Hank the -Indoor/Outdoor Mourning Dove

by Hank's Mom

Hank helping me write this story!

Hank helping me write this story!

We have acquired a mourning dove, and I must say, he is a breath of fresh air for us!

'Hank' was found outside back in August (2012) on the ground after a bad storm, he was just a baby and my husband and I began feeding him a formula mix, until he was able to be weaned to bird seed now.

He is an indoor/outdoor bird these days, he has completely bonded to us and has chosen to live here with us and we couldn't be happier in his decision!

He has his own bedroom which he sleeps in on his favorite perch at night.

During the day we take him outside and if the weather is nice, he will take off to a nearby tree & keep an eye on the house.

If we go outside during that time, he will fly to us for a visit and he always returns at sunset to come back inside to go to his room for the night.

He will fly back inside the house on his on when he wants to come in.

He is not a fan of the wind, if it is windy or too cold, he will sit just outside the door until we let him in, then he enjoys his day hanging out on our head or shoulder.

He is such a smart little guy! He is so loving and truly enjoys spending time with us!

I am totally in love with my sweet baby bird and I feel so blessed that he came into our lives!

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Birds and Blooms Pioneer Woman People Magazine First For Women

Comments for Hank the -Indoor/Outdoor Mourning Dove

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Jun 02, 2019
Mr Doodles
by: Penny

Hanks mom

Oh my goodness I have a Male that is doing the same as Hank. I love my boy. I tell him all the time he is handsome and he fluffs out.

Mar 28, 2019
I am so sad to hear about Hank's passing
by: Den Foulk

Dear Hank's Mom,
I had not read of your loss of Hank before I posted my first comment, so please accept my apologizes for my first comment seeming un-caring of your great loss.

I know how you can become so attached to any of God's creatures, and especially one that lived with you as a member of your home.

I always have the hope to meet my lost animal friends again when I get to Heaven.

I can't quote scripture for any proof, but Our God is a GREAT GOD, and there are scriptures that state that GOD cares for people and animals alike!

All my best,
Den Foulk

Mar 28, 2019
Love the Doves
by: Den Foulk

Your story is so cool! I love the doves. The last couple years we have been having the white winged doves in our area of south Georgia.

It has been a treat to see them at our feeder and also at our birdbath.

Tell Hank hello from south Georgia :)

Aug 19, 2015
To Joanna
by: Hank's Mom

Thank you so much for reaching out to me with your story. I know all too well of the agony you are feeling right now. I am so very sorry for your loss.

Please don't be too hard on yourself, you gave the little guy a chance that he otherwise would never have had.

You tried your best for him and did everything right.

It sounds to me he may have had some underlying problem that you couldn't have known of, and that is why he isn't with you today, not because of anything you did, you are a hero in my eyes and his, you did the extraordinary for him, when others would not have.

I know it hurts deeply, even after only ten days, but what people don't realize is that it only takes about ten seconds to fall madly in love with a bird!

Before Hank, I had never been a bird person, I mean, I liked birds, but never fancied myself as owning one.

In the few months I was blessed enough to have Hank in my life, he FOREVER changed me!

He showed me a love I otherwise would have never known! They may be small but their hearts are enormous!

It has been about 2 1/2 years now since Hank was taken from me. The bond I had with him was strong and everlasting, I still cry at times for Hank!

Even though Hank is gone, he was here long enough to show me what was missing in my life, he brought out my inner bird lover and made me realize that I would not live on this earth without the companionship of a bird!

I am telling you this because I mourned Hank so very hard for about 6 months, I cried practically all day and everyday during that time.

I reluctantly decided to get another bird, knowing it would never replace Hank, but none the less, I gave it a go. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful (very tame) cockatiel named Lyric!

I got him when he was just 4 months old and he had been hand fed. He is a great bird and I spend all my days with him.

He has his own personality just as Hank did, and even does a few things that Hank used to do, like drink out of the kitchen faucet.

He will never replace Hank, but at the same time, he doesn't have to because he holds his own special place in my heart! I love him dearly!

I have Hank to thank for the way my life has turned out, my life as a bird mommy! I truly believe that Hank was sent to me to teach me about life and love! A little bird did all that for me!

I know you are so very sad right now, but I want to tell you that maybe your little fella was sent to you to show you how it is being a bird mommy, to show you the incredible love that they can give.

In time you may even find yourself being a bird's mom again, and for many years to come after that!

Again, I am so very sorry for your loss and I hope you find peace in your journey. Best of luck to you!
Hank's Mom

Aug 18, 2015
Lucky you, my baby died!
by: Joanna

I rescued a fledgling 10 days ago. I did my best to feed him with a dropper, the kind you use to measure medicines for pets.

He wasn't much of an eater, but I kept trying.

He got increasingly weaker, wouldn't peck at seed or drink water. I tried to feed him five or six times a day, but he wouldn't eat much.

At first I thought he would make it, but after the 7th day he took a turn for the worse.

You are lucky to have had your bird survive, I thought the little guy was so adorable... I really feel bad, he died this morning while I was trying to feed him.

Apr 06, 2013
lucky hank
by: Anonymous

Hank must of been the luckiest bird ever!

Mar 22, 2013
by: Kimberly

I am so sorry for your loss of Hank. What a unique bird he was!

Mar 21, 2013
Mourning My Sweet Dove
by: Hank's Mom

Well this entry is very difficult for me to write, I have been putting it off actually as I feel writing it will hurt me even more than what I have been feeling lately.

Shortly after my last comment, my fears I had spoken of came true, we lost Hank.

I am truly beside myself with the pain of losing him, as I write this I still cry for him.

He was my best friend, it feels like time has stopped since he left, I had gotten so close to him and spent so much time with him that I don't know what to do now that he is gone, this void is huge and heavy on my heart!

I wanted to write this to hopefully spare someone else the pain I am feeling over losing my precious bird.

I would think there has to be someone else out there who has a similar situation like the one I had with Hank.

I want to voice my experience and maybe help someone else.

I have tormented myself with the guilt of letting Hank go outside at all, it was always a battle in my mind, when he went, I worried sick about him, but at the same time, I felt it was the right thing to do because he was born to be an outside bird.

Looking back on this now, I just don't know if I did choose right, I mean Hank had spent more of his life indoors than he had outdoors, he was raised by humans rather than birds, he was bonded to us and loved us very much as we loved him.

I guess what I am trying to say is that with his background, he had no real experience in the wild, no training from his own kind, no defense mechanisms, he was more domesticated than anything and I am now in a position wondering if I should have done differently.

Should I not have ever introduced him to the outside since he was raised inside by us?

It seems to me now that the risk were too strong, but I was still trying to honor him for what he truly was.

I guess I am just trying to say that if you find yourself in this situation, think about it very carefully and be prepared for consequences in the choices you make.

I just wish everyone a long and happy existence with their feathered friends, something I am certainly missing now, although I do have the most cherished memories imaginable of my short time I was blessed to have my sweet Hank Pie Birdy in my life!

Jan 24, 2013
Hank Worries
by: Hank's Mom

Sounds like a very sweet white dog Kimberly! Thanks to everyone for the comments!

As much as I hope to keep my comments as delightful as my Hank Pie Birdie, an incident occurred that has me so very worried for Hank during his outside travels.

The day before yesterday I walked out onto the porch with Hank in tow (on my head) to see if he wanted to go out exploring for the day, thankfully he stayed on my head because it was a bit chillier than he likes.

All of the sudden we saw a horrible sight of all the mourning doves out in the yard suddenly scared into a frenzied flight as a hawk attached them.

They scattered every which way as the hawk zoomed in on one of the doves and was gaining on him as he flew from our view, I'm not sure if the hawk caught the dove or not, but it didn't look good!

As this was happening, Hank was very scared and began his (what we call) "scared chirps" where you can just tell that Hank is feeling panic, I kept telling him it is ok and he is safe with his mommy as I quickly got us back inside, poor Hank stayed on my head doing his scared chirps for close to an hour, he was very worked up from what we saw and I was crying myself and not doing much better.

I am so afraid for Hank right now with the hawks lurking around. Yesterday all was forgotten for Hank and he was ready to go back outdoors.

I was torn about letting him, but I know he is a wild bird and as hard as it is, I can't stop him from being what he truly is, so I took him out, and he took off for the day.

I was petrified for him all day long, I cried and prayed for his safe return, I just love him so much!

Thankfully that afternoon Hank showed up just outside the door cooing to come inside, I was so happy to see my baby bird!

I am sure he is looking forward to many more outdoor adventures and I am sure I will be sick with worry when he goes, but I know I must let him do what he was born to do....

Jan 15, 2013
Little white dog
by: Kimberly

Hank Pie sounds like a little white dog I know; if it's raining, she will not go outside.

Even if it is no longer raining she thinks I'm trying to trick her and she's way to smart to fall for that!

Jan 09, 2013
Hank and the rain....
by: Hank's Mom

Today is a rainy one, and as I write this Hank is sitting on my head in his feather ball making little (what I call) happy chirps.

He woke up this morning ready to explore his day like he always does.

The weather has been more mild than normal here so he has been taking off all day into the neighborhood and when the sun begins to go down, I call his name and he flies to me to come home for the night.

Well when I took him outside this morning, he was greeted by the rain, so he sat on the covered banister for a few minutes watching the rain, and then he flew back inside the house to me.

I told him I am sorry for the rainy day.

Then I thought about how all the other birds are out there flying around and have no choice but to do so, and how Hank Pie is a lucky little guy because he is always given a choice as to what he will do with his days, then I told him that he is a very special birdy :)

Jan 03, 2013
Mr. Hank
by: Pamela

He's super cute... I can't believe he stayed around. I thought he would fly away. Gotta be the awesome home, awesome food, and awesome parents... No better home in the world!

Jan 02, 2013
Bird food
by: Maurine

It's great that you figured out what is best for Hank. I am still trying to figure out my best food mix for my dogs as we feed them a homemade mixture.

Happy New Year to Hank and family!

Dec 31, 2012
Hank's Eating Habits
by: Hank's Mom

I am so excited for Hank, we have been buying him all sorts of blended seeds of all varieties and brands trying to figure out all of his favorites.

Over the course of time watching him, we narrowed it down and just received a huge box full of seeds we ordered that is only his favorites so that we can mix them all together creating Hank's special blend that he can truly enjoy.

This is not only wonderful for Hank, but it will also prove to be more cost efficient for us because he will eat all his seeds rather than just a select few types.

His favorites are millet seeds (he also loves pecking on millet spray), thistle seeds, small sunflower seeds, and his absolute LOVE is safflower seeds.

He gets so excited over these and will eat them from our hand! I am blending all this with an avian multi vitamin, crushed cuddle bone & grit to ensure he receives all the nutrients he needs.

He is very happy with this arrangement & so am I because he is a healthy little birdy :)

Dec 24, 2012
Hank's family
by: Maurine

Hank is such a lucky bird to have a mom and dad who love him so much!

Dec 23, 2012
Hank's Bedtime
by: Hank's Dad

I am so proud of the happiness that Hank has brought to our family! He is so neat.

When I come home from work in the evenings, Hank has already had a long day and is usually ready for bed, but he always makes special time for me!

He will get on my head or shoulder to visit with me before he goes to sleep, he is so cute when he does this because he will sit in his feather ball with very heavy eyelids, he will yawn here and there too.

I think he would sleep on me all night if he could, but we always take him into his room where he gets on his favorite perch for the night, his favorite is a lamp shade, he loved sleeping on it!

Dec 22, 2012
by: Karen

Awesome! Mourning Doves are how I got my interest in bird watching!!

Dec 20, 2012
So Fun!
by: Kimberly

Keep 'em coming. We love the clever Hank.

Dec 19, 2012
He Keeps Getting Cuter
by: Hanks Mom

Thanks so much for your comments. Here are some new Hank-isms for you :)

So Hank has gotten where if he is in the house with me in the afternoon, he enjoys laying on my chest in his feather ball and taking a nap (he has to be the cutest thing on the planet when he sleeps).

The other day he curled up for a nap & I fell asleep too, well when Hank was ready for me to wake up, he stood on my chest & was pecking my lips to get me up!

Then he flew to the kitchen where he waits for us to turn on the faucet so he can dip his beak under it for a fresh drink... he is so clever!

Dec 10, 2012
That's just special!
by: Kimberly

What a great story. Hank seems to be very smart and has totally accepted you as his family. It seems he has adapted well to his indoor/outdoor life.

Who would have thought a wild bird would "choose" to keep coming back? It goes to show we can learn so much from the animal kingdom if we are open to it.

Wishing Hank and You many happy years together.

Dec 10, 2012
by: Marianne

What a wonderful, heartwarming story. I am so happy that Hank found you. God bless you and Hank and many happy hours together.

Mar 18, 2013
Beautiful dove!
by: Trish A.

Aha! Someone else with a mourning dove! I haven't found very many people who have one, maybe because we aren't supposed to.

I rescued and raised a baby mourning dove last year. This is Rooh's first Spring, and he's obviously a male!

He's in full- on courting mode, and I'm his love interest so I'm giving him lots of attention. I'd love to set him free, but he has no fear and lands on peoples' heads so he'd never make it. Rooh loves everyone, and everyone loves him right back.

I hope your Hank lives a long and happy life. He sounds like a lucky bird :)
Dec 10, 2012
So sweet
by: Jane S

I am thankful you were able to rescue HANK and he now is watching over your family. God bless!

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