Pigeon Tales

April 6, 2014

Hermine is recovering and Pina is furious

From the

Diary as of 1/1 – 1/15/2014

1/1   NEW YEAR!

When I checked our new patient, Hermine, today I realized that the swelling had come down drastically and also the green parts have become smaller. I also realized that the wing was definitely not broken but also saw now that there WAS a bite from something that must have been bigger than a cat: definitely 2 puncture wounds which I could not see yesterday due to the swelling. I put her on Baytril this evening.




Hermine is a young pigeon, maybe 1/2 a year old but she has a good weight – 330 gr. Her condition is good – she made a lot of absolutely perfect little :poop: during the night and during the day. So everything she needs is peace, medicine, food and drink. She is a real sweetie. But again – how on earth did she find us on the 13th floor!!? That really puzzles me because she is definitely not one of our balcony flock.

I would say that the prognosis is good at the moment. And this is a big relief for me because I could not have kept a disabled pigeon here…

The irony is that Droopy, the other pigeon with a wing injury,  is missing since yesterday. I hope she will turn up eventually.

1/5   Hermine is doing very well. Despite the antibiotics she is making good :poop: which means that her digestion works well still.

1/6   Droopy is still missing. I really woder what happened to her after she came here for so long.

1/7   Today Hermine received her last Baytril. In the evening  I started her on Bene Bac (pro-biotic) just in case.

1/8   In the morning I gave Hermine her first Calcivet (extra Calcium) portion and in the evening Bene Bac again. Will continue this program during the next 3 days.

1/9   Our pijjie gang is behaving spring-like and they are all doing well.

Hermine’s bite seems to heal without any complications and she has started to sing in the morning two days ago. How sweet is that? Yesterday evening – when I put her to bed – she opened both her wings and did a slight helicoptering as if she wanted to tell me that her wing will be alright again. I was a bit worried so far as it is drooping still. This weekend we are going to let her out of her box in a controlled environment to see whether she will be able to use her wing normally again. Since 2 days she is off Baytril and I give her pro-biotic and calcium.

Rudi is working like crazy again to prepare the NESTS for Pina again. Yes – he has to work on TWO because Pina cannot decide which one she will prefer. Poor Rudi – but on the other hand this is a perfect exercise for him – he is very beefy. I have calculated that when I cut 6 cardboard rolls into stripes and Rudi uses every one he has to fly up to the cupboard 120 times. No wonder he is such a muscleman!!! This is mostly going on for several days – now you can calculate also…

1/10   Rudi seems to cope with the presence of Hermine – because he does not show big interest in her but then she is only a baby and not a competitor or a danger for his home.

At the moment Pina is very jaleous because of Jimi and Hermine though. She takes any chance to attack him when he leaves our bedroom to go outside. And when she sees me talking to Hermine she is getting really angry. She even tried to bite me into my naked heels today, running after me like a little poudle and I had to be very careful not to step on her. Btw – it hurts when she is in one of her jealousy rages, using her beak like a rapier and I have my hands full to change this into a game so that she calms down again. My poor little baby is very possessive for fear of losing her Mommy. Oh my…

1/11   Weighing day for Hermine again:  320 gr – so she has only lost 12 gr. I am very happy about that because I feared that due to the antibiotics she might lose her appetite.

Pina has finally decided which nest she would take and I gave her a plaster egg after she had not laid in the night.

1/12   Yesterday we let Hermine out of her box for the first time to see how she was able to use her wing. I closed our little entrance “hall” with a piece of cloth so that she had some space to move around. At first she was very reluctant to leave her box and it took several minutes until she jumped on the edge. Then she did a little helicoptering and flew right around the corner into the kitchen. We could hardly react. Quickly I closed this area for fear that she could hurt herself but she landed on the laundry basket without problems. While she was flattering you would not have realized that she had problems with her wing ever. I thought she had enough exercise for the first time and guided her carefully back to her box and she jumped deliberately into it.

Today we did the same. I was still a bit worried because Hermine is dragging her wing still very much but when she flew up to the ceiling and then tried to land on my jacket which is hanging quite high in the wardrobe and flapping her wings for quite some time to keep her balance I was surprised that she could do so without problems. So I assume that some nerves of the wing muscles have been damaged and that this is the reason why she is dragging her wing still while she is standing in her box as well as moving around on her feet. From time to time she seems to remember to hold her wing in the right position though. Also she did some helicoptering today while she was outside to train her muscles. Good sign – isn’t it?

Tomorrow I will give her more room for exercises with the mosquito net. We did this with Gino and in other cases also. It is always very difficult here to give sick pigeons some room while we have Pina and Rudi here. They both are not specifically amused about our new guest. But now I know that this will be only a matter of time. I am grateful that Hermine will recover again and I know already that I will miss her. She is such a sweetie!!!

1/13   Today was Hermine’s free flying day in the bedroom and she mastered it with bravery. Look at that cheeky little creature – higher you cannot fly:


1/15   Another day for Hermine’s training. She is doing really well, exploring everything she can and I am sure that she will be out again soon!




October 1, 2013


From the

Diary as of 6/18 – 6/27/2013

6/18   Emily has not come in today for eating. I am worried and I don’t know whether this is due to the incredibly hot weather or whether she has now severe problems with egg laying. Yesterday everything was okay still – cuddling with Lucky, eating well and pooping well and she even took a long bath with Lucky.

6/19   Emily is definitely sick. How can this happen so quickly? She still did not come in for eating and she was sitting in the the hot sun outside the balcony where I could not reach her. I don’t know how to get hold of her. She is going to dehydrate completely if she is not even drinking.

6/20   Emily made terrible poops – only some cream coloured mushy stuff – no green at all. She again was sitting for a long time in the hot sun and only went into the shade from time to time. This is really a strange behaviour. She must have come back when it was dark. I still hope she will come inside so that I can grab her. No way to grab her outside. I am so worried…

All others are doing very well despite the very hot temperatures. They get the bathtub every day. Thank heaven my plants form a real wall now which functions very well as shade and natural air conditioning and the birds know how to use it.

6/21   Very early in the morning I was finally able to grab Emily while she was sitting on the basket  still where she usually sleeps with Lucky. Apparently she was already so weak that she could not react quick enough any more. Or she did not want to flee any more. I put her immediately in a hospital box.

As she did not eat since Tuesday I knew I had to feed her something fluid to keep her hydrated at least. But when I fed her a very fluid cereal with applesauce she vomited everything again. Out came lots of seeds although her crop felt only a bit blown up as if some fluid was in there. Apparently she had hardly digested anything since 4 days! I waited an hour and tried to feed her some fluid again  but she vomitted again. So it goes since then. She cannot keep anything down and is very weak in the meanwhile. At least she vomitted no more seeds so the crop seemed to be empty.

I have started to give her applesauce thinned with water only and with 2 drops of Propolis and Bach Flower Rescue drops every 2-3 hours. I also gave her Bene Bac and Calcivet once a day. I hoped I could keep her hydrated to some extent if only a little bit of the stuff stayed inside. There was a tiny improvement as she started to pass some stuff that was light olive green.

Despite the warm weather I also put a warm water bottle beneath her box to make sure that she was not getting cold due to not eating. I really hoped that the Propolis would do its job as antifungal.

I don’t think any more that this all is related to her egg laying problems as I thought in the beginning and if yes then only indirectly. It IS her time for laying eggs normally but her abdomen is neither swollen nor feeling strange in any way. I assume it was the heat that caused this and the usual weakness before egg laying. I think it is a severe candida infection and I am not very optimistic whether she will survive this….

6/22   Emily is still hanging on but since this early morning she has started to breathe heavily with noises and slightly open beak. I let Lucky visit her and he looked into her box but she was already too weak to even wiggle. I am very very worried…

In the evening Emily started to vomit foam. Her breathing became more and more difficult. I held her and tried to wash the foamy vomit away but apparently her airsacks and trachaea were already full of the stuff that I could not do anything any more besides holding her and covering her with my love. I knew that she was dying. Emily fought terribly and I felt so incredibly helpless. Late in the evening her little heart gave up. Then she was gone…

Emily, my brave and beautiful little Emily was now flying high, together with her first love Pete, free of all the pain and suffering. A chapter of the Pigeon Tales was closed… and I am crying…

My beautiful Emily:


Emily with her first 2 babies on our balcony: Willy and Joey


Beautiful Emily with her almond eyes and her characteristic “breeding spot” (area incubationis)


Lady Emily overlooking her kingdom


Emily with her first big love Pete


Emily (left) in her happy days: bathing with her family


Emily and Pete


Emily and her second big love Lucky


Lucky and Emily kissing


Emily and Lucky in their love nest


Emily sunbathing


Emily proud of her new moss house


Emily sitting on her roof garden


Sunbathing together


perching on the “veranda”


Last photo of Lucky and Emily when the world was still okay


Lucky and Emily on their sleeping basket – last photo

6/23   I still cannot believe that Emily is not here any more and that she will never come back. There are so many incredible memories about her antics and the only consolation I feel at the moment is that the others are still here – Pina and Rudi, Woody and Maggie, Jimi and his Fifi and Lucky of course.

We buried Emily today in our favourite forest beside Flea. So Flea is not alone any more and Emily can take care of Flea. She loved babies so much. The place where we buried her is full of old trees and the ground is covered with many ferns and moss. The next time when we are there I will take my camera with me and make a photo. It probably sounds crazy what I am doing but it is a way of coping with this big sadness I am feeling.

It is very hard to see Lucky searching constantly for Emily but I think he will cope with it as he is not alone on the balcony and he still so young. Jimi even came inside, jumped on the empty box where his mother was in and tried to comfort me by talking to me with his eyes.
Isn’t is strange that he is now back, living on our balcony with his wife? As if this all was meant to be just the same way when Emily and Lucky became a couple a few days after Pete’s death!

Even Gino looked at me and I knew immediately that he knew exactly what was going on. Pina of course the same way. The birds all knew. It was like a wave of comfort they were spreading. Tomorrow is another day…

As an aside – Fifi laid her first egg #1! in one of the hanging pots where she is living together with Jimi. This is how life is going on…

6/24   Maggie laid her first egg #23 and as usual a perfect one.

6/25   Apparently everything was meant to go the normal way – so Fifi laid her second egg #2. It was so sweet to see both of them, Jimi and Fifi, sitting together in the hanging pot, one on the eggs, the other one grooming the partner. I am sure now that this was Jimi’s new family life. What a relief and comfort after Emily’s death.

6/26   Maggie laid her second egg #24 and again a perfect one.

6/27   Missing Emily…


May 29, 2013

Jimi is on the Way to Recovery: Preening and Singing

From the

Diary as of 3/17 – 3/22/2013

3/17   Today we weighed Jimi: 443 gr. And now I can say that he is definitely on the way to recovery because he started to breathe normally again. Today he even greeted Pina when she came into the bedroom while he was perching at the window and watching the others outside. You can imagine what a relief this is to me after all these worries. I could not sleep any more, was in tears now and then and my nerves were on the verge of cracking down, especially as I had no access to internet and could not have called for help even. But now the worst is over.

I can only guess what has happened. Jimi probably went back to his old home and found it occupied of course. He must have fought terribly and I really do not want to know what happened to his opponent. Jimi is a very large bird as you know and the fight must have been about life or death. Simply terrible. I don’t know how he managed to come home but if he had not made it home with his last energy he would have been dead by now for sure.

He cannot eat on his own and not drink. I was not able to take a photo of him – I was too shocked – he looked only like a little bundle of misery. My poor baby. Not at all like the big proud pigeon I have photographed and painted so often. He was very depressed for several days. But when he started to give me wing slaps and was wiggling I knew he would recover again. He is a strong bird. I am sure now. It is only a matter of time and loving care…

3/18   Jimi is still on antibiotics but definitely improving continuously. I am so relieved.

3/19   Jimi’s mouth is still very delicate and I hate to be forced to feed him. But there is no other way to keep him alive. If he would not eat he would die. Very simple.

3/20   Today was Jimi’s last portion of Baytril. I decided to stop it now. There was still some minor part at his beak where there might be a rest of inflammation but I thought it was healing nevertheless. I did not want to give him more antibiotics unnecessarily. His immune system should now do its work.

Jimi even started to preen himself a bit again standing on his favourite perch at the window. He could not do this at all before – probably because it was too painful.



3/21   Today I started Jimi on pro-biotics and he had his calcium again.

3/22   Jimi is definitely on the way to recovery and I think he is doing quite okay in the meanwhile. Feeding him still gives me the creeps because of the delicacy of his beak. His complete cere and part of his beak came off now – underneath is new skin but still very raw. Under his lower beak is still some pus stuff but I think this will come off soon also. He is still neither eating nor drinking – so feeding him continues to be essential.

He is incredibly brave. Finally he is making noises again and also is incredibly sweet. When I am on the balcony and bowing to him while he is perching on the other side of the window on his stone he wiggles with his wing. He has never done that before. I just love him so much…


April 29, 2013

Emma laid awful Eggs and Jimi has a PMV Relapse

From the

Diary as of 1/28 – 2/1/2013

1/28   Emma laid her first egg#104 and Maggie as well. Hers is #13. While Maggie’s egg was perfect Emma laid quite a bad one again.  There was a bit blood INSIDE the egg. But at least it did not break. The shell was a bit thin but it came out in one piece.


1/29   Jimi came late in the afternoon  – which he sometimes does – and I thought he wanted to eat as usual (which he did the day before) and then would leave again. He did not want to eat though  but only sat in the sandbox and gave no sign that he wanted to leave again. So I knew something was wrong. I put him in one of the boxes I am always using for sick pigeons and where Rudi and Pina are also sleeping in. I intended to keep him inside to see how his poops would look like in the morning and check whether he would eat and drink something. He drank some water but did not touch the seeds at all. His poops looked terrible, all mushy, dark brown-greenish with urinates around and a larger water part (see photos).


poops after first night


poops after second night


As he did not want to eat this morning either I gave him millet cereal with joghurt and applesauce for lunch and another portion this evening. His digestion was low, he was very calm, a bit puffed up and perched most of the time on his little saucer. His feet were warm so I refrained from giving him extra heat for the moment which might have been too much for him. His poops were still looking the same – shitty!

I wondered whether this was a sort of PMV relapse because the poops looked exactly like those of Pina and Willy when they were in the middle of a full PMV infection – not the spaghetti poops – but the mushy stuff they made from time to time.

I did not want to give him antibiotics unnecessarily when this could be resolved with propolis and probiotics. When I gave him the cereal for lunch the tube went easily into his crop. So there was no obstruction from the tumor which I feared first.

1/30   This morning I gave Jimi Propolis (on a homemade pellet and Bene Bac (probiotic).

Emma laid her second egg#105 and this time it was better. The shell was strong but very rough and there was no blood inside the egg. Maggie laid her second egg #14. A perfect one as usual.

1/31   Jimi is still sick but doing a bit better. His poops were still looking like those typical PMV poops – spaghetti-like and a large puddle of water additionally but at least the colour was better. Today he started to preen himself and he showed more interest in his seeds but did not eat any. I was still tube feeding him though to give him extra fluid and easy digestion: millet baby cereal with applesauce, polenta (corn semolina), joghurt and 2 drops of organic rapeseed oil, for breakfast, lunch and supper.

Look at this sweet chap:


Pina is such a treasure and angel. For quite a while she sat in front of Jimi’s box again, apparently to comfort him as she does with any sick creature, bird or human. I love her so much for her kind heart!!! Btw – Jimi is Pina’s uncle.


In the morning, while Gino was still on his hanging pot outside, I played with him again. So funny, as he learned the fencing game from me and Pina, he loves to play with me exactly the same way  and is really disappointed when I have to go. What a sweet little chap.

2/1   I think I have good news and am quite sure now that Jimi has the same PMV relapse in a mild form as our Pina and Micky. Other than the ladies with stargazing etc. he has it via his digestion. The poops from the night looked completely different and rather like the typical PMV – spaghetti poops. Also the colour has changed from that very dark olive green to rather light olive green. The quantity told me that he digested everything I gave him yesterday evening. So no slow crop any more. During this morning he made even better poops, more formed, not so much water again.

The poops he made before did smell only a tiny bit and only after smearing them a bit on the paper – now they are not smelling at all or are smelling normal.

Jimi also looked different today – not so tired any more and he had interest in his seeds again. I cannot say how much he ate after his cereal this morning but a few definitely went into his crop. I think in a few days he wants to leave again. Yesterday he just wanted his peace and nothing else. I know him. He was like this already as a baby.

So I am quite optimistic that Jimi will be his old self  again soon. What a clever boy that he came immediately back to his mommy when he felt bad. But then I had asked for his promise to do so the last time when he was sick!!

It is strange that our pigeons here (the ones from the balcony) do not seem to suffer from the ailments other people are so often describing. Worm infestation apparently is not a problem here and coccidia neither, at least not in a pathogenic form. I am relieved about this. I don’t want to have more patients. It’s been enough. Maybe it’s the regular good food and clean ACV water that helps them to develop an intact immune system. My greatest wish is that this will stay as it is. There is nothing more sad than a sick creature…


January 17, 2013

Lucky is tossing Seeds and Gino is getting a brandnew House

From the

Diary as of 11/4 – 11/11/2012

11/4   Gino still does not fly around. Besides being on recovery I think this is also due to his moult he is still in. His tail feathers are a mess and this must be difficult to navigate. Did I already say that he is a clever little boy?

Lucky’s behaviour today was strange. He was tossing a lot of seed and always threw his head back when he wanted to eat larger seeds. I also saw him vomiting so I cought him and checked his mouth: bright red. So I gave him immediately a Spartrix and also Propolis. What a mess – this is not good and I can only hope that no more pijjies are getting sick. This damn weather – I knew it would have consequences.

Because Gino was sick and I wanted Micky to have more peace on the balcony while she would be sitting on eggs I decided to build them a wooden house which would be much better than the hanging planting pot. Especially when it would be getting really cold and windy a complete house would give them shelter and protection. Here are the pics:


Standing on top means: “this is mine!!!!! Don’t you dare!!!”


Micky is “training” inside


“don’t come nearer! Or I call my MAN”


Gino: “my house – my wife!”


Gino totally cool on his new villa




Gino: “Ha – I am the MAN!”

You cannot imagine how quickly they both adapted to their new house. But of course they are my clever babies!!!

Gino is fully his old self again and comes inside for eating together with Micky AT LEAST 4 times a day. Can you believe that? But he has to gain some weight still and he is definitely eating like a little pig! You should see them both, when they are running- yes running – inside into our bedroom where THEIR food bowl is, passing Rudi who always tries to get hold of Gino to beat him up – (I think this is not so serious as it sounds though). Gino and Micky actually look like little soldiers who are running in a kind of goose step one behind the other, which makes us laugh each time. I hope I will manage to get this on video one day. They always make our day – as bad as it may have begun.
My experiment fully worked in Gino’s case: when I noticed his bright red mouth I gave him 2 Spartrix on 2 subsequent days and additionally Propolis (the pure mother tincture in pharmacy quality only for human consumption) mixed in his millet baby cereal. On day 3 I additionally gave him Bene Bac (pro-biotic) and this for the following 3 days. You could actually see how he improved from day to day. So no heavy medication only the 2 Spartrix and then supporting his own immune system.

Currently I am a bit puzzled about Lucky. Last Sunday HE started to behave as if something was wrong – tossing his seed a bit around, not eating much, vomiting once. So I checked his mouth and there it was: bright red colour. Same program as with Gino – 2 Spartrix and Propolis on 2 subsequent days, then only Propolis and Bene Bac. On day 3 his appetite was back and he was much more vivid. He stopped vomiting on day 4.

I continued with this program until he did not show any symptoms any more. Strange was only the seed tossing which reminded me of PMV. But there were no other symptoms visible to me which could have led me to another infection such as Salmonella, where symptoms can be similar. Never had a case though. His poops were perfect.

My girls are all healthy. And this is obviously due to the Propolis I give them twice a week. I mean it is difficult to say that this always works in any case but my conclusion is that the Propolis definitely strengthens their immune system in addition to good food and the ACV water. If this really helps them spare all the heavy medication I would say this is it to keep them healthy. It is so much motivation to continue and you get so much back from these dear souls. Not a single day passes where I do not laugh or smile about their little sillynesses. This is the true life.

Back to the entries:

11/5   Gave Lucky another Spartrix and Propolis pellet and also Bene Bac to strengthen his immune system. He was still vomiting – saw it in the morning in his sleeping basket. Other than that he seemed to do quite okay. But he was still tossing his seed. Strange…

11/6   This morning I againl found some vomit in Lucky’s sleeping basket – only very few but still some. So there was still an issue to take care of. I tried to treat this by strengthening his immune system with Propolis and Bene Bac. I waited until he was sitting on Emma’s nest again and then gave him the Propolis directly mixed in some applesauce. I fed this with a small syringe.

If he was not going to be perfectly okay again within the next 3 days I would have to start him on Metronidazole although I did not like the idea. But I hoped this would not be necessary and that he would be able to fight the canker off by himself. He was definitely feeling better already because he ate quite well again and only tossed the large seeds into the air. His mouth was not as red as before when I checked him this morning.

11/7   Lucky seemed to have improved a little bit more. So as long as it was not getting worse I continued to give him Propolis and Bene Bac. So far it has worked. Under no circumstances I wanted to face the same problems again when Lucky nearly suffocated from canker in his trachea the last time.

11/8   I am still giving Lucky Propolis and Bene Bac as long as he is still tossing seed. I assume that he might have a virus infection but don’t ask me what. But at least he seems to be able to fight this off by himself.

11/9   Another portion of Propolis and Bene Bac. The latter would be the last now. But I will continue to give him Propolis every other day.

I am still puzzled about Lucky’s behaviour though. He still tosses the larger seeds such as corn and large sunflower hearts into the air and manages to actually eat one of 5. Would look funny if I did not know better. The smaller seeds such as millet, sesam, wheat are no problem for him to eat. Could it be that the “inflammation” from the canker somehow affected the nerves of his tongue so that he has these difficulties with swallowing properly? His mouth is still a bit reddish but far not as bad as at the beginning. Otherwise his behaviour is totally normal, his poop is absolutely perfect. He does not have any tremors or any other symptoms I could detect. He feels normal weight. He is flying as usual. I am quite at the end of my wits.

11/10   This morning I weighed Lucky to make sure that he can eat enough and was not loosing too much weight. I think I need not worry – he has 406 gr and does not feel thin at all. I gave him his Propolis pellet but stopped the Bene Bac.

There was also an improvement to see today:  he was tossing the seed far less than yesterday and he had a good appetite. So I would continue giving him Propolis every day until these symptoms have disappeared.

Btw – Propolis also works on viruses and fungi. I am so grateful that I found this stuff – if only more people would believe in treating with this instead of dumping all those chemicals into their poor birds. I think I should take it myself on a regular base again. If only the stuff would not taste so badly.


January 16, 2013

Micky abandoned her Plaster Eggs and Gino is recovering quickly

From the

Diary as of 10/30 – 11/3/2012

10/30   Micky abandoned her eggs (were only plaster eggs anyway – so no harm done). This is better for her because then she can come in regularly for eating instead of sitting on the eggs and worrying about Gino.

Gave Gino his second Spartrix, Bene Bac (pro-biotic) and Propolis for his immune system. I realized that his mouth is not quite as red as before. I am still tubefeeding him.

10/31   As Gino has stopped vomiting entirely I decided to stop any further canker medication but instead gave him only Bene Bac and Propolis. I wanted to see whether his immune system was strong enough to fight the canker instead of weakening him further.

11/1   Gino is down on 284 gr but I am not too worried about this.

Gino is much better and on the way to recovery. During the night he made a lot of good poopies!!! So he just got another millet cereal with yoghurt, applesauce and propolis this morning and I let him out of his box again in our bedroom. Now Micky is with him together in the bedroom and they are grooming each other and enjoying classical music and peace. Yesterday already Micky stayed with Gino nearly for the whole day inside and I think this added a lot to his quick recovery. He has lost a lot of weight though and we need to foster him back up again. He’s never had much on his “ribs”. Just like Micky he is a delicate pijjie and I doubt he will ever become such a bull like Rudi.
I think I keep him inside today still because outside there will be stress again and the low temperatures are no good at all. But I am extremely happy that our little djungle boy is nearly the old one again. I very much missed his voice: quak quak – aw-ee aw-ee (like a donkey). He is so funny. This morning Gino and Rudi sang together while they were still in their sleeping boxes. Sooooo sweet and beautiful. <3 <3 <3

11/2   Gino had another millet cereal with Propolis and he is doing well.

11/3   Weighing day for Gino:  287 gr. Not much more but he is increasing his weight! So this is the day to let him out again.

It was interesting to watch how intelligent our little Gino is:  instead of flying around like crazy he stayed on the balcony and saved his energy to get used to “fresh air” again. What a clever little pigeon boy. So he slept outside for the first night again. Micky must have been incredibly happy.


Cuddling time again…




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