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Richard and I were on holiday recently and we sadly had to leave our two disabled pigeons at home, however, they were in the care of two lovely pigeon-sitters who ensured the Elmo and Georgie had everything they needed. This would usually mean human company as the top priority, however, this time both pigeons were broody and sitting on fake eggs the whole week. So it was an easy job for the sitters to come in and clean and give fresh food and water with Elmo and Georgie snuggled up in their nests (separate! Elmo sadly hates Georgie). I had to warn the sitters that Elmo WILL attack their feet since he gets very protective when he’s broody. I just hope he didn’t scare them away! :)

Upon returning home Georgie and Elmo decided to leave their eggs alone and snuggle up to us instead and so there was a happy home welcoming. And the weather stayed lovely so I was able to take them both out for some more adventures in the garden!

I think Georgie is the Sunbathing Queen!! :)

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I love taking my pigeons out into the sunshine. They really enjoy it and love to explore the garden. I particularly love looking at Georgie in the sunlight. All the little feathers on her head and face shine and are really distinct. They look amazing! And Georgie has such a delicate little face, she’s a real stunner even though she’s not very colourful.

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Since Elmo can see normally, watching him explore the garden is a joy. He peers into the grass to see if there are any clumps of earth he can peck at and eat, he’ll pick up different twigs and shake them about in his beak, and he’ll play with the long pieces of grass. Elmo often ‘tells’ me when he wants to go outside by standing near the front door. If I haven’t noticed him there he’ll fall alseep, and I’ll find him in that position later and take him out for a play in the garden.

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Here’s Elmo playing with a stick:

Georgie preening in the garden:

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The wonderful world of Trompeto pigeon:


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


Recently I looked through all the photos and videos we have of our Elmo and Georgie and I found some that I hadn’t yet shared with you, so I would like to do so now.

You may remember when I wrote about the tabby cat that visits us (back in November 2011: Elmo meets a cat!). Here’s photos of the cat relaxing on our sofa with an unimpressed Elmo on her back:

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The cat (which I believe is female) doesn’t care at all about our pigeons – she’s only interested in us – and we’ve had a lot of fun in seeing Elmo chase her away when he decides she’s taking too many liberties on the sofa with us! :)

Before Elmo came to live with us he used to live in a household with many cats, rabbits and other birds (for the first 8 years of his life). He used to sleep on the bed with an elderly cat and also had play fights with the rabbits. Elmo now only has to put up with Georgie’s presence (and the occasional visit from the cat) and I’m sure he feels like the king of the home. Elmo probably has lots of precious memories of his previous life. I wish I could have been there to see him as a baby and to watch him play with the cats and rabbits. Sadly, I haven’t been able to get hold of any photos of Elmo from his previous life.

Now that I start work in the afternoons I spend my mornings at home with Georgie and Elmo. Elmo used to always attack me and consider me a threat to his relationship with my husband, but now he’s getting used to my company and requests cuddles and attention.

Here’s Elmo when he discovered Georgie’s empty nest and decided to nest in it himself:

Sometimes, however, Elmo remembers that he’s doesn’t like me (in principle) and will attack my fingers:

In the video you can see Georgie in her nest being all moody and attacking the nest. She does this sometimes before she lays eggs. Silly girl.

Most of the time, though, Georgie is loving and likes to preen my arm. It tickles at first but then Georgie gets really excited and starts to pull at the hairs and skin, which can hurt. Elmo also likes to preen arms. It’s their way of telling us they love us. In the wild a pigeon will preen its mate around the face to strengthen their bond and as a sign of affection. It’s lovely to see and we are honoured that our pigeons preen us. :)

Georgie preening my arm:

Elmo preening my husband’s arm:

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I love living with pigeons!

:D


Elmo loves attacking his fat woodpigeon toy:

Our pigeon isn’t the only one who likes to attack toys. Here are two other pigeons attacking their cuddly friends:


We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas this year. We certainly did. Elmo and Georgie helped decorate the tree by flying up to the top to place the baubles and the star. … Just kidding. Our two pigeons cannot fly that well.

We placed Elmo and Georgie’s presents under the tree and they were certainly intrigued by the shiny packages. :)

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Georgie and Elmo's Christmas presents

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Georgie taking a closer look!

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Elmo is curious too!

Here’s the boy opening his present:

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We thought it was the perfect gift for Elmo because it moves about and is soft so he can preen it (or peck it if he so pleases!). Elmo sure had fun with the yappy puppy!

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Georgie received a soft cuddly hedgehog to have in her cage so she can preen it (since she loves to preen fluffy things). Sadly, Georgie doesn’t like the camera so she rarely lets me take any video of her.

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After we had all opened our presents and there were boxes, wrapping paper and bubblewrap everywhere, Georgie decided to have another look in case we’d missed anything. She loved the bubblewrap!

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We wish everyone a Happy New Year!


Richard received a surprising gift from his Secret Santa at work, and he couldn’t wait to show them to Elmo when he got home. Meet Fergie and Scarlet, the newest members of our pigeon family:

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We think they’re awesome – a lovely Christmas present! – however, Elmo wasn’t impressed at all:

Georgie didn’t like the sound they made so she ran away whenever she heard them near her.

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Georgie pigeon meets Fergie

We tried again to introduce Scarlet and Fergie to Elmo without him pecking them.

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Elmo pecking the toy pigeons

Richard calmed Elmo down and then placed the toys near him in his nest, and Elmo tolerated them while he cooed and twitched to Richard:

We’ve already learnt that Elmo does not like any other pigeons in the home (our attempts with Dora, Minnie, and Button have all been a failure), so we really should stop collecting other pigeons (even inanimate, or in this case, animate ones). But I cannot help myself. Pigeons are simply too adorable. :)

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Playtime! Some pigeons and doves play nicely, others will attack, and some are just naughty! :)


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

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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:


It snowed quite a bit last night and this morning we woke up to a white-washed world of coldness and peace.

The fox had obviously visited (as you can see from the paw prints in the first photo) and throughout the morning I watched blue tits, great tits, coal tits, dunnocks and robins visit the feeder (I had to go out to clear the snow off of it first). I also left a tray of seed for the pigeons but they didn’t come down to eat. Even the squirrels seemed reluctant to approach the seed tray, so I then had to stamp out an area flat and spread the seed on the ground for them.

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Elmo was very restless this morning and he seemed excited about the change in the landscape. Richard held him up to the window so he could see out and Elmo was shivering a bit as he looked curiously at the snow. We could see that he wanted to go out to explore this weird stuff, so later Richard put the harness on Elmo and took him out. As you might already know, Elmo doesn’t particularly like the harness and so he wasn’t impressed with having to wear it – he tried to run away from it when he was indoors and kept pecking at it. Only once he had relaxed did Richard take Elmo out into the garden.

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Once out though, Elmo didn’t seem to understand that he’s too heavy to stand on the fresh snow so he freaked out a bit when he kept sinking into it and had to be quickly rescued (as you can see in the video).

When Richard took the harness off of him, Elmo quickly came over to me and sat next to me on the sofa. It was quite funny actually to see how quickly Elmo took refuge in me rather than Richard. I think Elmo was upset with Richard and so he came over to me for comfort. … Don’t worry, he forgave Richard a few minutes later – but only after Richard had thoroughly apologised with head bows, cuddles and peanuts.

The squirrels, on the other hand, seemed to enjoy burrowing in the snow and leaping about. It’s so lovely to watch. I also love watching dogs play in snow – they have so much enthusiasm and joy – and they really seem to appreciate the fun in rolling about in the wonderful stuff.

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I have to admit, I get very home sick when it snows this much in England. It takes me back to white Christmases, sauna, ice skating, skiing, sleighing and snow-ball fights! Although Finnish winters can be very brutal in its darkness and coldness, there is a special beauty and wonder in seeing the world blanketed and muffled on a crisp morning – especially if you’re by a lake and have the opportunity to walk across it. Ice swimming is an activity that everyone should try at least once in their life! I’ve only ever braved ice swimming twice, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It is definitely something I want to do again. I just have to figure out how to entice my husband to join me. (A bit about ice swimming: Ice Swimming Safety)

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