Few creatures have suffered the indignities of man’s fickleness as pigeons have. I mean creatures with whom we share our everyday lives, in urban and suburban spaces. Yes, the cat has been patient with our love hate relationship with her, but think of that one creature to which we attach all sorts of “alternative facts”. Facts like “they carry so many diseases”, “they are rats with wings.” And then proceed to ignore them even when they are all around us in our cities, under our overpasses and perched on our powerlines. But perhaps the worst of all indignities is that they do not fall under a protected species (most birds do- therefore it is prohibited to harbor them, harm them, try to poison them, and when rescued, can’t be killed). I work in the environmental department at a large power plant. One day a squab was brought to my office. My first call was to our nearby bird sanctuary. They wanted nothing to do with it and even recommended I take it to a vet to be euthanized. I then went online to the Michigan DNR. I called rehabilitator after rehabilitator and none would take my calls. In years past, finding a rehabilitator willing to take a stray merganser was not trouble, but now, here was this tiny baby pigeon looking up at me expectantly- me who had never owned a bird in her life and knew nothing about the care of one, much less a baby. That’s when my desperate searches led me to Palomacy. Their organization is so well structured and rich with information that within minutes I had found a forum and videos which walked me step by step from what and how to feed a squab to how to house it. I did this fully expecting baby to be dead every morning. But this little one was a patient teacher, and the information from Palomacy and their linked forums provided me with support and knowledge needed to do things right. One rescue became seven, four being successful releases, one having found a forever home, and I kept three for company. All through this I perused Palomacy’s pages, blogs and instructions. I looked for a foster home through their site, even if by the time I found a couple of places in Chicago who would take this little pigeon in I had decided to keep my little charge. I think there was no avoiding falling in love with my little rescue. But I know that Palomacy had a lot to do with fully opening my eyes to what lovely creatures pigeons and doves are and how much work there is to do just to get them viewed favorably by most. I donate regularly to a few charities, but few have a webpage with this level of information. It provides videos: fun and educational, blogs: personal and informative, and many links. They are tireless educators, always reaching out to the community. But what I love is that they let the community help as well, teaching each other and sharing best practices. Some organizations can veer into an attitude that only they know what’s best. Palomacy seems to exude that same open tender love much like pigeons do. Any organization that is helping and open and eager to hear from you is an organization that is going to last long and go far. I now take every opportunity I have not just to talk about my pigeons in hopes of opening more eyes and hearts to them but also about Palomacy and the work they are doing. For example, their calendar contest was a fantastic idea and incentive to get us to spread the word and be part of their community by becoming essential in fund raising. It was so rewarding to see my friends and family donating to Palomacy, as I am sure it was for Palomacy.
Lois & Alice
I have never been a bird person. Period. When I was a newly-wed a hundred years ago, my then husband brought home a Quaker parrot. It was a hate/hate relationship that lasted about two months before I insisted it be brought back to where it came from. Never understood how anyone could have these flighty, pecky, noisy, messy, and destructive little creatures in their homes. And I’m talking about birds not men. Although……..
A few decades later, I currently have two indoor rescue pigeons that I would fall on a sword for. And it happened quickly. Almost like there was plan in place to shake me out of my coma-like existence when it came to pets.
A little over a year ago, I was very content with my two pedigree elderly Ragdoll cats. Enter Janice, a co-worker at a newspaper office I worked at in Malibu. Under “bunny-hugger”, there is a photo of Janice. She only worked at the paper a few hours a week and sweetly asked if I would mind assisting in the care of a “white dove” she found. She had received approval from the owner of the paper to keep this “dove” at our work place. She made it sound fun! We could have a contest at work coming up with a name! Keep it in the accounting department and listen to it coo softly all day! On and on and on.
Janice had found Lois Lane (contest winner name) stranded and unable to fly in an area of Malibu that is very tranquil and apparently, a perfect place for celebrations and dove releases. She gathered up the “dove” and took it immediately to the wildlife center where they promptly put it in with some chickens. This niggled at Janice for several days and after gaining approval to keep the bird at work, she re-rescued Lois (for which the Center hilariously charged her) and brought her into the office.
In short order, I realized Janice nor I knew very little about the care and feeding of this bird. We had a cage, some seeds and water and this pretty little bird that didn’t so much as make a peep. I’m not certain when I came across Palomacy, but I’m almost sure it was on that first day. I was totally panicked. Elizabeth was the first and ONLY person to return my frantic calls.
Elizabeth calmly told me what to do and after describing what the bird looked like, burst my bubble by informing me that what we had was a pigeon. A “homer” at that. I fought that tooth and nail. I did not want a mere pigeon, I wanted a sweet-cooing dove. The Peace & Love and married for life kind of dove. It took me weeks and tons of research to realize yes, Lois is a homer. Not even a King. A homer. Dumb name. As in “Homer Simpson”. I didn’t realize that homer meant HOMING PIGEON.
Poor Elizabeth was then my new best friend and I called frequently. Everything made me a nervous wreck. Was the cage big enough? How much should we feed her? Doesn’t she need another pigeon friend? Is it acceptable to leave her ALL ALONE ON WEEKENDS???? It didn’t help that Lois was going through a soft molt.
This went on for a few months and during that time Lois really was the calmest, quietest bird. So bomb-proof. We moved her cage around the office several times to find better locations, were constantly buying new and improved cage stuff (dishes, toys, mirrors and nesting thingys) and just futzing in general with her environment.
In my on-going research and constant conversations with Elizabeth, I determined that Lois needed to spend time outside in the sunshine and fresh air. Lois just seemed so complacent; not unhappy but resigned. I was very twitter-pated about this. So, I purchased an Easy Up. Which is basically a big enclosed play pen for camping. Not predator proof AT ALL but we made do. Lois now got to go outside every day. I was happy. For a few weeks.
It’s hard to believe but we rarely if at all touched this bird. We would move her cage from the office to the easy up outside, open the cage door, put a large bowl of water for her to bath in and then take her back in at the end of the day. Janice and I were pushing hard to rescue another pigeon friend for her as she was left alone so much – especially on the weekends. We were met with a lot of resistance from the staff. We literally did not have the room in the office for a larger cage and building an outdoor aviary was not going to happen as it took tons of begging and cajoling to even erect the Easy-up outside our office space.
Around this time, I decided to finally move closer to my children in Tehachapi CA. A small mountain community 175 miles north of Malibu. As I was giving notice, I burst into tears and emphatically stated “AND I’M TAKING LOIS WITH ME”!!! Like a 5-year-old. I still can’t believe those words came out of my mouth. I was met with no resistance – more like, THANK GOD. Can we help you pack up and put the bird in the car for you? Humph!
Very quickly I moved and installed Lois in my home where she has a Rolls Royce of a cage that she resides in only at bedtime, poops on organic bird cage paper and can fly up to specifically installed corner perches in my office/indoor aviary all day and every day.
Now it was time adopt her a buddy! With the assistance, once again of Elizabeth, I adopted sweet, sweet Alice from Palomacy. Yes, another female homing pigeon. Suffice it to say, there was a brief period of time where I was convinced Lois was a male – even renamed her Lincoln. Unfortunately, that brief period of time coincided at the exact same time I was adopting Alice. Hence, the two females. It’s not perfect but we make it work. I’m the official mate of both these girls.
Thank you, Elizabeth, Palomacy and all the pigeon/dove rescuers out there. I read every single post you guys make and have learned so much this last year. My ignorance of pigeons and birds in general proves how wrong I was and how truly adaptable these guys are. They fumble right along with you while you’re learning and never complain. That does not stop me from continuously trying to make their habitat fun and entertaining. I love the phrase: You will not save the world by adopting a pigeon, but you will save that pigeon’s world.
In conclusion, these sweet little misunderstood birds have changed my life for the better. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t laugh out loud at them. I love them, love them, love them.
Now if I could just find a male that could take on two females…..
Elizabeth helped me with a seriously injured pigeon I found. She gave her time, advice , she is a dedicated person who deeply cares about helping pigeons and doves. Because of her and Palomacy , the little bird received medical care and a new home with a wonderful foster mom. Thank you Elizabeth!
We have been fostering pigeons for Elizabeth for about a year now and every time I spend time with them I learn something new. Elizabeth is so helpful with helping us better engage the pigeons and works really hard to help save these birds lives. This is a wonderful organization!
I have supported Palomacy’s mission (previously Mickacoo) since 2009. I met Elizabeth Young at an adoption fair. She brought beautiful Peppermint, a recent rescued King Pigeon who still had markings from a red permanent marker over some of his white feathers. I learned of the plight of the domestic pigeon. In 2014 Palomacy came to my aid to help a self-rescuing pigeon. A beautiful domestic pigeon came to my front yard asking for help. He was hungry and thirsty, without injury. Immediately I asked Elizabeth for assistance. She was there for me, providing guidance to me and gave me the resources to gain the knowledge I would need to care for this gorgeous, sweet bird. In 2016, a relative found a domestic pigeon on their porch. The bird was dyed purple and pink, was emaciated and dehydrated. She refused to self-feed or drink. Again, I asked Elizabeth for assistance. With her immediate guidance, the bird survived. This year we rebuilt our aviary to hold more pigeons. Surprisingly, it is easier to have a flock of pigeons than a couple. It is enjoyable to relax and watch their interactions. These birds deserve respect and compassion. Unfortunately, there are too many suppliers from releasing, racing and other exploitive sporting activities that place these poor birds in harm’s way. I am grateful for Palomacy and their tireless work to help the birds and educate people who foster and adopt them.
I am a long-time supporter of Palomacy and have two rescued pigeons. Although I have bird knowledge, I have no experience with rehabilitation.
Last week, my aunt and uncle in Yuba City found a pigeon on their front porch window ledge. They called shelters in the area and couldn't find any that would help this bird. In fact, one suggested they put the bird back outside so it could fly home. They kept me posted and sent a picture. This pigeon had been dyed purple and pink.
I brought the pigeon home that evening. Elizabeth guided me on how to get the bird to drink and eat. It only weighed 152 grams. I had to feed the bird by hand. I repeated before work and at noon. When I arrived home that evening, there were signs the bird was self-feeding.
The pigeon has been named Jo Jo after my aunt who just passed away July 5th. In one week, it has gained 51 grams and I am confident it will make a full recovery.
Elizabeth and Palomacy are the most ethical, devoted, knowledge and helpful non-profit. They are the only organization who is willing to take on an unrelenting workload of the domestic pigeons who are released and unable to survive on their own.
Jo Jo should never have been dyed or released. There are monsters amongst us who think nothing of releasing these gentle, sweet birds to their doom. Luckily the pigeons have Palomacy. Still, there is an enormous need for financial help to pay vet bills, outreach to educate the public, and find foster and forever homes for the many injured birds that find their way to Palomacy.
Many thanks to Elizabeth for her tireless devotion to the pigeons.
What a hero - what a group of heros. While thousands look after the usual lovable suspects - cats and dogs - someone is dedicating themselves to tirelessly, without fame or wealth from it, helping our invisible neighbors that we see yet manage to look past everyday: pigeons and doves. You hear about an animal and you feel assured knowing a shelter or society will care for it and tend it back to health... but pigeons? They don't have this luxury - no one has their back - until Palomacy.
I can't express to you how important it is to me that someone would dedicate themselves to the animals with the least PR and difficult image with people.
Everyday - in someway - Palomacy educated people about pigeons and doves - cruel practices they must endure - how great of pets they are - clearing up misconceptions (they aren't dirty - they bathe as soon as they are given a chance! They don't pass on diseases like bird flu!) - and changes the public perception - person by person - towards our fellow city dwellers (lest we not forget either that they are acclaimed war heros that have saved our soldiers in many battles by carrying messages!)
Ive seen Palomacy and their volunteers up close - they connected us with our pet - a pigeon we couldn't live without - when just earlier we would have never guessed a pigeon could be a pet!
We feel so indebted to them. The work they do is so sincere, earnest, and difficult - yet through their perseverance and bravery they have saved COUNTLESS bird lives and connected hundreds of families with the pets they love for a lifetime.
It's one thing to be another advocate for the animals we all know and love already - it's something entirely more brave, in my opinion, to take the position to advocate for an animal that is not well loved and much is unknown about. That's something really special.
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart Palomacy ❤️
Absolutely amazing charity. They do wonderful work for one of the most overlooked and uncared for animals in the world. Mind you these animals, pigeons, are our oldest friends and most ancient pets. It's because of us they roam cities now, and we can't just turn our back on these peaceful wonderful animals.
Furthermore the leadership at Palomacy is absolutely top notch. They are spending every penny to help further their cause and go above and beyond.
I have to tell you, I am someone normally skeptical about giving to nonprofits because I fear the funds will be spent to just raise more money in a perpetual cycle. Well, I did my homework with these guys and they are just so dedicated, often reaching to their own pockets to continue their help.
I can't sing enough praises. I will continue to donate all of my life - this is the most exemplary nonprofit I have yet to encounter - a model I wish all types of other nonprofits would adopt.
No Bureaucracy here - JUST RESULTS. Thank you Palomacy!
On March 31st of 2014 I rescued a king pigeon that was walking around in my yard in the rain..turned snow. She let me pick her up which I figured was a sign that she was sick.
I've never owned a bird in my life but I really love animals! I then went online looking for any help I could find. The only place I found that offered the help I needed was Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions. The expert help I got from Elizabeth Young and all the people in the group is the reason I still have my Tuukka today..almost 3 years later! I started out completely clueless and now I've offered advice of my own. I've never met such a wonderful and caring group in my life! If they can't help you..they will find someone who will. They really really care about all pigeons & doves and go far beyond what anyone could expect!
I am a pigeon fancier and was in a serious accident last year. None of my friends or family knew what to do with my birds. Palomacy came to my rescue and took care of them until my recovery. Were it not for them I might have lost my birds.
The people I have met and come to know dedicate so much of their time and talent to helping these birds - rescue, care, fostering, adoption. They are passionate about their work and will "go to the wall" for their rescues. They even have a nationally acclaimed veterinary clinic - Medical Center for Birds (Oakley, CA) helping them. Every pigeon receives the best care you can imagine.
I am 13 and have been wanting pigeons for a very long time. after doing a decent amount of research I stumbled across Palomacy. I immediately ran to my parents, and we began to build an aviary. after about 3 weeks, we had a small aviary, that was nicely furnished with things for the pigeons, and now we came upon the hardest task. We had to find some pigeons to adopt. I sent Elizabeth(palomacy director) an email, and she quickly replied. She took us out to an aviary and we looked around, until we settled on a little brown fantail named charlie. For about 2 months elizabeth worked closely with us to help find charlie a mate, and find another kind pair to be with them, after charlie had been a little shoved around by bigger pigeons. Finally, we found a mate, and another pair, and they all now happily live in our aviary, all thanks to this wonderful organization.
This past Thanksgiving a little pigeon came into my husbands shop where he works asking for help. At first, he was put back outside. Someone was driving a forklift into the shop and this little bird got on the forklift and rode back into the shop. He stayed very close to the men working, despite saws being run and lots of loud commotion. We knew something was up. My husband and I had done pitbull rescue for more than ten years, but we hadn't the faintest clue on how to go about rescuing a pigeon. He was eating and drinking and didn't look too compromised, but I feared taking him to any kind of shelter or wildlife center because he's just a pigeon and would be euthanized. I got online straight away and was lucky enough to find Palomacy. I live in Washington state, but that didn't stop Elizabeth from helping me. She answered my email immediately and then called me!! She walked me through how to care for Dee with amazing kindness and patience. (First Deandra because we thought he might be female, now Deangelo because he's a he for sure!) If I didn't have Elizabeth for support, I would have crumbled for sure. I was so worried I wasn't doing it right. She has sent me emails, texts, links, pictures, has put me in touch with other rescuers and pumped me full of encouragement. I have learned so much in just a short period of time. Mostly how wonderful these little dinosaurs are and how wonderful are the people who devote their lives to them.
Palomacy is an organization other rescuers, of any animal, should model themselves after. Their website is full of helpful information and resources. Their members and volunteers are knowledgeable and committed. Outreach programs, always educating, fundraising, they are amazing! I wish all our animals in need had a Palomacy!
This weekend we adopted Taffy, a beautiful Roller found as a stray. We are hoping it is a love connection and our Sweet Dee can be fulfilled. Thank you Elizabeth, Jill and all at Palomacy for your help and encouragement. You are my heroes!!