Ricardo the Wounded Dove

by Carol Mooney
(East Wenatchee, WA)

One morning I went out to refill my Goldfinch feeders.

I glanced down and realized that I almost stepped on a scrawny, tan bird.

I looked closely and realized that this bird was missing most of the feathers out of the back of his head and looked sick.
Dove Feeding at Bowl

The bird seemed unable to fly, and I observed that it would jump up on a branch that I had trimmed off my rhododendron.

I began to feed Ricardo each day and put a little bowl of water out for him.

At night he continued to sleep on the rhododendron branch which must have been concealing him from my cat, Larry.

Weeks have gone by and Ricardo began to improve. He was able to fly up into the dogwood tree that held my Goldfinch feeders. He even grew the feathers back in his head.

I eventually bought a bird bath. Ricardo likes to bathe a few times a day. Another Mourning Dove has been hanging around.

It is much larger and healthier than Ricardo, so now I think that Ricardo is actually a girl.

Ricardo has never let me pick her up, but I am able to sit inches away from her. She follows me around when I do yard work in the front area by her feeder.

Just recently she walked all the way to the back of the house to our large RV garage in the back of the house.

She came in while I was cleaning the garage and hung around for about 30 minutes. I was worried that Larry would find Ricardo there, so I coaxed her back to the front of the house with some seed.

The saga of Ricardo continues. I'm not sure if she will be able to fly away to warmer weather.

If not, I may have to build a little birdhouse.

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Comments for Ricardo the Wounded Dove

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Feb 07, 2012
by: Anonymous

HI, that is an interesting thought.

She seemed to have a mate. He never came to the feeder, but used to wait on the telephone wire and wait for her.

That is why I thought she was a female. She was much smaller than the other bird.

Interestingly, there was an article in the local newspaper that a dove walked into the mechanics workshop and stayed for a few days.

Maybe someone released a bunch of tame birds into the wild.

Feb 06, 2012
I think Ricardo may be a domesticated dove.
by: Anonymous

Hello! After viewing your video of Ricardo, I think that she may be a ring-neck dove.

They're sold as pets and I don't think they can survive very well in the wild.

She may have escaped from her previous owner and gotten injured since she doesn't have the instincts of a wild dove.

If you can get her to trust you, you should keep her or give her to a companion bird adoption center.

She's a beautiful dove! Best of luck to you both.

Nov 26, 2011
keeping wild doves
by: Anonymous

I think a birdbath is a key to keeping them around. Also, a consistent place where they can find food.

When I was trying to find out about Ricardo, I just googled dove and then clicked the images button.

Nov 24, 2011
The doves that moved into our back yard.
by: Anonymous

We are not sure what kind of doves these are. They are the most beautiful doves. I love doves.

I am from Hawaii and all I have seen there are the gray ones.

We had a lot of doves there. But these are so beautiful. They are brown in color (the male is).

He is very aggressive. And smaller in size compared to the female.

They have (3) black dots on their winds. They are (3) different size dots. From small, medium and large.

Then a black dot on below their eyes. I have not heard them coo.

It started one day with just (2)today I looked outside there are (4)now. I am so pleased with these birds.

I have gotten them some dove food which are seeds. I just want to know what kind of dove they are.

If I knew I could read up on them and get the right kind of food for them.

I did place apples I cut up for them but they never touched them.

How can I keep them here in my backyard. I am going to order several dove shelters to put under the eves of the garage.

I hope they do stay. I don't want to catch them.

I want them to remain wild and come and go as they please and I'll provide the food and water and house them. Thank you.

What ever information I can get is helpful.

Sep 25, 2011
Another wounded dove
by: Carol

I'm no dove expert. All I did for Ricardo was provide food and water.

I purchased "wild bird feed" but observed that she liked the black sunflower seeds the most.

I bought a separate bag of just those and mix it in with the wild bird feed. Your bird will need water, too.

When Ricardo was first injured, I just put out a bowl of water on the ground and the seed.

She liked to sleep on a branch, that was laying on the ground, so you may want to find some landscaping to prune.

Perhaps a branch that can sit on the ground in a stable position, but has one branch off the ground. Your bird might be able to get up on it.

I never brought Ricardo in the house, she just hung out in the front of the house.

Good luck with your new bird.

One more hint: pick a gender neutral name.

From: Wild-Bird-Watching.com

If feeding sunflower seed you'll want to use the hulled seed (no shell) as the dove will not crack open the seed.

Contact a local Bird Rehabber, sometimes veterinarians know local rehabbers phone numbers.

Sep 25, 2011
Help- I've found a wounded morning dove too
by: Lori in Maine

As I was leaving church today I was shown a bird which some children had found on the lawn.

I believe it to be a morning dove and I believe it has a broken/injured wing.

There is no evidence of trauma or bite marks from a predator but the wing hangs and "Bert" steps on it when he walks.

I have him in the bathtub with some mushed up cat food and a dish of water but do not know how to help him recover beyond that.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My email is loribozeman @hotmail. com (Remove Spaces before responding)

It's wonderful what you have done for Richardo(ette).

I have rehabbed two baby squirrels before, one last year and one 7 years ago.

If "Bert" were an orphaned squirrel I would know what to do, but I am lost with this. Help!!

Aug 09, 2011
by: Carol Mooney

Thank you for your comments on my story.

Another update for Ricardo. The other night I was sitting out back playing cards with my mom.

As we played a feather dropped on the table.

We laughed because it was tan and I said, "Ricardo is watching us." I did hear a cooing, but I thought that it was a coincidence.

Later I told my husband that I thought it was Ricardo. He just rolled his eyes at me.

This morning, Greg called me out to the back.

He pointed up to the roof and right above where we had played cards was Ricardo perched right above the table.

What a crazy bird!

Aug 08, 2011
Ricardo, aka Ricardette
by: Karen

Bless you for taking care of this bird! How rewarding! She is sweet.

Sometimes when I look out at our birdbath there is a dove who just sits there in the water, enjoying a soak.

He or she fills up most of the birdbath! it has been extremely hot in Ohio, so I change the water often to keep it cool. :-)

Good job!!

Aug 08, 2011
Ricardo the Morning Dove
by: Sherry

This is such a wonderful thing you have done!

He/she looks very healthy now, due to your caring. Great job.

We have many birds in our yard and have a lot of morning doves that we can walk right up to also. They are so sweet.

Again just wanted to let you know I loved this story.

We just had a bluebird nest in one of the gourd birdhouses I made and have 1 baby at this time.

So fun to watch them grow.

Aug 08, 2011
Ricardo Dove
by: Marianne

What a very special story. Bless you for all you do for Ricardo.

She is just precious and I wish you both a long an happy life.

It is just wonderful to see how she has improved and I hope she makes it all the way back to full health and happiness.

Thanks for sharing

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