A Sentience Article from All-Creatures.org

Emma and Ezra and Underemployed Male Pigeon Syndrome

FROM Guest Post by Margaret Brooker, Palomacy: It's Pigeon Diplomacy
March 2022

Alone male pigeon living as a companion in a home, either with his mate or just his people, will often get bored, frustrated and angry. It happens all the time! Fortunately there are ways to help. 


A quiet moment together for Emma and Ezra...

Elizabeth Young [founder of Palomacy]: Margaret contacted Palomacy seeking marriage counseling assistance for her pigeons Emma and Ezra. Ezra had become very aggressive with Emma. This is something we see a lot. We call it Underemployed Male Pigeon Syndrome (UMPS). Pigeons are flock birds and they have a lot of social energy, especially the males. In a flock, even though married pigeons are very devoted to one another, the males flirt with all the females and show off to, trash talk and challenge all the males. They are busy most of the day. Feral city pigeons have even more to do looking for food all day. But a lone male pigeon living as a companion in a home, either with his mate or just his people, will often get bored, frustrated and angry. It happens all the time! Fortunately there are ways to help. Hereís Margaretís story of Emma and Ezra with additional info from me along the way.

Margaret: I adopted Emma and Ezra three years ago from Avian Underdogs, a pigeon and dove rescue in Orange County. When I first read Ezraís story and saw his picture, I immediately fell for the little guy. He had been rescued a few months earlier with an injured wing, in downtown Los Angeles. His rescuer contacted Palomacy, who put her in touch with Avian Underdogs and paid for her bus fare to Orange County, since she didnít have a car. She was the one who named him Ezra. I had only intended to adopt him, but when I got there, he had a choice of three lovely lady pigeons for a mate. Since pigeons are such social animals and mate for life, I knew it was the right thing to do to make sure he had a partner. I chose his favorite of the three, Emma, and adopted her as well.

At first, they had a whirlwind romance, and Emma wasted no time in laying two lovely eggs, to be repeated each month.... It was like this until recently when some problems began to emerge. Ezra began to encourage Emma to abandon the nest earlier and earlier. When she laid the next two eggs, he would sit on them for longer periods during the day than he had previously and fight her when it was her turn.

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Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.


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