Many pigeon rescuers have become so enchanted with their rescues that they have kept them as cherished pets. Each rescuer could tell you something that illustrates how intelligent, humorous and special a pigeon is! Be aware, however, that pigeons are very individual – some will ‘adopt’ a human readily, some will always retain their wariness and never be truly tame. This is particularly so with birds who were already adults when rescued.
In some cases, where pigeons have been raised by someone from a tiny baby – generally in isolation from others of their kind – they grow to consider ‘their’ human as a mate and may not be able to readily integrate with other pigeons.
‘Special Needs’ Pigeons
Some rescues are, quite obviously, not releasable. Birds which have lost their flying ability for whatever reason are prime candidates for a permanent, safe home. Others which may be less obvious examples:
Pigeons that have recovered from PMV, in the sense that they are no longer disseminating the virus, are usually considered non-releasable due to the potential for recurring neurological problems.
Pigeons in captivity
We believe that wherever feasible, pigeons which may be unreleasable due to disability should, nonetheless, be kept with other pigeons and have the opportunity to live as normal a life as possible in captivity.