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 Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?

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Frank L



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PostSubject: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Tue May 03, 2011 4:17 pm

Hi. I'm new to the forum. I live in NYC. I have two pigeons that seem to be hiding behind my trash cans. They are there 24/7. This has been going on for at least one week. There is pigeon poop all over the area around the trash bins and the window ledge just above that area.

It looks as if one pigeon is standing guard over the other. At first, they were on a ledge above the front door of my four story building. We shooed them away from there, but then they took refuge behind or between the trash bins right next to the stoop. As I was saying, it seems as if one is standing guard over the other. They don't seem to move from where they are. They did move today, but that was because we put the trash out for collection. When I came home, I found both of them sitting on a window ledge right next to the trash bins. As I was putting the trash bins back, one few off, but didn't go very far and seemed to mostly hover and then sort of flew into the building and bounced off.

It also seems as if occasionally they are joined by a third pigeon, who also looks as if to be standing guard. At least two times, I saw the two pigeons pecking each other, but it looked as if one was being aggressive and the other submissive. I couldn't tell whether this was welcomed behavior or not. It didn't seem like mating behavior or as if one was feeding the other.

These are adult pigeons, as far as I can tell. I am not writing about an adult pigeon and a baby pigeon.

Interestingly, I seem to recall having a similar problem last year or the year before -- a pair of pigeons that parked themselves on the ledge above the front door. I can't recall exactly what happened to them, but they eventually went away. The pair present now seem more determined to stay.

I am curious what is going on. I also don't want these pigeons around my stoop 24/7. They are making a mess.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Wed May 04, 2011 4:19 am

They are probably looking for a place to build a nest. Have you seen any small amoung of twigs shovelled together in a little heap? Do both pigeons take off when you come near them? If this is the case you would have to continue to shoo them off. I would look closely around whether they have potentially build a nest already...
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Frank L



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PostSubject: Can't Shoo Them Away   Wed May 04, 2011 5:00 am

No. There are no twigs or any other sign of building a nest. They also DO NOT fly away when a person gets close. In fact, the opposite is true. They cannot be shooed away. Most pigeons will fly away if you get close, but not these. Even if I move the trash bins to scare them they stay in place. Right now, a third pigeon is sitting on top of the door to the building. They have parked themselves in this area and seem determined to stay.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Wed May 04, 2011 8:03 pm

From what you said, building a nest, or thinking about building a nest, would be my first guess too. It sounds like they're a couple, as the male sometimes pecks the back of the female's neck as part of the courtship ritual.
If they don't fly away when you shoo them, they may have been pets before and accustomed to human presence, or perhaps they know the area well and consider it their territory -- could these be the same pigeons that hung around there before, back for another try? Another possibility is that they may, as you said, be sick, especially considering the one that wasn't flying well and flew into the building. And their unwillingness to fly off could be because they can't, or not very well. Do they look fluffed up, lethargic?

Everything considered, I think a good idea for you would be to take the pigeons to a rehabber to check them and see if they need care, and when they are ready to be released that will most likely happen in a different part of town and they may stay there.

NY rehabbers and veterinary hospitals: http://www.pigeonangels.com/t223-matilda-s-list-united-states-l-n
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Frank L



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PostSubject: Today's Behavior   Wed May 04, 2011 8:34 pm

I shooed them away this morning before leaving for work. They both seemed to be able to fly. I came home and they were sitting on the railing of my stoop. I shooed them away again, but they returned, this time with a third bird, to sit on the ledge atop my front door. I shooed them away, and they flew across the street to sit atop the door of another apt. They returned more than once to the ledge and I kept shooing them away, either by dumping water on them (someone told me they don't like water) or shooing them with a broom. I didn't see them for a while, but I just went down now, around 10:20 p.m., to find two pigeons, one sitting on the edge of a trash bin and the other sitting on a small indentation in the lower wall. I got a water spray bottle and sprayed them with water repeatedly, but they didn't move, just sat there as I sprayed them with a stream of water. I them took a pole to shoo them and they just jumped around and fluttered, even when I knocked over the trash bin. The other just hugged the wall.

I've really had enough. I won't harm them, but i really want them to leave. I'll look at the link you've provided. And I got one or two other suggestions from a neighborhood blog. I was hoping that repeated shooing would scare them off, but it doesn't seem to be working.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Wed May 04, 2011 10:35 pm

The water won't work. Pigeons like bathing. And at 10.20 pm they wouldn't have taken flight, because they can't see at night to fly. Your only chance to shoo them away is during daylight hours.
Now this is a bit far-fetched, but some people reported managing to keep pigeons at a distance by using a cardboard cut-out resembling a bird of prey -- but it doesn't work forever, as sooner or later they figure out the 'bird' doesn't move.
I hope you manage to find someone who can take them.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Wed May 04, 2011 11:54 pm

Are they fluffed up at all? Do they seem to be interested in looking for food?

I'm thinking they are a mated pair and one, (or both) isn't feeling well.
Pigeons who aren't feeling well will try to isolate themselves.

By nature, healthy pigeons don't sit on or near the ground at night.

As Teresa mentioned, pigeons do like to bathe. But I'm sure they don't like to have water dumped on them.

Any chance of getting a picture of the pair and posting it?

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Frank L



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PostSubject: Pigeon Update   Thu May 05, 2011 6:21 am

Two pigeons were perched on the edge of a trash bin at 5:30 a.m. when I left for the gym. Both looked puffed up. They must have been there all night.

When I got home around 6:45 a.m., they were sitting on the archway of the front door of my building. A third pigeon had joined them. I have two photos of the trio on the archway. One bird is puffed up. The other two sometimes are puffed. Sometimes not. In Photo 2, you will see the puffed up bird very close to the building as the other two stand in front of him or her, as if standing guard.

Right now, around 8:15 a.m., the trio has flown across the street, where two of them are standing on a fire escape and the third is sitting below the fire escape on an awning. I can't tell for sure, because of the distance, but I am guessing that the pigeon on the awning is the same pigeon that was closest to the building in Photo 2.

Photo 1



Photo 2

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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Thu May 05, 2011 7:49 am

Hi Frank,
Thanks for posting the pictures.

I checked your temps and they seems to be pretty mild. At lest not cold enough for a bird to be fluffed up.
The one in the foreground in the first photo looks like he's definitely feeling a bit under the weather.

It looks like there are a couple decent droppings behind the one who is fluffed up.
Do you know if those white 'smudges' on the ground are droppings from those birds? If so, someone is
only producing urine, which would indicate it/they are not eating, for whatever reason.

Do they seem to be looking for food?

IMO the birds, (at least the one), need to be checked.
Here's a link to a group in NYC that I'm sure can help you.
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/pijnpeople/

Please keep us posted on how things go.

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Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

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NiteOwl
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Thu May 05, 2011 1:45 pm

GOOD LORD PEOPLE! I doubt that any of these birds is sick. It's clearly two squeakers and their Dad who is standing guard. They must have hatched in this vicinity, and just went unnoticed till recently when they came out of the nest, as they have only been out of the nest for a short while. The reason they don't fly away, is that for one, they do not fly very well yet, as they are only maybe 3 or 4 eeks of age. Also, they only know this area, as it is where they were hatched. If you give them a little time to grow up, then they will leave. Give them another couple of weeks. Please don't spray them, as they don't understand, and can't leave yet because they are too young. Besides the fact that they can't fly in the dark, as pigeons see very poorly in the dark. Soon they will begin to explore on their own, and at that point, will leave the area. I know they look to be adults, but they are no more than a month old, and your patience is required for just a little while longer. I'll be interested in hearing from you on how long it takes them to move on.
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Frank L



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PostSubject: Babies   Thu May 05, 2011 4:36 pm

NiteOwl is spot on. I spoke to a person from Pigeon People, the NYC group in the link in this thread, and he said the same thing as NiteOwl. I noticed a nest underneath my neighbor's a/c unit. She lives on the third floor, right above me, and the unit is right above the archway in the two pictures that I posted. The nest must be located right there. We had the exact same problem one or two years ago. I understand the situation and their behavior, so I'll leave them alone until they leave, and I'll post when that happens. FWIW, it now looks like they are building a nest across the street, on top of the awning. It looks to me like there are a circle of twigs around the bird sitting on the awning, and I see the two baby pigeons across the street, on a garage roof, with another bird, who seems to be feeding the two babies. After the babies are gone, we'll secure the area under the a/c unit to prevent any further nesting.

Thanks for all of your help.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Thu May 05, 2011 4:48 pm

Thank you Frank for being kind enough to just let them be until they are old enough to leave. And I would very much like to hear about it when they do that. The poor little things must have been so confused as to why they were being sprayed with water and chased. I think it's a great idea you have, to fix things so that they cannot build yet another nest. Thanks for being so understanding.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Thu May 05, 2011 5:46 pm

NiteOwl wrote:

I doubt that any of these birds is sick.

I hope you're right, Jay.

I tend to be a bit suspicious when I see a pigeon, whether it's an adult, or a 3-4 week old squeaker, sitting
fluffed, especially if it's huddled in a corner of a building, unless of course the weather is a factor.
I also get suspicious when a pigeon, who is able to fly to higher ground, has spent the night on or near
the ground.

I do hope these guys stay safe and are able to move on asap.

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If we become ill or injured in any way,
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Thu May 05, 2011 7:04 pm

Hi Frank,

It's been quite a surprise seeing your photos, as, based on what you'd said, I was expecting to see three adults! Two are definitely very young.
As for them not being sick, it doesn't look that way. There's definitely a problem with the adult, and one of the squeakers has a nasal discharge, unless his face is wet for some other reason.

Thank you for letting the youngsters have a little bit longer to learn to fly properly, become more independent, and find their own territories.
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NiteOwl
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Thu May 05, 2011 7:47 pm

I really think the Dad is just sleeping, and it is still very often cool here in N.E.
As far as what you are seeing as a nasal discharge, it looks more like a squeaker that has just been fed, and it isn't anywhere near the nasal.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Thu May 05, 2011 8:14 pm

NiteOwl wrote:

I really think the Dad is just sleeping,

Are we looking at the same pictures? None of them look like they are sleeping to me.
And the one in the first photo that is definitely fluffed, is for sure not sleeping. Unless it's sleeping with it's eyes open.

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Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Thu May 05, 2011 8:42 pm

AZWhitefeather wrote:
NiteOwl wrote:

I doubt that any of these birds is sick.

I hope you're right, Jay.

I tend to be a bit suspicious when I see a pigeon, whether it's an adult, or a 3-4 week old squeaker, sitting
fluffed, especially if it's huddled in a corner of a building, unless of course the weather is a factor.
I also get suspicious when a pigeon, who is able to fly to higher ground, has spent the night on or near
the ground.

I do hope these guys stay safe and are able to move on asap.



I was referring to the second pic. He looks like he is sleeping. You had said he was huddled in a corner of a building, so I thought you meant the 2nd pic where he is next to the wall. He doesn't look huddled in the corner of a building in the 1st picture.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Sun May 08, 2011 9:55 am

Hi, Frank. Thanks for caring about these birds.

I hope that young bird isn't sick. Please let us know if there's a change in its behavior. The parent is puffed up too, but that's a gesture, probably directed at you for taking the picture. Some pigeons don't like cameras. Please update us about the pigeons nesting across the street too. One of the babies looks a lot like the parent there, by the way.

Deterrents like wire do work, but they have to be cleaned. If the arch above the door is ornate, you may have to cover the whole thing with mesh. The fine nylon type is less visible, but it tears after a while, as i said by phone.

The page i'm sending doesn't talk about spikes. They work for a while but, when leaves and pieces of paper get in them, pigeons can roost again and even use them to make nests. The safest kind is branched and made of plastic, not steel.

Effective and inexpensive methods to deter pigeons:
http://www.urbanwildlifesociety.org/UWS/BrdCtrl/BrdCtlProd.html

Two pages that discuss issues:
http://www.urbanwildlifesociety.org/UWS/BrdCtrl/Siminski.html
http://www.urbanwildlifesociety.org/UWS/BrdCtrl/NatlPestAssnHabtatMod.html

One comment about the letter of the last link: The exterminator who wrote it has no compunctions about putting sticky stuff up, but it forget about it. It's a cruel way to treat birds.

Does anybody on Pigeon Angels have other suggestions for deterrence?

Al
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Sun May 08, 2011 9:58 am

Thanks, Frank for bringing me to Pigeon Angels again. I apologize for not taking part more. I just saw the thread about webbed feet! Wow.

Al
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Sun May 08, 2011 9:50 pm

NiteOwl wrote:


I was referring to the second pic. He looks like he is sleeping.

All three look awake to me.
I still think the 'fluffiness' is due to not feeling well.

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Cindy

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If we become ill or injured in any way,
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Mon May 09, 2011 2:46 pm

Well it's the babies that just don't want to leave, and they look perfectly healthy. I still think they are hanging around because they are so young, and will eventually leave. Once they do, there will be no reason for the Dad to come to feed.
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Frank L



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PostSubject: No Illness   Mon May 09, 2011 4:49 pm

I don't know as much as you about pigeon behavior, but I don't think any of these birds are ill. I asked about illness only because I didn't understand that the two pigeons were babies who had just left the nest, and their odd behavior makes sense now that I understand that they are babies. All three birds are able to fly.

The pigeon problem seems to have been solved on my end. The birds have migrated across the street and are taking refuge near a store awning. An adult has built a nest on top of the awning, as you can see in the picture below, and the two babies are staying close to home. They rarely fly over to my building, at least when I am there to see them.

Here is a photo of the birds on Sunday afternoon

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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Mon May 09, 2011 5:13 pm

I hope all goes well with your feathered neighbors, Frank. Smile

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Cindy

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Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Frank L



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PostSubject: They're Gone   Fri May 13, 2011 4:48 am

The pigeons are gone. I don't recall seeing the babies for a few days and the small nest above the awning is now empty.
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PostSubject: Re: Odd Pigeon Behavior = Sick Pigeon?   Fri May 13, 2011 4:39 pm

Frank L wrote:
The pigeons are gone.

I don't recall seeing the babies for a few days and the small nest above the awning is now empty.


pigeon 1 Stay safe and stay healthy sweet pijjies.

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Cindy

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If we become ill or injured in any way,
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