baby's blog - part 1

Home Up blog - page 2

a log aimed at sharing what I am learning about pigeons in general and baby the pigeon more specifically :)

 

 

07/6/04 Baby, the one footed pigeon :)

Baby's treatment 011.jpg (38047 bytes)Baby is now 40 days old. He now has the ability to stand on one foot. It's very funny because he hides his other leg under his feather, switching his weight slightly so his body is centered on top of his only remaining leg. So when you first see him, you think you are looking at a one legged bird :). He can stay in that position all night and sleeps that way (?? Go figure). He appears to favorBaby's treatment 012.jpg (40944 bytes) standing on his left foot, which I guess would make Baby a lefty, like his Daddy Mr.181. :))))     

 

07/9/04  Pigeons and baths

Baby is now 43 days old. It was a very hot day today so I decided to offer Baby a bath. I filled his favorite bath plate and set it in front of him in the back yard. I expected him to run to it right away but he did not. I decided to show him and basically went in the plate with my hand, as though my hand was going to take a bath. He immediately followed and stepped in the water. Not wanting him to get me wet when he starts going crazy in there, I slowly stepped back. Baby also got out of his plate. So I had to go back with my hand to get him to again follow "me" in. He did. I did not back off this time and found that he bathed himself with much joy, while I was near by, standing watch. Once he got started he really got into it. Finally I was able to slowly walk back and sit down on the near by chair, observing him. What is interesting in the way he takes a bath now is that, unlike most birds I have seen, Baby seems in no hurry to walk out of his water once he is in it. Today, not only did he stand in the water for a long time, but I actually saw him LAY in his water. He crouched down, a bit sideways and allowed his feathers to "soak". Seems he would have marinated in there for a long while if it was not for a crow suddenly sending a loud call near by, which spooked Baby. He promptly got up and ran out of the bathtub like a bat out of hell LOL. Then he proceeded to take a sun bath, laying on the floor in the sun, leaning on his side, spreading his wing, fluffing his feathers up so the rays could get to his skin and almost napping, trusting that I (who was sitting there) would keep watch for him :). Funny.

 

07/10/04 He can tell the difference

Baby is now 44 days old. I notice that although he tends to be friendly to most people, Baby most positively can tell me apart from everyone else. He knows my voice and probably face features and trusts me, while he can be somewhat careful with strangers. Pigeons have very good eyesight so why should it be surprising that Baby can recognize me? 

 

07/11/04 Playing it safe

Baby is now 45 days old. Took a chance and allowed Baby to the front of the house with me today, while I was eating dinner on the outside table. He hopped to the ground and had some fun exploring, foraging in the grass, picking up all sorts of items such as twigs, dried leaves, small rocks, etc... He'll pick them up, play with them for a few instant and then drop them. I suspect a nesting instinct and also a desire to familiarize himself with his surrounding. He also must be instinctively looking for food (although to this day he has never eaten anything off the floor). Baby was a bit nervous and a couple of things really scared him: Mr.181's truck, which can get loud for a small pigeon and a motorcycle that rode by and really spooked him. Now I forgot to mention that Baby, when in an unfamiliar environment, will stick closely to me. For example that day he never wandered past a 3 feet perimeter, me being the center :). As soon as the motorcycle went by Baby panicked and flew up and straight at me, landing on my lap. Sorta like a kid who runs to his mother. Cute!

 

07/12/04 The pigeon dance

Baby is now 46 days old. It seems he is filling up a bit. His shape is less lean and becoming a bit rounder. I am starting to notice white flecks in his leg feathers. His underwings are almost white :). This morning Baby did the pigeon dance for the first time. It was quite a sight and I got a real good laugh out of it. When I opened his cage Baby rushed out, as always and flew on the floor, in the same predictable pattern he uses daily. but today he decided to dance for me. he started flapping his wings non-stop like crazy, resulting in his little feet lifting off the ground on and off. All the while he was hopping from one foot to the next, back and forth. He flapped his wings just enough to get lifted a hair off the ground, but never more than an inch. This pigeon dance lasted a good 30 seconds, then, satisfied by his display of splendor, Baby walked into the kitchen and (as always) flew up to his favorite shelf. Guess next time, I'll try and do the pigeon dance with him, just to see his face! Haha!

 

07/13/04  Pigeon? Or duck?

Baby is now 47 days old. This morning Baby made a new sound. He was still trying to "hiss" (his baby sound) for me but instead a weird "quack" came out, mixed in with the hiss. If I didn't know any better I would think Baby is a duck????? How funny. I wonder when the charming hisshiss calls will disappear and what kind of sound he will make to great me then... Further more I wonder when he will start to coo.... Another observation: Since yesterday Baby has started molting. I am finding more and more feathers daily, some little ones and then a few big tail feathers also fell. Will Baby change color? Currently he is a mix of mainly gray, with a touch of brown and some white well hidden here and there. I guess we'll have to see. He is spending a lot of time now being vain, picking his feathers, fixing them up, oiling them, looking at them. By God he must be a SHE :))...

 

07/14/04 and more wacky kwaky

Baby is now 48 days old. Last night Baby was very cute, he (or she? It would be nice to know at some point) was VERY affectionate, talking to me, giving me little pigeon kisses and being a real doll. He seemed to very much enjoy my petting him, especially on the head and cheeks. He now is making a lot more quacking sounds, maybe the start of a coo? This morning he did the pigeon dance again :). 

I have a gut feeling that Baby is a she. I guess we'll eventually find out, but although the bird is filling up, it is still looking like a female to me. The face, beak and mouth area now are very smooth and pretty. Eyes are still light brown, but I understand they will eventually become red. So when Baby fly, I will be able to say my pigeon is flying the red eye HAHA! More and more white blotches are showing up in the leg's feathers.

 

07/15/04 Pigeons can't swim

Baby is now 49 days old. This morning Baby fell into a critter keeper filled with water (which by the way really really freaked him out). Here are a few things I learned about pigeons right there and then:

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Pigeons do not float. LOL

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Pigeons can't swim worth a , well, you know what... ;)

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Pigeons feathers are pretty water proof (remember they are oiled, since the bird have a gland at the top of their tail which secretes an oily substance that birds use to patiently, daily, coat their feathers with. Which paid off today :)

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Pigeons hold grunges. (????? what did I do wrong?)

Well Baby fell in the water and sank to the bottom, all the while flapping his wings like crazy but unable to fly out. his feet hit the bottom and he stretched his neck so his neck and head only were above water. I immediately came to his rescue and fished him out. Surprisingly he was not all that soaked. I placed him back in his cage and for the first time he ran away from me as though I was the devil himself >8(   and would not have anything to do with me. He resented me for having that critter keeper there (I guess?), sorta like he was holding me responsible for his little accident. Hey, I TOLD him to not land on top of that critter keeper, which was only covered by a transparency sheet. But pigeons are darn stubborn (outstubborned only by one other creature in the animal kingdom: Mr.181 LOL). Well I left for work and when I returned later that afternoon, Baby had forgiven me and was his loving, quacking self again. Good thing, because I can't live without his birdy love :)))).

 

07/16/04 Huffy puffy

Baby is now 49 days old. As of today I am no longer hearing his baby "TsuiTsui" sound. A few days ago a quack sound came out in the midst of the usual tsuitsui. Within 3 days, I have been getting more and more quacks and les and less tsutsui. Now the quacks appears to have taken over completely. In essence baby is still greeting me, but with this new, lower pitched, duck-quacking like sound. What it appears to be is the first sound preceding the rolling sound of a pigeon coo. Another interesting observation: Baby is now showing off a bit. He will puff up his neck, and make circles, and fan his tail, too. All of which are, I believe, male behaviors. I still think he is a she, though. Baby seems inclined to do all above when I hold my finger up at his head level and tease him with it :), moving my finger up and down a bit and left to right etc...  Cute.

 

07/17/04  Pigeon Jacuzzi?

Baby is now 50 days old. Well, it's official, no more Tsui tsui. :(, I kinda like that sweet sound. Baby seems so "quiet" now in comparison, he used to be quite a blubber mouth LOL!! Today Baby got another bath and as always, same behavior, except that this time he soaked even longer and was practically lying down on his side in his tubplate :). he looked so cute I decided to snap a few shots, here they are:

Baby takes another bath 001.jpg (68686 bytes)

hop! Baby goes in

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getting quite wet :)

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lounging on his side in water
(Oh my God, he looks DEAD!)

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drying out in the sun
(alive and well) LOL

 

07/18/04 CooooocoooOOOoooo

Baby is now 51 days old and it's official : He now cooooooes :)). No longer shall I hear the beloved Tsui Tsui, instead he greets me with a low pitch purr/coo. Hard to describe, I guess you'll have to get yourself a pigeon and find out for yourself LOL. He is also changing behavior some, acting more like a pigeon. For example, he will spin a couple of times to greet me, then walk up to me and peck my finger. While spinning, baby will puff up his (or her?) neck and coo. It's very cute. While I pet him on the head, he will purr. You can't even hear it but I can feel it with my finger under the throat, not unlike the way you can feel a cat purr. Baby part pigeon, part human, part cat (and thoroughly confused LOL)

 

07/19/04 What happened?

Baby is now 52 days old and is experiencing his first mishap. Well, I guess second mishap if we count falling out of the nest LOL. I came home Sunday night and found his right cheek slightly swollen (??).. Mmmmm... Not sure I like the look of this. He probably got a hold of a bug, being that he loves eating mealworms so much he might have gone after an ear wick or something and maybe got bit? As a good mother should, I find myself worried more than I probably should... Better keep an eye on this.

 

07/20/04 pigeon swollen cheek

Baby is now 53 days old and looks lopsided with one cheek twice as big as the other. He is acting completely normal so it might be reasonable to assume this is not a virus or some other nasty exotic disease. Yet the cheek is more swollen today than yesterday (is that normal?). He is eating well and as lovy-dovy as always, allowing me to touch the swollen area, indicating the area may not be tender at all. I opened his mouth to take a look in there but it was hard to see anything. I don't think the inside is swollen much if at all. Poor little Baby, he looks so pathetic with his swollen cheek... If he was a betta I would know what to do... but no such luck with pigeons (just yet). Maybe I should find a bird vet just in case. If any of you who read this know what is wrong with my bird, email me asap. Click on photo below to see large version.

Is Baby sick 002.jpg (35785 bytes)

no, I'm not a hamster!

Is Baby sick 001.jpg (42649 bytes)

mom, I have an aoui

 

07/21/04 Pigeon on drugs LOL

Baby is now 54 days old. I decided to put some ointment on his swollen cheek, which has neomycin and sulfas in it. This ointment was prescribed for my dog Poopie when she had her majorly serious botanical abscess, and it healed her. So I figured, what the heck let's give it a try. I was extremely careful in the way I applied it and Baby got none in his eye or mouth. Baby is very cooperative and will not move while I massage the ointment into cheek (making sure to work my way under the feathers). A first dose was administered on the 20th (evening), two more doses today. Tonight I noticed a good improvement with less swelling. :)

 

07/22/04 (morning) Pigeon anxiety?

Baby is now 55 days old. Right cheek is almost back to normal, corner of lip still a bit swollen. All in all I see a 75% improvement in the last day and a half. It has been very hot here in Southern California, with temps reaching upper 90 to 100F. So I decided to keep Baby indoors, cause I don't think the heat will help a possible infection :(. I have a theory that baby either ate a bug that bit him in the corner of the mouth (inside) OR that Baby was too hot outside in his cage (while I am at work I have to leave him in his cage) and might have been trying to get out by sticking his head in and out of the bars, looking for an exit. This could have caused bruising/swelling. I have never seen Baby restless in his cage. Usually he loves returning to it (for he knows fresh food is awaiting :) ) in the morning when I leave the house to go to work. So I never suspected he might try to get out when I have my back turned. However, yesterday morning, upon placing him back in there, he looked very agitated and was sticking his head through the bars repeatedly. This behavior puzzled me. Was he thinking: "OH NO, it is going to be HOT again, get me out of here!" (not knowing the cage was now indoors and we keep the central air running for our dogs, birds and bettas :)  ). Or was he simply having separation anxiet? After all Baby does follow me everywhere I go (or just about) and seems to prefer to be able to see me. This is especially true when he is in an unfamiliar environment, he will stick very close to me. Usually, his cage or the fishroom entry way (where he spends most of his time, free to roam) are familiar places he feels safe and likes to hang out at, usually snoozing on one foot or picking his feathers (he is very vain LOL)... So the anxiety attack he had yesterday morning took me by surprise. I decided to spy on him, with the help of my webcam, while I am away. Today he seemed OK when I put him in his cage and has spent all morning in one spot, napping. Hardly an anxious bird's behavior LOL. Did he figure out he is now cool and does not need to fear being stuck in a cage in the heat? Could he be THAT smart? The answer my friend, is floating in the wind (with baby's molting feathers LOL). Meanwhile I am still spying on him to see what else he does when I am not home hehehehehe...

 

07/22/04 (evening) Pigeon Kung Fu?

Baby is still 55 days old LOL. Well, something very interesting happened tonight so I thought I'd add a log to tell you about it. There are still a lot I do not know about pigeons in general but Baby is giving me a crash course. Tonight he demonstrated his martial arts skills. It was quite impressive. I saw a side of Baby I have never seen before: The MAJORLY belligerent side. Well, Mr.181 happened to stand too close to Baby who was chilling in his usual favorite hang out spot (but personally I think Mr.181 teased Baby while I was not looking, cause he is a trouble maker LOL) and man that's all it took to turn a fuzzy cutsy little innocent birdy into a raging man killing machine LOLOLOL. You should have been there to see it! I just could not believe my eyes! Baby charged, ran to Mr.181 and started pecking at him like a raging mad man (ooops, sorry, mad bird) all the while making the most ungodly sounds I have ever heard! Boy WAS HE PISSED! Mmmm... I may have to reconsider my opinion about Baby's gender. She might be a HE after all! LOL. Meanwhile, Mr.181 never stood a chance and got his fannies kicked in less time that it took me to type this while laughing my head off. As an experiment, I asked Mr.181 to back away from the shelf, which he did. And I walked to Baby who immediately calmed down and became submissive. He allowed me to pet him and gently pecked my hand (kissed). To be honest, I had no idea pigeons can be so ferocious and I had never heard Baby cry his "ATTACK" cry before. It was a loud sound, and quite intimidating... Mr.181 is OK, he just lost a few feathers, but I think mainly it is his ego that suffered most. ;). Meanwhile, there is no doubt that Baby can tell me apart from everyone else.

 

07/23/04 King pigeon (and his brand spanking new palace)

Baby is now 56 days old. Tomorrow, Baby is going to see his first veterinarian. I wonder what he is going to think about the whole ordeal... Mmmmm... But that's another story for another day (tomorrow, to be more specific LOL). 

Yesterday, mom came home with a brand new HU-MON-GOUS home for Baby. It took over an hour for Mr.181 (Dad) and me to put it together but it was time well spent, as the resulting pigeon palace is worthy of a KING. My God, if this is not the most spoiled rotten pigeon this side of the Mississipi, I don't know who is!! Having wasted no less than 2 hours daily for over 2 weeks now trying to locate a suitable medium sized aviary for Baby, I finally decided I would give up my futile search and roll up my sleeves. Since no manufacturer out there seems to think that pigeons do deserve some nice accommodations (people suggested I put him in a rabbit wood cage - AS IF!!), and since the rest of the manufacturers who build semi large cages only cater to parrots (sorry, not my favorite birds, anything that could bite my finger clean off, should stay in the jungle LOL) I had to use all the creativity the good Lord has given me (He was especially generous that day LOL) and come up with an alternative solution. So off I went to my local et supply wholesaler and after careful sizing up of the task at hand, opted to purchase two identical HU-MON-GOUS dog crate (each big enough to fit a small pony LOL). When Mr.181 say them he looked at me like I was crazy: "Are you nutts? He said. This is never gonna work. It will be too flimsy and collapse.". See, my idea was to take the two cage, remove the top of one, the bottom of the other and attach them together to create a cage twice a high. 

I shrugged off his lack of Faith (pun intended hehe) and just said: "Don't worry, it will work". So here we are at 9:30PM, both real tired cause we had a long day, a bit grouchy but working for his highness the pigeon :). By 11:30 we were done. And do I need to say that IT WORKED and very nicely at that hehehehehehe... The result? A huge cage, about 3 feet deep, 4 feet long and almost 6 feet high (of bird living space). Now THAT is worthy of Baby. Add to this a few natural perches of different sizes, his favorite shelf (where he likes sleeping), and as an extra sweet bonus: A SWING. Of course the person at the store looked at me kinda funny and said" Yu know, pigeon don't swing. Well, this one does LOL. Baby gave his new swing a test drive this morning. I had to place him on it, but once on he was there for a whole hour (until I took him out of his outdoor's cage to put him in his indoor cage for the (hot) day. He spent a good amount of time pecking at the toys attached to the swing (yeah, you guesses it it is a PARROT swing - once again no swing for pigeons, but parrots, well they had walls filled with toys and swings and perches and.... Psssssshhhhht!).

Well, you are in luck cause I took a minute to snap a few candid shots this morning of Baby's first swingin' times!

Baby's castle 008.jpg (166189 bytes)
his highness on his royal throne
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I liky!
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 hey! check out my new tail!
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 are you giving me the finger?
  Baby's castle 002.jpg (147467 bytes)
 is this eatable?
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 how about that?
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 "cause it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing!!!"

 

07/25/04 feeling better

Delivery guys came to deliver our new stove today and Baby did not want to let them near. It is very obvious to me now that he can tell me apart from anyone else. Even Mr. 181 is barely tolerated. Today Baby pecked him again. I think it is because Mr.181 approaches Baby with his finger but then fails to make immediate body contact. Baby sees the finger as a threat when it does not pet him and just stays there in front of his nose (are you threatening me?) LOL. After about 25 seconds he will charge and peck it hard to make it go away. I have noticed that if Mr.181 pets Baby then Baby will not peck him. So I think a lot has to do with how you approach the bird :). 

 

07/26/04 my new feathery hat :)

Baby has decided that my head makes a perfect pigeon landing strip. Of course, my scalp begs to differ. LOL. As if having a large bird land on your head was not bad enough, Baby then proceeds to slip off and frantically pedal to get back up on the top of your cranium. Makes for a good scalping LOL. If I have a couple of hair left in the end, I'll be in luck! 

 

07/28/04  Pigeon ordeal...

Baby is now 2 months old. Life is starting kinda tough for the little pigeon. First he falls out of his nest and off a 2 story high roof :(, then, barely 6 weeks later, gets a major bacterial infection inside his mouth. I gotta say this bird is darn lucky I found him! So my last log left it at Baby's cheek being still swollen, and having located an avian vet I decided to take the bird in ASAP. None of us who were researching this weird condition could find a precedent in this pigeon beak infection on the net, so we all came back empty handed (and quite puzzled). Not knowing what I was dealing with I opted to not take any chances and to bite the bullet with a large vet bill. (I think all my teeth did shatter when they gave me the tab >8[] ).

Baby has a cute carrier (made for cats but works GREAT for pigeons!), and he has been transported in it before and does not seem to mind it a bit. So off we went, the three of us, me, the pigeon and the cat carrier :). When the vet saw the pigeon she commented that he was not afraid at all and that she had never worked on a pigeon that was tamed before. This was to make her job hellish because Baby was not intimidated and unlike wild pigeon who usually are frozen in fear (thus giving the vet the advantage), this pigeon was rebellious and didn't want to hear about the vet catching him or prying his mouth open. It was quite a struggle. She had to wrap him tight in a towel and still he was doing 360 degree gyrations with his head (birds can do that ;P) and getting him to stop and open his mouth was not a walk in the park. But in the end, he had to give in and she showed me the inside of the mouth cavity and what looked at me as a hu-mon-gous abscess, filled with white puss covering the whole right side of his mouth. Yuk. I felt so sorry for my poor bird and glad that I came to the vet (note: I was a LOT less glad when they gave me the $135 bill AGHHHHHHHHHH).

So after a few tests it was determined that Baby has a bacterial mouth abscess. Lots and lots of nasty bacteria and where they all came from, I don't have a clue. Neither did the vet for that matter. She just said that a trauma to the area could have caused it (maybe when he fell from the nest?), or maybe a foreign object (any bug he might have grabbed could have done it) or ????

The vet had to clean the area and it was not a pretty picture. Baby's little mouth corner had partially disintegrated and was bleeding. Also his lower beak looked like it was no longer

So I was sent home with antibiotics and Bettadine (there had to be some betta in this story LOL) and was given strict orders to: "Wrap the bird in a towel twice a day, pry his mouth open, put the antibiotic directly on the top of his tongue (WHAT?) and then take a cue tip, dip it in Bettadine and clean the inside of his mouth making sure to get rid of any puss (YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING, RIGHT???)"

I think the vet was high on drugs or something!

But, whether I like it or not, I have been religiously going over this very grueling routine every morning and every evening. And let me tell you it is no walk in the park. I am starting to get better at it but by God this bird WILL HATE ME by the time this whole thing is over. I can only imagine how painful this infected gum must be and how he must perceive me as I pry his mouth open and proceed to dig into the wound with a huge (to him) foreign object. Yop. A sure way to win a popularity contest with Baby. :((

The good news are:

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all in all he seems to be taking it pretty well

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he usually shakes it off and goes right back to eating (???)

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I am getting better at this (I hope)

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his mouth is doing much better, too.

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vet said I can still use the dog ointment since it appears to really help, but only once a day.

I think we will beat this thing and one day we will look back and laugh/coo about it (but that day ain't TODAY). Meanwhile I took some shots last night to entertain you guys and give you a visual as to what him and I have to go through each time:

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Pigeon wrap 
(no mayo please)

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hole in lip corner closing and looking much better now

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NO! I don't want to swallow!

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after ointment is applied

 

07/29/04 curtain fall

This morning Baby, the 282 grams pigeon, managed somehow to take down an entire curtain divider system that separates my living room from my kitchen area. I was pleased :). (yeah, right!). Fortunately, the heavy curtain rod did not fall on his head and Mr. Pigeon is A-OK. Another interesting thing happening. Baby, who NEVER wanted to have ANYTHING to do with seeds is now eating them. This food diet change happened at the same time as the Tsui-Tsui change into Coooos. It appears that from 6 to 8 weeks, a lot of changes occur with baby pigeons. He is still VERY picky as to which seed he eats. I have mixed no less than 4 different types of foods for him, so he can pick and choose, and he will pick up seeds, pellets, etc in his beak and toss them right back out. Only a few select seeds make it in to his stomach (picky, picky, picky, just like his mommy :)  ).

Tonight Baby and I watched Jurassic Park together. He was on my lap and I found a sweet spot, rubbing his head right behind his eyes, near his neck. He melted. With his little eyes closed, he did not move an inch for the whole time I petted him (over 15 min?). So I conclude that pigeons like being massaged. Baby likes being massaged in the back of the head, and on the top of his back. 

 

07/30/04 feeling better

It's official, Baby and I have (almost) beaten that infection. He is much better and much more perky. As a matter a little TOO perky :). Baby is exploring his surroundings more and more, venturing from his allocated shelf and I am finding him EVERYWHERE now LOL. OK, so maybe not everywhere, but he is venturing into the living room, landing on my flowers, couch (AGHHHHH - there goes the purple velvet couch), floor. 

Meanwhile I have gotten pretty darn good at my daily pigeon wraps and administering the antibiotics, as well as the whole bettadyne cleaning of abscess thingie. This morning it took me only 146 minutes to complete that task (a great improvement compared to my previous record of 3977740000573480 minutes). LOLOL. No, but seriously, this morning it was like a breeze: wrap pigeon - open beak - squeeze meds - close beak - allow pigeon to swallow - reopen beak - cleanse with bettadyne - close beak - release pigeon  = 3 min!!! YEHHHHHHA! I feel like on these cowboys roping cows LOL. When I am done I raise both my arms up in the air hehe. 

 

08/05/04 YES! Baby is completely healed :))

Well, the bit of puss I could still see on the inside of Baby's mouth was actually not puss. It looked yellow so I assumed.. But it was a scab. So when I decided to be a bit more aggressive than usual this morning while cleaning the area with bettadyne, something weird happened. A big piece of "flesh" fell out down his throat (????). I reopened his mouth to take another look and much to my surprise, the inside of cheek was not pink and HEALTHY! Not a trace of the infection. I concluded that yellow "stuff" was just a scab that had finally fallen off and revealed the (now) healed tissues. To be on the safe side I checked again the next day but found that Baby was in deed 100% healed. I am glad I no longer have to put him through the ordeal of being wrapped and tortured ;) twice a day. Although he seemed to not be scared of being wrapped in the towel anymore, he did seem to become more and more of a grouch, running away from my hands now :(((. What a bummer. Can you blame him? I had, in 10 days, turned from a loving nurturing mother into a mean, torturing dentist... Agh. But my task is now done and Baby shall live :) (hopefully a long and happy pigeon life). Let us just hope he will find it (over time) in his birdie heart to forgive me...

 

08/07/04 pigeon luxury cruise?

This has to be the funniest thing Baby has done to date. He has converted me into a pigeon luxury cruise ship. We were all hanging out by/in the pool and Baby was checking out the water but not crazy enough to want to jump in (of course). As I was swimming with my head above surface, he decided my cranium would be a great boat, so he flew and landed on it, allowing me to take him on a great journey through this huge sea :) hehe. When Mr.181 saw that, he just about drowned from laughing! Baby did not seem scared of my moving around and of all the water surrounding him. He would have surely spent the rest of the day on his new yatch, had I not eventually dropped him off on the docks (before he dropped on my head LOL). Maybe I should charge him a fare, next time!

 

08/12/04 Man I'm goooOOOooooog !

Not only can I bag bettas faster than my shadow (hehehe) but now I can bag bettas while balancing a large pigeon on my head! I am seriously considering quitting my day job and joining the Circus :). Now if I only could get Baby to balance himself on one foot on top of my head, and if I could then have a betta jump up from his bowl and land on the tip of Baby's beak, and then balance himself in that position (all the while flaring), we just might be onto something... :)).

Then again, better hang on to that day job.

08/16/04 Free bird!

It's official, I now leave Baby's cage open all day while I am gone to work. She stays inside her cage or right around it. In the morning I lift up her cage cover and open the HUGE door and she comes flying out INSTANTLY. She then lends on the floor and starts doing her pigeon dance (LOL) and then walks around, pecking at anything and everything, eating the impatient's leaves (no, they are not poisonous to her). Invariably, she will then fly up to the top of her cage where she hangs out quite a bit. I leave for work and when I come home, there she is, running to the window, eager to come in the house. Once in, she proceeds to fly everywhere, get into everything and generally speaking, to be a real pain ;). 

Ironically, Baby does not seem to wander off far into the garden. She stays right under the covered patio area where her cage is. Well, at least for now. Surprisingly I have not noticed her expending her horizon OUTSIDE, while inside she definitely IS :(... At night I lock her inside her luxury condo cage :), mostly for her own safety, for we have many critters around the neighborhood, such as raccoons, rats, rabbits, coyotes, cats, and snakes. She usually sleeps either on her top shelf or on her swing, on one foot and with one eye open LOL (or so it would seem, for I yet have to catch this bird sleeping deeply like my canaries did).

 

08/20/04 YIKES!

Warning: pigeon nails in mirror may appear longer than they are... LOL. Well, baby's little nails are feeling more and more like "Alien" 's claws and she nearly scalps me every time she lands on my head. I figured, OK time to get a nail trim. I trimmed her nails once before when she was about 6 weeks sold. I also used to trim the nails of all my canaries and other misc birds I have had in the past, so no biggie, right?

WRONG!

I wrap Baby in the towel and get the nail clipper and (I swear to God) snipped just the very very tip of the nail (yep, I KNOW that a vein runs inside the nail so I am EXTRA careful) and Baby looked at me like "I DON'T THINK SO!" . Crawls out of the towel in 0.1 second and runs away, leaving a trail of blood behind. And I'm like" OH MY GOD I KILLED MY BIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". 16543764975634 "I'm sorry Baby" later and about 2.3 gal of blood, I came to the sudden realization that when it comes to pigeons I know didlee squat. How so much blood could come out of the very very tip of a nail that appeared to be too long (overgrown) beats the heck out of me. How can the vein run so close to the end? And since the nails are jet black how the heck am I supposed to see where the vein ends? Lesson learned though: From now on I may need to clip even less, just to take the needle point edge off and no more. 

OK, don't freak, Baby is A-OK. She stopped bleeding after about 5 min and in reality she only lost like 10 big drops of blood but still, it made me feel real bad... Which brings me to my next topic:

Baby holds grudges!

They say elephant never forget. You know why? Cause PIGEONS ARE THERE TO REMIND THEM!! hahahahaha! 
I cannot believe how quickly a pigeon get pissed off at you when you mess up and how it affects its general behavior towards you. I noticed it 3 times:
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when I clipped baby's flight feathers. She was never as eager to fly onto my hand ever again after that. Granted this completely painless and easy procedure was a necessary evil, so that she would not fly outside of the garden and get killed by a car, cat, dog, person, hawk etc etc... But she thought otherwise.

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when I had to treat her mouth infection. The daily treatment (see above photos) basically killed my popularity ratings right there and then. From then on Baby started running away from my hands when she is walking on the floor and I reach out. Ironically she will then later come to me and land on my head or shoulder or even come to give me a gentle peck. But if I try to catch her she is like "Ah no no no no, I don't think so!". She figures I am going to catch her to turn her into a pigeon wrap again and stick bettadyne in her mouth (can you blame her for hating me?) (SIGH). 

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when I clipped her nails last night. She outright went into killer bird attack mode when I approached her after the incident to get her on my hand to carry her outside back to her garden. Boy was she PISSED! And her biting was quite aggressive (AOUTCH!) and hurt quite a bit. 

:(( where is my sweet baby bird? Well, I try not to hold it against her too much, although she is becoming quite a handful. If you stick your hand in her cage to change her water/seeds etc, you will come back with a stub LOL. She is VERY territorial. But at other time, once outside her cage, she is friendly and pretty sweet... Generally speaking I am noticing a tendency to become more wild and aggressive and less and less trusting though. Having said that she will let me caress her body, head, back when she is outside of her cage and does not feel threatened. She still follows me around and can't wait to sneak inside the house :). When I lay on the hammock, she stays on my leg the whole time. OK, I guess that puts it back into perspective. I guess I still have a great BUDDY BIRD after all :).

 

08/22/04 Pecky, pecky! Ooops, I meant "Picky, picky" LOLOLOL

Baby sure is picky. Of all the seeds offered she eats only ONE (Nops, I do not know the name of that seed yet). On occasion she will eat a second type, I guess once she runs completely out of her favorite seed. Picky, picky with food... I guess she takes after her mommy ;).

 

08/23/04 Weird bird (pun intended hehe)

Baby is a weird bird. I am learning more and more each day and trying to find the behavior pattern thread. Here are a few observations:

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when in familiar territories: Baby is very territorial and generally speaking prefers to not be touched, messed with. She tends to run away and in order to pet her I have to approach very carefully. She will defend her food plate (located inside her cage on her favorite shelf) with a vengeance. Usually a first warning cry will be granted (loud cooooo) and body language clearly indicates BACK OFF (neck feathers puffed out, pigeon doing pirouettes on the spot while bowing). If you persist, baby goes straight into attack mode and seems to have perfected the art of ripping flesh off human bones LOL. She will not just peck. Oh no....  She actually masterfully gets a hold of your most sensitive skin and then in a swift rotating motion, proceed to TWIST AND TWIST and rip big chunks off. LOL OK, so maybe she does not rips your skin off, but believe me, had she been any bigger, she WOULD. She also quickly has figured out where the skin is most delicate and easiest to take a hold of (between fingers, etc...) and most people would back off pretty quick. Of course I am NOT most people :). 

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when in unfamiliar territories: Baby is very docile and clings to me and wants to be near me and will accept being petted for long period of times (go figure). Her and I will hang out on the hammock and she will stay on my leg the whole time. She then becomes gentle, pecking (kissing) my hand in the most gentle way, playing with my nails and it is amazing to see how tender her "touch" can be then. It is a completely different bird. 

Meanwhile I am implementing a new training to attempt to eradicate the aggressive flesh tearing behavior. Having tried a few approach (all failed) I am now experimenting with a new one (successful with dogs and boyfriends LOL, so why not birds?). Past approaches have been:

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Not reacting to her attack. She attacks all the same. Did not work.

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trying to be sweet back. She is just as mean. Did not work.

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Retaliating: Including pecking her back with my finger. She became even more mad LOL. Or pushing her away: Did not work either.

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NEW CURRENT METHOD: A spray bottle. Each time she attacks my hand I spray her. So far it seems to yield some results: She always gets surprised and immediately backs off for a few (short) seconds, then will come back and attack again. Gets sprayed again. And it goes on and on. Well, after about 3 to 5 rounds, she backs off permanently. This is a first. So I will experiment with this method some more to see if it will gradually discourage her attacks for good (dream on! LOL). I'll let you know.

for more blogging about Baby  see: blog - page 2

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