Pigeon Tales

July 15, 2013

Flea’s Death and Jimi’s Resurrection

From the

Diary as of 4/20 – 4/24/2013

4/20   Flea died in the evening in my arms.

When I took her out this morning I realized that she was making strange noises while breathing. It sounded a bit as if she had some liquid in her lungs. So I gave her a warm water bottle again and left her in her box. She became more and more listless, in the afternoon she could not stand on her feet any more, becoming weaker and weaker. In the early evening I knew that she was going to die and that nothing could save her. I held her in my arms and it became more and more difficult for her to lift her little head. Soon she was gone.

Flea was probably already sick when she appeared on our balcony. She was so thin and my suspicion is that her parents stopped feeding her because they knew that she was sick. So her little accident was only the tip of the iceberg. This is what I am trying to tell myself. The mean thing is that she did so well and seemed to recover and then suddenly… This is soooo unfair. She had not had the slightest chance. Why wasn’t she allowed to live?

4/21   Today we drove to my favourite forest in the southeast of Munich where we often take a walk etc. We used to search for mushrooms there before Tschernobyl happened. Since then the mushrooms are still contaminated and should not be eaten.
There are lots of old trees and the floor is covered by beautiful moss and ferns. We searched for a good place at the foot of an old tree and buried Flea between the roots. We will easily find this spot again. There were lots of birds singing and the sun came out between the trees. This was a bit comforting also…



4/22   Flea is gone and I still cannot believe what had happened. I feel depressed because I could not save her… and there are so many questions…

4/23   Maggie laid her first egg #19 and as usual it was perfect. Maggie is a very sweet pigeon, a little bit shy and very introverted. She never complains, is always patient and loves her Woody. Once  a week she gets an extra portion Calcivet in order to keep her healthy.

4/24   Today was the big day where Jimi indicated that he wanted to fly free again. It was a very difficult decision for me, especially after the last weekend where we had lost little Flea, but then I did not want my baby to be unhappy and a prisoner. In the morning he had his breakfast and then decided to stay a bit at home still but at lunchtime he definitely wanted to fly out.

So I opened the balcony door with a heavy heart. Jimi did one step after another – as he always does – looked around on the balcony, met some other pijjies from our flock and finally took off. Before that I requested from him the promise to come back when he found his home occupied or if he felt not well enough to spend the night outside. I requested his promise not to fight and getting injured again. You can call me crazy but I know that this bird understands every word I say.

During the whole afternoon I was very nervous and could not think about anything else than Jimi. After 5 in the afternoon I saw Jimi suddenly in one of my planting containers on the balustrade and he seemed to be okay. I called him and after a minute or so he came inside and went straight into our bedroom. You should have heard the rock that fell from my soul. He seemed to be quite exausted – no wonder. BUT HE WAS HOME AGAIN, IN ONE PIECE AND IN PERFECT CONDITION!!!




July 10, 2013

Tibby is free, Jimi wiggles, starts eating on his own and Flea is vomiting

From the

Diary as of 4/13 – 4/19/2013

4/13    As soon as the weather is okay we will release Tibby. She is ready to go, sings a lot and has become very curious and adventurous.

Jimi’s beak and nose are healing wonderfully. His cere is still a bit sensitive and not quite white yet – but then it was a terrible injury. But other than that he has a complete PMV relapse again. To be honest I expected something like that to happen but hoped it would not. It is the same as in January when he came first only worse. His poops deteriorated to spaghettis and mushy slimy stuff again and he is urinating so much that I sometimes think he is floating away. I don’t know how many layers of newspaper and kitchen paper are completely wet in the morning.

He still cannot eat by himself but at least he can drink and he does. A lot. Which is good. There were times where he was so depressed that I thought he would give up. I started to talk to him often to encourage him. My poor baby – I could see that he was just feeling so miserable. Slowly bit by bit he came out of his lethargy again during the last few days and I have a better feeling again. Tiny little steps each day in the right direction.

When he moves – it reminds me of a very old man moving. But it is getting a bit better now every day. He even has started to wiggle a bit at me when I stroke his chest very softly. He is not really someone sho likes to be touched. But at the moment he needs the attention. I think it also helps that the sun is shining here again and that the temperatures are much better now.

I have Tibby’s box in the bedroom during the day where Jimi is perching at the window – so he has some company and can hear her voice. He has started to watch the pijjies outside more again instead of sleeping all the time. And sometimes – when I am outside on the balcony and bow to him while he is inside – he wiggles at me. I really don’t know how long he will need for his complete recovery but he has as much time as he needs – if he only gets healthy again…

4/14   We let Tibby FREE today after she had a good breakfast and then a wonderful warm bath – probably the first one after many weeks. I am still not really sure whether it’s a she or a he but I  continue to call her a she. She just could not stop walking into the tub again and again. It was a joy to watch her. She balanced for a long time on the edge of the tub without the smallest sign of pain or dislike. She flew around our bedroom and even had her first crash behind some shelves. I already feared the worst but nothing had happened at all. She was dancing all the time and cooing so we did not have the heart to keep her in. It was time to let her go. Today was a nice warm day – perfect for a release. Hopefully we will see her for breakfast again…




it was her left foot that was broken – you can clearly see the extra tissue growth!

Take good care little Tibby and all the best for you!!

Here is another pic: Still Life in the Bedroom


from left to right:
Flea, Pina (above), Tibby, Jimi

4/15   I think Flea has canker. She has started vomiting or at least was gagging – so no wonder that she is not increasing her weight. I put her finally on Spartrix.

4/16   Flea has received her second Spartrix pill and is feeling much better. She has stopped gagging. I also have started to give her the full syringe of 25 ml per meal.

4/17   Today is weighing day. Flea has lost weight again which is not good at all:  211 gr. I am very worried because this loss of weight is indicating something else but I don’t know what…  Jimi on the contrary is a little monster: 456 gr he has now. If we are not careful he might roll out of the house instead of flying.

4/18   Jimi got thawed peas again for supper. In the morning he had his usual cereal so that I could give him his propolis pill daily and every other day some vitamins.

4/19   Jimi picked up seeds for the first time since he has been hospitalized again – which is now more than 6 weeks. I am so happy!!!

Flea is getting weak. She does not leave her box any more. What can I do?


January 3, 2013

Two new Squeakers, an infected Eye, a String Victim and Gino is sick

From the

Diary as of 10/28 – 10/29/2012

10/28   Today is awful weather. My plants on the balcony are deep frozen. And today two new squeakers appeared on the balcony. When the first appeared I saw that his eye was slightly inflammated and he was “caughing” from time to time. So when he came in with the others I grabbed him immediately and put him in a box where he could settle down for half an hour.

When I examined him later – checking for salmonella signs etc. I realized that he had those typical red lesions in his mouth but no real canker nodules yet. So I have him a Spartrix just in case. I don’t have any eyedrops (I have to change that) so I made some chamomille tea, let it cool down a bit and then “washed” his sick eye with the tea:

I took a cotton pad and soaked it with the tea and held it to his eye for a few minutes, repeating this for a few times. While he (called him Sidney) was quite a wild one to catch he was totally calm and obedient while I treated his eye. Such a sweetie. Then I put him back into the box to give him some time to get warm and eat and drink which he did. Other than that he seemed to be in quite  a good shape. I intended to let him stay for the night but things changed.

An hour later I heard some turmoil on the balcony and saw Lucky mistreating heavily something wing flapping and realized that it was another squeaker who had entangled himself somehow in the planting pot besides Lucky’s nest, hanging completley upside down. Before Lucky could injure the little one I could grab him and brought him in as well. There I realized that both his feet were bound together by a piece of thread. Thankfully the string had not done any damage yet so I simply cut it loose. I realized that this youngster – still squeaking – must be the sibling of Sidney who started to try to get free from his box in the meanwhile. So I decided to let them free together.

I put the new one (Rodney) directly into the foodbox and opened the box of Sidney. They immediately joined each other and then both started to eat happily together. No-one disturbed them, Pina only watched them closely, somehow fascinated and Rudi was sitting on the nest on top of the closet anyway. After eating they both perched near the window, apparently satisfied to have a full tummy for the first time and being warm. After quite a while they wanted to leave and I let them out. We will see whether they come back tomorrow. But I assume so. What a pair!

Gino is sick!

10/29   Gino spent the night inside. He seemed to feel not so very well yesterday evening – no wonder with this awful weather – so I brought him inside and put him into a box after he did not want to go outside any more. I had realized that he did not come in for eating in the late afternoon but was sitting quite lethargically in his second nest. He started vomiting during the night – so it was clear to me that he was sick.

This morning I checked his mouth and discovered the treacherous reddish interior. I gave him a Spartrix and Propolis (on a pellet). A bit later I tubefed him millet cereal to avoid dehydration and he kept it in. During lunchtime I tried to give him peas but this did not work – everything came out again together with the millet seed he had eaten from his food bowel. I waited for an hour and tubefed him again with the usual baby cereal and apple sauce. This time the stuff stayed in so far. I only gave him Bene Bac this evening but nothing to eat to see how it is going during the night. There were only very few poops in his box during the day, therefore I thought it would be better not to feed him. I also took the food bowel out of his box.

I think it is wet canker because he has these reddish leasions in his mouth but no nodules yet. His poop is slimy green with a bit white urates though – so no bacterial infection really. This damn weather – I knew it would cause problems with the birds – especially the younger ones. It is always the same: their immune system is not really built up yet so they are very prone to infections.

I also weighed Gino in order to have a reference point: he has 306 gr which was surprisingly good still.
Poor Micky of course was widely irritated and left her eggs already after Gino had “disappeared”. I brought her in though and let Gino out of his box for some minutes so that Micky could see where he was. Still she was quite irritated but thankfully came in later again again to eat. I cannot stand the thought that she is getting sick as well because Gino is away.
Oh my – you think everything is going okay and then that!!

A positive note – the squeaker with the inflammated eye is doing better – you hardly could see in the meanwhile that there was something wrong. Maybe I can catch him tomorrow and check again more properly.


May 6, 2012

Micky wants Rudi, Pina goes nuts and 2 new Rescues

From the

Diary as of 3/1 – 3/6/2012

3/1   Micky has been sleeping in her usual box during the night. So she was warm and cosy. In the morning I gave her breakfast and out she was again. Came back later to get a second breakfast and went out again. In the early afternoon she was in again, went straight into our bedroom and stayed there for the rest of the day. Apparently she did not find a boyfriend yet nor a new home.

3/2   We truely have a problem here: Micky wants to have Rudi as her mate. But this is impossible and I have to seperate them strictly. Rudi of course wants to mate with Micky also as he seems to be a great womanizer with all the female pigeons outside but he is married to Pina. Pina is very jealous and if I do not pay close attention she is fighting grimly with Micky. I cannot let them do this as they could hurt each other. Also this causes too much stress for both girls. So we have a very precarious sitation here now.

3/3   Micky’s poop is still much too soft. Apparently this is still due to the PMV. Nothing has really helped so far. I don’t know what to do in the meanwhile. The virus has damaged a lot but I hope this will heal eventually as it did with our other PMV survivors also.

3/4   Rudi and Pina had a bath today. Oh – how happy they were to be able to lie in warm water together.

Gino got a bath also of course. Happy sweet little fellow. He looked so cute and he loved it so much!

3/5   Weather is cold and rainy. After breakfast – I have also given her a propolis pellet again – I let Micky out at 7.30. She came in again 2 hours later and was quite wet. So I kept her inside again for an hour and let her out again. Each time it is a game to smuggle her out without her being able to see Rudi – because he of course is the only reason why she wants to get out. I really hope that the weather is improving soon and that more pigeon boys are flying around because Micky desperately needs a boyfriend.

Regarding her digestion I will give her some Bene Bac this evening again.

This morning I had a pijjie with an injured wing. I had seen her already yesterday but she did not come in. Her left wing was drooping and on the outside of the wing I could see that some feathers were in disorder. This morning she came in for feeding and I caught her easily. I checked her wing and realized it must have been broken but not to an extent where she could not fly any more. The injury was not new and while I treated the spot (just below the wrist) with peroxide I realized that there was already some necrotic (green coloured) flesh along the bone and some pus.

I felt very sorry but I could not do anything else. I am not sure that this will heal again or whether she will lose that wing. I cannot take her in because I have no facility to keep another bird for weeks. Rudi and Pina are already very nervous because of Gino and Micky – so another sick pigeon inside will not make it easier for both. I also cannot keep her in quarantane for a while as Micky is already occupying our bedroom. So I released her again. We will see what happens tomorrow.

I will not bring her to the bird clinic as I do not trust these people any more. I am sure they put her down or take her as a living meal for their wild birds.

3/6   I took an adult female pigeon in today (Hatty) – one of our regular balcony visitors apparently because she came inside without hesitation.

Noticed that she hardly could walk – but was able to fly quite good. Her feet were paralyzed but not the complete leg. The grip reflex was missing but there was no visible injury. Her plumage was completely well preened, no parasites, no injuries, no swellings, no warm joints. She was well fed, her poop showed white urinates but was a bit too dark green and a bit too soft. Her eyes were clear, her nostrils clean, her cere snow-white. She was perching the whole time, calm, but not puffed up. Looked perfectly content. Her vent was clean, no swelling.

To be sure that she had enough in her tummy I tubefed her with millet baby cereal, applesauce and joghurt and gave her Calcivet because my suspicion was severe lack of calcium. Due to her ability to fly perfectly I didn’t think it was a neurological problem. I am a bit clueless though how to proceed further…

This is Hatty – look at her beautiful plumage!


January 6, 2012

Emma released again!!!!

From the

Diary as of 10/1 – 10/5/2011

10/1   I have good news: After treating Emma for a week with Baytril and keeping her in a hospital box for the time I let her out again today, roaming the whole appartment. The last 4 days – while she was still inside – I gave her Calcivet in the evening to build up her calcium levels again. I also treated her with the pro-biotic Bene Bac during this week to help her digestive tract to become normal again.
Closely watching her for the whole week I can say that she fully recovered, cuddling with her beloved Lucky again, making perfect poops and fighting off the unwanted guests from HER balcony. Emma is her old self again.

I think that the problem with the eggs was only secondary and no real Peritonitis – I remembered that, a little while ago, silly little Emily had sat on the thick moss on the roof top of her nest for a longer time – she likes it so much – and that moss was wet from the rain. So I think she simply got an infection of her abdominen that spread to the oviduct and from there to the forming eggs – like a human who gets a bad bladder infection from wearing wet clothes etc. Wet surfaces are never good for birds nor for humans!!! My explanation for her amazingly quick recovery.

She was btw an excellent patient – she vomitted only once on the 3rd day she was in when I got very worried because when I checked her in the very early morning – because I could not sleep really during the whole night – the whole box was full of old seed – stuff she had eaten DAYS before. But – clever bird she is – she only got rid of all the stuff which disturbed her – a cleaning action if you like. From that day on she got remarkably better, her poops started to increase which told me that her digestion was working again and the de-frosted peas did their job of course.

I now wonder when she is going to lay eggs again and how they look like. I pray that everything will be okay… Fingers crossed Fingers crossed Fingers crossed

10/2   Released Emma today. She was so happy to be together with Lucky again. Fed her with 20 peas in the morning – so she had something in her crop and outside she went in the early morning. I had Lucky let inside so that he could get her. This eliminated the problem with Weasely who still had hopes that Lucky would be hers. Also the weather is still quite mild, 15°C during the night,  so I need not worry about Emma getting cold again.

10/3   Gave Emma her first portion of Bene Bac to help her digestion to become normal again.

10/4  Emma and Lucky are heavily cuddling. They look so happy together and with the others not disturbing any more – at least not many – they are without additional stress.

10/5   Gave Emma another portion of Bene Bac. I think this will be the last one because her poops are already perfect again.


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