The Little Squab

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Randy’s pigeon mommy laid 2 eggs, but one didn’t hatch.  Randy snuggled close to the egg for warmth while her parents left the nest to find food.

When baby pigeons are born they are called squabs and they have soft yellow hair to keep them warm instead of feathers, just like a little chick.  As they grow in size, their feathers follow the yellow hairs, poking through their skin thin sleeves like straws.  As they continue to grow the straws break and the feathers expand.  Often the squab has to peck at the sleeves to help release its new feathers.  This continues to happen throughout a pigeon’s life.  It is called molting when the thin pieces of sleeves flake off like dandruff.

As the feathers expand and cover the little bird, the little yellow hairs start to fall away.  In these pictures, Randy is about 3 weeks old with her feathers and remaining yellow hairs.  This is the time Andi transitioned her into the house so that her homeowners association could resurface the balcony.

You may also notice that squabs are born with their eyes closed.  After a few days, they open their brown eyes and as they mature into adults, their eyes turn orange!

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