Archive for July 11th, 2011

Urgent: Good Home Needed

Monday, July 11th, 2011

There has recently been an ani­mal hoard­ing sit­u­a­tion that my friend has become involved with. She is try­ing to help rehome 19 cock­atiels and 15 Budgeri­gars (para­keets). If you are inter­ested in more infor­ma­tion or have a lov­ing home avail­able for fos­ter­ing or adopt­ing, please con­tact Dr. Kim Danoff for an appli­ca­tion. The email address is: An appli­ca­tion and a home eval­u­a­tion would be required and there are options for adopt­ing non-breeding pairs or solo birds if you already have a small bird.

Sky Rats

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Since I have blogged about rats, I decided to put a blog together about their fly­ing compadres–the Pigeon. Truth be told, I also love pigeons. They are adapt­able, non-agressive, wildlife with an amaz­ing his­tory. We all think of these dirty birds that carry dis­ease and poop on you when you are walk­ing in a big city. But there is alot more to them. They have a mil­i­tary his­tory and have received com­men­da­tions for bravely fly­ing mes­sages out of enemy ter­ri­to­ries even when injured. The rac­ing pigeon can fly for hun­dreds of miles to make its way home (I can­not drive across town some­times with­out get­ting lost and hav­ing to call my hus­band for help or refer to my phone’s GPS) and the fancy breed of pigeons can rival any other species in beauty and quirky­ness. I have had some doves and pigeons as patients. The pigeons were rac­ing pigeons we diag­nosed with bac­te­r­ial infec­tions. Unfor­tu­nately, there can be alot of overuse of antibi­otics in the pigeon world and that leads to resis­tant bac­te­ria. I am lucky to have dealt with some clients that have appre­ci­ated this con­cern and we were able to actu­ally sub­mit cul­tures and treat infec­tions appro­pri­ately.  My own per­sonal expe­ri­ence with the pigeon’s close cousin –the morn­ing dove–was dur­ing one sum­mer liv­ing in an apart­ment in Fair­fax, VA. I had a lit­tle bal­cony that was set up with a table, chairs and I had some pots for flow­ers out there. I had left the soil filled pots out­side dur­ing the win­ter, and by spring it appar­ently made a great nest­ing site for a pair of doves. I kept hear­ing alot of coo­ing and noise out­side and when I looked out the win­dow, I found the pair build­ing the nest…then lay­ing eggs…then feed­ing the chicks. I was able to watch the pro­gres­sion through the spring and even­tu­ally there was a whole fam­ily liv­ing out there. I did not step out onto the bal­cony for months due to these squat­ting ten­nants, but I enjoyed watch­ing them inter­act. Once every­one flew the nest, I had a major cleanup project to deal with–not so fun.
One of my best expe­ri­ences with pigeons was feed­ing and hav­ing them perch on my in St. Mark’s Square, Venice Italy. This was one of the stops on my hon­ey­moon, and for me one of the most memorable.

I am not the only one that has an affin­ity for these birds. Mr. James Walker has an amaz­ing web­site that includes draw­ings and pho­tos of these birds–appreciating the dif­fer­ences of pigeons around the coun­try and also their beauty in flight: Check out the link to snap­shots and see the slide show.

Some won­der­ful books for the pigeon lovers out there include:

Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird

This is an easy read and really puts an edu­ca­tional and humer­ous spin on the nat­ural his­tory of the pigeon.

Another fun book (table book) is:

So if your main expe­ri­ence with pigeons is when they poop on your car, or when they harangue you for food in the park, I can under­stand how you may not be a fan. But if you would like to learn more about them and see another side of them, there are plenty of great books out there to read.