Fledgling Pigeon

Emmie80

In the Brooder
Aug 31, 2019
10
26
24
Hello there. I am new and just in need of some advice. Apologies if I am posting in the wrong place.

Two weeks ago I heard a noise that sounded like a bird was caught by one of our cats. Rushing out to the garden, there was a bird and he was walking towards the out house, one cat looking on (not that interested thankfully). This bird was a Pigeon - a very young Pigeon (a fledgling). He remained in the out house for 3 hours (I left him alone to calm while I figured out the next step). I figured he was about 13-14 weeks (by some research and comparing photos).

Later that evening I went out to check on him and he was nowhere to be seen, then I saw his head in a plant pot! So he was safe - phew. I had kept the cats indoors since he entered the shed so I knew he'd be okay. He wasn't injured, he was just not fully flighted.

To cut it short, it's now been 2 weeks and he has remained in the garden - mostly sat on top of the barbecue lid during the day, and roosting on the window ledge at night. I had to go out and clean up as there was a lot of poo each day, and he jumped on to my hand (I wore an oven glove) and I was able to pop him on a tree branch while I cleaned. A very sweet guy!

I had put water out for him from day one and replaced it with fresh every day - he always drank it. I didn't feed him at first as I was told the mother may still be feeding him, and judging from all the poop he was being fed! I did then try some muesli soaked in water, as that was all I had that I thought suitable. I wanted him to have some food source just in case he wasn't being fed (this was early on). I then realised he was being fed as of the poop, and plus he would fly up to the outhouse roof each day (same time) where the mum would feed him. Then he would fly back to the barbecue.

He has been pruning and chirping and pottering around just fine over the last 2 weeks.

Today I went out and he was on the out house roof (he's been making his way up there every day). I looked up and saw, what looked like all his family, above on the house roof cheering him on to fly up to them! It still seems that he isn't fully flighted as he can't seem to mange any higher than the outhouse - this is about 8ft from barbecue and a height of 8ft.

His yellow feathers have now gone (he had a few at the start) and his beak is more formed (not so knobbly). I put seed and meal worms out occasionally, as I am now not sure if the mother is feeding him.

Any advice on next steps would be greatly appreciated.

The problem is, my cats have been shut in for the past 2 weeks and are eager to get out in the garden (plus I am not liking the litter trays being indoors, ha). Also the Pigeon poop is increasing and it's a lot of hosing and scrubbing each day. Having said that, I am all for giving him as much time as he needs, but how soon do you think it will be until he'll be on his way? And is there a chance he may never leave? I mean, okay, he'll soon be off for mating and food etc, but will he always come back?

Years ago my elderly neighbours had Homing Pigeons and I wonder if he, and the others, (we've always had Pigeons around that roost in the Honeysuckle) are descendants? I'll kind of miss him when he's gone but I have cats so he can't stay much longer!
cat.gif


Thank you for any help!
 

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biophiliac

Traveler in BYCLand
5 Years
Apr 22, 2016
7,376
28,086
1,042
DeForest, WI
Hello there. I am new and just in need of some advice. Apologies if I am posting in the wrong place.

Two weeks ago I heard a noise that sounded like a bird was caught by one of our cats. Rushing out to the garden, there was a bird and he was walking towards the out house, one cat looking on (not that interested thankfully). This bird was a Pigeon - a very young Pigeon (a fledgling). He remained in the out house for 3 hours (I left him alone to calm while I figured out the next step). I figured he was about 13-14 weeks (by some research and comparing photos).

Later that evening I went out to check on him and he was nowhere to be seen, then I saw his head in a plant pot! So he was safe - phew. I had kept the cats indoors since he entered the shed so I knew he'd be okay. He wasn't injured, he was just not fully flighted.

To cut it short, it's now been 2 weeks and he has remained in the garden - mostly sat on top of the barbecue lid during the day, and roosting on the window ledge at night. I had to go out and clean up as there was a lot of poo each day, and he jumped on to my hand (I wore an oven glove) and I was able to pop him on a tree branch while I cleaned. A very sweet guy!

I had put water out for him from day one and replaced it with fresh every day - he always drank it. I didn't feed him at first as I was told the mother may still be feeding him, and judging from all the poop he was being fed! I did then try some muesli soaked in water, as that was all I had that I thought suitable. I wanted him to have some food source just in case he wasn't being fed (this was early on). I then realised he was being fed as of the poop, and plus he would fly up to the outhouse roof each day (same time) where the mum would feed him. Then he would fly back to the barbecue.

He has been pruning and chirping and pottering around just fine over the last 2 weeks.

Today I went out and he was on the out house roof (he's been making his way up there every day). I looked up and saw, what looked like all his family, above on the house roof cheering him on to fly up to them! It still seems that he isn't fully flighted as he can't seem to mange any higher than the outhouse - this is about 8ft from barbecue and a height of 8ft.

His yellow feathers have now gone (he had a few at the start) and his beak is more formed (not so knobbly). I put seed and meal worms out occasionally, as I am now not sure if the mother is feeding him.

Any advice on next steps would be greatly appreciated.

The problem is, my cats have been shut in for the past 2 weeks and are eager to get out in the garden (plus I am not liking the litter trays being indoors, ha). Also the Pigeon poop is increasing and it's a lot of hosing and scrubbing each day. Having said that, I am all for giving him as much time as he needs, but how soon do you think it will be until he'll be on his way? And is there a chance he may never leave? I mean, okay, he'll soon be off for mating and food etc, but will he always come back?

Years ago my elderly neighbours had Homing Pigeons and I wonder if he, and the others, (we've always had Pigeons around that roost in the Honeysuckle) are descendants? I'll kind of miss him when he's gone but I have cats so he can't stay much longer!
cat.gif


Thank you for any help!

A few photos.
Hi

By looking at the photo on the left I can say this bird is much younger than your think. Still see a lot of pin feathers coming in and I'd guess is still not feathered 'dry' under the wing. Also, you said he is still being fed. I'd guess 5-6weeks old, or even younger. Is about ready physically to join the flock but not quite ready mentally. Without a nestmate to bolster their confidence it sometimes takes a bit longer.

And ...
:welcome
 

Emmie80

In the Brooder
Aug 31, 2019
10
26
24
Hi

By looking at the photo on the left I can say this bird is much younger than your think. Still see a lot of pin feathers coming in and I'd guess is still not feathered 'dry' under the wing. Also, you said he is still being fed. I'd guess 5-6weeks old, or even younger. Is about ready physically to join the flock but not quite ready mentally. Without a nestmate to bolster their confidence it sometimes takes a bit longer.

And ...
:welcome
Hello! Thanks so much for your reply. Apologies, I meant 13 days (not weeks, silly me).

His yellow feathers have almost gone now and he has a sleeker, silkier appearance. Today he has been fluffing his feathers and pruning as usual and flying up to the out house roof, so he seems fine. But yes...obviously not ready to join the flock yet. I know nothing about Pigeons and any advice/help is so much appreciated to ensure I am doing everything in his best interest. Shall I continue giving him the seed mix and meal worms?
 

Emmie80

In the Brooder
Aug 31, 2019
10
26
24
So, bottom line - He and the rest of the flock should be ready to take off soon. thanks for considering his safety. You should be able to let the kitties out soon.

The photo on the left was taken a day after he arrived (always look so much bigger in photos, but he was small). So I figured he was 13 days then. Now he'd (guessing) be about 26 days - give or take.
 

biophiliac

Traveler in BYCLand
5 Years
Apr 22, 2016
7,376
28,086
1,042
DeForest, WI
Hello! Thanks so much for your reply. Apologies, I meant 13 days (not weeks, silly me).

His yellow feathers have almost gone now and he has a sleeker, silkier appearance. Today he has been fluffing his feathers and pruning as usual and flying up to the out house roof, so he seems fine. But yes...obviously not ready to join the flock yet. I know nothing about Pigeons and any advice/help is so much appreciated to ensure I am doing everything in his best interest. Shall I continue giving him the seed mix and meal worms?
Offering the seeds and water is fine. Drop out the mealworms, pigeons are vegetarians.:D

The photo on the left was taken a day after he arrived (always look so much bigger in photos, but he was small). So I figured he was 13 days then. Now he'd (guessing) be about 26 days - give or take.
Sounds about right, I have a pair of nestmates about that age. It's always hard for me to tell from a photo!
 

BreanneRN

Crowing
Jun 8, 2017
1,041
2,015
262
Central CA
Be careful about over-feeding him! You don't want him to be too fat to take flight! Most likely, if he survives, he will return to the area to mate and nest... Pigeons are amazing birds and very smart in many ways and I am sure he will find his way back, though you may never be sure it is really him/her unless you slip a band on him.
 

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