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We have a new pigeon member in the household. Please give Funky Pigeon a warm welcome! :)

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I’m not sure Elmo is impressed with this new addition.

Elmo has a long history of attacking any soft toy that we try to pair him up with. I guess Elmo really does only have eyes for his human mate, Richard. :D

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Continuing briefly on the book theme, I went into a bookstore today and as normal walked straight to the nature/pet section for a quick scan for any good books since I’m always on the lookout for new pigeon books.

One title caught my eye: Fifty Animals That Changed the Course of History – and I knew I had to have a peak inside to see whether they had included the humble pigeon. And I’m happy to report that they had!!

It is nice to see credit given to the pigeon for the services they have rendered to mankind. I sadly didn’t buy the book since I have absolutely no space left on the bookshelf (…or under the bed… or in the wardrobe) but I had a quick read at the pigeon section and they mentioned the fact that pigeons were used to send messages in ancient times as well as in WWI and WWII. Pretty much the stuff that us pigeon people all know about already, however, for those who don’t know anything about pigeons it’s a good thing to read.

I know the article about the friendship between an orphaned monkey and a dove made its rounds on the net a while ago, however, their story has also been published in a book (which I have, and love!): Unlikely Friendship: 47 True Stories of Animal Frienships

If you have any good books with pigeons or doves in it, I’d love to hear from you!


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Button

Yesterday I introduced you to Button, a disabled feral pigeon who is desperate for a mate. I thought he would be a good match for my disabled pigeon, Georgie (read: Pigeon matchmaking – part 1).

Last weekend I brought Button home and we sectioned off a part of the living room (with sections of a wire rabbit run) for him to get used to us and our pigeons. Button is a feral pigeon that was found as an adult unable to fly (from a dislocated/broken wing) and was cared for by his rescuers for 8 months. So although he is tolerant of people he doesn’t like to be approached or touched.

I thought that in order for a pigeon to fall in love with Georgie then they would have to be a friendly or tame pigeon that isn’t imprinted to humans. That way the pigeon wouldn’t be afraid of us but would also not be too interested in us to ignore Georgie.

I could hardly contain my excitment in the pigeon matchmaking. I watched Button’s every movement and curious glances. I let him walk about in his sectioned-off area and had to stop myself from putting Georgie in with him immediately. I knew that Button would be afraid and unsure about his new surroundings – espcially because of Elmo’s advances! Elmo came charging over, cooing and dancing on his side of the fence, basically letting Button know that Elmo is the king of the house and that Button better watch out! Elmo does not welcome pigeon intruders.

After about an hour of Button exploring and getting used to his surroundings I placed Georgie on the floor by the fence and watched with bated breath. Sadly, the “love at first sight” reaction I was hoping for didn’t happen.

Button was not attracted to Georgie. He didn’t respond to her presence for a long time. Only after I started to pet Georgie and she got excited did Button react a bit but not in the excited “Wow, you’re gorgeous and I want to marry you” type of behaviour I was hoping for. So you can imagine my utter disappointment.

However, I knew that I was being too hasty. Afterall, Button had only been with us for a few hours! So the next day I continued to watch what Button did and how he responded to seeing Georgie walking about the flat. I knew that soon he’d find his voice and start calling to her. And I was right. On the third day (Sunday) Button began to coo a lot. He was establishing his territory and calling for a mate.

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Georgie (foreground) and Button in the background.

Georgie, despite her sight problems, knew that there was another pigeon in the house the instant I had placed Button’s cage down. She was very curious and kept walking up to it and when we put the fence up she kept trying to get through it. She knew that there was a pigeon there and she wanted to say hello. So when Button started calling, Georgie came running!

She danced and pranced to his cooing and I was as excited as she was. Here’s the moment, it is now happening: Georgie will have a pigeon mate!

I placed Georgie on the other side of the fence and thought I would see a lovely pairing. I was sadly wrong.

Button attacked Georgie and so I quickly took her away. When Button started calling to her again I placed her back with him, however, all attempts ended up the same way. Button would coo and call to her and when Georgie got too close he’d attack her. I couldn’t let it happen anymore so I seperated them for good.

Button wants a mate but he doesn’t want Georgie. :(

Here’s their first meeting through the fence. As you can see, Georgie is responding to Button’s cooing but he’s not really giving her the proper “come hither” coo nor is he dragging his tail feathers when he prances about. All this shows me that he’s not really into Georgie, rather, he’s just being territorial.

In the end, Georgie also didn’t want anything to do with Button and she ignored him. I was very sad about it because I knew how much Georgie wanted to befriend Button. However, I wasn’t going to let him attack her every time she tried to come close, so I took Button to work on Monday and placed him in Dora and Pidge’s aviary to find a mate in there. There are a few un-mated female pigeons that I’m sure he’ll court and eventually pair up with. So although it didn’t work out for Georgie and Button, I know that Button will be happy and Georgie is still very happy with me as her mate.

Here’s the naughty boy in his new home:

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Button in the aviary

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Button with Davey and Teresa (the white pigeons behind Button)

So my search for a pigeon mate for Georgie continues. I know that one day I’ll find her a suitable mate, it will just take time. I’m not going to force anything though. I don’t want to stress Georgie out by parading numerous male pigeons in front of her. I know that one day a special male pigeon will come by who will be perfect for her.

My criteria now is: a flight-abled pigeon (because he’ll have to be able to get away from angry Elmo) that is friendly to humans but not imprinted. Should I place a lonely hearts ad for Georgie? :)


Saw this story posted on facebook and I just had to share it!

A pigeon perch for two

March 7, 2011 : 8:55 PM ET

By Ted Brewer
One of the pigeons is, neurologically speaking, a bit challenged. The other is kind of peculiar looking. And though they were once ostracized by their respective flocks, they have been inseparable since meeting each other.

Christy and Slippers have both been at Wild Friends for well over a year, but the two had never laid eyes on each other, at least not until they both wound up in quarantine together.

Christy and Slippers
Christy and Slippers

Wild Friends is home to approximately 100 adoptable pigeons who live in two separate aviaries. Christy lived in the aviary reserved for what Wild Friends calls its “special needs” pigeons, a small number of birds whose physical limitations prevent them from thriving in the larger pigeon aviary.

Best Friends took Christy in because of a neurological problem that causes her to hold her head to one side and lose her balance easily. She is normally able to roll over and get back up when she falls, but one morning she was found lying on her side, with her head pressed into the dirt, unable to right herself.“It appeared the other pigeons had been picking on her,” says Best Friends’ wildlife rehabilitator Barbara Weider. “It may have been because Christy was sick.”

Barbara and Wild Friends’ manager Carmen Smith realized Christy was sick when they brought her in that day. They weighed her and found she was severely underweight. She was not eating enough to survive. So Barbara and Carmen had to feed her by tube for several months while treating her for coccidia, a type of parasite. They feared Christy might not make it.

In the meantime, Christy stayed in quarantine, where she could be more easily monitored and not exposed to the outside elements. At the time, temperatures were falling well below freezing at the Sanctuary.

“Some pigeons do very poorly in temperature extremes,” Barbara says.

Like Christy, Slippers doesn’t do well when the weather turns cold. And again like Christy, he’s a loner, perhaps because he has an unusual array of feathers on his legs and feet, which make him appear as though he’s wearing slippers (hence the name). He has no physical problems and lives in the main pigeon aviary, but instead of staying warm with the other pigeons inside their heated nest area, he often preferred to stay outside at night. The caregivers noticed he was fluffed and shivering in the mornings.

Knowing Slippers wasn’t fitting in and was freezing at night because of it and considering that Christy was probably feeling quite lonely in quarantine, Carmen and Barbara decided to try a little experiment. They placed Slippers in quarantine with Christy — just to see how they would get along.

The experiment could not have been more successful. The two bonded almost immediately and now cannot seem to get close enough to each other.

“They are always smashed against each other,” Barbara says, laughing. “They are always cuddling. And if they hadn’t both had health problems at the same time, they never would have met.”

Since they united, Christy’s health has been on the rebound, and she is finally eating enough on her own. Barbara and Carmen no longer have reason to fear the worst. Far from it.

Can’t get enough Wild Friends? Click here for more from the wild side of the Sanctuary.

The special care that the Sanctuary is able to provide is made possible by people like you! You can help create these happy endings by sponsoring one of the residents at Wild Friends. Click here for more information.

Photos by Molly Wald

(Article from: http://news.bestfriends.org/index.cfm?page=news&mode=entry&entry=C437065E-CC9B-0E00-A9FA035BC6087E21)


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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