Pigeon Tales

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…



September 12, 2013

Bad Times – Canker Epidemic and a New Patient

From the

Diary as of 5/15 – 5/22/2013

5/15   Pina is still not showing any sign of laying soon. This is a long pause and good for her body. She seems to feel very well as she is flying out with Rudi several times a day. She has not done that for a long time. I am very happy about this.

5/16   Lucky has definitely Canker – I gave him a Spartrix. He was vomiting several times – after each meal more or less. So I gave him another pill in the evening as I did not know how much of the drug had stayed in his body. His behaviour though is as usual and he continues to eat with great appetite. Very strange.

5/17   Maggie is off her plaster eggs and cuddling with Woodie. I cleaned their nest so that everything is ready for the next “breeding” cycle.

5/18   Today I saw Emily vomiting as well. So I gave her a Spartrix too. Maggie seems to have canker also but I have not seen her vomiting. So she received only a propolis pill – same to  Woodie just in case.

Currently I am under siege: due to the totally crazy weather – one day 13°C – the next day 25°C – and then down again – we have a real canker epidemic here. I have never faced something like that. Besides changing the water every hour and adding a lot more organic ACV to the water than usual I cannot do much here. I am keeping a list of who has been treated with propolis of those who are living on our balcony because otherwise I am losing control. Lucky is treated with Spartrix, same for Emily because they were both vomiting heavily.
Have to clean up the stinky stuff for the whole day. Have never witnessed such a bad fishy smell. Hope this will be over soon – I am really getting nothing else done.

And as if this weren’t enough I have a new little patient, called her Fifi because she is so small but very vocal – with a bad injury on her leg (on the tibiotarsus) – must be a bite from a predator. Deep wound in the flesh – bone could be seen – but thank heaven no bone broken. I cleaned and disinfected the wound, removed the feathers sticking in the wound as good as I could, added antibiotic cream and bandage and put her on Baytril. Now she is in one of the small hospital boxes with fresh water and something to eat. Will see tomorrow how it goes.

5/19   Gave Emily another Spartrix to make sure that the canker has no chance on her. She has already stopped vomiting – same as Lucky. Thank heaven. No-one else seemed to vomit but I could see some awful stinky poops still. I treated Maggie and Woody with propolis only. This seemed to have solved the canker problem as their cases were not as bad.

5/20   No stinky poops on the balcony any more. The canker epidemic seems to be over. This was quick and I am very thankful that it did not become worse. The ACV in the water must have helped.

5/21   Maggie should have laid by now but she did not either. Apparently she is having a pause as well. Pina is still not laying. This is now more than 3 weeks over her time. I am happy about this because she needs a pause. I wished she would stop laying entirely. Both Rudi and Pina are doing very well – flying out regularly, eating with great appetite, pooping well and cuddling with each other every day. In the evening they are relaxing – look at my little princess – how cute is she:


5/22   Fifi is now the 5th day on Baytril and doing quite well. She has started to sing a lot so I think she is feeling better.


July 8, 2013

New Patient: tiny Flea and Tibby is running around

From the

Diary as of 4/10 – 4/12/2013

4/10   Bad thing happened:  a new patient. We called her Flea because she is really tiny. A squeaker still that had appeared a few days before. Unfortunately I did not foresee what was coming because it did not occur to me that there might be a danger:

When I got up in the morning and went to the balcony I found Flea, our new squeaker,  completely entangled between 2 planting pots in the net we have on the balcony. In the evening before I had realized that Flea had chosen to spend the night on our balcony, perching in the middle of one of the containers. She had managed to squeeze through all the sticks I have in the containers to keep the pijjies out of certain plants but thought I leave her there for a night. Big mistake!!! During the night she probably tried to get out again, because it started to rain a bit, and chose the wrong direction and landed in the net which is behind the pots. There she hung, helplessly, totally undercooled and traumatized Idon’t know for how long.

I cut her out of the net and examined her. Gladly she had no injuries probably due to her low weight. She seemed to be very undernourished. Immediately I put her in a box, gave her a warm water bottle and some time later when her feet became warm I tubefed her some cereal. She was still very unresponsive and her little body felt like bone and skin only. Poor little thing. I already feared the worst because her poop looked quite bad. I fed her again in the late afternoon.

The next day she was still very quiet but at least she feeped a bit – a tiny voice. The warmth of the water bottle certainly helped a lot. On Friday she started to be more vivid, she had increased her weight and started to squeak when she saw someone. Sweet little thing. Her poop became normal again and today we let her out of her box to see whether she could fly. She was still too weak to let her go of course but she seemed to be happy to have some time outside her box. We will continue to exercise with her until she is more confident and able to survive outside. She will tell us when she is ready to go. Oh my – I am so relieved that nothing worse happened but could slap myself for not foreseeing what had happened.

Pina laid her second egg #80.

4/11   Today we removed Tibby’s bandage after she pecked and pecked at the plaster. It was already so loose that it did not make any sense to further give her problems. She wanted to get rid of it. The foot looked really good – no discolouring, nothing strange to see – only at the place where the break had been, there seemed to be some additional bone growth, indicated by some very small “swellings” on both sides of the leg. She jumped and ran around as if he never had any problems. What a relief!!!


Weighing day for Flea: 225 gr – she is definitely thin and we have to do a lot so that she grows bigger.

Micky has laid her second egg #20.

4/12   Tibby is in good mood. We are always happy that she is such a cheerful pijjie. I think she will be ready soon to be released. Well – we let her out for the first time today after she was vandalizing her box and did not stop. We noticed that she could walk without the tiniest limping, even jumped from an object nearly 1 m high and landed safely without showing the slightest sign of pain. She could even stand on the narrow edge of an open wooden box which told me that she had all her feeling back in her toes.

We plan to let her go on Monday, will watch her tomorrow when she’s had her first bath and will let her roam the bedroom tomorrow to see how she is doing. Tibby is so eager to get out of here – I don’t want to torture her. I am extremely happy that this went all so well.

Tibby’s character reminds me so much of Gino’s. She is incredibly vocal and friendly and greets anyone who is coming near her. Very sweet. I hope she is coming back for breakfast etc.

Flea has increased her weight a little bit: 230 gr now but still far too less. But at least she seems to be on the mend…



February 23, 2013

Strange Poop and Sandy has a Crop Rupture

Filed under: birds,crop rupture,documentary,HEALTH and DESEASES,INJURIES,PIGEON,poop — pigeonwriter @ 6:05 pm

I am very behind my posts again so here is an update now:

From the

Diary as of 11/26 – 11/30/2012

11/26   Nothing special to report besides found some very strange poop on our balcony balustrade and I made some pics. I have never seen something like that before – no smell btw. Questioning other people who have some experience with pigeons did not really help.

My suspicion was that the poop was simply from some dark berries the pigeon might have been eaten for lack of other food???? The consistency was relatively thin – therefore I smeared it on a piece of kitchen paper to be able to photograph it properly. I could not detect any worms and it did not look like intestinal blood to me…


11/27   Something is wrong with Sandy. Cannot determine what it is yet.

11/29   I caught Sandy today. I observed him making the penguin stance for 2 days now after drinking and I wanted to check him out what was wrong. Also I saw that there were some feathers on his crop standing away slightly. When I had him on my table, I realized that he had a crop rupture, about 3 cm wide, horizontally in the middle of his crop . The wound must have been already a few days old (I had not seen him for a few days before), some dried seeds sticking in and around the wound but could not see any open hole into the crop itself. So the only thing I did was filling the hole with holy ashes from Sai Baba, pulling softly his feathers over the hole again and released him.

I checked his mouth, I checked his poop – there were no signs of an infection. He was eating with great appetite, courting other females, flying around and behaving as if nothing had happened. Only when he was drinking he was very upright afterwards as if he had to let the water run slowly down his crop. His feathers around the wound were totally dry and clean – so apparently there was no leakage from the wound.

I will observe him further but I think this time I thought it was better to leave him alone (other than the case with Loki where the wound was fresh and the seeds falling out of his crop. If I only knew what had happened to him. He is a very cautious bird and it took him a long time until he dared to come in for the first time.

Poor Sandy – I wished I could have helped him better but if I had started to remove all the old dried stuff (which will eventually fall off by itself anyway) I would have hurt him much more and put him under enormous stress. It is not easy to make a decision such as this one but these birds are strong when healthy and living in the open forces them to help themselves. So human intervention is not always applicable.

11/30   Sandy seems to do very well, eating and drinking still with penguin stance. I still leave him alone but will continue toobserve him.


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