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Rescue Information for all Pigeon Breeds and Housing.


By Arty Tovar


Here you will find links and information pertaining to Pigeon Rescue and
Emergency Care. Information for all Pigeon Breeds and Housing.


If you have found a Pigeon in need of help, Please look to see if there is a
band on the leg of the bird, if there is a band please write the numbers
down, this is a racing pigeon and finding the owner will be very helpful to
both bird and owner.

Using a medium sized box please place a heating pad in the bottom of the

box only to cover half the bottom and set the heat on low, please cover this
with an old clean t-shirt or a cloth that is 100% cotton, Place a small dish
of water in the box, fill to at least 1 inch deep as pigeons/doves suck as
we humans do using a straw, Please don't offer the bird any food at this

Please cover the box and punch holes for air and keep the box in a safe
quite area, the bird is frightened and needs to calm down.

Here are a few links to help you get started on finding someone to help you
with the Pigeon/Dove that you have found.

Here are a few links to help you get started on finding someone to help you
with the Pigeon/Dove that you have found.

Twin Cities Metro Area E-Mail Phone 1-763-767-8107.

911PigeonAlert Group


If the initials on the band are:
"CU" contact The Canadian Racing Pigeon Union,
"IF" International Federation,
"AU"  American Racing Pigeon Union.
"FCQ-QC" Federation Colombhile du Quebec,
"NPA" National Pigeon Association.
Each organization will be happy to help you find the owner.
Another place to go is the 911 Pigeon Alert Site.
If you need to know how to care for a pigeon visit this site.

If there is no band on the leg then the chances are the bird is feral.
Locate a wildlife rescue & rehab center near you (for Feral Pigeons) and
take the bird there.

Here are a few links to help you locate help:

How to Locate a Wildlife Rehabilitator

New York City Pigeon Rescue


"Approximately 90% of pigeons die in their first year and the main cause of death is starvation.

The mortality rate of adult pigeons is very low, typically around 11% (2). Therefore when culling is carried

 out on a pigeon population, the vacancies left by the dead birds are quickly filled by young birds."



Emergency Feeding a Young Pigeon

Wildlife Hotline

Emergency Feeding a Young Pigeon

Wildlife Hotline

Catching the Pigeon

Pigeons are easier to catch than most birds because they are semi-tame. The
flock to which the patient belongs can be attracted with corn or unsalted
peanuts. A soft cloth, coat or towel is often helpful. Throw it over the
bird from behind while its attention is distracted. The first attempt is the
most important since pigeons (being preyed on in the wild) quickly become
wary of attention. Pigeons very rarely bite and their beaks cannot cause
injury. One may be apprehensive of causing further pain or stress by a
clumsy catch, but if you leave the pigeon where it is, a cat or other
predator will almost certainly find it. If the capture was successful, line
a cardboard box with something soft and make a few air holes in it. Pigeons
will not die of fright through such confinement. Place the pigeon in a warm,
dark area away from other animals, children and loud noise. Warmth and quiet
are vital to overcoming shock and will also help if dealing with the stress
of illness or injury.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of handling many exotic birds,
learning there ways and needs.

I thought I had enjoyed all the beauty that one could endure until the day
the Feral came into my world.

I consider it to be a true honor to be able to hold, comfort, and tend to
there needs. To watch them fly provides solace and a sense of peace deep within oneself.
They are truly a majestic bird.



Fluids should be given after, and ONLY AFTER, the bird has been warmed,
examined for any injuries & a determination is made as to the severity of
his dehydration.

Description and degree, of hydrated and dehydrated birds

A well hydrated bird will be very alert, have elastic skin, bright eyes,
moise, plump membrane inside the mouth and well formed moist droppings.

A moderately dehydrated bird will be less than fully alert, have dry, flaky
skin, dull eyes, non-formed droppings and have a sticky membrane in the

A severely dehydrated bird will be lethargic or unconscious, the skin will
'tent' when slightly pinched, have sunken eyes, dry or absent droppings and
have dry membrane in the mouth.

Depending on the cause and degree of dehydration, reversing this condition
can take up to 24 hours. If the bird is alert, he may be rehydrated by mouth
by using an eye dropper and putting drops along his beak every few minutes.

(This would be the safest and easiest method for beginners).

If the bird is not swallowing on his own or fully alert, he must be given
fluids under the skin (sub-Q method.)

WARNING!! Be certain you learn how to do this before you try for the first
time as all birds have extensive air sacs throughout their body that should
not be punctured. A needle introduced in the wrong place may paralyze the

*Heat source suggestions:

Heating pad, set on low

Hot water bottle

Low wattage lamp, directing the light into the cage.

Emergency heat source substitute:

Fill an old sock about 2/3 full of rice. Microwave the sock for a few
seconds. Making sure it isn't too hot, place it around the bird.

**Ringers solution substitute:

Small amount: Add to a cup of water a pinch of salt & sugar, mix well. Use
this solution to rehydrate by mouth.

The following is intended as assistance towards recognizing problems through
elimination of possibilities until arriving at the most probable cause of
illness and diagnosis - a 'Layman's' directory!

Assessing a sick Pigeon

Many pigeon ailments have similar symptoms and yet are completely different
in their nature and severity. Many common pigeon ailments are equilibrium
unbalance problems; that is to say that they are stress related. Bacteria
live permanently in balance within the body until something reduces the
individuals resistance and the natural balance becomes upset. A sick pigeon
will fluff out it's feathers as if it is cold. The patient hides perhaps
under a park bench or in a doorway, and is seen on the ground at dusk when
its flock has flown up high to roost. The droppings may appear green and
watery, and signs of bullying injuries by other birds may be visible around
the head. An injured pigeon may be in shock, limping badly, drooping a wing
or bleeding.

Pigeons suffer from a variety of ailments peculiar to themselves, the most
common being the Paramyxo virus and throat canker. The virus causes birds to
appear fluffed up, unbalanced or dizzy. They may walk in circles, throw
seeds in the air when eating, hang their heads upside down (star gazing) or
have fits. No veterinary treatment is available as far as we know but the
pigeon can recover after a lengthy period of rest and care. However, he or
she must be kept separate from other birds for at least 6 weeks. Canker or
Trichomoniasis seems most common in young pigeons aged between 2 and 5
weeks. It is detected by a swollen throat containing yellow/white
button-like cheesy growths, wet or bad smelling discharge from the beak and
unwillingness to fly. Depending on the severity, it may be very difficult
for the bird to eat or breath. This disease in young birds is fatal but can
be treated with drugs such as flagyl (metronidazole) or spartrix
(carnidazole). Crop-feeding may be necessary while healing is underway.
Please do not attempt to scrape away these growths unless they are severely
restricting breathing, as this may damage the lining of the throat. Keep the
patient away from other birds. As with dealing with any animal, please
observe common-sense hygiene. Wash hands throughly before and after handling
any wild pigeons.

The Medical Formulary












Unfortunately it happens that a baby (or adult bird) suffers from a broken

The following advice was given from a vet: "Cut two pieces of 'cloth'
adhesive tape, align the bones as well as possible and place one piece of
tape on one side and the other piece opposite. Squeeze the tapes together
down each side of the tape with forceps, as close to the bone as possible,
and then cut the tape close to leg, maybe 1/16". After this, run a bead of
'super glue' down both seams and let dry. The super glue holds the edges
together and also strengthens the tape, "A perfect little cast."



Breeders have successfully used super glue to "weld" the broken toe to the
neighboring toe. Eventually the toes become unglued on their own and the
broken toe is perfect.



Cats commonly have Pasteurella bacteria as part of their natural flora.
While this bacteria is ubiquitous in cats and does them no harm, it is
DEADLY to birds. Even if you cat just bats your bird or gets saliva on your
bird, you could end up with a dead bird. Also, if your bird has a persistent
problem with itching and other skin issues and you have a cat, this could be
a cause and your vet should be asked to screen for this bacteria. If your
bird is ever in a confrontation with a cat, take him to the vet immediately
even if there are NO apparent wounds. The bird could still have been exposed
to this bacteria. You should get your bird to a vet the same day if you
think it has come in physical contact with a cat's saliva, feces, or food.
This bacteria means even friendly relationships between cats and birds are
not safe. Period.


These are much smaller than the average housefly and are found in lofts
especially in the south. They can carry disease. If your pigeons fly with
quick, lively movements be sure to check under the feathers of the

pigeons as they seem to rest there. Keep the nests clear and destroy any
larvae which resembles small lead shot, then spray the loft and the birds.

I found a link that concerns this issue here;


These or quite different from lice and very hard to control if you have
large numbers of pigeons. These mites will get into tiny crevices and cracks
in the nest boxes and lofts and they feed at night by sucking blood. They
will appear like tiny flakes of black pepper. Consult your local feed store
for a good mite powder that can be used for pigeons.

I found the following link's concerning this issue.


These are the most common of pests on pigeons and are very small but still
visible to the naked eye. Examine your birds regular as these are not
bloodsucking insects but they do live off the pigeon's skin scales and
feathers and never leave. In the warm months they rapidly multiply.

Some links pretaining to this issue.


This is a protozoan infection and is very common in pigeons. Adult birds can
get it but it strikes mostly the squabs in the next, symptoms of

this canker are lesions in the mouth or throat with a yellowish-white


Pigeons get colds just like humans and dampness in the loft is a major cause
of colds.

Usually if you will make sure your loft has no drafts your pigeons will have
fewer colds. Keep the birds warm when sick and administer cod liver oil to
keep up their strength. Consult your feed store for an ointment or
suggestions to help open the nostrils and make breathing easier.



Watch your pigeons, if their throat is parched, if they have difficulty in
breathing, have fever or just look sick it could be pneumonia. Be sure to
keep drafts away from them and keep the area warm. Consult your feed store
for antibiotic drugs to help.


If pigeons are exposed to drafts or dampness in the winter roup can occur,
the symptoms are similar to a cold, then a nasal discharge changes to a pus
like mucus and will clog the nostrils. Be sure to isolate the sick

birds and disinfect the loft and all utensils. Consult your local feed store
for remedies to help clear up roop.



Usually this occurs after a pigeon has eaten sour or moldy grain or
unseasoned grain. Remove any grain you suspect is not perfect and feed corn
and small grains till the pigeon is improved. You might try a dose of caster
oil or Epsom salts to clear out the bird's system.


With this disease the flesh will waste away and the pigeon will look sick
and have diarrhea. This is a symptom of another problem, consult someone for
help in curing this and feed warm milk with bread or meal in the meantime.


Sometimes a hen will have problems in passing an egg, if you will bathe the
vent with a little warm water and take a medicine dropper and put a warm
olive oil on it the egg will just pass on out.

Sites where one will find supplies to treat a variety of medical conditions.













































National Pigeon Association


Keep the egg shells from breakfast, microwave them for 1 minute to kill any
bacteria, let them cool, then chop them up fine, provide this to your birds
to supplement calcium.

One can also crush up a tablet of (Tums) and add to the water, this is also
an excellent means of Calcium.


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Dove Laying Timetable

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN the Great Passenger Pigeon

Do's and Don'ts...

DO look differently at pigeons next time you see them in your town or city.

DON'T consider making pigeons (or any animal) a part of your life until you
fully understand and accept the responsibility.

DO obtain all necessary permits and permissions from the local and national

DON'T remove animals from the wild unless necessary for their survival.

DO consider adopting animals from your local shelter.

DON'T keep pigeons or other birds in cages that do not allow them room to
flap around and exercise... don't be a bird jailer!

DO drive carefully... look out for fellow humans and furry, fuzzy, feathered
things on the road ways. Especially in the winter, animals are drawn closer
to the habitats of man because food is in short supply. Pigeons, by the way,
are almost always found near humans. Perhaps they like us.

DO ESPECIALLY consider with gratitude and awe the beauty of all of God's
creation. Treat your fellow Earth-dwellers with respect.

DO JOIN our Resource Data base, there's a Pigeon Down that could use your

Pigeon Values

Why do Pigeons strut?


Little Tim was outside in the back yard digging a big hole in the corner of
the yard. He had been out there for a while really making this hole very
large and deep.

The neighbor had been watching him for some time through her kitchen window
and decided to go out and find out what was going on.

"Tim, why are you digging such a big hole in the yard?" she asked.

Tim did not even look up but spoke in anger, "Because my pigeon died"

"I am so sorry to hear that Tim" she said. "But why are you digging such a
big hole?"

Tim replied, "Because your cat is in there too."

Feral and Domesticated Cats are destroying our wildlife in great numbers,
this is also effecting the natural predators and there food chain.

The domesticated cat is not part of the natural food chain.

Please keep your pet cat safe within your home at all times.


Thanks for the time you spend concerning this issue.