I came across this injured juvenile pigeon earlier in the day on April 25th. Unfortunately, it would not let me get close enough to capture it and soon flew out of sight onto the neighbor’s property (where it originally came from). Luckily, I spotted it again in my backyard later that evening and was able to quickly capture it to start my assessment.
On initial examination, the juvenile feral pigeon (1.5-2+ month-old squeaker, no leg bands) was severely emaciated, dehydrated, weak, and had a fracture to the left tibiotarsus. I slowly started the pigeon on an oral rehydration solution to stabilize it [SQ fluids are ideal, but I didn’t have any on hand] and decided to minimize handling at this point to prevent further stress and injury.
The pigeon was still alive the following morning. I applied a splint and bandage to the left leg to provide stabilization to the fracture and to minimize further soft tissue damage. I continued administering the oral rehydration solution and slowly introduced small amounts of a powdered bird formula (slurry) to prevent gastrointestinal distress with the hopes that it would be able to easily digest it to obtain much needed calories and nutrients to start the recovery process.
Despite initial care, the pigeon took a turn for the worse later in the day. Since he had been without food and water for some time, his digestive tract stopped functioning properly and was unable to meet the metabolic demands of his system. Not only was he a young, growing pigeon, he also had a fractured leg and was severely emaciated. It was just too much. All of these factors eventually led to his demise, and he passed away the next morning.
I am not sure if there was anything I could have done differently to produce a more favorable outcome this time, but in the future, I would like to keep SQ fluids on hand in the rare chance I run across another pigeon with similar findings. Additionally, it may be best to euthanize a pigeon that is so severely compromised rather than to initiate treatment (and potentially prolong suffering) in cases like this.