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 They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock

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Matilda
jamy
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jamy
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PostSubject: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeWed Nov 04, 2009 5:02 pm

Hi,

I just want to bounce this dilema off you kind folks. I have been mulling it over in my head for a few weeks now and it's driving me mad as I wake up thinking about it and it won't go away unless I do something positive.

A brief background first:
There is a mainly white flock that has been living in a disused building locally for a few years.
More birds have joined them along the way and they are a very handsome crowd.
Their home was due for demolition over a year ago when a developer bought the site.
I was very concerned for their safety at that time and was lucky in making a good contact within the company, who agreed to keep me informed of work deadlines and was assured that they wouldn't start any work until I was given access to make sure there were no nests and birds trapped inside. At the time we decided that the only answer was to block off the building and hope the birds would eventually find a new home and move off.

Then with the current financial climate, the developers went bust and the project was abandonded. Sadly not before all the shops were vacated and the businesses pushed out and no longer operating.
From then on the buildings went into a decline and local yobs and druggies vandalised them making them quite dangerous.

Meanwhile at least the birds still had their home although I knew it couldn't go on forever.

Inevitably the locals objected to the state of the area and in August I was horrified when I came back from holiday and went to feed the birds to find their access window had been boarded up. It was so distressing to see the birds flying at the boards, trying to get back in and I couldn't be sure there weren't birds still inside.

With a bit of work I was lucky to find the contact in the firm of administrators who had authorised this. With the help of PICAS and the RSPCA he agreed to let me go in the next day to check it out. We released a couple of trapped birds but although I said there was a nest inside, there wasn't. This enabled me to negotiate with them to leave a hole in the board, allowing them access to carry on living there while the building still stood. He was very helpful and said he had no idea there were birds living in there in the first place.

I've been carrying on feeding them a couple of times a week as normal but unfortunately a few weeks ago when he was doing a visit with a potential buyer he noticed rats coming and going in broad daylight. To make it worse, I had been to feed that day and so it didn't help that there was a lot of bird seed on the roof aswell. Hmmm
I got a phone call asking me to stop feeding the birds while they tried to sort out the rat problem. I had to agree.

Now the dilema I'm facing is that this man has no knowledge of pigeon behaviour and has asked if I could re-locate the birds. He is extremely kind and is being very generous in keeping me informed which he really doesn't have to do. The trouble is he seems to think I can magic them away to a new home, they can block up the building and everyone will be happy.
I did say in conversation that it would be nice if a dovecote could be incorporated for them when the new site is planned, and bless him, although he has no power to instigate this, he said that maybe they could put one in the gardens of the restaurant next door, ( I can see that going down well with diners sitting outside eating, with pigeons pottering about looking for food). I have a feeling that wouldn't be a popular location in reality and could end up with more problems for the birds in the long run.

Also I know from enquiring before that in order to get the birds to accept a new home, they would have to be trapped and confined for at least six months before release to stop them homing, and is that fair to the birds?

I seem to have got myself into a pickle as he sees me as the bird's advocate, and able to sort this out and as much as I would dearly love to be able to pick them up and find them a safe new home, I don't think I can actually do this.

I need to go back to him and be honest about what can or cannot be done and I just wondered if anyone had ever managed to pull off anything like this before, and what your thoughts were.

Comments in the past have been that these are wild birds and will sort things out for themselves. If that's the case then maybe I'm just worrying too much.

Thanks for reading this,

Janet
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeWed Nov 04, 2009 8:14 pm

I can understand the worry on your part, Janet, especially with winter coming on.

I do recall a similar situation several years ago in the UK, where about 30 white Pigeons were trapped and taken to a sanctuary. That may be the best course for these Pigeons. I think Cynthia will remember the sanctuary.

How many birds are there?
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Cynthia

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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeThu Nov 05, 2009 6:18 am

Hi Janet,

How many birds are there?

I don't think feral pigeons would need to be confined for as long as 6 months, the sanctuaries are always commenting that ferals released on site hang around after release .

These are my own experiences of relocation, which I have probably told you before but might help when considering what to do and what not to do!:

A few years ago (before I met them) my friends Joan and Joe decided to relocate the white flock of 60 + pigeons from River Green. A large aviary was built for them at the Hillside Sanctuary, with nesting boxes where the eggs could be swapped. Joan and Joe managed to trap and relocate all but 6 birds. Eventually (not sure how long after but Hillside would tell you) a hatchway was built in the aviary so they could come and go.

White pigeons being white pigeons, they decided to nest around the sanctuary including the rafters of the shed where the animal food was kept and their numbers multiplied. Hillside were told to do something about it because of the possible contamination of food, so they built an enormous flight on to an old farm building and moved as many of the birds that they could catch there. The last thing I heard was that they had 200 pigeons, but whenever John and I visit there are less than 10 in the flight, the rest choose to stay indoors.

The remaining six were fed daily down by the river and in no time the flock had increased again to 60+. :WHAT?:

You will probably remember the Kettering flock relocation? Safeways was used for interim housing. Some of the birds went to Becca, one came to me and John took a further 17 to Hillside (where they will have to settle for the flight for exercise). I think Hillside have stopped taking in pigeons , but they have an aviary at their Heavy Horse sanctuary , so you could always ask.

Also couple of months ago PiCAS were involved in relocating a flock of 30 pigeons that had flown free from someone's garage since hatching (he had cared for the flock for many years). As he was moving he asked for help with relocation, I telephoned Billy at the Retreat who was glad to take them and said he would keep them in the aviary for three months(?)...that could have been 6 weeks. I left it to the guy to sort out the tranport to Billy's, but Billy should be able to give you an update and advice on how long he kept them caged.

Diane (owlmamma on this forum) relocated some tipplers to dovecotes in her garden, so she might be able to advise on time. As she has a sanctuary she might also be able to help persuade other sanctuaries near you to take them?

Safewings might also be prepared to help as a "holding place" if necessary.

While working on Matilda's List I am always looking out for sanctuaries that might help with flock relocation, I can spend a couple of days looking specifically for places if you like!
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeThu Nov 05, 2009 7:55 am

They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock 627349 If I could, I'd replace the good with great. Cynthia.

I will be thinking positive thoughts that everything goes well with the relocation, Janet.
I wish I were closer, I'd gladly help any way I could. They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock 458406

Please do keep us posted on how things are coming along.

A true They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock 803589 you are. They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_wink

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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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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeThu Nov 05, 2009 9:26 am

Cynthia...that is terrific information. Great idea about a list of holding places.

I love the idea of having sanctuaries on Matilda's list that be holding places for flocks needing relocation. I love it that there is that possibility in the UK. There is nothing like that in the states that I know of. Way To Go
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeThu Nov 05, 2009 10:42 am

They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock 121820

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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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jamy
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeThu Nov 05, 2009 3:26 pm

Thank you so much for your input.
Cynthia I don't remember the Kettering relocation, maybe it was before my time here. The Riverside job must have been a massive undertaking.

What I'd really like to know is the reason for these relocations.
To actually go to such lengths to move a flock, there must have been an urgent situation to deem it neccessary. That might help me in deciding if this warrants such intervention.

I've been speaking to a couple of friends today and you find that generally people seem to be of the opinion that if their building is knocked down, the birds will inevitably have to move on.

In answer to your question, I don't know how many birds there are now. At the time I had access to the roof outside their window, I counted up to 40 plus at one time, but all the birds weren't necessarily coming down to feed at the same time.
Now since that's been boarded up I can no longer see them. I throw the food up to the roof and although I can hear them, I can't see how many there are. I get the impression that there aren't as many now, but can't be sure. You see them dotted around the whole shopping area but it's a large area and they are either sitting inside their home or you can see the odd ones around the roofs.

Interestingly today I noticed some new feral residents, about 6 mostly grey, that are roosting on the window sills of the shops. I don't know where they've come from all of a sudden as we've never had ferals here apart from these white ones. Any non white birds in this other group are either lost homers or two or three roller types.

Can you give me your thoughts on this point before I go too far with investigating how to re-locate them.
If they were allowed to stay until the building is due for demolition, do you feel it's kinder to leave them alone where they know?
I could always try and negotiate this firstly.

Even if a buyer comes along soon, it would be a while before they had plans appproved ready for action.
I think I need to ask the administrator why he suggested re-locating them now. I know he's only acting on behalf of the current landlords who I believe are Somerfields/Co-op supermarkets, it might have been from them, so not as easy to deal with.

Janet

I just want to apologise in advance for bouncing this off you here, but I find if I have a hard decision to make, I have to keep talking it over until an answer becomes clear, so I really appreciate your thoughts. So if I seem to be going around in circles, please bear with me, I don't want to jump in if I don't need to. Sorry
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeThu Nov 05, 2009 5:20 pm

jamy wrote:
Thank you so much for your input.

Janet

* I just want to apologise in advance for bouncing this off you here, but

** I find if I have a hard decision to make, I have to keep talking it over until an answer becomes clear
, so I really appreciate your thoughts. So if I seem to be going around in circles, please bear with me, I don't want to jump in if I don't need to. Sorry
* No apologies necessary, Janet.

** Sometimes discussing a situation with a group is the best way to come to a decision. They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Smiley11 They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_wink


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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
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeThu Nov 05, 2009 7:09 pm

Certainly, if the building is torn down they will be forced to nest else where. I hope that doesn't happen in the winter time though because that would be miserable for them.

If I remember correctly, the white flock was relocated because there was the threat of their demise if they were to stay where they were. With the flock you are telling us about, once the building comes down, they will disburse in the neighborhood and that could cause problems depending upon where they roost.

It's a shame.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeThu Nov 05, 2009 9:12 pm

That's a tremendous responsibility on your shoulders, Janet! I can't really advise on this, but I'll be wishing you, and the pigeons, all the best.
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeFri Nov 06, 2009 7:21 am

Hi,

I find I've been avoiding going near since I was asked to stop feeding. It's horrible to see them and not be able to drop them some seeds.
This morning my daughter missed her normal train and so I had to rush her to the next station and this meant passing the shops.
I could see some white birds on the ground so I went back to the car park and found them pottering around hunting for food. I think they're missing my feeds.
Grizzle, the leader saw me so I decided to throw some food down around the edges of the car park. (I felt a bit stupid in my slippers). Embarassed He was first to investigate and some others followed. I was amazed to see a woodie amongst them aswell. So it looks as if I turn up very early in the morning I could at least sprinkle something around for them while the place is empty. Hopefully Rentokil won't notice if I spread it out and they eat it quickly.

Anyway I counted about 10/15 white on the ground and up on the roof. Also I saw a couple at the entrance to the window, so possibly more inside still. The new grey ones seem to have joined them on the ground. If they follow them they'll probably end up roosting inside as opposed to using the windows at some point.
Then as they were feeding suddenly a large flock of around 15 pigeons suddenly flew over and kept circling the area. Heaven knows where these came from. I think the area is fast becoming more populated as the shops are deserted.
Makes me think this is not as simple as just catching a few white pigeons in one building, (not that that's simple), this is a large shopping area, and they're spread out over a big area. I may be lucky and save a few white pigeons, but it looks like there'll always be more to worry about.

Cynthia, thank you for all your info, I keep reading over it.
I did make me think that if any got missed it wouldn't take long before more replaced them. I can't control their breeding habits. Am still unsure what to do at the moment, but will possibly start with making some calls to sound out places for temporary housing if needed.
Any info on places you know about would be appreciated.
If I can't secure that then I won't be able to carry this out anyway. At least then the best I could do is make sure, like before, that there aren't any nests or babies inside before work commences, which is what was agreed with the previous developers.

The rescue centre I use for Woodies wouldn't help when I asked before, he just said if they're feral they'd sort themselves out.
My 'sanctuary' have empty aviaries, but that would be a last resort. Birds left free to fly from there would be at risk from Buzzards that they released recently. It's situated out in the country and not the sort of environment these birds are used to, they're used to living in a built up area. White birds would stick out like a sore thumb.
I don't really like to think of these birds being permanently confined as they're used to flying free, so if they have to move out then I'm tending to think it needs to be a re-location with a future release to be fair on them.

I'm going to try and speak to the administrator and see if he mentions it again. Will report back if I get any more news.
If he insists they have to move out then I will have to try to do what I can. If they will let them stay a while longer then maybe I can look into it over a longer period. (or put my head back in the sand if I'm honest, I'm not enjoying this hanging over them). Having a bad day

Janet
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pigeonwriter
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeFri Nov 06, 2009 7:39 am

Matilda wrote:
Cynthia...that is terrific information. Great idea about a list of holding places.

I love the idea of having sanctuaries on Matilda's list that be holding places for flocks needing relocation. I love it that there is that possibility in the UK. There is nothing like that in the states that I know of. Way To Go

Unfortunately nothing like that in Germany either!
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Cynthia

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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeFri Nov 06, 2009 8:50 am

LOL! This is not the way the sanctuaries see themselves but the way that I see them : some sanctuaries are more compassionate than others and if the have a release aviary available may help by offering temporary accommodation to pigeons in jeopardy. I want to identify these in advance because I know that at some stage we will need them.

Safewings got involved in relocation when a pest controller was about to be called in to remove and destroy some white pigeons that had taken to perching on the roofs of a few houses after their dovecote had (presumably) been destroyed. One of the residents wanted to save them from their inevitable fate, we agreed to help relocate the birds if she could trap them, but she could only trap them in small numbers so Safewings agreed to hold them in safety for a while.

I know that our US members have done similar relocations, using whatever resources were available.
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jamy
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeFri Nov 06, 2009 11:56 am

I didn't get hold of the man today.

After going over it all day again, as far as I'm concerned if the birds are in danger and under threat of termination, then I will do all in my power to get as many away as I can, whatever colour. I work better under threat.
That situation you mentioned Cynthia where the birds were under immediate threat would be an instance where you have to step in. I couldn't stand by and see them hurt.
I think while this is all a bit 'iffy' I'm being very negative about what I can do. If there are no plans to demolish yet I think why should they be traumatised by being trapped. I'm coming to the conclusion that as long as he'll promise to let me know if there is any hint of culling, then I'm going to try and suggest they stay. It'll be sad if they are removed and then the building stands for another couple of years. Such roosting areas are fast disappearing so are precious.

In the meantime, I think it would be a good idea to try and suss out sanctuaries that would offer help and have this info to hand in case of emergency as suggested.

When this first reared it's head last year, I remember phoning around pest controllers to try and find a way trapping the birds inside. It sickened me having to speak to some of them as they so obviously had no qualms about what they did.
I did speak to one who agreed that if he got the business, he would trap the birds and instead of taking them away to cull which they normally do, he'd hand them over to me. He couldn't understand why on earth I should want the birds though. I have NO idea
Another said he would possibly rent out a trap for me to use. Problem there was that I needed regular access to check on it as it would only trap one or two birds at a time so not practical.
I couldn't get a quote from them as they needed to see the location to assess the size of the job, and I wouldn't give them the location as I worried they might go ahead and contact the developers behind my back if they knew where this was and offer to cull.

So this is why I can't plan ahead too much.

All the buildings are now secured with metal sheeting and so access is only possible with the security company in attendance. They charge for any call out and can only attend with the permission of the landlords.
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Cynthia

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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeFri Nov 06, 2009 6:13 pm

Hi Janet,

I know how difficult this is for you and how long you have been worrying about it for. It is so difficult to make decisions when you don't know exactly what is going to happen.

Whatever happens, don't rent a trap, it would be just like the one I bought for Kettering... I think Jayne still has that and could get it to you by courier...she doesn't think much of it (the trap) though! Maybe it would be better for you to have the trap just in case you need it in a hurry.

I hope that if they do something it will be in winter so there will be fewer babies to worry about.

Cynthia
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jamy
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PostSubject: Re: They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock   They Want To Re-Locate Local Flock Icon_minitimeSat Nov 07, 2009 12:00 pm

Thanks Cynthia, I'll bear the trap in mind and ask Jayne when I next speak to her.

I hadn't thought of it being better for things to happen in winter for the reason you stated.
I'd just been hoping for them to have a place over winter.
I remember the man said something to the effect that we would have the same problem with watching out for babies if we let them stay until Spring. Maybe that's why he brought the subject up now. Mind you he hasn't a clue about bird's habits, so I could tell him anything.
I saw a couple of the white birds yesterday sitting in their little opening. I couldn't tell whether they were either necking or it was a youngster feeding, hard to tell from a distance.
So either juveniles there or potential babies in the offing.

Didn't see any white birds today at the time I passed, but the new grey residents were all sitting on the roofs.
I reckon if the white ones were removed, there would then be all sorts of complaints about the grey ferals taking over their spots.
I'd hope people would be more sympathetic to the cause if we were able to refer to them as white doves. As we know, there's more ingnorance and predujice when regular ferals are seen to take up residence.

Anyway, I'm trying to stay positive, thanks for your support so far.

Janet
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