Animals

Disabled pigeon visits Yorkshire woman’s window every day at 5pm for mash potato


Gaia Holmes wanted to help Elvis when she saw him struggling to pick up seeds (Picture: Kennedy News & Media)

A disabled pigeon called Elvis is treated to a portions of mashed potato at the same time every day.  

The bird won the heart of a woman in West Yorkshire who saw him struggling to pick up seeds with his broken beak.

Gaia Holmes feared Elvis might starve after watching him trying to eat – but can now rest easy with the wood pigeon arriving at 5pm sharp for his daily dinner, which she credits for the arrival of two mini Elvises.

The 48-year-old first noticed his troubles around 18 months ago, after a home-baking mishap saw her leave out some cake crumbs on her windowsill as a treat for local birds.

Gaia also laid out some seeds and noticed little Elvis struggling to pick them up due to his wonky beak, which she believes may have been damaged by him flying into something.

Worried that he might struggle to survive, she decided to offer up left over mashed potato in a bowl for her new feathered friend and now does so for breakfast and dinner.

Gaia believes his year-long diet, could be partially to thank for the arrival of a pair of new chicks.

But the writer said Elvis also helped her during the pandemic, and admits she enjoy nothing more than watching the bird eating his unusual meals.

Gaia, from Halifax, explained: ‘Elvis comes back every day. I’ve got pretty strict meal times and in the evenings, he comes for about 5pm.

‘I like to think I’ve helped out a bird because I think he’d struggle to survive.

‘It started in lockdown last year when everyone was baking. I tried to make a cake and it was a disaster.’

Gaia first spotted the hungry wood pigeon around 18 months ago (Picture: Kennedy News & Media)

Explaining that a small blue tit had turned up before Elvis, she continued: ‘His little beak was deformed and he couldn’t pick up the feed or the crumbs from the cake I’d put out.

‘He could have been born with it, or often they get injuries from flying head-on into something because they’re so weighty.

‘It was like trying to eat a pea with a fork.

‘I love animals but didn’t know much about birds so I went on all these different websites and found out what to feed birds.

Elvis’ deformed beak makes it hard for him to eat (Picture: Kennedy News & Media)

‘I then decided to try mash potato. Now he’s been coming back every day for the last year.’

But earlier in 2021 there was double delight as the pigeon welcomed a nest of little ones.

Gaia explained: ‘He’s got a “wife” and they just had kids this year. He was trying to build a nest and he was struggling to pick up sticks with his beak.

‘They had two babies which I’ve called Edith and Perry.

Elvis now has two chicks (Picture: Kennedy News & Media)

Gaia’s morning routine involves opening a window and whistling, before shouting ‘Elvis’, to which she says the bird ‘comes flapping along’.

She added: ‘I lived on my own for three months and this pigeon gave me a focus and hope.

‘I live in a decaying old mansion with 16 flats. At first I kept it quiet thinking the neighbours would tell me to stop, but now they’re like “I saw Elvis the other day”.

‘Lots of my friends on Facebook keep an eye on him and even when I go into my local bookshop, they ask how Elvis is.

‘Some people call me a mad bird lady. I like that.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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