Pigeon Tales

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.



August 20, 2009

Yippee – Emma is on the way of Recovery

From the

Diary as of  7/8/ – 7/14/09

7/8 In the early morning (around 6 °clock) Emma and Pete were gone, browsing. So she must have felt better when she was gone. A good sign!! When they came back, I saw that she was breathing heavily again but that improved very quickly. I suppose that she had lost some of her strength and had to regain that. As we all know, the  same happens with humans when they are sick. After she had calmed down I saw that she could breathe again with closed beak and her little body did not shake any more up and down while breathing as it did before. So this was definitely an improvement. I was so relieved.

7/9 This morning we had to go to the nice lady doctor again for a new check-up. I caught her in the little nest in pigeon city. It went quite quick as if Emma knew that I only wanted to help her. Same procedure: into the cardbox and off we went. Emma got another pill, a medication against round worms called Ascaridia – just in case. The doctor looked at her poop which was still very thin and fluid. But then Emma had not eaten much but had drunk more. But she was definitely more vivid and cuddled with Pete again. So the doctor seemed to be content and me too.

There was no way to catch Pete as well though and I told the doctor that I had no chance but I brought her a probe of Pete’s poop as well which she said looked perfectly okay although his is always not so very solid. So no worries about this.

7/10 The next day Emma started to eat more and also her poop became a bit more solid now. Geez – if someone would have told me that I was going to check out pigeon poop one day – I would have called him nuts!!!

7/11  It’s Saturday and we drove to the doctor again for a last check-up. Emma received another pill – Bird Bene Bac – for her gut flora and was released. I was so happy that she was on the way of anastasis – Pete probably too because the first thing he did when we were back was mounting her – MEN!!!!

7/12 Emma seems to be perfectly ok again – only caughed once but she breathed normal.

So she sat on her little posts seemingly quite content in pigeon city again…





7/13 Today I thought I do something special for “my” pijjies: I bought hey, real mountain hey which smells just wonderfully and the pijjies loved it.  Willy immediately put it under his belly while sitting on the eggs – he did not even puff when I put it into the nest in front of him. The hey was used in a minute!!

I also put a handful of hey in each empty hanging flower pot – you just should have seen their surprise – they love love love it!!!

7/14 Angelo discovered a new favourite place: sitting in one of the bowls – with the fresh hey….


August 18, 2009

With Emma to the Veterinarian

From the

Diary as of 7/7/09

I called the vet immediatly in the morning and told the girl on the phone what had happened the day before.  She told me to bring the bird immediately. Now I had the problem of getting hold of Emma. Remember – she is a wild bird and never eats from my hand. She always has been shy although this has improved during the last year. How to catch her without putting her into additional stress?

I waited for Emma and her mate, Pete, to go into their nest for cuddling. They do this quite often when they are not sitting on eggs. So this was my only hope. At the very moment when I saw them going into the nest I went out on the balcony, made myself small and hided behind the little “screen” i.e. half of the nest entry was closed by a piece of cardboard. First this was an additional wind protections, second Emma could hide behind it and third it was luckily my chance to get as near as possible without being seen.

I immediately threw a big piece of cloth over the entry and carefully released Pete from his “prison” so that Emma could not escape at the same moment. I could grab Emma very carefully and put her instantly in a cardboard box which was large enough that she could move but small enough that she could not open her wings in order to avoid any injury. I had cut some small holes into each side so that she could see somethin and breathe of course.

I realized to my satisfaction that the dark box – despite the small holes letting some light into it – somehow quieted her down – or maybe she knew that I was trying to help her – whatever – she sat in her box apparently quite content without any panic and we could drive her to the vet.

The doctor examined her carefully but could not say what the problem really was. She could not detect any signs of canker or any other obvious problem. Probably she had a serious cold due to the very bad weather in the past weeks. When humans get sick from this, why should animals be spared from this? All the pigeons are in moult – so this is additional stress and attacks the immune system. Poor Emma.

So the vet gave her an injection with antibiotics and a pill (which I really cannot remember what it was – I was so worried about my little pigeon lady – I was in biggest panic myself). But I think she said something about potential worms. We took Emma home again. I was relieved that there was hope for her recovery again. I was sooo relieved – I cannot tell you how much.

(Addendum: called the vet today and Emma received following medication:

1 x 5 day injection Doxycyclin antibiotics

1 x Spartrix against canker

1 x Metacam against pain and inflammation – update as of 08/19/09)

Emma improved slighty till the evening, sitting in the second small nest behind the “curtain” nearly all day. So this was the best recipe – getting some rest. Whenever she came out I lured her into eating a few seeds which she did and she also drank some water. I took it for a good sign. When animals eat they are on the way of getting well – no difference to humans!

In the night I heard her “caughing” once for a few times but then it was quiet. She also seemed to breathe a bit lighter which meant she did not open her beak any more so much for breathing – only a little bit from time to time.

So I could go back to bed and try to sleep a bit more….

I just discovered that I don’t have a photo from the nest as it is right now – but you can see that cardboard in the huge black planter? This isThe nest of Emma and Pete. It is covered wirth cardboard and a plastic sheet over it to protect it completely against rain and wind.

These are Emma and Winnie and Jimi (from left to right)  – the second “batch” (find this word terrible 🙂 ) of Emma and Pete.




August 16, 2009

Emma is seriously sick and started to cough in the Evening

From the

Diary as of  7/5/ – 7/6/09

7/5 In the evening Emma started to cough. I know that pigeons cannot really cough but the sound was similar. At that point I was not really worried yet because sometimes this can happen when they eat too quickly and a seed gets stuck. So I went to bed.

7/6 This morning when I realized that Emma was still making those strange noises from time to time and I realized that she was breathing very heavily with the beak half opened. As it was cold not hot, this meant to me that something was wrong. Very wrong. I observed her the whole day but it did not improve. She hardly ate anything and I could convince her to eat only a few sunflower hearts which she loves so much, drank at least a little bit and stayed on the balcony for the whole day in one of the little love nests. Pete nearly sat the whole day besides her – he seemed to be very worried too. So I decided to bring her to the vet the next day.

During the day I checked symptoms on the Internet, tried to find out what was going on, went through all the descriptions of symptomss but did not really get to a conclusion. It could not be ornithosis though, which would have been the worst, because she did not have any sign of mucus coming from her beak and nostrils, nor did her eyes show any sign of watery effusion.

I researched the Internet for a specialist for birds because I did not want to happen the same thing with Randy or Wally where the vets apparently were not experienced with birds. Luckily I found a lady vet who seemed to be competent enough regarding aviary expertise.

It was a bad night – I woke up several times hearing Emma making those noises again and I was very worried about her. The hours went by. I really was afraid about Emma because I loved her dearly. She is shy but a very sweet little pigeon, very devote to her mate. She is small in comparison to Pete, her mate, who is very impressive, with a broad chest yet a little bit short legged. Therefore it looks so funny when he is running.

It took a long time to win Emma’s trust, so that she let me be quite near but she would never allow me to touch her. So I tried to block the thought that I might not be able to catch her in order to bring her to the vet. That had to wait..Emma and Pete are really a loving couple, so devote to each other – although Pete regularly flirts with other pigeon ladies – he sometimes even has a bit on the side. Well – he is a male – what can you expect? Emma never ever is unfaithful – I have watched her refusing any flirting from foreign males. She even becomes really aggressive and attacks much bigger males even – they really get a heavy slap from her wings and if this is not enough she behaves like a torro. In all cases the big males are that much taken by surprise that they take off immediately. What a couragious  sweet little wife…



Emma and Pete in pigeon city


Pete and Emma in their spa

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