Domestic Pigeons


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In May, a domestic pigeon came upon our yard. Pic attached. He never left. We named him Gary. I tried to catch him and he's not having it. We feed him and he enjoys himself in the pond. He hangs around near us and talks to us in his pigeon talk.

A few weeks ago, another like pigeon appeared. He looks like Gary but he has gray where Gary has white. We named him George. I think they are both Birmingham Rollers. I attempted unsuccessfully to find their owner. Both are banded.

Today my husband saw George attempting to mount Gary, so we think Gary might be a girl.

We love having them here, but it gets very cold in the winter and I don't know what to do about that.

Suggestions?
 

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We had a carrier pigeon get "lost" on a route and was hanging around my office at work. He was there when I left on a Friday and still there the following Tuesday after a long weekend - clearly he wasn't able to figure out how to get past the building. We contacted animal control and they were able to locate the owner. I think they found a group of carrier pigeon enthusiasts who assisted.
 
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I have 5 residents that eat with the wild birds and on the weekend they turn to 15-20, then back to just 5 by Monday...go figure!
There was an albino one among them for a short period of time, could see that one a mile away
I love pigeons!
smfeedingbird.gif
 
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I think these pigeons are racers and I contacted someone from a racing group and they told me the owners would cull them (kill them) should they return, so I don't want to send them away. They clearly like it here since they both fly fine and frequently leave and come back. I'm just trying to figure out if they will need any special care over winter.
 
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6a is probably average winter, but I've seen it -24F here once in 30 years, and -10 to -15 at times
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I'm curious why you believe the pigeon to be a Birmingham Roller? I raised Birmingham Rollers for many years, and in fact from looking at the photo, as poor as it is, I would guess it to be a roller myself. Rollers have pretty poor homing instinct compared to a racing pigeon.

Racing pigeons have been selectively bred for returning home as fast as possible in all kinds of weather. It is amazing how selective breeding over thousands of generations has created the ultimate athlete. Racing pigeons have returned home from 600 miles on the day of release. People who race pigeons raise many every year and train them hard releasing them from farther and farther each week, getting them in shape for the races. They feed them the best grains and attend to their health and needs in every way possible. In the end only the champions are valued and bred from to raise the next generation. Birds that don't return are no use to the racers. Sad, but true, only through selection of the very best has this breed been created. All the various breeds of domesticated animals have been created from careful selection for specific desired traits.

Do a web search on the Birmingham Roller and you will be amazed at what acrobatic athletes they are. They pause in flight, and then suddenly spin backwards in a blur like a spinning ball. They spin anywhere from snapping off one quick back flip, to spinning backwards many feet downward, then snap out of the roll and return to the flock. It is an amazing sight to see. They are flown in groups, and when one rolls it stimulates the others to roll, so many times several are spinning down together.

They are not near the strong fast flyers that racing homers are. They tend to fly slow and high circling within sight of their home. Take one and release it ten miles from home, and you may never see it again. Fly them when high winds come up, and you would likely lose them.

As far as how to care for those pigeons, if they were born and raised in captivity, they don't have the skills like their feral cousins when it comes to foraging and living in the wild. The reason they are hanging around is they associate people with food. They need a handout if they are going to make it. That, or they need to join a flock of their feral cousins who will show them the ropes. Still, they likely will not make it long. Probably a hawk will get them because they just don't have the street smarts to avoid them.
 
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You might want to build a small loft for them. While cold is not a problem predators are. They have special gates that go over door bird can enter but not leave. They are domestic so must have lived in a loft at sometime.
 
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Had a flock of pigeons as a boy. They were all barnies, as we caught all of them in a farmer’s barn. They all were trained to come home every night. The original bird we named Old Moe. After visiting a number of barns at night our flock grew to thirty-some birds. Really enjoyed them especially when they began to lay and produced many little hungry mouths to feed. Great memories.
 
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We are working on a loft of sorts. They were out flying around the yard the other day and were doing lots of rolls. It looked like they were having fun.
 
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It's very kind of you to take care of them, poor pigeons get a bad reputation sometimes. Hope this home they found with you works out.
 
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It's very kind of you to take care of them, poor pigeons get a bad reputation sometimes. Hope this home they found with you works out.
Thanks, Tara. I hope so too. They fit right in here with the rescue cats and rescue dog and rescue fish (we only have "feeder" fish).
 
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Thanks, Tara. I hope so too. They fit right in here with the rescue cats and rescue dog and rescue fish (we only have "feeder" fish).
Personally I love the vocals that pigeons have. You don't only have feeder fish, you now have some lucky pet fish . I have some rescue animals one been a Quaker parrot, and I love them all.
 
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Tara, I "talk pigeon" to one of them. Gary sits on the shade cloth over the pond and we talk. Then he flies down and has a drink and a bath in the pond waterfall.
 
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Tara, I "talk pigeon" to one of them. Gary sits on the shade cloth over the pond and we talk. Then he flies down and has a drink and a bath in the pond waterfall.
That's lovely, my neighbour has two mourning doves that live on her garage, I could always see them as it's near my fence. Now they visit my pond (new pond) every morning. Coffee would not be the same without them. I was joking with my neighbor that they are going to fly the coup, and move to my place.
 

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