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?


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…



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