Rescued Baby Dove

by Shirley
(Corpus Christi, TX)

Maybe 9 days old here

Maybe 9 days old here

When I got home from work on my street (in the middle of it) was a baby bird.

I saw instantly it was a baby Mourning Dove.

The parents as far as I could tell were no where around. I scooped the baby up and took him home with me.

I have hand fed a couple of baby birds, but not a Mourning Dove. He and I are still working things out on how I should feed him.

I try a little bit from a spoon, yes even from my mouth, (I purse my lips together and he gets the baby food). I am feeding him Gerber's baby food.

After I try letting him eat on his own, I am sure to get the syringe out and feed him that way to be sure he is getting enough.

I have had him a full 7 days tomorrow. He's doing great.

Now when I get him for his feeding, he has started to slowly flap his wings; I think we are bonding.

I am still undecided as to weather or not I will release him into the wild.

I know that there will be potential of him not surviving on his own.

Something I still have time to think about.

No, I have not named him as that solidifies my keeping him; I will do that if I should decide to keep him.

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Comments for Rescued Baby Dove

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Jul 20, 2023
by: Jesse

We live outside of Tucson, Arizona. When we first moved here we had dove nests against our house in the rafters of our patio.

Then, on our patio, we found baby doves, less than an inch tall running around, seemingly lost.

I carefully scoop one up, making sure not to get my scent on it, and put it back into the nest.

Shortly their after, upon returning to the nest the bird in the nest had seemingly kicked it out again.

We also observed the same phenomenon in our street with baby quail running around less than an inch in height.

The belief was that the birds were kicking the young out of the nest, and then once they could fly, they could return to the nest.

On reading your blog, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Apr 11, 2023
Dove Squab Not Being Fed
by: Gene

Hello Phyllis,

No one knows for sure but it may be that the squab is weak or diseased in some way and the adults know this.

Keeping it away may be the best for the other squab.

You can search for a wildlife rehabber or check with a veterinarian to see if they can recommend one.

Sometimes they do and other times...

While we have to say that it would be illegal for you yourself to care for the dove. I doubt anyone will be calling the Feds in for someone who tried to save a Mourning Dove squab.

I'm not the one to ask how to care for it. But, sometimes rehabbers will offer advice. Thanks for caring.

Apr 11, 2023
Parent Dove not sitting on 4 day old baby
by: Phyllis

Mama dove had two eggs, both hatched 4 days ago. Now, one baby is about 3 inches away from mama in the basket.

It's like she doesn't want to sit on it and keep it warm with the other baby.

These parents come back every year and have 3-4 broods a year, and they all fledge.

This is the first time I've ever seen a baby neglected in the nest. It's only 50 degrees and the baby seems to be shivering I'm heartbroken to watch this.....

1) Why would mama do that?

2) Should I intervene and take the baby out of the nest so it doesn't die?

3) Should I let mother nature take its course?

This is killing me.... Can anyone shed expertise on this matter? Thank you.

Jun 30, 2021
Raising baby dove
by: Sue

I also am raising a baby mourning dove. He and his nestmate were brought by a stray cat.

Unfortunately only one was alive and had wing damage from being drug around.

I used parrot formula for about 15 days then he decided he only wanted seeds. He is doing amazing and so sweet.

I am fully aware of the Migratory Bird Act.

He will likely be staying with me since he is bonded and his left wing isn't properly functioning.

We have many hawks behind our home and other predators so we have decided that he won't be released.

He is healthy, happy and incredibly social. He is finally learning to coo correctly.

Jan 27, 2020
Same here
by: Ernie

I have the same thing, the only difference is I saved mine from a cat.

Have had it since Aug. 2019 I fed it from a cut off plastic syringe with Baby bird formula I bought from Pet Smart as it grew came time to teach it to eat seed around Oct that went well.

We did not know its gender, well last week it got very loving and close to me and had noticed it was always in high places cooing and looking for touching, well after looking in a vase filled with glass beads there were two little eggs.

"Guess what it's a girl" she sat on them for a few days then stopped I guess being no male around she quit caring for them.

Well that passed and about 2 weeks later we are starting it all over again.

I want to keep her and now trying to find a male Dove Partner for her. Any help would be appreciated

Apr 17, 2016
Nest in second-story planter box
by: Anonymous

I have a small dove family who took over my planter box early this March (before I could replant my basil, rosemary and lavender).

They had 3 little eggs which they took turns sitting on and protecting.

The eggs recently hatched just this past weekend, revealing cute little fuzzy things.

I have a great view watching them from my window... I have a disgustingly awesome video of the parent feeding them.

The problem is, my planter box is on the second story of an apartment building. That's a far drop for a little bird learning how to fly, yes??

Just today I noticed that there is only one left. They got big pretty fast... but it sounds like it's a bit too early for them to be considered fledglings.

Is it true most nests are much closer to the ground? Is there anything I can do?

Jun 28, 2015
Adult Doves
by: Gene

The adult doves do not kill their young. Grackles, crows and others will kill the young.

Jun 27, 2015
Dead baby Mourning Dove
by: Dora

I have been watching these doves hatch their eggs on one of my wall planters in the patio all summer long.

It is right by the back door but they have become accustom to me and do not fly away. The two eggs have hatched and they were growing very well.

Today I found the nest empty except for one of the squabs and he is dead. How do they die when they look so healthy. Did the mother or father kill it.

I saw her hacking, but I thought she was feeding them. It broke my heart to see this cute little bird dead in the nest and the parents no where to be found.

Please let me know if it is customary for them to kill their young.

Sep 09, 2014
I too have a baby dove.
by: kim

I found a baby dove in my front yard and as I and the neighbor across the street both feed feral cats, I just feared for it.

I too have raised baby birds but not doves. So went to the internet......the parents feed babies crop milk by the baby sticking its beak into the parents crop.

I had a rough time at first but read about using baby cereal made up pretty thin and put in a syringe (I asked my druggist for a fat one) that I cut the nipple part off of and cut the tip off of a rubber glove then secured it on the syringe with a rubber band.

I made a cross cut on the flattened glove tip big enough for the babies mouth. I found a baby bird formula in the pet store later with more vitamins and such.

And the food needs to be heated but not hot enough to burn its crop! (Go to the internet for the exact temps) they get their water from the formula and don't need additional water.

Cheepy is now eating only bird seed and water.

I'm wanting to try new foods such as small berries and maybe some insects! Lol. I am also looking for a bigger cage as I have 6 cats!

One cat that I pretty much trust, as she is 14 yrs and was declawed on the front paws by my mother, back when.

Don't worry, I DO NOT declaw my cats! The bird landed on her one day while sleeping. She opened her eyes, looked, then went back to sleep!

Aug 01, 2014
Rescued baby Dove
by: Cindy

Hi Shirly!
Great story!!
So glad you got it out of the street! I don't know much on the diet of a baby dove. But if what you are doing is so far successful, Congrats!

Although I do believe without the parents to teach it what to do in the wild You're probably better off keeping it?

Since it could flap its wings and if it could clutch your fingers and stand relatively stable on your fingers (With your hand around it so it doesn't fall) It's probably a fledgling baby.

Which means it was just about ready to leave its nest. Most F. Babies usually spend a little time on the ground with a parent flying off and on close to it, somewhat guarded So that it sees the parent flying and tries it out!

Realizing you needed to rescue it from the street as it certainly wasn't a safe place to be.

It seems like it's your baby now! Have you tried to put bird seed around it to see if it will try some?

Seeing it sitting on your cat was a bit concerning! Not many cats will continue a "friendship with something they instinctively know to kill!

However, I had a Cockatiel many years ago, and also had a cat. Many times my cockatiel would discover how to open its cage regardless of the tricks I tried to keep it shut.

I too had a cat and fortunately was home when ever my bird did get out and instantly scolded my cat when it assumed its "Prey" posture.

My cat was obedient around ME and the bird but I always worried if the bird were to have gotten out while I wasn't at home!

One day it happened and as I ENTERED my house I discovered my cat laying in a comfort chair while the Cockatiel was sitting on the arm of the chair, Yikes!! Lol

I calmly picked up my bird and told it, "You are SOOO LUCKY" though my cat was obedient around me, I told my bird, Simon, (my cats name) probably dreams of you PLUCKED AND COOKED and served on a platter! Lol

So I'd caution you to never leave the two unattended, Yikes! I'm sure you don't.

I took a picture of Simon and my cat together before returning my bird to its cage but in the picture Simon's head was slumped down as if to say, Darn! You got here just in time!

Also, a suggestion would be to place the baby in a cage outside on your porch somewhere in a safe place with food and water. Just see if its calls will attract its parents.

If you saw them it would be safe to say that you could let the baby out and the parents could do the rest. Just let nature take its course.

Also the germs from dove feces can carry cotangent bacteria and fungus's to humans So keep your hands clean.

It's an awesome thing you're doing!

Best wishes,

A long time Birder and bird lover

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