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The newest disabled resident pigeon has a name! :)

I spent some time in the aviary at work and watched him with the other pigeons and one name kept popping into my head. So a big THANK YOU to Dawn for the name suggestion of “Rudderford”!! :D

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Rudderford the handsome!

I think it suits him a charm. He has a lower back/pelvic injury that makes it hard for him to perch easily since he cannot lift his tail feathers for balance. So he tends to stick to the ground and flat hutch-tops that are easy for him to sit or stand on.

He came to us as a young pigeon and couldn’t stand at all. Unfortunately, his injury seems permanent but he has a home for life now and will hopefully pair up with one of the single girls in the aviary.

Rudderford isn’t tame and doesn’t like people coming close to him, however, with time he’ll soon realise that we won’t harm him and I’m hoping he’ll calm down.

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Standing on a flat surface is easy for Rudderford.

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Clinging onto a hutch top. Rudderford's tail feathers are tatty because he tends to lean back on them for stability.


Big Bob

Big Bob

This year we sadly lost another resident pigeon at work. Big Bob was an older, disabled feral pigeon (he had a broken wing and couldn’t fly) and had been living in the resident aviary for many years. One day in February we noticed that he was hunched and shivering. He was brought into the heated unit for observation and care, as well as to receive medication. Sadly, a few days later he died. He will be sadly missed.

We kept an eye out for any signs of illness in the other pigeons in the aviary, and thankfully, none of them showed any signs of illness or have died. We believe that it was simply Big Bob’s time to go. He had a good life with a mate (who sadly died in August last year) and was a real sweet pigeon. He wasn’t tame but he tolerated my presence whenever I went into the aviary to talk to Dora and Pidge.

After such a sad depature we had some pigeons that were waiting to join the gang in the resident pigeon aviary, being unreleasable for one reason or another: One is fancy, others are disabled, and two are racing pigeons that needed a new home after their owner had passed away.

To see all the pigeons in the aviary please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pigeonsaspets/sets/72157623805901094/

Please welcome the following pigeons to live with Dora and her mate, Pidge:

Lumi

Lumi is a white pigeon that had been caught by a cat when she was a baby. She had extensive injuries and her left eye is shrivelled. She became very tame due to her long-term care. Lumi means "snow" in Finnish.

Turk

Turk is a Turkish Takla breed. He does backflips when he flies.

Mousie

Mousie is a racing pigeon that had to be rehomed.

Gertie

Gertie is a racing pigeon that had to be rehomed.

Speckles

Speckles is a feral pigeon. She had a broken leg and broken wing, which have healed, however, she has limited flight.

Davey

Davey is a white feral pigeon. He has a broken wing and cannot fly.


I feel a bit stupid. A while back I was trying to sort out the resident pigeon aviary, called “Pidge’s aviary”, at my work – kitting it out with all the proper pigeon paraphernalia – however, I was finding it hard to buy the things I wanted (e.g. fake eggs, mineral pick pots, nest bowls, etc.). All the pigeon supply companies I contacted either didn’t have things in stock, were having technical problems and couldn’t process orders or had shipping problems. So I was really struggling. Somehow I managed to get the things I wanted, however, the ceramic nest bowls still eluded me.

Last week I visited the feed store my work orders straw and seed from just to have a nosy around and see what they had to offer. And what do I see on the top shelf, almost out of sight?! Yes, you guessed it, a whole stack of nest bowls!! And all this time I could have simply asked the feed store if they had any pigeon things and it would have saved me the trouble of the countless hours of internet trawling!! Grrrrr…. Stupid me!

Anyway, now I have the bowls and I very happily gave one to each of the pairs in the aviary and Pidge and Dora were ecstatic! They finally have a big enough nest to sit in side by side in love. :)

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I had to attach the nests to the ledge so they won't fall off.

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The male pigeons checking out the new furniture.

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Dora and her mate, Pidge, are happy!

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The lab results on the death of the three resident pigeons at my work came back a bit inconclusive. To be honest, you need a degree in microbiology to understand the lab results the vet handed back to us. But this is what they found: possible respiratory problem due to mites going into the lungs, mites found on body of the dead pigeons, and yeast in throat (candida albicans) – which is the white substance we found. Treatment: antibiotic and mite treatment for all the other resident pigeons (which has been done already). Thankfully, there have been no other sudden deaths.

Although the vets didn’t find much for us to work with, we are very happy they didn’t find anything dangerous and untreatable (e.g. viruses). What still worries me, though, is that there were no signs of illness in the three pigeons that died, and all the other pigeons are looking very healthy – so does this mean that the pigeons are ok? Or is the silent killer still at large? :(

We are observing the behaviour of the pigeons daily, as well as giving them health checks and ensuring that their aviary is cleaned properly. I’ve been giving Dora extra cuddles, although she doesn’t always appreciate it – and Pidge, her mate, continuously interupts me by landing on me and trying to peck at Dora. Funny boy! What’s his game?

Here are a few photos I took today of the pigeons:

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Feeding time!

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Pidge and Dora tucking in!

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Dora looking fit and healthy as usual.


We have sadly lost three of our resident pigeons, Missy, Penelope and Hookbill, at my work. They all died suddenly, and without warning, in the last 3 weeks. All the other resident pigeons look, feel and sound healthy. Even the ones that died weren’t showing any signs of illness before they died.

At the moment we are in a state of anxiety, each day worrying if another pigeon will pass away suddenly. We are waiting for the lab results to return so that we know if a virus or other disease is the cause of death. It is hard to see what could have caused three pigeons to die suddenly and without any symptoms (besides a white substance found in the mouth). Especially when all the resident pigeons are looking so healthy. There are no coughs, discharge, laboured breathing, weight loss, listlessness or any other indicator of disease.

Could it be that it is just coincidence that three pigeons have died of old-age in the space of 3 weeks? Most of the resident pigeons at my work are mature pigeons – I recently found out that Pidge is actually 17 years old!! We don’t know the age of the other pigeons but most of them have been there for at least 10 years now. For photos of the resident pigeons (including Dora) at my work please visit: Resident pigeons

Here are the beautiful three pigeons we have lost. Rest in peace sweet pigeons. You will be sadly missed – by your mates and us – and we hope you had a good, happy life.

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Missy

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Penelope

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Hookbill - just before his beak trim. He found eating surprisingly easy even with his hooked beak.