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Georgie laid an egg (no surprise there, I guess… ha ha). What do you think of it?


Ok, so that’s obviously not her egg. :)

We put the chicken egg there to see if she’d try to sit on it, but Georgie just looked perplexed. :)

Georgie is ignoring me now that she’s incubating. She’ll get up to eat and then go back to incubating. Then 20 minutes later she’ll get up again to eat. She does this all evening. I cannot believe how well she eats when she’s broody. Normally, Georgie doesn’t eat that often – which is why I keep track of her weight to ensure she’s eating enough. However, when broody, Georgie has a full crop of beans so to speak. I call her crop her “bean bag”. It’s lovely to feel how heavy she is and I’m hoping she doesn’t lose her post-incubation weight, which was what happened the last time.

In other news, Elmo likes to “hide and seek”, however, he’s not very good at it. He’ll hide behind the bedroom door and then he’ll coo and coo and coo until we find him. Here’s what happened on one such occasion:

As promised here’s an update on Minnie’s and mummy pigeon’s new life:

We visited them today and I have to say that it was lovely to see Minnie again. As soon as she saw us she jumped onto the aviary mesh and started flapping to get our attention. She obviously recognised us and was happy to see us!


Minnie (right) and her new mate

Minnie has paired up with a handsome big boy and she laid her first ever egg last Wednesday (14th April). She’s only 7 months old and still just as small. Minnie laid only one tiny egg, which was quickly replaced with a dummy egg. When Richard and I arrived at the aviary Minnie’s mate was incubating it.

The mummy pigeon hasn’t had as much luck unfortunately! :(


Mummy pigeon

Although there are two other single males in the aviary neither have courted her, which I find surprising since she was such a big hit with the male pigeons at my workplace. But at least she is in a safe environment.

One of the single males is currently trying to steal a female from another male but maybe he’ll realise he cannot have her and will concentrate on the mummy pigeon.

The other single male is a white dove and only likes white females. Here he’s excitedly courting a new female arrival (who has a broken wing):

We’re very happy with Minnie’s new life and wish her the best with her mate. They make a handsome couple!


Minnie's mate is bigger than her which this photo doesn't show.


Minnie's mate

As mentioned in her bio Georgie pigeon was thought to be a boy. Before I took her into my care I knew next to nothing about pigeons (so I couldn’t tell that she wasn’t a boy). Sure, I had admired pigeons when I was young as they bobbed and cooed in the street of my home town. I thought them pretty and wondered why they walked like they do. I particularly enjoyed seeing the males trying to get the females attention (all that tail fanning, bobbing and cooing is fascinating). I have always loved animals and had kept many pets but I never had a special interest in pigeons until I began working at a wildlife rescue centre.

You see, pigeons are quite common (really? Could have fooled me. :) ) and many kind and caring people bring injured or orphaned ones to the rescue centre so I was (and still am) pretty surrounded by pigeons (hedgehogs being the next most common animal brought in). I saw my first baby pigeon there and didn’t have a clue what it was. But I quickly fell in love with them as my supervisor showed me how to feed them – the poor darlings squeaking away with such enthusiasm and earnest – “Please feed me, mummy!” and quickly, “Please cuddle me!” as they grew and wanted some love from their adopted carers.

Many people say that squeakers and squabs are ugly but I beg to differ. Maybe it is a case of “Having a face only a mother could love”? Do I care what other people think about them? … (Actually I do. I can get quite upset when people see the baby pigeons at the rescue centre and say “How ugly they are!” I can remember only two people saying how beautiful they looked and I almost hugged them).

Anyway, back to Georgie. So here was this almost 1 year old young male pigeon who Richard and I loved to bits. Then one day, shortly after her 1st birthday, Georgie laid an egg. And she hasn’t looked back since!! :)

Georgie and her first egg

The unexpected egg

We were shocked to bits, our whole view of George changed immediately. She was no longer this cool male pigeon, rather a moody female one. And by lord, can she get moody when she’s incubating her eggs! They aren’t fertile since Elmo boy doesn’t pay her any attention, so we let her incubate them till she’s bored of it. We have a couple of fake eggs to replace her ones just in case we accidently break the real ones (Georgie likes to nest on the sofa despite the dangers of us sitting on them).

So we have to deal with a very moody pigeon on her nest while we are trying to watch TV or relax on the sofa. Richard cannot sit next to her otherwise she’ll attack him. Only I can safely sit next to her, but sometimes, when she’s really into her protective mother role, I have to back off because she’s ‘protecting’ her eggs.

We cannot get Georgie to stop laying eggs. Her body and hormones and mind tell her to bond with me and have babies. That’s just the way it is. Pigeons like to breed. And they’ll do it all year round. That’s why there’s so many of them. Sure, I could stop petting her or letting her cuddle up to me, I could put her somewhere where she hasn’t the opportunity to bond with someone, but that would simply be cruel. Georgie needs affection. She’s semi-blind and craves contact.

So we’re stuck with a loving pigeon (who we still love dearly) who will lay a pair of eggs nearly every month. I keep a diary of when she lays them so I can monitor her health. Georgie was eggbound once and it was a scary ordeal. I now have calcium drops and special UV bird lamp to counteract the strain of her egg production.

At the moment we’re expecting Georgie to lay an egg. The last egg she laid was on the 18th Nov 09, so it’s been over two months, which is pretty good. It’s never good for a bird to lay eggs continuously. For those of you who have seen a pigeon lay an egg it’s quite fascinating. But if you’ve ever thought a pigeon was a boy and he laid an egg?? Well, that’s a different feeling!