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Elmo cannot perch. He just doesn’t know how. It may be because he hasn’t got great balancing skills or possibly because he simply doesn’t think he’s a pigeon (people don’t perch!). If you place Elmo on your finger he’ll flap about and turn around, trying to get a footing, and in the end he’ll flutter down to the floor. He won’t stay still enough to perch like a proper pigeon.

Georgie, on the other hand, is a star at perching. She will hold onto your finger with all the grace and ease of a proud pigeon. I think she does it to show Elmo how it’s supposed to be done. She’s got the upper hand. She’s the queen of perching!

:D

One day I noticed something about pigeons – something that I knew before, however, it didn’t really hit home until I saw it first hand. Pigeons have a lot of feather dust on them. More than you may realise.

I watched Elmo preen himself while he was in the sun – and you know that in sunlight you can see dust particles perfectly – well, it was like watching someone empty a vacuum-cleaner bag: dust everywhere!! Dust plumed from his body with every movement he made as he ran his beak through his feathers. And it didn’t seem to stop. The longer he moved the more feather dust escaped and rose into the air in twists and swirls. A veritable dust cloud!

Thankfully, I don’t suffer from any allergies, however, with the amount of feather dust a pigeon sheds maybe it’ll one day get to me. I hope not. I rather like living with my two pigeons (not that I would get rid of Elmo or Georgie if I ever became allergic to them).

More pigeon observations to come. :)


All birds spend a lot of time and care in keeping their feathers in good condition. Pigeons preen often and mated pairs will also preen one another, as well as their babies. I love watching them do this. I find it soothing.


Today both Georgie and I had had enough (read yesterdays post to catch up). I removed the nest and infertile egg after Georgie had quickly become restless and fed up from the 16 days of non-stop incubating, and now she’s settled and calm. By tomorrow she’ll be sitting on my lap, cooing contently once again. I cannot wait.

Yes, the past two weeks have been quiet and easy going without Georgie’s constant attention-seeking behaviour, so I was happy for the break, however, soon after a week of being pigeon free I really started to miss her affections and company. … And Elmo wasn’t being obliging in filling the void. … No matter how hard I tried to bribe him to love me instead of my husband.

I had forgotten how hard it is to deal with Georgie during her broodiness. You can forgive me since it has been 8 months since the last time she had laid an egg. But now that we are once again egg-free things should hopefully go back to normal. I must simply remember not to encourage her broodiness. I don’t want more eggs anytime soon.

Here’s the darling girl sitting down in a calm manner. How cute is she?! (Thankfully she didn’t climb onto the pink and white fleece!)

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George has in fact filled out very nicely in the past month. She feels really chunky and solid, which I’m very happy about since she has always been a bit too slight and thin. I hope she doesn’t loose her “pregnancy” weight! :)

And I mustn’t forget dear Elmo. I know I haven’t been writing much about him lately, which I will try to rectify soon. Do you know that pigeons seem to synchronize their behaviours? Well, Georgie and Elmo certainly do. Today, Elmo had a bath right after Georgie had one, then they both sat on the sofa to dry off. Then a little while later, at the same time, they began to preen. And then it was time for a nap. Here’s the boy zonked out. This is why we love him so much! :)

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At a Christmas party with my husband. It’s a sit-down dinner with cheesy disco music blaring in the background. Lots of drinks. Maybe some dancing later.

The subject: pigeons. More specifically: Our pet pigeons!

Five minutes into the conversation I realise how crazy we both sound. Richard is showing the people at the table Elmo fast asleep at home as seen from the webcam via Richard’s phone. … We’re proud as new parents, showing off our “babies”.

Somehow I doubt we’ve come across as sane, reasonable people. “Hippie” and “crazy” come to mind.

Oh well. Return home late to a very happy pigeon dancing around our feet and greeting us with enthusiasm. We were only gone for about 4 hours but Elmo’s acting like he hasn’t seen us all day.

We didn’t disturb Georgie. She was fast asleep in her cage.

* * * * * * *

On another subject, here’s Georgie hard at work:

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And now time to rest:

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Watched Georgie through the window before entering our home and she was on her perch having a quiet preening session. As soon as she heard us at the door she lept off the perch and was waiting for us to let her out. Eager! :)

Elmo was on the window sill. Sometimes he hears us come home, in which case he’ll be cooing and dancing on the bed or on the floor with anticipation. Today he didn’t but as soon as he saw me peering in he lept from the window sill onto the bed and started his greeting dance. We really should capture it on video one of these days.

Elmo likes to preen my husband and here he is in his loving mood:

Sometimes, though, Elmo preens a bit too much and little red marks appear on Richard’s arm (where he’s pulled a little bit of skin off). Ouch.

In other news, little Widget has grown up into a slightly scruffy looking collared dove and is in an aviary with other collared doves, waiting for a break in the weather to be released. Hooray! :) (Photos to come if I manage to remember.) We had another little 1 day old baby collared dove in, which I have named Dotty since she’s as small as a dot.


Elmo pigeon is a lucky boy because he gets to sleep right next to his mate (a.k.a. my husband!). Richard’s bedside table has been claimed as Elmo’s roosting spot – and we’ve put a nice fleece down for him to grip on. When it’s time to go to bed Elmo eagerly hops onto the bed and then onto the bedside table. He stands there, head down, cooing madly – calling Richard to bed!! It is really quite sweet and endearing. On the weekends we tend to go to bed later but if Elmo thinks we’re staying up too late he’ll go to the bedroom and call us to go to bed. What a sweetheart!

Sometimes Elmo stays up a bit to preen himself after I turn off the lights. We can hear quite clearly when his primary or tail feathers run through his beak. Sounds a bit metallic. If he’s a bit tired Elmo might fall asleep before I turn off the light. Elmo tends to sleep standing up on one leg with the other one tucked away. I often wonder how he doesn’t fall over in his sleep standing on one leg. I know that when birds perch the tendons in their legs tighten and their toes lock around the perch which prevents them from falling over in their sleep, however, what about pigeons that don’t perch on branches when they sleep?

Sometimes we can hear Elmo ‘grinding’ his beak as he goes to sleep. It’s hard to describe what he’s doing and I haven’t a clue why he does it but a soft grinding type of noise is made as he opens and closes his beak – like he’s chewing or smacking his lips together! It’s a very sweet thing to hear just as you’re falling alseep. To me it sounds as if he’s content and comfortable, gently falling asleep as he makes this soothing sound. Elmo’s our sleeping beauty!

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There’s a few things I think humans could learn from feral pigeons.

Lesson number 1: Till death do us part. Now I know a lot of people find this an unrealistic or even an unnatural state to be in but if other animals such as pigeons can do it, so can we. I find the prospect of sharing my life with someone exciting, romantic, challenging, yet ultimately rewarding. Of course it’s not for everyone but monogamy has numerous benefits that in my eyes outweighs any negatives.

If you observe how lovingly pigeons pair up and raise their young your heart will melt. Pigeons are so affectionate to each other. They kiss and feed one another, as well as preen each other gently around the head (where a pigeon cannot preen itself – only scratch). In my eyes this shows that a pigeon understands how pleasant it feels to have their head preened and that they want to give their partner the same kind of pleasure. How lovely of them!

Lesson number 2: If at you first don’t succeed, try again. Ever seen a single male pigeon dance and coo to a female pigeon? Of course you have! It’s one of the most common pigeon sight you can see. This is generally how the scene goes: female pigeon is busy looking for food or eating whilst lonely (and horny) male pigeon struts his stuff around her. Female pigeon ignores male and male continues to dance to her. Female pigeon flies away and male pigeon follows.

The male pigeon doesn’t give up. He knows he’s worth it! He’s a big, handsome, healthy pigeon ready to share his life with a lovely female and nothing is going to stop him from attaining his goal. The cold shoulder the female gives him only spurs him on to dance and coo even more. Eventually she’ll see how wonderful he is and let him court her some more until she finally admits that she’s always fancied him.

Us humans should be the same – have a goal and don’t stop till you attain it. I applaud those who follow their dream.

Lesson number 3: Enjoy the simple things in life. When I see Georgie or Elmo enjoying the sun, a bath or a cuddle from us, I think that life would be so much simpler if people just stopped and appreciated the natural world around them and the little things it gives us. Spend an afternoon or the weekend sitting in the sun with a loved one, relaxing and simply living in the moment. Both George and Elmo are so content with just being near Richard and I. They want nothing more than our company.

Today I saw about 7 feral pigeons in and around the rim of a water bowl, all sharing and relishing the water. They looked so happy in their little group. It made me want to swim in a lake again. … Aah, the simple joys in life! :D