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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16263
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hi, we have 2 baby pigeons on our flat widowlege nesting in

Customer Question

Hi, we have 2 baby pigeons on our flat widowlege nesting in a small nest (in the crevice of the building/window ledge). We opened the window late last night 11pm and mum flew off. We kept looking to see if she returned but even by 3am she didn't. The dad did come back and sat on them from about 6am to 8pm today. Normally mum would swap, but it's 11pm again And still no sign of mum (we do live on a segul dominated road)!
Anyway my question are:
1. Is it unlikely that dad can do both jobs of sitting on them to kp them warm?
2. They survived last night without mums warmth, but concerned that the temperature is due to drop this weekend nighttime, I've got a little bed of stuffing (from inside of a pillow) - laid lightly on top of them with the plan to remove it by 4am before dad gets back around 5.30sm? Is this ok? Or shall I remove it?
3. Will they get all nutrients from just dad?
Really concerned but don't want to interfere if it is to the detriment of the pigeons/babies?
Any advice will be appreciated,
Many thanks XXXXX UK.
Ps. They are about 2 wks old. Skin is no longer viable, little feathers and some fluff plus what looks like wing bones are visible. (Their bodies are about 3 inches long).
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.


Now I understand your concern, but we must appreciate that this is a situation where nature may not be as kind as we wish it to be. And in this case, you need to consider offering the remaining bird aid without directly stepping in, lest he abandon his young as well (which will lead to their death since this is very difficult species to rear by hand and being wild would make it an incredibly stressful situation for them). So, your job is to make his wild life easier on the sly without his appreciating it.

In regards to helping without hindering, the key is to have aid in easy reach without forcing it on the bird. For example, you don't want to be putting things into the nest (since he will notice the nest has been tampered with and may choose to ensure his own safety at the cost of the wee ones' lives) but instead put them near so he can decide to use them if need be. Depending on the ledge set-up, you can even consider trying to keep the area insulated or putting warmers nearby to try and keep the area around the nest free of chill. (Just to note, you can make a safe warmer to leave near the nest by filling a sock with cooked rice and microwaving it for a few minutes.) Again, we don't want to put this in the nest or too close but it would be a means of trying to reduce the chill near the nest and give dad a hand.

In regards to providing nutrition, he will be able to do so but you can make his job easier by leaving food out for him. This will save him time (since he won't have to search for long and can get back to keeping the wee ones warm), save him energy (since he won't have to fly far), and will ensure he has enough food to support himself and to spare to his wee ones. In regards to what to offer, since he is feeding 3, you may want to consider picking up a pigeon specific pellet or commercial mix diet for pigeons (feed stores often carry these for pet pigeons). These will be more balanced for his needs then general wild bird feeds and would be an optimal diet to offer when he his having to provide food for the whole family.

Overall, while unfortunate this is a natural pitfall of being a wild animal. In this situation, you cannot be too direct in your aid here, else you will scare the wild father bird enough that he will leave his young for fear for his life. Instead, our aim needs to be to make his situation as easy for him to manage as possible. That way, we are giving him the best chance to help himself and his family. And hopefully by supporting him in this manner you will help him succeed in raising his little ones.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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