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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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This year we’ve been blessed with a wonderful sunny May Bank Holiday weekend (in the South East of England at least), and I’ve certainly been taking advantage of it and had a wonderful time out with Elmo and Georgie in the garden.

It’s such a pleasure to know that my disabled, indoor pigeons are gaining so much from being in the sun. And I know they enjoy it too because of their behaviour. Georgie wouldn’t stop sunbathing – stretching out her wing and tail feathers to maximise their exposure to the sunshine. She was loving it! … When she started panting I knew she was a bit too hot so I gave her a drink of water and put her in the shade to cool off.

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Elmo simply wanted to stand on the picnic blanket and preen by my side. He kept stepping closer and closer to me in between bouts of preening until he was right against my leg – which he then started tickling with his beak (as if he was preening it).

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I really do hope this summer will be a sunny one so Elmo and Georgie have more goodness in the sun!

Earlier last week I saw a lovely brown coloured feral pigeon in our garden:

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We’ve had one before (see: Brown pigeon) so it may be the parent of this one. Such a pretty colour!


My last post was about the importance of ultraviolet light for indoor pigeons and how Georgie doesn’t like the bright light. Well, she’s still not 100% convinced about the light – preferring the warm rays of real sunshine, even if it is through window glass:

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Toasty George

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Loving those warm rays

Like a cat, Georgie knows how to make lounging in the sun look like the best thing in the world. :) When I take Georgie out into the garden she sometimes sunbathes on my hand, which is so adorable.

Elmo also decided to feel the warmth of sunshine and asked to be let out into the garden for a quick stroll:

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"It's nice out here"

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"Ooh, is that dirt?"

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"Look, I have a leaf!"


It has been a record hot summer in Finland this year – the hottest recorded temperature was 37.2 degrees Celsius (on July 29th). I’m hoping that not too many animals suffered from the excess heat – since they’d normally be used to colder temperatures. (For wintertime, check out: Pigeons in Finland and Finnish pigeons).

Here are some photos of the pigeons we saw this summer:

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At the arboretum in Tampere

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At the arboretum in Tampere

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Chilling out in the sun!

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Must be the warmest spot to sunbathe on.

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Looking good!

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Feral pigeons foraging with the crows and ducks.

We had a coffee in the town centre of Tampere and we were joined by some lovely pigeons, who helped themselves to the left-overs:

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This summer has been so nice. Sunshine and hot weather – perfect for taking pigeons out into the garden for sunbathing and playing in the grass.

I slipped the harness on Georgie with minimum fuss (hooray!!) and took her out. Georgie is getting used to the harness, however, she still tends to stand still for a while before she makes her move (preen, sunbath, fly).

Here’s my girl out in the garden today:

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Panting in the heat

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Sunbathing time!

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Are you one of us?

It was quite funny actually how quickly the feral pigeons flew down when they saw me carrying Georgie into the garden – it was their cue! I put her down near the peanuts and the pigeons warily, but quickly, started gobbling up the peanuts around her. Georgie wasn’t sure about them at all and you can see it in her posture in the video – and the ferals weren’t sure about her either – keeping an eye on her as they got closer and closer.

I’m still waiting for a handsome male pigeon to coo and dance to her! Surely she’s pretty enough to attract some male interest?!


Today has been very hot and sunny – I just had to go out and lie in the sun with a good book to read. Since I haven’t had the opportunity to take Georgie out in the past few weekends today I set up her outside pen and put her in it with a shallow dish of water for her to bathe in if she wanted. Sometimes Georgie’s a bit scared when I take her out into the garden but not today. She immediately started pecking at the grass and walked about picking up leaves to shake and break up. Then she preened herself a bit and sunbathed for a while too. She was loving the sun! Georgie spread out both her wings as well as fanning her tail feathers out to soak in as much sun as possible. Direct sunlight is so important for pigeons (any living thing really) and I think she missed it.

Direct sunshine is required for vitamin D production (which helps the absorption of calcium), which is essential for healthy bone growth and strength. It is not enough to simply put a caged bird near a window to receive sunlight since the UV part of the sunshine that helps vitamin D production is filtered out when going through window glass and therefore the bird won’t receive the benefits. It is therefore beneficial to have a UV lamp to shine on a caged bird (for the required amount of time) especially during the winter months. Since birds can see UV light (feathers reflect it) a lack of UV light can also affect a birds behaviour, particularly its breeding behaviour.

After she had sufficiently baked herself in the sun I splashed some water on George and she walked over to have a bath to cool down. As usual she looked quite comical with her feathers sticking out in odd ways. Georgie sat in the water dish and puffed out her feathers and had a bit of a snooze. By this time I was very hot from sitting in the sun and envied her. I wish that I had a pool to bathe in to cool down! It is times like that that I really miss Finland – the Land of a Thousand Lakes!! Oh, to be able to go to a lake and have a swim whenever one wants! What freedom and joy!

Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera on me to take a photo of George enjoying the sun, but you can all imagine how sweet she looked as she played in the grass and then in the water. What a darling girl!

Here’s a photo I took a while ago. I think the colours and shapes are very nice. Reminds me of lazy summer days.

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Elmo’s blood blister has almost completely disappeared!! Hooray!! :D

In other news, today has been sunny and warm and perfect weather to let our pigeons out into the garden for some sun, however, my lovely husband was strimming the hedge and mowing the lawn, so we couldn’t have them out. So Georgie sunbathed on the floor in a sunny patch (so very cute) and after she felt like a toasted bundle of feathers I put a shallow dish of water down for her to cool down in. She loved it and was splashing to her hearts content, which attracted Elmo’s attention. He slowly walked up to her, shivering and shaking in excitement! He wanted to have a bath too!!

After Georgie had her fun in the water I put her on the sofa to dry off and put Elmo in the dish of water. He immediately started splashing about and didn’t mind my fingers at all as I splashed water on him. Sweet!

Here’s the evidence:

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(Please ignore what I’m saying in the video clip. I was on the phone at the time!)

After the gardening work Richard and I slowly roasted in the sun with a cool drink in hand. We have to enjoy these few sunny moments we get – who knows, this could be the only hot day all summer!! … Now where’s my lollipop?

Ps. I have to share this photo with you because it was so unexpected to see this little fella sitting in the garden. What an adorable fox cub! :)

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Today was such a lovely sunny day that I decided to show some pigeons sunbathing: