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Need help with pigeon rescue

Pat M.
September 29th, 2006, 06:21 PM
We live in a small apartment & are unable to provide a home for a beautiful pair of white pigeons that took up 'residence' last fall in the maintenance yard building where my husband works. They refused to leave & so after becoming quite attached to them my husband has been caring for them the last year. They have recently come to the negative attention of a new manger who hates all animals & wants them removed or exterminated immeditiately.

We are desperate to find a safe home for the pair & have no idea where to begin. The male's feather's were badly singed months ago by, we suspect, battery acid, so he is unable to fly. We realize if they are turned out they will definitely fall prey to the many predators in the area. The female refuses to leave him & has stayed devotedly nesting with him in the safe haven my husband provided in the building.

We would appreciate any info on a place we could bring these beautiful, now semi-domesticated pair of white pigeons in the Orange County area of So, California, or any other workable solution any fellow animal lover might have.

Thanks,
Pat M.

badger
September 29th, 2006, 08:47 PM
Why don't you call around to some of these places? They might know of some individuals or groups that do pigeon rescue. Bird rescuers tend to be a shy lot.
Your husband sounds like a great guy!

Irvine Animal Care Center
6443 Oak Canyon
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 724-7740
http://www.irvineshelter.org/

City of Laguna Beach Animal Shelter
20612 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 497-3552
http://www.petfinder.org/shelters/CA25.html

Animal Assistance League of Orange County
15101 Jackson Street
Midway City, CA
(714) 893-4393
http://www.aaloc.com/

Mission Viejo Animal Services
28095 Hillcrest
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(949) 470-3045
http://www.cmvas.org/

Newport Beach City Animal Control
870 Santa Barbara
Newport Beach, CA 92660 South
(949) 722-PETS

Orange County Animal Care Center
561 City Drive
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 935-6848
http://www.ocpetinfo.com/

San Clemente Animal Shelter
535 Fabricante
San Clemente, CA 92672-7528
(949) 492-1617

Grand Avenue Pet Care Center
1602 N. Grand Avenue
Santa Ana, CA 92701-2629
(714) 558-7622

Pat M.
October 2nd, 2006, 10:07 PM
Badger,

We can't thank you enough for your timely & thorough list of places we can call to help us with our rescue. We haven't had much luck with the agencies as of today, being asked amongst other shockingly uncaring comments, why are we worried about pigeons, they're just 'trash birds!"

I intend to continue calling the list you suggested until I find even one compassionate person familiar with pigeons to help with a local referral.

An interesting side note...when we were living outside Flagstaff, AZ in a wonderful little mountain town, we had an amazing encounter with a 'badger' driving home on a thickly wooded back:fingerscr road. Your name struck a chord with us since we've been told the sighting of the elusive badger was quite special!

Thanks again & my husband really is a great guy!

chico2
October 3rd, 2006, 05:39 PM
I have about 35 pigeons coming every day to feed at my feeders,many pretty unusual colours,but the one all white is beautiful.
I understand how your husband feels,some people however think of them as more or less vermin:evil:
Are you sure they are not doves??I had a Ringed Turtle Dove at my house last summer,they too are white and quiet large.
I hope you find a solution for them:fingerscr
Here's a pic of some of mine,not a very good,but you can see the white one.
Good Luck!!

Pat M.
October 4th, 2006, 05:01 PM
Chico2,

We couldn't believe it when we saw the incredible pics of your wonderful, beautiful feathered friends! It seems after seeing your 'white turtle doves' that we now realize our new friends were also these large, white ringed turtle doves! My husband had started to notice the last several weeks that they were beginning to show some colored feathers around their previously snowy white necks. We couldn't figure out what was going on, but thanks to you sharing your knowledge with us, now we know. We were also amazed at how dainty their feet seemed to be in comparison to other pigeons we have around home.

We so wish there were more great people like you near us. We've been lifelong animal lovers, so there's no option for us but to find a safe haven for these loving birds. Please wish us luck in our search for a solution to find a safe place for our white turtle doves, Snowflake & Sophie.

Pat M.

chico2
October 4th, 2006, 05:17 PM
Pat,the Ringed Turtle Doves are not seen much in the wild,are mostly kept as petbirds in a cage.
If this is what yours are,they have more than likely been "set free"by someone.
They do not do well in winter,any more than a parrot would,so I hope you find them some help.
Here's a pic of one,the dove I had was a little more white.
Ooops,I just saw you are in California,so I guess snow and cold will not be an issue.

Pat M.
October 6th, 2006, 04:32 PM
Chico2,

We suspected that the pair had been 'set free' by someone no longer willing to care for them, since they seemed quite dependent on being fed & watered ever since they first arrived exhausted & starving. The recent pic you sent looks exactly like what we believe to be the female, while the male is actually a little smaller & whiter overall.

It seems now that who ever may have set them free, only set them free to die, because it's become obvious that these gentle, loving birds can no longer forage for themselves in the wild.

They have been happy & cozy in the building since last Fall & my husband is worried that they are very sensitive to even the minimal cold we get in California since they never wanted to leave the building throughout the winter months. Do they naturally migrate in the wild? We feel so inadequate in our knowledge to take of them properly. We want them to live a non-captive, happy life if possible.

What size cage, if worse comes to worse, would you recommend to house them comfortably until we can find a permanent, safe home for them? My husband has observed that they are also infested with some sort of mite or some other tiny parasite. Do you know of anything we can use to clean them up if we have to transport them home? Any info & help would be greatly appreciated!



Thank You again! Pat M.

Melinda
October 6th, 2006, 04:47 PM
our doves stay all winter here, we feed them throughout and make sure they have water, we love hearing their call, so mournful. They are very plentiful in Ontario, we have about 15-20 living in the forest surrounding our place. Do they really sell them in petshops there?

chico2
October 6th, 2006, 05:17 PM
I would think you need a large cage and possibly let them be free at times in your apt,unless you have dogs or cats.
I know nothing about mites,but I am certain they have parasites and need to be cleaned up.
The turtledove at my feeder,was feeding happily together with the pigeons ,but one day she was gone,I suspect a hawk got her,or the cold.
I called our Humane Society and they lent me a cage to try to catch her,but it was impossible:sad:
They also told me she would not survive our cold winters.
I Googled the info on her,but I am sure any searchengine will do.
Since you are in Cal,where probably many people have birds(parrots etc..)I am sure there are several Bird-Vets,who could answer your question on mites.
Also,those places you called,who were not concerned about Pigeons,more than likely will be concerned about Doves,especially since they seem to have been someones pet-birds.
Often birds that are used at weddings or other occasions will fly away,that could also be the case with yours.
Please don't let anyone(your husbands manager) kill them,they are wonderful birds...
If you look for Ringed Turtle Dove in Google,you will also get more info.
Good look and please let me know what happens...:fingerscr

chico2
October 6th, 2006, 05:21 PM
Melinda,I think you are talking about Mourning Doves and we certainly have plenty of them:D
The Ringed Turtle Dove,I believe are not a native wild bird,mostly kept as pets.
They have been found wild in the Carribean,California,Florida and other warm places,but more often than not,are escaped pets.

Melinda
October 6th, 2006, 09:21 PM
thanks Chico, I didn't realize they were so different!

Pat M.
October 9th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Your advice & info has been invaluable because, believe it or not, while we immediately thought to contact avian vets, we were repeatedly told that they would not give information out on the phone, for free! We were discouraged & diapappointed by the cold, mercenary attitude we encountered, so decided to turn to the internet in search of compassionate, experienced animal lovers.

We went to a local feed store in search of something to rid them of their parasites, but the clerks were reluctant to recommend any spray or powder that was safe for birds. The one they showed us, upon reading the directions, turned out to be for HORSES! Needless to say, we were a little concerned about their level of 'expertise' & left empty handed. We're looking for exotic bird pet stores, hoping they can be of help with the situation, since the large chain pet stores are clueless when it comes to 'wild birds'.

We have purchased a large cage & intend to bring them home for the time being. My husband had an unpleasant stand-off with the manager regarding protecting the turtle doves, unfortunately once again bringing unwanted attention to this beautiful pair. Now we have no choice but to protect them at home with us. Under no circumstances would we stand by & let someone deliberately harm or kill any animal if it was within our power to help. Thank you all again & wish us luck within our new feathered 'family' members!

Pat M.

badger
October 9th, 2006, 07:04 PM
If I may ask, what was the problem with your husband's manager - he wanted to eat them?

This is a website for people who keep and show pigeons, but I've noticed that doves come up occasionally.

http://www.pigeoncote.com/index.html

Maybe if you contacted one of the California clubs, they would be able to help you. The following is off that site:

Basic Needs:
by
Dave Rupiper DVM

It comes as no surprise that pigeons and doves have become domesticated and used as a source of food, income, sport and entertainment for centuries. Their docile nature, prolific reproductive capacity and minimal housing and nutritional requirements have helped them achieve this popularity. Even today, pigeons are trained to race in meets with purse prizes exceeding $25,000. Doves, too, have been kept as aviary specimens, utilized as a food source and as performance or show animals.

The basics tenets of avian husbandry apply to doves just as with any bird species. Nutrition appropriate to the species, adequate housing, and a clean environment are all that is needed to raise and house doves. Let's discuss each of these areas individually.

Doves and pigeons should be housed appropriately. The aviary or loft must provide at least 2.5 m3 for each bird. This means that approximately 20 birds may housed in a 6 x6 x 6 foot loft. There should be at least two perches per bird and two nest boxes per pair. You may find with doves, however, that they prefer to form communal nest sites and will raise and feed each other's offspring. The nesting areas should be above the floor at least four feet and in a protected area. Small 'V' shaped boxes lined with grasses and attached to the walls seem to work best. The aviary needs to protect the birds during foul weather. At all times the loft must remain dry and clean. Ventilation is achieved by having screened windows or doors and ventilation ports. Water containers and feeders are best elevated at least three feet off the cage floor.

Taking care of doves is rather simple as well. Though doves prefer a dry aviary, they enjoy taking baths. These can be offered weekly by placing a shallow pan of water on the aviary floor. Bath water should be provided in a container separate from the drinking water. Baths aid in reducing external parasites but pigeons often need to be dusted for lice and pigeon flies on a monthly or quarterly schedule. Cleaning the aviary floor on a daily or weekly schedule will help to eliminate parasites and keep bacterial and protozoal infections to a minimum. Keeping the loft clean is essential to flock health.

Most infectious diseases commonly affecting doves and pigeons can be "managed" away. Bacterial infections like Salmonella and E. coli are prevented by good loft hygiene and husbandry practices. Trichomoniasis (Canker) and Coccidiosis are protozoal infections which are also controlled through sanitation, disinfecting water vessels and occasionally with medications. The biggest concern with dove and pigeon diseases is Psittacosis. This unique bacterial infection is transmissible to humans. Fortunately, it is rarely encountered in a healthy flock and seldom affects humans exposed to pigeons and doves. Psittacosis is controlled by medication and reducing crowding within the aviary.

The nutritional requirements of doves and pigeons are easily provided. In general, doves require a fairly high fiber diet of grains and seeds. A protein content of 14% is desirable but they will do well on diets containing 12-18% protein. Grains most commonly fed include millet, corn, wheat, milo as well as peas and safflower. Numerous commercial seed mixes are available and are normally fed once or twice daily. Doves and pigeons also need a source of grit and oyster shell. The shell provides calcium and phosphorus and the grit aids in the digestion of the seed. Occasionally, doves will eat chopped fruits and vegetables, live prey such as meal worms and human foods like pastas, bread, crackers and cheeses. With this kind of diet vitamins may not be necessary but if the birds eat only seed mixes then supplementation of the diet with soluble vitamins in the water may be desirable. The water must be changed on a daily basis and the water vessels disinfected weekly.

Taking care of doves is rather simple as well. Though doves prefer a dry aviary, they enjoy taking baths. These can be offered weekly by placing a shallow pan of water on the aviary floor. Bath water should be provided in a container separate from the drinking water. Baths aid in reducing external parasites but pigeons often need to be dusted for lice and pigeon flies on a monthly or quarterly schedule. Cleaning the aviary floor on a daily or weekly schedule will help to eliminate parasites and keep bacterial and protozoal infections to a minimum. Keeping the loft clean is essential to flock health.

Most infectious diseases commonly affecting doves and pigeons can be "managed" away. Bacterial infections like Salmonella and E. coli are prevented by good loft hygiene and husbandry practices. Trichomoniasis (Canker) and Coccidiosis are protozoal infections which are also controlled through sanitation, disinfecting water vessels and occasionally with medications. The biggest concern with dove and pigeon diseases is Psittacosis. This unique bacterial infection is transmissible to humans. Fortunately, it is rarely encountered in a healthy flock and seldom affects humans exposed to pigeons and doves. Psittacosis is controlled by medication and reducing crowding within the aviary.

Doves' gentle nature, graceful appearance and soft voice have made them ideal aviary specimens and display animals. For more information about doves, please check your library and contact your local avicultural organizations.

chico2
October 10th, 2006, 07:38 AM
Thank's Badger,that was interesting to read.
People around here think we have a pigeoncoop:D since they come down here to feed.At 2-2:30 they line up here every day on the wires,waiting for hubby to fill the feeders.

Pat,thank's for doing what you are doing for these guys and good luck:fingerscr
I don't understand anyone seeing doves as pests and wanting to kill them,to me they are a symbol of love and peace,beautiful gentle birds.

Pat M.
October 10th, 2006, 11:34 PM
Thanks for the great article on cage size & general care/diet of pigeons & doves, Badger.

My husband's manager has loudly announced to other employees that birds are 'filthy vermin' & carry diseases 'fatal' to humans! Since my husband has scrupulously cleaned up after the pair for the last year & provided grain & seeds out of our pocket, we don't understand his nasty attitude either. Unfortunately the manager's fears & ignorance echos many people's attitude about all wildlife. What they fear or don't undrstand, they kill.

According to my husband this new guy is a miserable & negative person most of the time, so his intolerence of the peaceful pair comes as no surprise. Since we recently discovered, thanks to the knowledgeable help on this forum, that our 'pigeons' are really white ring-necked turtle doves, my husband tried to logically reason with his manager, explaining that he has been around the birds for a year & has never gotten sick, let alone contracted a 'fatal disease'! He also pointed out that it turns out they're doves, not pigeons, hoping this might soften the guy. The manager's face turned bright red before he exploded saying 'they're all the same filthy creatures!' Home they go with him as of today...

We are hoping to eventually find a wonderful sanctuary where this peaceful pair can live in the peace & harmony they symbolize. Thanks for all the great info & support.

Pat M.

chico2
October 11th, 2006, 08:23 AM
Pat,you and your husband are wonderful caring people.
Trying to convince some people about the beauty of every living thing,their right to live in peace,is often a lost cause.
These birds were very fortunate to have your husband to care for them and I hope everything will work out for you and the birds,they might just do very well living with you in captivity,if that is not possible,I am sure you'll be able to find a sanctuary.Good Luck!!:love:

Mahealani770
October 19th, 2006, 10:18 AM
Any news on the doves?

Pat M.
October 24th, 2006, 04:42 PM
You made our day! We know we aren't alone in our seemingly lonely & unending battle to help God's creatures in our little corner of the world, but sometimes it feels that way. Your wonderfully uplifting anecdote really helped remind us that their are many others struggling with the same painful emotions & sense of futility regarding the too often indifference & inhumane attitude toward animals.

To update on our doves...wait until you hear this! My husband & I gently removed the pair from their home in the low rafters at my husband's work & took them home to meet the rest of our wonderful fur family. We have leading the pack, an 18 year-old chihuahua who was destined to be destroyed 18 years ago because she had been rejected, 6 assorted indoor/outdoor 'adopted' stray cats, a rescued orphaned woods mouse, an orphaned opossum & very recently, an abandoned baby pigeon. The two beautiful white doves were lovingly added to our little menagerie.

They immediately began to rule the roost & seemed quite happy. We continued to search for a safe, loving haven for them, where they could stretch out & enjoy the outdoors in a natural setting. We were having no luck until last weekend... we were out shopping with our little chihuahua, when a women ran up to us to get a better look at her. Our little dog is quite the celebrity when we go out, always attracting attention since she's an unbelievably tiny miniature tea cup reindeer chihuahua. The women explained her interest in our dog because she's works for a local animal rescue organization & has 'special radar for animals & animal lovers'!

We talked of our mutual love for all animals for over an hour in the aisle of the store & discovered she works with local bird rescuers specializing in pigeons, doves & crows! They have several hundred acres devoted to allowing pigeons & doves the freedom to thrive in their natural enviornment. She has since put us in contact with these wonderful people working to rescue & care for the more 'common' birds such as pigeons & doves, that other, more elitist, animal rescue organizations don't want to 'bother' with. We have come to realize that these birds are anything but 'common'. They are extremely intelligent, loving, affectionate & comical! We feel fortunate & blessed to have spent time with these incredible feathered folks & had the opportunity to get to 'meet' those on this forum & the animal rescuers who have shown us that we're not alone.

Pat M.

Mahealani770
October 27th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Oh Pat, that is terrific! I am delighted at your update. Please keep us posted as to how the dove pair do in their new sanctuary!

~M~

cpietra16
October 27th, 2006, 09:49 AM
:D I am a sucker for happy endings...:D Thanks for making my day