Saturday, November 10, 2007

Young Pigeon Crossing Rainbow Bridge

Today is another bad day for me. I saw this young pigeon few days ago, he was standing on the grass below my apartment as you can see in the video below. I could felt that something was wrong the first day I saw him. As I walked towards him, he flapped his wing and flew away. So, I thought maybe he was fine. But the day after that, I saw him again and he just sat there, not moving much like an ordinary pigeon would do, so again, I walked towards him, he flew off. I didn't see him yesterday though and thought he must be somewhere else.

A while ago, when I brought Bobo down for a walk after his big meal, from far I saw 'Ah Gal', the neighborhood dog, had something in his mouth and she was walking towards me. Out of a shock, I saw this pigeon was in his mouth and I raised my tone commanding her to put it down. Ah Gal is a very socialable and obedient dog and she let him down at once on the grass. I looked at him and I wasn't sure what to do. For sure he was not badly bitten as there was no blood on his body. Ah Gal was like 'holding' her in her mouth instead of biting. Brought him up to my apartment, into my room and everyone ( my kids) were excited but I chased all of them out from the room and started recording the video. Its already 7.15 pm at that time and all the vet clinic were close except one emergency vet. I gave the doc a ring and asked if she could look at the pigeon, she told me she supposed to go out any minute but she was wiling to wait for me. Without delay, I was off to the vet.

Unfortunately the doc couldn't do anything as she didn't have any medicine for birds. She told me that the pigeon was very weak and skinny. I was told to keep the bird hydrate and spoon feed him. After leaving the vet, I drove to the nearest pet store to get some bird seeds and ask their opinion on how to treat sick bird, they did not have a clue either.

When I got home, the pigeon was very weak and he was dying. I felt very bad and did not know what to do except gave him some water. He couldn't stand anymore and was laying down. My wife has also prepared a small cup of glucose, thought it might help to gain his strength back. Sadly, we were wrong, after a few drop of water in his mouth, he was like falling into a deep sleep and in just less than 5 minutes, he no longer moving. It's very sad moment and I have not wrap him up yet until now. He has reminded me about a birdie that I saved not long ago ( few months back ) but end up crossing the rainbow bridge too after that day.

Please leave any comments and advise on dealing with injured birds, I really need to know more. Very much appreciated.


Pete said...

Maybe it died of old age?

Ngo Thye Aun said...

@ Pete

He is a young pigeon :(

hanna fushihara aron said...

hi thomas
even though you are not in new york city where i live, if you ever need help again with how to care for a rescued bird, you can join this yahoo group -
they are very knowledgeable and can help you via email.

i had to try to force feed a pigeon this summer and was told that you put some hot/warm water on one or two pieces of dog kibble and get the hard piece to soak till it gets mushy. then you can scoop some on your finger and you have to open the pigeon's beak yourself and put some inside. try to do tiny bits by tiny bits of mush into the inside of the lower beak portion. this will get fluid and food in at the same time.

so sorry about the bird. the bird i tried to save this summer had to be put to sleep after i tried to rehabilitate him for ten days... he was a really nice fellow.

David said...

I saw your video on Metacafe. I just wanted to say it's encouraging to see there are still some good people out there who are willing to take care of the wounded, the helpless, those truly in need of a little or a lot of help. You should be proud of yourself because at least you tried to save that pigeon.

Nikki said...

My friend - I hate to break it to you, but you will go through this many times with many different animals. In our line of "business" unfortunately we have to take the good with the bad.

I know I am being silly, but I like to think Ah Gal brought the pigeon to you for help ;)
It is in her nature to see a pigeon (as an example) as a potential source of food.

At least the pigeon died in your home, with caring hands to guide it to its next journey. It is better than dying alone never knowing compassion.

Nikki said...

PS: You wuld most likely find he was the runt of the nest, which means his mother kicked him out. Thus his chances of survival would be very very very slim to have begun with.

Phil Grimsey said...


You may find some of this information here useful

All we can say for the pigeon is that you at least tried, and its another animal that has been touched by your compassion and kindness in its short lifetime

Chin up

Lindy said...

Hi Thomas,

I have been blessed to have saved a few pigeons and doves during the past few years. If the pigeon/dove is still a little one, he will be used to being fed by his mother. The easiest way to do this naturally, is to fill your mouth with bird food and water, take the bird's head gently in your mouth and force his mouth open gently with your tongue. At first you will need to push some food into his mouth using your tongue, but he will quickly learn. This is instinct - doves and pigeons differ from most other birds in that the babies take the food out of the inside of their parent's mouth instead of the parent putting the food into the babies mouth. I know this does not sound very pleasant, but it works. We rescued two rock pigeons like that last year. It was beautiful - when they saw us, they would start vibrating their wings and chirping. Once they were stronger, they would fly onto our shoulders and stick their heads into our mouths!

You can feel by the size of their crops once they have eaten enough. If you feel gently on their chests (sometimes a bit on the right hand side) you will feel this "sack" where they store their food for pre-digestion. It should be full, but not rock hard - there should be enough water in the crop.

An excellent anti-biotic for birds is Baytril. It is a solution dissolved in their drinking water. I have pet chickens and this has often helped them through illnesses. Birds require a lot of water - if they cannot drink on their own, it can help to use a syringe to SLOWLY drip water into their mouths (watch out for their nostrils). Tilt the head back slightly and make sure that they swallow. Good quality baby parrot food is also a solution when they will not eat. This is almost like baby porridge that you dissolve in water and syringe into their mouths until their crops are full enough - rather a little at a time, regularly.

A reason this poor child did not survive could be shock. Birds are very scared of people and other animals, especially once they are adults. I tried to rescue a Dik Kop (a fairly large, wild bird with golden eyes) who had fractured his leg, but the trip to the vet was just too much shock and he crossed the bridge during the night.

I hope my comment has been useful and will help you rescue some of our precious feathered children.

Nikki said...

Lindy, is this you? ;)

Ngo Thye Aun said...

@ hanna,

Thank You so much for your valuable advise!

@ David,

I tried but its really sad that I couldn't do much and so was the vet.

@ nikki,

Yeah, probably Ah Gal brought him to me. Ah Gal is a very socialable doggie and she is now outside my doorstep at this very moment. Sleeping.

@ phil,

THANKS! I will bookmark the link afterwards.

@ Lindy,

I must say 'WOW' and thanks for the valuable information. I will definitely remember that.

A Life Connected