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 PP - my first balcony resident

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Capuccino

Capuccino

Posts : 452
Join date : 2009-01-18
Location : Southern England

PP - my first balcony resident Empty
PostSubject: PP - my first balcony resident   PP - my first balcony resident Icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2009 3:24 pm

PP and his mate sneaked onto my second floor balcony in the winter of 1995/1996, staking out a disused plant tub hidden behind a large fan palm for their nest site. First I knew was when, on a bitter cold January day, I went out to get a spare flowerpot, prompting PP's swift exit. He left behind him a small feathery thing, the like of which I'd never seen. This later became affectionately known as 'Tatty', for her breast feathers never did grow quite right and always had a look of disarray. Hardly the time of year or conditions to be raising a youngster, but I guess they must have felt safe and sheltered, for I probably hadn't even opened that door for weeks.

I started leaving out a little dish of food ('mixed corn' from a local pet store) and water, and PP stopped fleeing the nest within a very short time. He just seemed to understand, very quickly, that I meant him and his family no harm and, indeed, wanted to help them out.

I did know a little about pigeons in a theoretical way, but apart from my visiting homer the previous year, had not had the opportunity to observe them in such close proximity. This was still pre-internet times for me, and I knew nothing of dummy eggs, nor just how many young a pair could produce in a year in what were, for them, pretty much an ideal situation. He stayed with me for about 18 months, outliving one mate, acquiring another and fathering many 'little PPs'.

(PP got his name by accident. Sometimes I would call him "pidgie, pidgie!" from the window, and he would jump down off the railing and, often, get a few peanuts. So I guess he figured that it was 'pigeon English' for peanuts. Thus, he became PP.)

PP was so trusting and (with me) human-friendly, I was amazed! His mates, however, were tolerant but never very approachable. I think it's because he was always there when I was about, whereas the 'shift system' meant I saw less of the hens. I could move his plant tub around to clean the balcony, with him and babies still in it, give him a little preen around his neck or just sit and talk to him and watch him caring for his youngsters. If any visitor looked out through the glazed door, however, he would prepare for flight. I had a handyman rehang the door one time, and PP was ready to go - but I stood outside with him, and he stayed put on his nest the whole time. Of course, the offspring grew up with me around, so they had no fear of me either. That was fine, but then they hung out and added numbers to the local flock, which was not universally approved.

I saw 'potty training' (Oh for digital cameras!) when a tiny fuzzball backed out from under PP, to gentle pecks on the back, did his small poop over the edge of the nest then crawled back under his father. I see now why so many pigeons take the few steps back before they poop! I saw him training the youngsters to heed the alarm call - to recognize the 'huh' sound as a signal to hide. I learned that a pigeon will look after his fledged young for at least a couple of weeks after they are flying: when one got caught in bad weather and couldn't make it back to the balcony near dark, PP went to look for him and stayed huddled against a wall on the patio with him until morning.

Sadly, however, one morning he set out for his regular exercise flight and never returned. With a mate and two youngsters to feed, I know he would have come back if he could, so after another day had gone by I knew I had lost a dear pigeon friend. But, he left me with an understanding and love of pigeons which I could never have experienced without him.

Old pics:

PP posing for the camera

PP - my first balcony resident Pp5

With his first mate, on the 'roof' of his domain, put up to keep the family dry.

PP - my first balcony resident Netpg11

Feeding time

PP - my first balcony resident Feed12

PP with two youngsters - I put an old tray against the pot and they would get on the pot and then slide down the tray.

PP - my first balcony resident Chicks91
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http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pidgie/index.htm
AZWhitefeather
Owner/Administrator
AZWhitefeather

Posts : 10863
Join date : 2009-01-11
Location : Arizona Southwestern United States

PP - my first balcony resident Empty
PostSubject: Re: PP - my first balcony resident   PP - my first balcony resident Icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2009 4:45 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your 'first balcony pigeon' story with us.

I'm sorry to hear about PP not returning. PP - my first balcony resident Icon_sad
I loved all the photos, especially the first one.

I so enjoy reading about all these balcony pigeons. PP - my first balcony resident Readin12

_________________
Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
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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Matilda
Special Pigeon Angel
Matilda

Posts : 9198
Join date : 2009-01-11
Location : Pacific Northwest of the United States of America

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PostSubject: Re: PP - my first balcony resident   PP - my first balcony resident Icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2009 5:28 pm

Oh John...that's a very sad story and a lovely one, at the same time.... I'm sure you know what I mean. Bless you for really paying attention and welcoming the little feathered family. Your friendship with them was the first brick, in building the road, that brought you here.
You really are a good egg. I'm so happy to know you. Happy

I love the pictures.
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Siam Sam
Special Pigeon Angel


Posts : 291
Join date : 2009-09-13
Location : Bangkok

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PostSubject: Re: PP - my first balcony resident   PP - my first balcony resident Icon_minitimeFri Sep 18, 2009 5:54 pm

Excellent story and pictures. As you know, I can relate to the loss of PP.

Love that pigeon slide!
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pigeonwriter
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pigeonwriter

Posts : 1374
Join date : 2009-07-25
Location : Munich/Germany

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PostSubject: Re: PP - my first balcony resident   PP - my first balcony resident Icon_minitimeSat Sep 19, 2009 1:00 pm

Oh John - this story is so sweet and yet so sad. I feel always bad when one of "ours" is not appearing for breakfast for a couple of days. It is a bad feeling not knowing what had happened and such a big relief when after a few days the missing one appears again in good shape and fully healthy.
I am always telling myself that I should accept it - they are free birds to come and go as they like but still there are the thoughts of worry. I think I will never get beyond this because I love these feathered angels so much Sorry
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Capuccino

Capuccino

Posts : 452
Join date : 2009-01-18
Location : Southern England

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PostSubject: Re: PP - my first balcony resident   PP - my first balcony resident Icon_minitimeSat Sep 19, 2009 1:53 pm

Y'know, I have one around here who disappears for weeks. He (or maybe she) has to be eleven years old now. Stumps from where thread damage caused him to lose his toes, and I could never catch him, yet he survives against all odds. He used to meet me in the courtyard when I got out of the car of an evening, and come for a treat of peanuts. At one time he was a regular on the balcony, sometimes cooing outside the door until I noticed him. He is friendly, but after two failed attempts at catching him, doesn't get too close. I'm sure someone must be looking out for him, maybe down the street somewhere. I hope so, anyway. Saw him about three weeks back, lounging comfortably in the sun on the lawn, but every time I wonder if it will be the last.

I used to refer to him as "the little brown pigeon" so he is just "LBP". Here he is back in 2002, on an old trolley I had on the balcony then, where I'd put food and water.



PP - my first balcony resident LBP01
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AZWhitefeather
Owner/Administrator
AZWhitefeather

Posts : 10863
Join date : 2009-01-11
Location : Arizona Southwestern United States

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PostSubject: Re: PP - my first balcony resident   PP - my first balcony resident Icon_minitimeSat Sep 19, 2009 2:02 pm

He's stunning, John. PP - my first balcony resident 52853

_________________
Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
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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http://www.pigeonangels.com
pigeonwriter
Special Pigeon Angel
pigeonwriter

Posts : 1374
Join date : 2009-07-25
Location : Munich/Germany

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PostSubject: Re: PP - my first balcony resident   PP - my first balcony resident Icon_minitimeSun Sep 20, 2009 9:58 am

John, such a beautiful bird. It hurts much when you see pijjies with injuries and I am always amazed about their strong will to survive. And they do sometimes for ages. I don't know what I would do if I would see someone hurting one of these feathered friends. Thank heaven I haven't seen any injured pigeon for a long time although I am always on the lookout. But then we don't have so many here flying around which makes me always suspicious...
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PP - my first balcony resident Empty
PostSubject: Re: PP - my first balcony resident   PP - my first balcony resident Icon_minitime

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