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Elmo is moulting and so there are hundreds of feathers in the flat, making their merry way into every nook and cranny. I predict a major house clean today!

As the sun started shining through the window onto Georgie I realised that I haven’t spent as much time this summer out in the garden with the pigeons. Not sure why (have we had bad weather on the weekends here? I truly cannot remember), but I thought I better rectify this immediately so I grabbed the bird harness, quickly slipped it around Georgie and went out with her to lay in the sun. Georgie is always a bit unsure about new surroundings so she stood still for quite a while on the grass but once she was reassured that she was safe she slowly crouched down, spread open her wings and basked in the sunshine. Gorgeous!

When I later brought her back in I put a dish of water down for her to have a bath in, however, Georgie wasn’t yet done with sunbathing. She found a spot by the window and had an extra 10 minutes of sunshine (although without the goodness since the window filters out the much needed UV light that helps vitamin D production).


Georgie sunbathing

Then, when she heard my fingers splashing the water in the dish, she was ready for a bath to cool down. And as always, Elmo came over to shiver and shake in anticipation of his turn. He even made these little adorable grunts which I’ve never heard him make before. I think he was very eager for a bath!


Elmo enjoying the water

With Elmo so wet I could really see the new feather growth on his head. He’s been looking a bit scruffy lately with the moult (we were afraid we’d have a bald pigeon on our hands! :) ).


New feather growth on Elmo's head

I love how the feathers are growing in a neat row!

Once our two pigeons have soaked themselves sufficiently, they flap about to expel the excess water (thus soaking us instead) and go sit quietly on the sofa to dry. We get wafts of smelly wet pigeon drifting over to us.

I admit that I’m repeating the same experiences here. But when Elmo and Georgie have a bath they always do the same thing so there’s nothing new to write about. :)

I’ll have to start thinking of new material. Maybe I’ll teach Elmo to dance the can-can!! :D

Boy, do pigeons smell when they are wet!! :)

Yesterday, after a lovely bath, Georgie and Elmo stank! I mean, they really stank up the place. I could smell Elmo from the other end of the sofa. You think wet dog smells bad? Try wet pigeon!

It was a sunny day yesterday and I had a feeling that our pigeons might want to have a bath. So I filled up a bowl, placed it on the floor and swished my fingers in it. Sure enough, Georgie came over, attracted by the sound. She’s so predicatable!

Usually Elmo comes over too and tries to have a bath when Georgie’s in the bowl, however, yesterday he was having a nap on the sofa when Georgie was bathing, so he didn’t notice what was going on. But I know he’d want a bath so I asked my husband to gently wake Elmo up and show him the water. Elmo came running over when he saw the bowl, shaking furiously in anticipation!! So cute.

We like to help our pigeons when they have a bath by dripping the water onto their back – it runs off their back and tail feathers onto the floor – pigeon feathers seem to be waterproof initially. This gets them really excited and they splash about and dunk their heads and body in the water. After all this they then sit still in the water – as if to give themselves a thorough soaking. I simply love watching pigeons bathe. It’s so entertaining! :)


Wet Elmo


Georgie preparing to splash!


Wet Georgie

After their bath it’s time to flap about to expell the water. Flap, flap, up, up! A few of these and they’re ready for a nap. Sit in a corner and wait to dry off. Then, once they feel dry enough, simultaneous preening. Preening to pigeons must be like yawning to humans: it’s contagious. Watch one pigeon preen and another will be doing it too. Soon the whole flock will be in the middle of an intense preening session.

When Elmo and Georgie are both nice and dry they are very glossy looking. And they return to their usual lovely-smelling selves. :)


"What's up there?" wonders Elmo. Ed and Ted (the penguins) are also intrigued.


Flapping time!