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Wood pigeon question

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Old Thursday 9th May 2019, 10:24   #1
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Wood pigeon question

Hi all, new member here, not sure if this is the right place to post this, and I may be asking a completely ridiculous question, but here goes. I've been living in my house in the UK for five years, and over time, this one Woodpigeon has become very attached to us. He not only acts tame (let's us near him, sits outside windows, sometimes comes when we call him), but also several times a day, he'll come and stand in front of our glass door, fixedly staring in at us until we come out and feed him peanuts. (Yes, he also eats seed that other birds spill from the feeders, but he prefers us to give him peanuts.) Anyway, he's practically a pet. Now for the question/problem. We've just learned that we can't extend the lease on our house and we have to move. Fact is, my entire family is devastated about leaving our Woodpigeon. Silly, perhaps, but that's how we feel. Anyway, my question is: Is there any way to train a wild Woodpigeon to "move house."? We'd love it if he could somehow start coming to the garden of our new house, but personally I can't see any way of doing it, which is why I said this is probably a ridiculous question. But I figured I might as well ask it. Thanks everyone!
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Old Thursday 9th May 2019, 10:55   #2
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How far will you be moving? If it's a tiny distance, then training it to move a short distance each day ought to be possible.......
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Old Thursday 9th May 2019, 12:26   #3
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If the new house is nearby, then probably not a problem, as it will find you if you continue to throw food out.

OTOH: A few things to consider... none are questions you can answer really, just things to think about:
  • Where you live now, including the local area, seems to be a safe place for the bird (lack of Cats, Hawks, etc)... will the same be true for your new place?
  • The bird obviously has a safe place to roost nearby... will the same be true if the bird is encouraged to travel further afield?
  • I doubt the bird feeds exclusively on what you provide, so there's other sources of food in the locality (bushes etc)... will the same be true in your new area?
  • The bird could be raising young when you're forced to move... what will happen to the young if you somehow manage to encourage the bird to follow you?
  • It's a wild bird, although it might be tempting for your family... would it be happy living life as a pet without contact with it's mate or others of it's species? (just in case you was considering catching and caging it)

There are many more things to consider, but as a rule, good intentions do not guarantee a good outcome - especially when decisions are based on sentiment. I am guilty of being unduly influenced by sentiment at times (I often bring in sick/injured birds, many are too ill to survive - but I don't want the local Cats to play with them - however, I might have deprived a starving Sparrowhawk of a meal).

It's never as straightforward as you think it is, so please try to consider carefully what's best for all, including the bird and any mate or young that might depend on it, and may not be willing or able to follow it, should you successfully lure it away,.
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Old Thursday 9th May 2019, 16:12   #4
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Thank you both for replying. I'm not sure how far we'll be moving as of yet, but we're hoping to stay very close by.
I'm definitely not planning on anything extreme like caging him, I wouldn't want to do that to him. We won't move until September so it's unlikely that he'll have any young around, and as I mentioned, we should be staying pretty close by so it'll hopefully still be in his territory or 'comfort area.'
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Old Thursday 9th May 2019, 16:18   #5
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It might be better for him if you could try and 'wean' him off you a bit ... hard as that might be for you.

Be aware that Wood Pigeons breed virtually every month of the year, if the weather is reasonable.

May I give you a warm welcome from all the Staff and Moderators.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news - please let us know how you get on.
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Old Thursday 9th May 2019, 17:58   #6
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I will second that Delia, better to stop feeding it now so it looks elsewhere for an easy meal. Certainly wont starve this time of year.

Now, how do I discourage the several Rooks, pair of Pigeons, Starlings by the dozen and Jackdaws and Collared doves which are stripping my feeders as fast as I can fill them :)

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