FAQS - Pigeons and Doves

I have found a racing pigeon

Racing pigeons should be collected by their owner. Please bring the bird to us, and we will contact the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, who will contact the owner.

There is a pigeon caught in netting under a railway bridge / on a building site

Unfortunately we cannot rescue birds that are caught in netting on private property. The landlord (or British Rail) must be contacted to make arrangements to free the birds.  If no action is taken then the RSPCA should be informed, as they have stronger powers to pursue such cases.

I have a pigeon in my garden which cannot fly

If a pigeon becomes ill, it will become very weak, and will be unable to take off.  Please place the pigeon in a ventilated box and bring it to The Wildlife Aid Foundation so we can take care of it.

I have seen a pigeon with a crooked beak / damaged wing / deformed foot

Can the pigeon still fly? If so there’s very little we can do unless it can be caught somehow. If you are able to catch the bird then please place it in a ventilated box and bring it to The Wildlife Aid Foundation.

I have hit a pigeon with my car

If the bird is injured, please bring the pigeon to us for treatment as soon as possible.  If the only damage is shock and the bird seems to be mainly intact, without too many lost feathers, it is best to place it in a dark, ventilated box for at least a couple of hours, to get over the shock.  After 2‐3 hours, try opening the box in the garden and see if it will fly off. If it isn’t ready to fly off then try another hour of rest and offer it water in a small pot. If it still doesn’t fly, please bring it to The Wildlife Aid Foundation for treatment and feeding.

A pigeon has fallen down my chimney

Firstly, is there a fire at the bottom of the chimney?  If there is a gas fire, then unfortunately we cannot attend until the fire has been disconnected by an authorised person. If you are able to clear the fireplace then you should leave the room dark and quiet for a couple of hours to see if the bird makes its way out of its own accord. If it is still stuck after this then please contact The Wildlife Aid Foundation and we will try and come out to rescue the bird.

I have found a pigeon/dove whose head keeps falling backwards, and he’s walking round in circles

This could be due to any number of reasons, including bacterial infection, or more seriously a virus called paramyxovirus. Whatever the cause, we need to see the bird as soon as possible, to give him the best chance we can to survive.

If the cause is bacterial we can cure him if we treat him quickly.  If it is viral, it is contagious to other birds and there is no cure, he will not be able to eat properly and will probably die either from starvation or from a predator getting him while he can’t fly.

If the cause is bacterial we can cure him if we treat him quickly.  If it is viral, it is contagious to other birds and there is no cure, he will not be able to eat properly and will probably die either from starvation or from a predator getting him while he can’t fly. We recommend that you bring the bird in to us or your closest wildlife hospital for diagnosis and possible treatment. We also recommend that you clean your bird tables and bird water areas with disinfectant and rinse before re-use to help prevent other birds possibly catching it.

Some useful telephone numbers:

Royal Pigeon Racing Association : 01452 713529
National Pigeon Association : 01458 851617