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Name: Alyssa
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Question:
Ok, a couple of ridiculously stupid questions pertaining to a Pigeon that I rescued and raised. She was about 6 weeks old when I got her (lost, emaciated, unable to fly) and I nursed her back to health. She's two years old now and has been raised and cared for like a normal house pet. My dilemma is that I've been wanting to let her fly around outside for a while now but am extremely hesitant because of the condition she was found in. She *is* bonded to me and she does have a nest in the corner of her cage but I don't know if she'd be able to find her way back home if she were to get lost. Is it just homing pigeons that are freakishly amazing navigators or is that a trait all pigeons share? The second thing I wanted to ask is that every time the bird is out of her cage, she clings to me obsessively. I can't even move from my computer chair to my closet (6 feet away) without her flying after me. Is it normal for pigeons to be that obsessively clingy or is it just a personality quirk of my bird's?


Replies:
Your pigeon has imprinted on you! It now thinks that you are also a pigeon, a member of its flock. I am not sure how the pigeon will react to flying outside. It could just stay with you or it could fly away and never return! Pigeons in the wild tend to stay close to others of their kind, even huddling together!

Grace Fields


Alyssa,

This is largest problem with raising wild birds. If they imprint on you, their life in the wild is most likely impossible. Imprinted birds often do not know that they are a bird if a human is the source of their imprinting. They will view humans as one of them and this usually leads to their demise.

Steve Sample


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