Just witnessed 2 fire engines parking in the crowdy city centre. Firefighters got out, took a ladder and one of them climbed on the balcony to help the pigeon that was tangled in bird net covering the building. Small group of other pigeons was nearby, flying and wandering, visibly concerned until their friend got saved. All with assistance of two police officers.
2 fire engines, bunch of firefighters, 2 police officers and 1 ladder to save 1 feral pigeon.
The organ trilled into life as the doors opened and the two little flower girls began to toddle up the aisle, merrily flinging handfuls of petals at the guests that cooed down at them. Ellery felt a nervous lump stick fast in his throat as Lola entered, and behind her
on the arm of the Baron, her face nearly as white as her veil, wide-eyed and unblinking like she was a deer looking down the barrel of a rifle.
He swallowed thickly, feeling another clawing pang of self-loathing that he was doing this to her. Her eyes found his and he offered what he hoped was a reassuring smile, then flicked his gaze to the group of her friends from America, sticking out like a flock of feral pigeons among doves.
Céilí’s eyes followed his, falling on Aurelie who was grinning wickedly at
Céilí. She poked her finger through a hole made by her other hand, waggling the rude gesture in Ellery’s direction and nodding approvingly.
stifled a laugh as they passed her, forcing her gaze demurely to the floor as she struggled to keep her composure. When she looked up, the cold spell had been broken, and she smiled at the man waiting at the end of the aisle for her.
Sorry I’ve been so behind on photo updates and general posting.
I have been busy with Bloo, who has been in a lot of distress these past few days.
Bless this brave, stubborn baby!
I have been fretting over how to clear the obstruction he’s been dealing with, (mind, bird vets only available Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they came in after closing on Thursday)
And had to finally resort to manually forcing that WHOLE FUCKING KERNAL OF CATTLE CORN!!!! up out of his lower esophageal opening (the one leading from crop to stomach), where it had stuck point first like a goddamn bottle cork! With my goddamn fingers! Through the membrane of his little crop! From the outside!
Up his crop, up his upper esophagus, up his throat, and out of his mouth with a lot of bruising and pain and vomit involved.
I don’t know how he swallowed it..
I don’t know how his parents got it into him.
It barely fit in the skull and muscle space alotted to the food opening… I had to stretch that shit to get it out!
But it’s out.
And in the 20 minutes since I was able to clear it, he’s managed to pass a fresh poo.
That piece of corn has been fermenting in there since Thursday afternoon.
It is a fucking miracle that baby wasn’t poisoned outright, both by the fermenting corn, and the activated probiotics in his formula rotting in his crop.
Bloo is tired, severely dehydrated, and you can clearly see how severely bruised his little neck is in the photo.
Couldn’t give him any more to eat with out risking aspiration, but he got two full insulin needles full of gently warmed fluid under his skin in pockets along his back.
His bowels are already moving.
If he can hold out tonight, I expect to be able to resume smaller, watered down, more frequent feeds tomorrow.
Thank fucking christ for my Husband getting me this incubator! If Bloo had to maintain their own body temperature with out help, they’d have suffered hypothermia days ago.
Friends-of-Pigeons, please keep our iron willed miracle foster in your prayers, thoughts, and well wishes and join me in visualizing waking up to a nest FULL of poo, and a VERY hungry, bright eyed Bloo.
I have tons of pigeons that live around my house and I would love to make friends with them! I also want to make friends with the local crows and jays. Do you have any advice?
I have so much advice!
I’ll start with pigeons:
Pigeons are ground feeders so they can’t use a bird feeder, they’d prefer a platform feeder or you should sprinkle the seeds on something like a cheap plastic outdoor table and will eat most commercial bird seeds, but of course pigeon specific feed is healthiest for them! They absolutely love to bathe and setting up a bird bath or just a large but shallow dish of water (like, at least foot long and at most six inches deep) will make them very happy and it’s a blast to watch. You can provide them with nesting material like straw and hay in a basket tied somewhere too, maybe it’ll help with the strings cutting off their toes epidemic.
Crows and blue Jays are pretty easy too. They need a large feeder or will gladly use a platform feeder, they like higher protein than pidgies. Peanuts, eggs (hard boiled or scrambled, raw in shell and cracked), cat or dog food (kibble or wet), meat, mealworms, sunflower seeds, and past even though it’s not good for them. They are very crafty and like a challenge, starting out you’ll want to just leave it out in the open for them to see but then you can mix it up and stuff food in cracks and crevices.
For all species a schedule is very important! Set their food out at the same days and times every time you feed them. Try to separate your pigeon feeding area as much as possible from the crows and jays cause the former are pretty feisty may chase the pigeons away or bully them. Sometimes they coexist though, so just observe them. You can feed the pigeons year-round but limit how much you feed the crows and Jays in the summer, they’re wild birds and need to learn how to forage. Be sure you don’t have any shiny/reflective things hanging around outside, those and wind chimes and flags may make birds uneasy.
Do not try to handle the crows or jays because they’re wild and that’s illegal, but feel free to with the pigeons! Once they trust you offer yummies in your hand and they’ll likely start landing on you! Maybe they’ll even nest on your building and you can watch the babies grow up!!! Maybe a baby will fall in love with you and try to court you!!! It’s pretty common for feral pigeons to court people that feed them hehe. Or you can even limit the feral population by replacing the eggs with fake ones!!!!!! Lmao I really wish feral pigeons lived near me, I would medicate them with natural things that wouldn’t harm critters that eat them and help them be healthy 😌
Be careful if you have neighbors because the birds will tell their friends, and sometimes neighbors don’t like that.
We have been meeting a lot of cats lately who stand sentinel on the steps of their homes.
They’re very beautiful and they all want to play. When we say hello to them, they run to the sidewalk and fervently greet us!
Today there was a splotchy grey cat and stocky tuxedo cat.
A few nights ago Milou and I went out to catch a screening of Kedi, a documentary about the thousands of cats who wander the streets of Istanbul. There’s a part in it that talks about how acknowledging cats is very mutual. The moment you see a cat, that cat also sees you. Now I feel this reciprocation every time I meet a cat.
It was a beautiful film and I cried a little over people having compassion for street animals. I’ve always felt the greatest empathy towards raccoons, pigeons, feral cats and dogs, all the creatures that are overlooked but surviving here in the cities.
Hi! So I've been considering getting a bird for a while now--I used to have a budgie, bless his soul--and I need a feathered companion again. So I'd been considering a cockatiel, but recently I've also been looking into pigeons--it strikes me that the two are very different. Please give me some info! What's it like having a pigeon? How do you care for them? Can you train them? Any suggestions? Please, some basic info for a gal who just started researching them!~
Intelligence-wise they’re the same, I find pigeons easier to train than psittacines because they seem to retain knowledge better and are more into people since they’re domesticated. Rex recalls, targets, stays, goes to my room when I ask, knows “shoulder” means get off my head and go to my shoulder, a bunch of “tricks” like spinning, and of course tasks related to emotional support. Pigeons are very easy to clicker train and they absolutely love to learn new things and if socialized properly look forward to new stimuli. They don’t need as intense socializing as parrots because they’re domesticated, which can be a blessing and a curse because Rex will leap into new situations without thinking it through- but at least she’s not afraid, right? Cockatiels are a lot more dexterous so they can learn to use tools better than pigeons, and can learn to say phrases and tunes (and know what they mean in context!).
In general pigeons are going to be cheaper, the bird itself, the housing, food, enrichment, etc. Depending on the size, a pigeon will need a large dog crate or a cage marketed for rabbits (these are rarely suitable for rabbits though!), which will be $30-$70 depending on if you buy new or used, where from, and the style. I personally don’t use a cage for Rex and she has the run of my room when I’m not home and the house when I am. Tiels will need a big, generally parrot specific cage, the ones marketed for cockatiels won’t do- generally you want one marketed for medium macaws or bigger, which’ll be much more expensive. They need lots of toys, perches, and other things to keep them entertained when they can’t be out. Pigeons do need enrichment but homemade toys will easily suffice, a crumbled up paper with seeds in it will keep Rex entertained for quite a while, as will music and TV.
Cockatiels do best on a varied diet consisting of seeds, pellets, and fruit/veggie chop, scrambled eggs are great weekly. They shouldn’t have too many pellets since they’ve been linked to kidney issues, probably has to die with needing the hull of the seed? Idk. Pigeons’ diets are generally more simple, they need a variety of seeds/grains generally consisting of wheat, peas, sorghum, safflower (can be fatty so be careful with this one), corn. I mix quinoa, millet, and very occasionally chia seeds in too. Her mix is 16% protein but the amount of protein you want depends on their lifestyle. It’s cheap, I get a 2 lbs bag every two months from Morning Bird on eBay. Along with feed you’ll also want pigeon specific grit, and if you have a hen you’ll need egg shells or oyster shells (I prefer egg shells). Both parrots and pigeons will need vitamin D3 supplements if they aren’t outside getting sunlight a few hours a day.
I LOVE pigeon temperaments. It can very depending on breed and individual, but in general they’re people-loving birds. Psittacines generally have to be raised by hand to like people, but pigeons can be parent raised and still adore people which is far healthier since then they get proper nutrients and social skills. Even pigeons that have been feral or neglected more often than not warm up to humans and make awesome pets. Certain breeds are friendly than others, king pigeons are big cuddle bugs bred for meat. They’re exceptionally docile and affectionate. Lucerne gold collars are gentle and even mated pairs will enjoy cuddles. Feral pigeons and homers have even temperaments and they have that bonus homing instinct so you don’t worry as much if they happen to get lost. Owl pigeon breeds are the epitome of adorable and sweet, just avoid breeds like the African owl whose beaks are too short to properly preen. Voorburg pigeons are silly and despite that big neck don’t have any health issues regarding it. There are thousands of breeds with unique looks and temperaments, so google “fancy pigeons” to find a look you like! Finding pigeons in shelters can be hard if you aren’t in an area that has one- pigeon rescues are far and few in between -so I generally promote buying from a GOOD breeder like @ramseyringnecks because the more people that know pigeons aren’t disease ridden pests the better for all pigeons! Do look for rescues first though :)
As far as keeping a pair versus a single pigeon:
Both pigeons and parrots mate for life. A single pigeon is probably the most loyal and affectionate pet you can find, but requires more work than a pair of pigeons. Since the bird is single it’ll deem you as its mate which makes for a very snuggly, cuddly, and sweet partner, but also demanding- luckily they have lower standards than most parrots. Rex is content if not all my attention is on her so long as some of it, so I can go about my day without having to stop and give her my full attention. She’ll happily ride around on my shoulder or waddle rapidly after me without demanding that I play with or touch her. So long as she can see me and be on/near me she’s pretty content. However she needs to be able to do that for at least 6-8 hours a day! She loves cuddles and snuggles. When she goes broody (which happens whether you want it to or not, with both hens and cocks) I just ask her to get off the nest every few hours to make sure she goes potty (they don’t poop in their nest- this means they can safety be potty trained unlike parrots who it can become unhealthy for) eats, drinks, and every few days bathes.
If you can’t give that then a mated pair is a better option. They won’t be as affectionate, but they’ll still consider you a flock mate and sit on you, love to learn and be trained, and enjoy doing non-cuddling activities with you. They’ll be happy and keep each other company when you’re away at school or work.
This applies to parrots too. A lot of people say so long as you have at least one hour to spend with them they’ll be fine, but all parrots are social flocking animals- even territorial ones like cockatiels or parrotlets! They need you or a feathered friend to keep them happy.
How did you come across/get ankhou? Hes such a wonderful bird and it really goes to show how feral pigeons are domestic birds!
Some of my long time followers know that, on top of raising show birds and fostering rescues, I am the Columbidae specialist at the service of Highland Animal Hospital’s wildlife rehab team.
I have been rehabbing orphaned mourning doves and feral pigeons for them for the last three or four years.
Out of ten total mourning doves, I have successfully returned eight to the wild. ^v^
I don’t release feral pigeons, though. That’s like dumping a stray puppy back into the street after bottle feeding it to the point of weaning.
Feral pigeon peeps are hand reared, socialized, medicated, and paired up with new homes.
Some kind soul found naked, emaciated, 4-week-old Ankhou in a parking lot, running circles around a street light, crying at the top of his lungs to frightened, agitated parents who were not capable of getting him off the ground to safety.
For reference, this is 3-week-old 1079.
And here is 5-week-old Shadow.
This is 4-week-old Ankhou, the day he came in with a 2-week-old mourning dove child.
Here he is later the same day, with a full crop bigger than he is. Probably the first time in his life he’d ever been full.
You can clearly see his keel bone behind it with almost NO muscle development.
He was SO emaciated that his body had to prioritize growing muscle over growing feathers because there was just *not* enough fuel to grow them both.
Here he is a week later, the same age as Shadow in the photo above, but just *that* stunted by malnutrition.
It took him 6 MONTHS to get his big boy feathers!
I spend a few hours cuddling him every day because young pigeons suffer touch starvation and genuinely *need* to be cuddled.
One night, nestled in the crook of my arm, dead to the world asleep, he started shaking and crying.
Pigeon children make four noises: the hungry cry, the lonely/cold cry (I specify because the same cry will be used by a warm peep in an incubator who wants to be touched), the honk of frustration, and the call for help.
Ankhou was trembling in my arms and calling for help in his sleep.
And he didn’t stop until I hugged him and set my chin on top of him.
That little pigeon child had already been through hell.
He is TERRIFIED of the sounds of thunder and rain! He will come into the bed room like a toddler and want to sleep with me when it’s storming.
And this week, with all the storms going through, he has done his VERY damnedest to be brave and reassure me that it was ok, rather than beg for reassurance.
He’s growing up.
I don’t know what he saw, or how many people left him in that parking lot before some one took pity on him.
I don’t know how many little pigeons just like him have just died hungry.
It is a miracle that he lived long enough to come to me.
And as important as stability is to the mental health of pigeons, and as closely as he bonded to me, there was just no way in hell we could give him up.
And then Ankhou taught HIMSELF to be my alert bird!
If I don’t have family or friends with me, I can’t function in public without Ankhou to warn me before I stress into nonverbal shut down, prevent it from getting that bad, or snapping me out of it if it still happens.
Now that I’m on insulin and have to take meds and eat at a specific time, he’s decided to be my alarm clock too.
He is amazing.
And despite DECADES of raising and loving all kinds of pets, I *NEVER* could have imagined loving a nonhuman SO much.