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Old January 6th, 2012, 01:24 PM
neilster neilster is offline
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Pigeons with THREAD (?) wrapped between their toes/feet

Hey everyone,

For the past few years I've been playing vet, catching pigeons i see who are hobbling, and cutting thread off from around their toes, in between, wrapped their feet, etc... today i had an hour long operation on some good little guy!

question:

HOW THE F DO SO MANY PIGEONS END UP IN THIS PREDICAMENT!?!?!

I'm talking around 1-2%.. that's a heck of a lot of pigeons with black thread around their toes. It's either aliens, pigeons traps, or uhhh.... morgellons?
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Old January 6th, 2012, 10:35 PM
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Myka Myka is offline
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Good question! Bless your heart for taking the time and effort to help them!
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Old January 7th, 2012, 08:28 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Light weight thread like that using for sewing clothes? Or a bit heavier like that found in a mist net? I wonder if someone near you has a mist net up for some reason? Can't imagine pigeons breaking out of a mist net though. Very weird. Have heard of the fishing line problem but does it come in black?

Thank you for taking care of them.
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Old January 7th, 2012, 12:57 PM
neilster neilster is offline
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what's a mist net?

The threat looks the same everywhere I see it.. basic clothing threat in my opinion, I do know it's common here to put lining up around balconies to avoid the pigeons from congregating, but i can't understand how it would be possible for the threat to become so so so intertwined an so so so often.. my guess is 1-2% of our pigeons have wrapped feet.

What is a mist net? And where should I look for one?
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Old January 7th, 2012, 01:06 PM
neilster neilster is offline
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I read about mist nets and feel this could in fact be the issue, thank you I will keep my eye out for a mist net in the area and god help those who have erected one.
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Old January 7th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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The mesh of a mist net isn't made of single threads, but of very fine threads sort of twisted together, and there would be delicate knots every few cms securing the vertical and horizontal threads at the intersections. Here's a pic from one of our banding sessions this year:

Name:  Chestnut-sided warbler, hatch year female 9-12-11 A.jpg
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It's illegal to leave a mist net up unattended and they're pretty expensive so they're usually not abandoned. If what you're seeing are just threads with no knots, then it's likely not a mist net. If it matches the material in that pic, though, I hope you can find out who's left one out, because it's a death trap to smaller birds!!
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Old January 7th, 2012, 02:33 PM
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pbpatti pbpatti is offline
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Thank you for looking after the Pigeons in your neighborhood, hopefully you can find out where the thread/nets are that they are getting caught in. patti
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Old January 8th, 2012, 07:42 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Thank you for taking the time to help these birds.. You have a good heart.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 11:56 PM
neilster neilster is offline
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thanks for the photo, I'm about 80% sure now it's a mist net, i'm pissed off and will figure out where it is, trust me, it will probably take riding around on my bike with binoculars in the summer but it's definitely within 10 blocks either way. I found them with threat here and my other pad, 4 blocks away, my feeling it some tall apartment building is doing it.

I feed the squirrels everyday but a few days ago it was a little bit late and lo-and-behold all the squirrels lured over an OWL (!), a snowy white, incredible sight but it looked as it might be able to take me in a fight so I didn't stick around too long after it started with the 'evil eye.

One last thing.. i lost part of my hearing from a virus that may have come from being bitten by a seagull (hand fed, bit, blood.... stupid me) so be careful... i read about someone losing their eyesight from pigeon poop and now it doesn't seem so far-fetched. I still touch pigeons but i don't raise them on my balcony anymore... poop 2 inches deep every week... raised a flock from ten to about 40 or 50 over two summers. Wouldn't you know it would be a seagull in the park to get me.. sharp beak!

i luuuv birds .... all animals actually.... but birds are real individual characters.

will post the second i find the sob with the mist net!!!!
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Old January 12th, 2012, 10:29 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Very cool that you saw a snowy owl! There's been a lot of sightings even here (Wisconsin) this year, which is atypical. I've been driving the back farm roads looking for one, but haven't been lucky enough to see one this year, yet. They're tame, not being used to humans (normally they're north into Canada where there aren't as many people), but easily stressed, so it was good that you backed off for the bird's sake. Wish you'd had a camera, though!

The loss of eyesight from pigeons poop is not that far-fetched. Pigeon quano can transmit a fungal disease (I believe it's histoplasmosis) that can be deadly to humans. It's a particular danger if the material is dry and powdery and it gets inhaled I've been told.

Good luck on finding that net! If you're in the US and you find it, make sure you report it to the state dept of natural resources (they may have some regulations) and for sure to the US Fish & Wildlife Service. The US F&W service regulates banding and will probably be interested in someone using a mist net illegally.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 10:45 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Histoplasmosis is scary. Google it and see. I didn't see blindness cited. It seems to be more respiratory ailments but the consequences can be fatal. It seems it can be found concentrated any place where birds or bats congregate. We know two fellows who take down old barns and it is a serious job related risk for them. They wear masks. It is also found in soils and apparently the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys have particularly high counts of Histoplasma capsulatum.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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chico2 chico2 is offline
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Neilster,thank you for caring for the Pigeons,we have been feeding Pigeons for several years,we sometimes have only 5,but most of the time about 30.
The Hawks get them in the winter and it's a terrible thing to see,but the Hawks too have to survive.
I hope you solve this problem..in some cultures Pigeons are for the dinner-table,maybe that's why they are caught in the netting??
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