Pigeons can be found all over the country. Some are kept as pets in captivity, while others are feral. Large populations of pigeons in big cities are sometimes viewed as nuisances. However, the reason there are so many pigeons in big cities is because they are routinely fed by humans. Higher pigeon populations mean they are more likely to be hit by cars or injured by people. Caring for an injured adult pigeon is easy if you know how.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 2 soft towels
- Basket or box
- Drinking straw
- 2 small dishes
First make sure the pigeon is injured or sick. A bird with an injury usually stays low to the ground. Pigeons fly to roost at dusk. If you see a pigeon on the ground at dusk, usually hiding under a bush or in a low area, it is safe to assume it may be injured. Look for limping, a droopy wing or wounds on the head.
Create a safe, comfortable place to hold the pigeon. A good home is a small basket or box. Put holes in the box if it is enclosed. Keep the box away from any other pets, such as cats and dogs. Put a soft towel or blanket in the bottom of the box.
Capture the pigeon. Attract the injured pigeon with bird seed or peanuts. Throw a soft towel over the pigeon from behind. Carefully pick it up with the towel. Put the pigeon in the box.
Assess the pigeon's injuries. Look for any obvious wounds. If the pigeon's droppings are green and watery, the bird is most likely sick or diseased.
If the bird's leg is fractured, set it if you can. Carefully straighten the pigeon's leg. Wrap a small, short length of gauze around the top of the pigeon's leg where the leg and feathers meet. Secure the gauze with a small piece of tape. Cut a drinking straw that is just a bit shorter than the pigeon's leg. Cut a slit down the side of the cut straw. Slide the straw onto the pigeon's leg. The top of the straw should lie over the gauze so it does not rub against the bird. Place a strip of adhesive cloth around the straw to hold it in place. Secure the cloth. Leave the straw and adhesive in place for up to 3 weeks before releasing the bird.
If the bird has a fractured wing, wrap it if you can. Carefully move the wing to the bird's side, in its correct location. Wrap a small bandage around the bird, over the injured wing and under the uninjured wing. Wrap the bandage around the bird twice, in a cross pattern. Secure the wrap. Leave the wrap in place for up to 4 weeks before releasing the bird.
Give the pigeon adequate food and water. Purchase mixed corn or bird seed from your local pet store and offer the food in a small dish. Pigeons will also need clean, fresh water they can drink from a small dish.
Tips and warnings
- Always take a sick, diseased or seriously injured pigeon to a veterinarian.
- Always practice good hygiene around sick animals.
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