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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.



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.






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!!





Here are Elmo’s past broody dates:

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!!

Last night Georgie snuck onto Elmo’s nest on the sofa and laid an egg. Yes, you heard me: She laid an egg on Elmo’s nest!! What a sneaky girl!! :D

Here’s the girl caught in the act:


Luckily, Elmo was on the floor at the time so he didn’t know what was happening (otherwise he would have attacked her since he doesn’t like other pigeons). We removed the egg and Georgie walked away after taking a moment to recover. We’re happy that she isn’t moody about her eggs and she’s now sitting happily on my lap, cooing away.


However, we did have a very moody pigeon today. Richard put the fake eggs under Elmo to see what would happen (big mistake!) and Elmo was a little git, running about attacking us both in his moodiness. So we removed the eggs and after Elmo had his fill attacking Templeton, the soft toy rat, he’s returned to his normal sweet self.

Georgie hasn’t laid an egg since the beginning of April. That’s about 6 months egg free!! Incredible!!!

A year ago I started recording when she lays eggs, and since April 2009 she’s laid 11 clutches (2 eggs per clutch, therefore, she’s laid 22 eggs in a year). For some reason Georgie has decided to stop laying eggs, however, her mating behaviour has stayed the same. She still presents herself for mating and does her “I got lucky!” dance afterwards (see video: Bonded Georgie), however, she hasn’t laid an egg in 6 months – which is a big surprise for us. I’m not sure what’s going on.

In a way I am very happy – because I always worry when she starts laying eggs (takes a lot of energy and calcium, etc.) and Georgie also gets very moody and a bit difficult when she’s sitting on eggs. However, I’m also a bit bemused as to why she’s not laying any eggs now. I guess I should count myself lucky that she’s giving her body a break! :)

Continuous egg laying can be a real problem for bird owners since the health of the female bird can deteriorate over time as the demands of producing and laying eggs takes their toll. The danger of egg-binding (the inability to pass an egg that has formed) also becomes more prominent. Egg-binding is a life-threatening condition and the vet should immediately be consulted! (Read more on egg-binding: Eggbound symptoms)

I know I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Georgie was eggbound last year (Georgie eggbound), however, it is something that scared us a lot and not an experience we’d want to repeat. So I will take Georgie’s lack of eggs as a good sign and not encourage her too much in her mating behaviour. … Now that I’ve said this I bet she’ll lay eggs this month. :)

Elmo has calmed down a bit, however, I have to put a big cushion barrier on the sofa to stop him from attacking me when I sit there. But at least he’s not following me around trying to chase me off.

Georgie still hasn’t laid any eggs and is now not showing any signs that she will. Maybe she thinks that Elmo has stolen the show so why bother being broody when Elmo is already doing it? If only we could somehow combine the two – make Elmo and Georgie fall in love then they could be broody and moody together!

Elmo has tucked the harness into the nest around the eggs and has a few feathers sticking out too. I think it is so funny that he’s not afraid of them now and sees them only as nesting material. I bet you anything that after his broodiness he’ll be scared of them again!

So yesterday I reported that Elmo has gone all broody on us. We are still unsure what to do now because his behaviour has changed quite a lot. He’s over-protective, moody and angry.


Proud daddy on his eggs

When we left this morning for work we put Elmo’s nest and his fake eggs in the bedroom so that he didn’t get frustrated about being seperated from them during the day (usually his nest stays in the living room). Richard kept an eye on him on the webcam and he saw that Elmo spent most of his day sitting on the eggs. Sweetheart!

Upon our return Elmo hopped off his nest, walked past me into the living room and helped himself to the peanut jar on the sofa. He didn’t say a word to me – not a coo or a dance in greeting. Now that’s a first!!

After he’d had his fill of peanuts he then proceeded to attack me. And this he did the whole time I prepared and tried to eat my dinner. Elmo was relentless! He ran after me as I walked about the flat – attacking my feet – and when I sat down to eat he jumped onto my lap and attacked my hands. He would not give up! In the end I had to put him back in the bedroom so that I could eat my dinner in peace. When I let him out he wasn’t too pleased with me at all and began his hate campaign against me. I think that now that he’s gone broody Elmo thinks the whole flat is his and is trying to chase me out.

We’re worried that he’ll cause himself harm with his obsessive attacking – we’re not sure if we should take the eggs away from him or let him sit on them for a few days to get it out of his system. I’m inclined to let him sit on them for a week. I don’t like the idea of pulling them just when he’s getting started, however, I don’t like to see him stress out about my presence. Short of me actually leaving the flat for the week (there’s some really nice hotels in the area!), there’s nothing I can really do to stop him from attacking me. If I interact with him and try to push him away he just gets even more aggressive. Richard will just have to keep Elmo occupied whilst I’m around.

I think I’m painting a rather negative picture, however, at the moment Elmo is not bothered with me as I type this up at my desk. I hope that once he realises that I’m not going anywhere – and if I don’t look or go near him – he may calm down.

A weird thing about Elmo’s broody behaviour – it seems to have made him rather fearless!! As reported previously, Elmo is scared of feathers and the harness, however, now Elmo thinks they are both excellent nesting material!! What a funny boy!



Elmo is generally a happy pigeon. He’s content laying in his nest (a guinea pig nest) twitching furiously at me for the most part of the day / evening, occasionally wondering around the flat and calling me to what he considers ideal corners to roost in.

Sunday wasn’t one of those days. Elmo is a little put out that we have a new pigeon in the house (Malcolm / Minnie) and hasn’t been behaving like himself. He’s very aggressive, and very territorial!

On-top of this we discovered something we thought was hugely entertaining. If we showed Elmo the blue underside of his nest he went absolutely bananas! He’d rush up to it to attack it, wing slap it, and vigorously peck at it. Most unlike Elmo. We may have taken this a little too far on Sunday, and Elmo spent the most part of the afternoon and evening in a foul mood indeed.

On Monday we decided it would be best if we didn’t take Malcolm / Minnie home, to give Elmo and Georgie a break. Elmo is most pleased with this decision and is back to his normal loving self again.

Georgie’s second egg was laid today. Sometimes she lays them later in the day but this time she laid it before we got home from work. We got home and saw Georgie sitting on her eggs contently. A very sweet sight.

When George is in egg-laying or incubating mode a few things occur. First she gets restless and also a bit defensive of her nest area. Anyone sitting next to her has to be aware that she may stand up and attack you for no apparent reason (well, Georgie’s got her reasons, we just don’t know them. I just think she gets a bit moody!).

Next, she poos massive and sometimes very stinky poos. When she’s incubating George often won’t poo in the cage – often prefering for me to take her out of her cage and let her walk about and then she’ll let one out. Since they are sometimes quite runny at this time I have kitchen roll at the ready to catch the poo before it hits the floor. It’s an easy way to keep the place clean because she’ll only poo big ones a few times a day so I know when to be ready to catch them. (Me being overindulgent? Never! :) )

Another behaviour of George’s is to take seed from her food bowl and carry them to her nest where she’ll strategically place them around her eggs. I’ll come home from work to find more seed in her nest than in her bowl!! :) Strange girl! (She does have soft shredded paper to line her nest.)

The main thing with Georgie in her maternal mood is to let her do her thing. If we disturb her too much she gets angry and annoyed, but we also have to be aware of her needs, e.g. when she wants to come out for a walk. Before we got her her nest Georgie used to nest in any soft material she could find on the sofa and she didn’t like to be away from her eggs for long so I couldn’t put her back in her cage when we went to work. We had to put the cage around her on the sofa but the mess she’d make was too much. I’m very happy we got her the guinea-pig nest which Georgie loves and is happy to sit on in her cage.

I don’t think Georgie would make a good mother because of her disability, but she sure gives it her best shot at incubating unfertilised eggs. :)