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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pigeons care and feedings

Baby Pigeons
 Pigeons have been a very common bird after the humble crow in our garden . We have a bird bath where pigeons come to bathe and drink water and it is a very beautiful sight when they flap open their wings and jump into the bird bath and enjoy the cool dip. A friend had these baby pigeons and the mother had laid eggs on just a curtain. the window it is understood was kept closed for many months and as a result the mommy pigeon had laid eggs and the beautiful delicate babies were enjoying their early years of life.Pigeons I have noticed have now adapted to our urban life style and can eat many cooked food along with grains and seeds.
They eat cooked rice and love pulao and fried rice. Dried rice and bread crumbs are also their favourite along with poha, upma, idli. I do not know what effect it will have on their nutritional diet requirements but my husband surely says these birds will become obese and as they are staying in towers in terrace flat they do not even need to move to get food! Many people from society put up remaining food on their window sill and these pigeons are sued to having this.
Pigeons love grains and I also put soaked cereals like moong, chana and chavli some times.But usually I try for safe food like bread and cooked rice.Maize, jowar and bajra seeds are also good for them. Keeping them clean water is a very important work as they have a very bad habit of pooing int he bath. I have to clean the bird bath regularly as they eat and drop food particles in the bath. food along with dried flowers and leaves does give a stink to the water and it need regular cleaning to provide fresh cool water to t he birds.
Babies of Pigeons
How do pigeons sleep? well the most fascinating pat is that an pigeon can live in the smallest of paces and I have seen them sleep on one foot and then change the other for the whole night! As the sun is beginning to set the pigeons come and have food and a drink and then take their place. One of the most important point I have noticed about the pigeons life style of living is they are very very possessive about their place. they will fight and drive away all the pigeons to protect their small private place. And this is seen daily when they come home to sleep in the evening, I can hear the fluttering of wings and when the noise levels increase now I know someone is trying to find a place to sleep!

Sick pigeon
 This beautiful pigeon lives above our terrace on a pole made for shade.It is a beautiful combination of pigeon and dove as this pigeon has white wings and head and it sure looks like an angel in the evenings. The poor guy was sick and I noticed it coming near the terrace door and finding place for shelter. As this year the winters were very strong I think the pigeon was sick and It came along our budgies and I had to keep a watch lest he infects the other birds. he took to a quiet protected place under the big container plants and would not budge even when I touched it. For two days the pigeon was here, it would fly when I would coax it and then return after taking a round. There were no visible signs of physical disease and my husband diagnosed it as common cold and fever. Some Cooked rice and bread was offered along with fresh water to drink as the pigeon could not make it till the bird bath for drinking water. In the afternoon the pigeon would try to fly and then again come back in evening in the same place under the container.
Sick Pigeon in  our Terrace Garden
 Now the pigeon has recovered and is quite healthy, thank God. I do talk to him daily before retiring for the day as he sleeps in his original place now. I think he hears and recognizes me and as I speak he turns his head in my direction. It feels great to see a bird saved. He looks so cute with his delicate white head and shy when I talk to him.
Few years back a pigeon had laid egg on our garden container and I have noticed this strange behavior of laying eggs in the open. Pigeons do not build nests and they may least have few sticks and lay their eggs in the open. An pigeon egg is smaller in size than the egg of hen that we eat. Unfortunately I couldn't save the egg as the crows were ready to pounce on it and the poor pigeon couple could not protect the egg. As I tried to keep the egg protected by wooden furniture the crow was much quick and at last after few hours when we wee not paying attention they feasted on it.Nature has its own laws and there are many lessons for life from nature. Survival of the fittest. Another pigeon had laid an egg on the metal lid of a plant container, no doubt it disappeared in a single day! Still it is a fact that pigeons are seen everywhere around the world and their adaptability and adjustabilty has given them upper hand at survival.
Bird diseases are also an important part which we have to deal with and as there are many pigeons we are also exposed to bird diseases and have to keep the plants and terrace clean. We have placed the bird bath away from our door and and have kept less space for them to loiter around in the garden near us and they can finish their business of eating and drinking and take off. Summers are the worst when we see pigeons with boils on their beaks and body parts. Bird disease is transferred by infected birds eating and sharing the same water bath.
They live among humans and eat left overs and survive in every nooks and corners and no wonder pigeons are seen in every place around the world.

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