned things.

As soon as Georgie hears me stirring any hot beverage (that telltale sound of spoon tinkling against a ceramic mug) she starts dipping her beak down as if she is drinking from the mug. When she realises that the hot drink is nowhere near her, she locates me and tries to get to the drink for a sip, which, of course, is not a good thing for her and which I prevent from happening at all costs. However, it does make for a rather silly dance as I try to sip the drink at an awkward angle with Georgie on my shoulder dipping her beak to do so too. If I push her away she becomes angry and delivers some sharp pecks before she resumes her beak dipping behaviour. She never behaves like this when I’m drinking something cold.

I cannot eat crisps alone because the rustling sound of a crisps packet must mean “Come over and peck at me” in pigeon. Without fail, every time I open a crisps packet at home the sound of that action drives Georgie mad and she jumps over to me to take her share. Now I know that excess salt is bad for any creature so I try my best not to let Georgie eat crisps, however, once again this proves difficult when you have an insistent pigeon on your lap pecking away at the packet and your hands. I often have to put Georgie on the floor while I try to enjoy the crisps in peace, however, more often than not, I have to let my pigeon peck for a while at my salty fingers to get her salt kick (if not, I have one grumpy pigeon on my hands).

Toast is another favourite food item of Georgie’s and it seems she can smell it when it’s on my plate because she’s always there to try to steal a slice, usually with Elmo not far behind.

Elmo has a popcorn addiction. Georgie used to love popcorn too but not anymore (for unknown reasons). My husband and I cannot enjoy a bowl of popcorn in peace when watching a movie because Elmo insists on joining us. We have to break a few pieces up and let Elmo peck at them on the sofa just to keep him busy while we enjoy the bulk of the popcorn. Elmo is also attracted to green food items, spinach and lettuce being his favourite.

Regarding not being able to read or do something on the floor, this is all down to noisy Elmo. Imagine this: you fancy a different scene so you sit on the floor and start playing Solitaire with cards or lay down some magazines to browse through. All of a sudden you hear a thump noise as a pigeon lands on the floor and then makes his way over. You have nothing against a curious pigeon, such behaviour simply shows how wonderful the species is, but you do have something against said pigeon standing smack-bang on top of the cards or magazines. Right in the middle. Looking up at you with, “Whatcha doing?” eyes. He may then start to peck at the items he’s standing on (Photo examples: Elmo boy photos).

Here’s some photos I took this evening:

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Our sofa has some storage space under it. Elmo is checking out the new sights from high up.

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Elmo boy

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Georgie trying her best not to be noticed (since she hates cameras).


During the summer Elmo spent most of his weekday time on the window sill looking out at the visiting birds, foxes, rats and cats in the garden. We know this because a) we could see it from the webcam we set up in the room, and b) by the amount of poo concentrated in the area. Now the days are shorter and Elmo has not been on the window sill for a long time. We don’t know why. Most days when we’re at work Elmo is by the door or on the bedside table (his roosting spot).

I cannot imagine why he’s rejected the window sill. He loved spending his day there – viewing the outside world – so why the change? Did a cat scare him? Was there a bossy pigeon who threatened him? Whatever the reason, I can’t help feel that he’s missing out on something by not looking out into the garden. But I could very well be wrong in thinking this. Elmo can make his own choices as to what to do during the day when we’re away at work. He has the whole bedroom to explore and I’m sure many moments are spent with him cooing and dancing to my fluffy socks or with Elmo exploring under the bed (so many interesting things under there!). I’m sure he’s not bored in any way. He spends a good portion preening and sleeping, being the old boy that he is (ok, maybe not old but at least middle-aged).

Here’s a video of us coming home from work and greeting Elmo from the garden. As you can see, he’s very happy to see us! :)

My wonderful husband made us some granary bread, which was delicious!! George agreed with me because she hopped onto my lap and begged for some. I couldn’t refuse her. I tore a piece of my sandwich and held it out for her to peck at and she LOVED it! It’s been a while since I’ve seen her act like this. She was twitching and cooing and begging so intently! So cute! When I took the bread away George exploded with energy, begging so enthusiastically that I had to give her some more. It’s hard for me to explain the behaviour – I wish I had recorded it. In the end Georgie ate nearly all my sandwich – she was woolfing it down!

This isn’t that occasion, but this video shows you how Georgie generally eats bread – a bit of pot-luck since she cannot see properly – which is why you either have to hold the food out so she can peck it from your fingers or give her a large piece that she cannot miss!


We haven’t got a breakfast table nor a dining table. Upon moving to our current flat, we had to make a choice between keeping the breakfast table or my bookcases. … Now, nobody comes between me and my books. The table was swiftly taken to a charity shop and my books are in prime position.

So what am I getting at, you ask? Well, since we haven’t got a table we have to eat on the sofa (I wince as I write this. This is no way to eat dinner!). And since the sofa is really the pigeons territory, you can imagine the attention we get when we try to eat.

Georgie is the worst. At least Elmo can be told to go to his nest to coo and head bob. Georgie on the other hand insists on sitting on my lap – which isn’t possible since the food tray is there. So I spend the whole time gently pushing her away while she gets annoyed with me and continues her mission to sit on my lap. She’ll hop onto my knee then onto the tray. She’ll climb onto my shoulder then try to jump down to my lap. It’s relentless. The only other option is to put her on the floor – in which case I feel guilty as Georgie sulks in the corner.

One day soon we’ll rearrange the furniture (I actually need new bookcases since I’ve got too many books to fit in the current ones), buy a drop-leaf table and fold-away chairs, and be able to sit in peace as we have lunch and dinner. Ah, what luxury that will be!

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Dora immediately pounces on the bread roll, with Georgie edging closer.

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Dora didn't like Georgie, so poor Georgie has to wait her turn.

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Elmo wants pizza!