Thursday 6th August 2015 - Below Tink and Pan today - for new readers Tink is the little one
7.8.15 - Sultan goes in to feed his babies who rush towards him. He wouldnt feed them when I was looking though, so I had to shut the door so he could get on with it.
Friday 14th August 15 - Sultan wasn’t on the roof in the morning and hadn’t turned up by his usual time to feed the babies. As always in these situations I stressed about it, but gave the babies a little feed and hoped he would arrive soon to take over. Cissie doesn’t seem to have much interest in the babies now and either can’t or won’t feed them herself. I was giving her three feeds a day so she could share with the babies, instead of her usual two, but I think it is pointless. Sultan didn’t come and I had to go out at 10.30am so, reluctantly, I left the hutch open as I didn’t want him to not be able to get in if he did come back. Cissie was in charge as she is quite good at repelling intruders! When I returned at 11.15 there was no evidence that Sultan had been and gone, so again I waited. 12 noon, no Sultan so at half past I gave the babies another little feed. They can scream for England, and seem to do so all the time! Time went on, with me keeping an eye on the garden. Although it rained sometimes it wasn’t as bad as the day before, and I didn’t keep Cissie in the hutch – she has the usual run of the garden when I am at home, the same as Cloud and Chino. They are only shut up if I am out for their own safety. I feared that something must have happened to Sultan as he still didn’t come..... it seems unlikely he has met with a hawk, as he is a bigger than average strong male and not a potential target but it’s possible he has met with an accident, has been involved in a cull......or remembered where he came from and has gone back to his owner’s loft. If he did that, the owner may have kept him in for some reason......for all I know he may have been going back every night and the owner let him out every morning and now has decided not to. Or maybe Sultan has just got fed up with the babies.... but surely not? I decided to give them another small feed...... and planned to give them a good supper at about 5.30pm which is the time Sultan normally last feeds them before the night.
It felt odd as I tried to grab it and I looked inside to see a pigeon looking up at me! Special Delivery – One Pigeon!
Saturday 15.8.15 – Sultan hadn’t turned up by 10am and by that time I had given the babies a small feed before I put them in the hutch – just in case he did come to feed them – and then just before 10 a normal feed, as he was in the habit of feeding them about 9.15/20 am. He may never come back so I have worked out and written down a feeding schedule for them, and will tick off each feed as I do it. I am not cross with him as it may not be his fault and I am grateful for the gift of Tink and Pan who may be my last babies. They are incredibly lively and noisy but seem different in some way to the previous dove babies I have had, though I can’t put my finger on the what that difference is! I have never had pigeon babies before – all my babies have had more or less white parents, and though some babies have been dark or speckled they have not had the pure pigeon blood of Tink and Pan – who also are half racer/half feral. I still hope Sultan comes back as though I don’t mind at all feeding the babies, I do feel ‘orphans’ do less well than babies whose parents take an interest, and it’s a shame for them. They may as well be orphans for all the interest Cissie takes.
Below, Silver Shadow, the huge and magnificent pigeon, eats peanuts from my hand but gets bombarded by interlopers trying to do the same!
Later – I have been reading up on why a young pigeon wouldn’t be able to stand – and there are so many reasons and possibilities; most of which would be very expensive to correct. I did kind of wonder if he might be suffering from a form of rickets, due to lack of sunlight, as the nestbox is so dark, and that is another reason I am making sure they get fresh air and day light now. I could make him a sort of contraption that supported his body and left his legs dangling out but touching the ground. I wonder if that would help make them stronger. I would be really loathe to have to euthanize him......I have messaged one of my blog readers who keeps racers for advice.
A few days ago, I grabbed a pigeon with one eye that was all gunked up or sealed over, and using a soft non-fluffy cloth and tepid water, I just kept going over it til I got the stuff off. I didnt even know if there would be an eye underneath, but there was - very swollen surrounding it though. I didnt ring the bird, but I think this is it below - and as you can see at least now it has the use of that eye.