Pigeon found unable to fly, etc.
(lexington, ky, usa)
A few weeks ago we found a wild pigeon on the verge of death, severely emaciated and unable to fly. It was a young juvenile, but should have been on it's own and flying around. It was weak, but otherwise seemed alert and vital. We took it to a wild bird rehabber who, unfortunately, by law, could not take the bird from us. The local vet offices said it would probably be euthanize because it's a pest here (as it is everywhere). The rehabber gave us some advice, some antibiotics and calorie booster and set us on our way. Well, it's been about a month now and it is in full glory, growing it's iridescent adult feathers and learning to coo, eating like a champ and in otherwise great health, except one problem; it still has no ability or even desire (it seems) to fly. It will not flap with it's right wing, when encouraged to flap (by holding it on the hand and drawing the bird sharply downward in a falling motion) the left wing flaps like normal but the right one goes straight down and doesn't flap like normal. It seems to have normal range of motion in the right wing, though, as it DOES stretch it's wing up and out when not attempting to flap (i.e. just stretching as birds do). I also noticed that it holds its tail in a very low position, not completely down and limp, but definitely not as high as normal. Here's where the confusion is, there are and were no visible wounds or bruises on the bird when we found it nor are there now, it has no pain in manipulating the wing or the tail and it SEEMS as though it CAN move them normally for the most part, it just 'chooses' not to, it seems. Could it be muscle damage or some degenerative thing, a deep bruise or some damage to some bone or organ? We're only asking here because local vets AND rehabbers are not options and we're fully willing to do what needs to be done with it, even pretending it's a tame pet bird if necessary. I just want to know what's going on with it that makes it not want to fly.