Rock Dove

Hi my name is Tracy and I recently much to my sadness have been prevented from feeding my little garden visitors, especially the pigeons, which I'm most fond of and little Hamish my garden squirrel. I received amazing support from the community at RSPB and I just want to say a huge thank you for your kindness and understanding. I'm a severely disabled lady in a wheelchair permanently now and I rarely have the strength to do anything. Feeding the little beggars was a little bit of joy for a time, and they are amazing creatures. I learned so much about them and laughed so much at their antics, especially the pigeons and little Hamish. It has broken my heart and was highly distressing for both myself and the pigeons when I was forced by my neighbours to remove the feeders. The pigeons in particular went crazy! They knew me and for more than a week I was unable to open the curtains because they were battering up at the window and they were worse if they spied me! I cannot describe how painful and distressing this has been. I'm an animal lover who dotes on animals and birds and because of my illness and disability I am not able to care for a pet anymore so yes, feeding birds was the closest thing. The neighbours say I'm allowed to feed the small birds and have only one feeder but not pigeons because they are filthy vermin and spread disease. They do the toilet on people's washing so I am not allowed to scatter any food. I have removed everything yesterday because it is too upsetting for me. Those pigeons know me. They recognise me as I'm kind to them and feed them normally. There are still a few who rush to my garden if I go and sit on my porch with the back door open. They know my voice. One of them this evening was right up at me, I so desperately wanted to feed it, it was trying to get in, it was funny, because I was talking gently to it and reaching out my hand to it. It's very cheeky! It gave my finger a few pecks! It was very funny! Haha poor thing I think it thought I had something tasty. I so wish people would get their facts straight about these beautiful fascinating birds and how highly intelligent they are! However, I have no choice but to respect my neighbours. I'm new here and I don't know anyone. It's a difficult situation. I'm aware that people are picking on me because I'm a little different from them. And I had this confirmed to me by someone. But sadly there is nothing I can do. It's bullying. So cheeky little pigeon kept trying to get into my porch and it's such a sweet bird! I did notice there is one of them that has rings on both legs. I want to ask you as a community, is it possible someone has lost a racing pigeon? One of the rings was black and the one on the other leg I think was green or blue, I'm not 100% sure, is there a way of finding the owner of the bird? I wish I could feed it, but sadly I'm not allowed. Please help me by suggesting ways I can help. I really appreciate your help and kindness as a community, it means a lot to me. Thank you so much, because things are so tough right now. 

  • So sorry to hear the bad news Tracy of having neighbours who objected to your feeding of pigeons ... I experienced something similar a few years back & had to re-arrange feeders to exclude Wood Pigeon pair that neighbours couldn't tolerate!
    I only have two hanging feeders now with suet pellets & sunflower hearts & a daily horde of Sparrows, half a dozen Starlings with lots of youngsters, Blackbird pair with young & several hedge sparrows, one or two others infrequently but a lovely resident Robin!
    Please do put up the feeder you are allowed as I'm sure the little visitors will bring you joy to help you get over not being able to feed pigeons! I had an ex-racing pigeon roosting on chalk cliff opposite my house for several weeks but he never came to feed in garden! Your one may well be just resting up & will return of it's own accord but may elect to live free ... plenty of natural food available for it to find! Best thing to have also is fresh water daily for all birds if you can manage to provide it!
    Btw, is Hamish still around?


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Thank you so much Wendy for your lovely kind words. You have warmed my heart. So lovely to hear from you and to hear of your own lovely little visitors. You asked about wee Hamish, well he spied me watching him through the glass porch the other day drinking my coffee and came running right up to the glass looking in! This is the closest he has ever been! Oh my gosh he is so stinking cute!!!!! That little face and beautiful eyes! Tiny little hands, oh my. Sadly one of my neighbours, she is mad at me feeding him too and has said I've not to feed him because he's burying peanuts in her garden. There's nothing I can do, I am heart broken. Also my neighbour opposite has been upset for ages and kept telling me that the birds no longer go to his feeder. I felt under enormous pressure and mounting guilt. He is very ill right now. I just feel its better for me and everyone else that I let it go and stop feeding anything. I have no choice but to show respect for my neighbours. I know that they are not keen on me because I am different from them. I don't think of myself as better than them. Just different. I feel awkward. They scare me a lot. But I would rather live at peace with them. It's difficult, because I am new and alone. I'm quiet and shy. I don't drink alcohol or smoke. I love music and art, animals and nature. I'm also a Christian. Yet I'm just me. I certainly don't look down on anyone. We're all different and unique and I think that is a good thing. We all have special qualities and gifts. I can't understand why people hate pigeons or the grey squirrels. They are beautiful creatures and to be admired. I particularly love pigeons. I have been reading a lot about them and I'm really fascinated by these incredible birds. I love reading your own story about your birds. I will be fine and so will they. And that poor man will have his birds back. They were flocking to my feeders because I was putting out sunflower hearts and suet same as yourself. I was attracting lots of finches, and beautiful little bright green birds, I honestly don't know what they are called. They were constantly there feeding. Perhaps you might know what type of bird they are. I think that they may be siskins. They are not easily scared like others and sat peacefully on the feeders together eating sunflower hearts. I loved the cracking noise of them eating. The pigeons always cleaned up after them. The pigeons got their food first thing on the grass. They got a cheaper general seed mix and they gobbled it up. The rest of the day they were great little cleaners! The whole garden was in harmony in terms of the birds and three squirrels. Because each had its own food and so there was no squirrels raiding feeders and every bird great and small got its share. The starlings squabble and they preferred the suet which worked out perfectly. It kept them separate from the smaller birds and prevented bullying. I had a pole feeder with 4 feeders. 2 feeder with sunflower hearts and two with suet. The seed for the pigeons or rock doves got scattered first light to make sure they ate up everything. The squirrels had their own little feeder up on the fence. So it was a hive of activity at various times of the day. Mostly first thing, lunchtime and the end of the day. I looked forward to seeing them all. I loved to sit and watch from my window and porch. It was so lovely to see and peaceful. I learned a lot. It is heart breaking but I can't continue anymore. Hamish was hanging from the roof of the porch eating all the food when I had decided to keep one feeder. And the pigeons had also figured out how to flap up and spill the seeds out of it so they could eat. I ended up with an empty feeder each day. I found it too upsetting. I couldn't bear to frighten them away, I would never do that. Though I did gently tap the glass when wee Hamish was eating from it. Poor boy. I felt awful. At least my neighbours will be happy and I need to try and get better. I'm very sick right now and barely able to get out of bed now. I'm incredibly weak and exhausted physically and mentally. I think it gave me a wee boost for a while but it can't continue. I need to just rest up in bed. Hopefully soon I will be well enough to sit up and do my art again. Thank you so much for your support Wendy, bless you and peace to you and all the community. You have been amazing!
  • I just happened to find your post, TRACY, while I was checking in the "About" category for forum tech info, and there you were, describing your sad predicament.

    I'm very sorry that you are so unwell and hope you'll recover at least enough to do your art, which would be such a comfort to you.

    We used to have bird feeders in the garden of the building my flat is in, but we got invaded by feral pigeons which congregated on the roof and on sills and pooed everywhere (as well as preventing small birds from getting at the feeders), so we had to remove the feeders altogether. I still feel terrible about it but the mess on this Victorian house was appalling.

    Also, a Wood Pigeon couple used to nest in a Leylandii in a neighbour's garden* backing onto ours, but one went missing and the other has never found a new mate. I can't imagine how anyone could object to them :(

    *The same neighbour planted a Eucalyptus which grew to the sky in no time. I bet it was to stop me looking down into their back garden from my high-up perch ;)

    All the very best to you, Tracy :-*

    Tiger's Osprey Info & World Bird Cams

  • Hello again Tracy, sorry to hear that you are still struggling with not being able to feed the birds and wee Hamish. As Wendy has said, could you at least put out a bird bath, that way you will still be able to watch them, as they will use it. It does not need to be anything fancy, just a container of any sort, an old shallow biscuit tin, a dish, bowl, or even a saucer that you would put under a plant pot, maybe around 12 inches.

    The wee green birds you saw could well have been Siskins, we have them and they are so friendly, they will swing form the feeders, and look at you now and again, you can get quite close to them, and you can hear them going see, see, see!

    You obviously have access to the Internet, maybe you could find some animal/bird YouTube clips/videos and enjoy those, not the same as seeing the birds in the feather, so to speak but I am sure you would enjoy them.

    As you say it is better to get on with the neighbour's, even although it means having to give up things that you like. We can all live in harmony then.

    Take care, all the best CL

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to scylla:

    Thanks so much for your reply. Such a shame about the pigeons. I didn't have any problems initially with them but my neighbours don't like them. I love the pigeons more than any of the birds, because they are so much fun, they quickly form a bond. They didn't make a mess here. Sadly they have a bad reputation. I did some online research about pigeons, and they are actually doves. They are Rock Doves. I am saddened to read the truth about why they have been hated and given such bad press. They were even used during the war to deliver messages. They have been trained to lead rescue teams by spotting someone lost at sea, they are trained to recognise the life jackets by the colour. They are highly intelligent, both Doves and crows as well as parrots are tops when it comes to intelligence. Another amazing thing about these Doves is that they can learn to recognise every letter of the alphabet. They have been awarded medals! I only read these things the other night because I wanted to know why people hate them and if there is any truth in what people say about them being dangerous and dirty and full of disease. The opposite is true. They are renowned for pooping though, its a bit unfortunate, but I urge anyone to read about these amazing birds and I intend to find out more. I see them as beautiful. I love their colours and their expressive orange eyes. They are very soft and gentle. I love the gentle cooing noise and I find it very relaxing. I couldn't sleep tonight. However I'm on the mend. Such a shame about the dove you mentioned that went missing. It is difficult to understand people. But then there are things my neighbours do that I struggle with. But I tend to think well, everybody is different, and I just chose to live peacefully. I'm just resting up most of the time. I do enjoy watching YouTube videos about animals and birds. And I have various different interests. There is a park near me that is a popular place for people to enjoy and there are lots of ducks and their young. Of course you are not allowed to feed them, but they come right up close. It's beautiful and there is lots to see. A beautiful Loch and the trees are gorgeous. I hope for some sunny weather so I can take my easel and do some painting. They have picnic tables and benches set out. It's free. And it does have a cafe. I must try and sleep now. I plan to make a large pot of chilli con carne today, the mince I purchased over the counter yesterday, I discovered that the use by date was today! So I will take it back and get it replaced. I forgot to buy bulbs of garlic anyway so it works out OK. So yes, I will look forward to that lol. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your own thoughts and story. I love reading other people's experiences. I find it great.
  • In reply to Catlady:

    Hi CL, yes it's been pretty tough few weeks, but I'm OK and on the mend. I have a lot going on in my personal life, and that's why it hit me so hard. But I'm recovering well with plenty of bed rest and just chilling out. I enjoy cooking when I am able, and plan to make a huge pot of chilli later today. I couldn't sleep so it's the early hours of the morning. Yes, I do enjoy watching animals and birds on YouTube and also various other t things too. I still do my art work, but I have been very weak and so have needed to stay in bed most of the time. However it will pay off. So you reckon I had siskins visiting? They are very sweet little birds and very tame. They watched me through the the glass of my porch right next to me. They were quite happy eating away cracking the sunflower hearts in their beaks. Bright green with black stripes near the end of their wings and a little black spot on the head. The others I think are either female or a younger siskin are brownish in colour. They came in a small flock and they each took their turn and waited patiently up on the top of the feeding station while the others were on the feeders eating. They all seemed to be at peace with each other and didn't fight. Same thing happened with the pigeons. Because I used to put their mixed seed on the ground they ate away peacefully along with each other. The starlings squabbled and were noisy. I learned a lot about them. They are greedy and initially I was annoyed because they would empty the feeders every day and bully the little birds away. But I discovered the solution was to put out plenty of suet and it was a success! They still squabbled but only over the suet feeders and didn't bother with the other ones. And because the suet was cheap it worked out great. I grew to really love the starlings. I began to look forward to seeing them each day. I used to laugh at the pecking and long pointy beaks and fighting even in mid air. The other birds simply ignored them. A fascinating thing I didn't know about starlings. They mimic other bird songs and calls. I read it on Google I think, and it is true! I am still amazed at this. Funny you were saying about a bird bath. It had crossed my mind and was going to buy a very small cat litter tray and put a rock or branch in it with some water and see if the birds like it, especially on a hot day. I might give it a try x