Wild Mourning Dove Turned Pet

by Karylynn Mott

Wild Mourning Dove Becomes Family Pet

In May of this year (2009), I was sitting in my garage with the door open, and in flew a Mourning Dove.

I sat on the top step to watch it for a while.

It walked over to me and hopped up all the steps until it was at my feet.

I went inside and a few hours later it had curled up on the landing and it fluffed itself up.

That night I went back into the garage to shut the door and the bird was still there.

I tried to get it to fly out of the garage but it wouldn't.

I got a dish of water and of food and let it sleep in my garage for the night.

The next morning I went out to open the door so the bird could leave and I went to work.
Mourning Dove That Became Family Pet

Eight hours later the bird was still there, he would not leave.

I even tried to chase it out but it came right back.

The bird stayed in my garage for 5 months.

Even when I went to go up the driveway to take out my recycling it flew after me.

It started to follow me everywhere.

I was washing my van one day and it stayed around my feet the whole time.

Even with the noise of the power washer.

We had a party of about 56 people and it started to rain, so we moved into the garage and the mourning dove sat on the back of my chair the whole time.

Didn't even try to fly away from all the people.

If the bird was out on the lawn and I could not see it.

I called, come on pretty boy, come on pretty boy and it would fly to me and land on my head.

As the fall arrived the bird was still here.

It was getting pretty cold out and the bird would tap at the door with his beak.

If we did not answer, he would fly around to the back of the house on the deck and tap on my glass sliding door.

This bird lets me pat him and sits on my shoulder as I walk around.

I put a cockatiel cage out and in he went and that is where he is today.

He now lives inside a cage and he seems very content.

He is always cooing and loves to coo to music.

I open the door and he just sits in the doorway. So weird.

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Nov 04, 2023
Fledgling Dove Rescued Rehabbed and Released
by: Liz

I was handed a fledgling dove that had landed in the middle of a fairly busy street.

This comment was long so it's on its own page.

You can read it here: We Rescued a Fledgling Dove

You'll have to use your back button to comment here as there is no comment box on the other page. Thanks for your understanding.

Feb 25, 2022
My Time As Mother of Two Wild Birds
by: Tara

I bet the "Dove Turned Pet" was someone's pet who got out of their house or they released it.

I found two baby birds outside who had fallen out of their nest. They were so new they hardly had any feathers.

I could not stand it and took them inside the house with me and called my Vet for advice.

I hand-fed and raised them anyway and they survived!

When they were finally old enough and could fly away on their own, I put the box out on the deck turned the box on its side with them inside, and left my sliding doors open.

They would fly away for short periods, return and hop inside the house.

After a few days of letting them explore the outside world and feel comfortable, one day I close my sliding doors.

They were not very happy, but after a couple of days, they finally flew off.

I was in the process of moving to a new home and was and hoped everything would be okay for them.

My former neighbor told me they were still returning to the deck.

Initially, when she went out on her deck, she had to close her sliding door right away or both birds would try to get inside her house.

She said after a couple of months, they both stopped coming around.

They were so adorable!

Feb 06, 2022
Thank you
by: Ryan W.

Thank you so much for your story! I enjoyed it so much. Thank you for loving the birdie. And being such a good human!

Mar 28, 2019
by: Pat

We have had a mourning dove living in our back courtyard for ten months now.

She landed on our table last May and has become a part of our family.

She slept for the summer on the back of a metal chair, then when it got cold, I lined a milk crate with cardboard and put a perch inside.

She flew in every night but 3 all winter long.

The three nights she didn't come home were long ones.

She won't let us touch her but she likes to climb into our laps and sleep.

Since Spring has come she is spending less time with us. I hope she has met someone.

Mar 14, 2019
How do Doves Know?
by: Anonymous

Yesterday we had a terrible blizzard in Colorado. They called it a "bomb cyclone".

Hubby and son went outside to shovel before dusk and a dove hopped right up to them with his wings partially open and covered with ice crystals.

He allowed my son to pick him up.

We prepared a box with food and water and covered the box with a blanket to protect him from the icy wind.

This morning my son went to check on him.

The food was gone and he just looked at my son for a minute. Josh had to encourage him to move.

The little mourning dove flew out and away with no problem.

It was such a warm sight in the aftermath of an unbelievably violent blizzard!

So crazy that this pretty bird approached a human for help and I have to wonder if he knew he would be safe with us.

Sep 30, 2018
Tee hee
by: Anonymous

Hehe, that is so funny and cute that the dove follows you and chose you as "their human" friend.

Jul 31, 2018
Does anyone know why my dove is...
by: Lori

Hi, I feed the sweet little guys in my yard, I can't help myself.

But there is this one little dove who is just the cutest darn thing!

He sits on a branch, watches my window, and when he sees my shadow by the window he yells for me!

I'm not talking about the regular coo either, I'm talking about a sort of high-pitched bird Call.

I have NEVER. heard of this, Please, if anyone has will you comment? Thanks. Dove You!

Oct 24, 2017
Funny Mourning Dove Story
by: Anonymous

I found a dove in my vegetable garden in the summer that was old enough to have some feathers but still not old enough to fend for itself.

I couldn't find her nest so I decided to keep her.

I tried to feed her the best I could but she was terrified of me.

Her beak was a struggle to get open since she hated me that much.

So one day when I'm feeding her, I randomly mimic the sound of a dove and holy heck that was a game changer.

She began making little chirps and opening her beak for me to feed her.

So I guess I'm her mom from now on.

Jul 17, 2016
by: Daniela

Hi Jen,
It looks like you are doing well with the food.

We used baby budgie formula and my Mom opened the dove's beak to feed it.

It did not complain at all, because that is how their moms feed them.

It is important to give the dove plenty of love and let him/her see the outside to keep up the hope.

Good luck and God bless.


Jul 16, 2016
by: Gene

You might find someone to give you some advice from this list: NY Wildlife Rehabbers

Jul 16, 2016
Dove Rehab?
by: Jen

I just found a fledgling mourning dove in the middle of the road yesterday morning.

The bird seems healthy, but cannot fly.

He doesn't have all of his feathers, and you can still see his skin.

I tried to call a wildlife rescue, but they do not take baby birds where I am located.

I have attempted to feed it via the large syringe and glove method and have him poke his beak in it.

I can see him drinking and moving his throat when this happens.

It has been about 36 hours since I rescued him, and I offer him a plate of crushed cat food, wet cat food, bread crumbs, wild blackberries, egg yolks, apple sauce, and bird seed.

He pecks at the wild blackberries when I put them in the box. Otherwise, I haven't seen much gone from the plate.

I mixed some wet cat food chicken, rice cereal, and apple sauce in the syringe which is what he is eating every few hours.

This morning, which was about 24 hours since I found him, he had escaped out of the box.

I found him sitting in the sink, washing in a bowl of water - which tells me he was able to fly or jump onto the sink and is at least getting some nourishment.

I tested him in my garage and he was not able to fly - just fell to the ground gently each time, attempting to flap his wings.

We will attempt flight rehab daily.

Should I be doing anything more to make sure this bird eats and drinks?

I do not want it to die of malnutrition just from being inside, protected from the elements.

I live in a busy suburb in Upstate NY and he will not survive if just left on the ground.

When I found him, it had been raining most of the night and he had clearly been there awhile, as he was sitting in his own waste.

He did not get up to move when I approached and picked him up.



Jul 12, 2016
An Ode To Dovey
by: Daniela

Dovey, Dovey flying high.
Take your place in the sky.
When you were lying hurt on the ground,
Under a nearby car you were found.

Dovey, Dovey you live in my heart
We put you in a little box to start.
But you did not give up and die,
You always dreamed that you would fly.

Dovey, Dovey in the sky,
Ascend to your mighty throne on high.
Live in majesty with your beautiful kind,
You will always be on my mind.

Dovey, Dovey precious gift from above,
You taught me how to give and love.
With your sweet round eyes and soft coos,
Your perfect love I will never lose.

Jul 11, 2016
Sad and happy at the same time
by: Daniela

Well Dovey has been with us for a year.

He had started singing to the other birds in the area and he was able to fly although he needs to lose a couple of ounces.

Today was Dovey's day of freedom. We watched a last Star Trek last night and kissed him.

This morning, we let him go. We are going to see if he is still hanging around and needs any food.

We love Dovey so much. I just pray that the Lord will take good care of him.

Bye Dovey, we love you.


Mar 04, 2016
An update on Dovey
by: Daniela

Well, our wounded hero, Dovey the white-winged dove, is now fully healed and is a house dove.

He tried to fly away once, but just sat on the top of the Post Office.

My Dad had to climb up and fetch him. He just waited until he was rescued.

He shares a cage with two naughty budgies and they have taught him to peck!

He comes out a lot and loves to watch Star Trek, The Next Generation.

His favorite part is the beginning and the end when the theme music plays.

He looks so cute watching t.v. I cannot help myself and I have to kiss him.

Oct 05, 2015
Dove that will not leave
by: Lisa

We have a finch feeder in our yard and every so often we get doves that come and eat the seeds dropped on the ground.

Every now and then I put some safflower or sunflower seeds on the ground for the doves.

Today we have a dove that has literally sat down on our wood chips and not moved much.

The bird looks pregnant.

I do not know the sex of the bird. I am just wondering if it is going to lay eggs.

What should I be looking for?

It is a very large dove.

Aug 24, 2015
Dovey, the survivor.
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the kind words. Dovey is now beautiful and fat.

She is on solid food and is cooing much more now.

She is starting to beat her wings preparing for her first flight.

There is no sign of the puncture wound and her wing is healing perfectly.

Her feathers are beautiful. I wonder if we can post a picture on this site?

Jul 15, 2015
Our friend Chip
by: Paul

Back in March of this year my wife and son rescued a month old baby mourning dove from certain death as it was hiding under a car while crows attempted to make a meal of him.

We have raised parakeets over the years so, nursing this little dove shouldn't pose a problem.

After reading online as to how and what to feed him we began nurturing the little guy.

My youngest son decided to name him "Chip". For all we know, he may be a girl.

Well, after 2 months of constant feeding, cleaning and trying to wean him, he finally started eating some parakeet seed mix with some millet.

He absolutely loves to be around all of us and resides in a large cage at night with plenty of food water and warmth.

We realize that releasing Chip into the wild would be a death sentence, so he is now a part of the family.

I swear sometimes he seems like a dog with wings.

He sitting on my shoulder as I type this BTW.

May 06, 2015
Wild Birds
by: Gene

Hi Tina,

They are wild birds and shouldn't be petted. Nest abandonment may happen and it's never a good idea to treat wild birds or wild animals as pets. Enjoy watching nature.

May 06, 2015
Mourning Doves
by: Tina

I have a mating pair of Mourning Doves on my porch. They are sitting on egg/eggs I cant tell yet. I love to watch them care for them.

The male sits them all day and the female 6 p.m. and takes her shift until around 9 a.m.

I was wondering if anybody knows whether or not it would be okay to try to pet them.

I don't want to scare them away I don't want them to abandon the nest.

Jan 08, 2015
newly found friend
by: Fundi

In the office today we had a visitor, a small mourning dove.

I want to take her/him as my pet. I never had a pet before, what can I feed my new friend?

Please advise. Thanking you in advance.


Aug 05, 2014
morning doves
by: Anonymous

My daughter raised two after they fell out of the nest. She had them a few months and released them.

The male stayed and the female left. He is now our pet who is free to go but won't leave his cage but for a few minutes to fly, and back he goes in the cage. lol

Jan 23, 2014
by: Anonymous

Thanks for all the great info. I am currently rehabbing a mourning dove that had been mauled by umm, my cats.

He's in a cage and it's been 2 weeks and he's doing well.

And I am getting terribly attached but must let go as I have 5 rescue cats.

Scruffys cage is high up on the armoire and I must bring the ladder to feed him.

Although the cats are ignoring him now I don't trust them.

We love the birds and so we support spay neuter programs for cats which in turn saves the birds!

Dec 27, 2013
Desperately wanting to be a momma
by: Squiggy

We found a baby dove that fell out of a nest on a windy rainy day and raised it.

We named him Birdie, only to find out he was a she.

She has laid a few eggs, but they are not fertile.

She has gotten loose about 6 times and has always come back, luckily.

There is a neighborhood hawk that lives and hunts birds nearby.

We are always scared that Birdie may have been eaten by it.

Anyway, she has recently laid two eggs and is sitting on them diligently.

We don't know if we should let her keep sitting on them since they are not going to hatch.

In the past when she laid eggs, she always got bored and left them in her nest.

This time she is sitting on them for days. Please advise if you know what we should do.

We don't want to upset her. By the way she is about a year old. mmgarcia10 @hotmail. com

Oct 30, 2013
Mourning does Come to People. Why?
by: Anonymous

Just to add to the rest of the experiences, I've come across a mourning dove walking in front of my car yesterday evening, as I was parking, and almost ran over it.

As I begin to slow down to a complete stop, I notice the bird going under the car.

I walked with it to the back of the car and my son ( 5 years old) hops out of the car also and goes to pick it up.

It allowed him to do so, but to make a long story short.

It is sitting on the table in the kitchen as I type. Cool!!!

Aug 16, 2013
Mourning Dove
by: Lynda

Hello. Stumbled upon your page while trying to find some info on mourning doves.

A couple days ago I was given a mourning dove who has a wing injury and can't fly.

I tried putting him with my ringnecks because they are both female but they kept pecking him.

He's in his own cage now and seems content for the most part.

He stopped pacing and is getting used to the traffic in the house.

I don't think he'll ever be able to be released and I don't know if it's even possible to keep him or bond with him or whatever.

I can pick him up but he's jittery until I have him in my hands awhile.

Just needing some friendly advice here.

Contact at lyndapitt @ icloud . com. Many thanks.

Aug 09, 2013
a visitor came to visit
by: Bob

A mourning dove showed up on the back of my truck park with lumber for my project.

I thought when I got a piece of lumber it would fly away, instead it started following me staying near my feet even on my shoes.

I fed him to get him away from the work site so he would not get hurt, Didn't work.

With power saw drill he stayed right with me even getting on shoulders walking back and forth, stays with me all the time.

At night, the dove sits at the window near my chair to see me and has started pecking on window.

Will not let me pet him, started pulling at hair on my legs and landed on my head today with me walking around.

After reading the comments I have had to change name from Bernice to Bernie.

We also thought it was a message of some kind but now know I just needed a new friend and hope he stays with us.

I will use all of your info to make it happen. I also love the songs.

Jul 25, 2013
Home for 2 mourning doves?
by: Jen

Last September, a friend of mine brought me two newly hatched baby mourning doves that barely had any fuzz on them.

Their nest had been knocked down at a construction site and the mother never returned.

When I received them, I wasn't sure if they would make it, even with my extensive experience in caring for orphaned hatchlings.

Anyhow, I raised them and had planned to release them when they began flying.

Unfortunately, they became extremely attached to humans and constantly want to be near me or my husband.

I am desperately trying to find someone who would enjoy having them as pets and care for them as we have.

They are so tame and will sit on top of their cage for hours just chilling out.

We hardly keep them caged as they are so calm. We live in MI, so hopefully, there is someone willing to take them.

We both work so much and are traveling a lot.

They really need to be somewhere with people who will give them a lot of attention.

Releasing them into the wild is a death sentence that we refuse to do.

Apr 20, 2013
Pet mourning bird escapes:
by: Anonymous

My friends pet mourning dove escaped his cage.

I would like to offer her some comfort but can't seem to find the answer to my question. I hope someone here knows what to advise me.

Do any of you know what the probability is of this dove surviving? He fell out of his nest about 8 months ago and has been in my friends care since then.

Is it possible that genetics will kick in and the bird will survive?

Thank you.

Sep 11, 2012
sibling birds
by: Anonymous

I found two baby mourning doves a few months back. One of them was much bigger than the other.

The smaller one was almost dead. They have not begun cooing yet.

When they were very young, the larger bird would often take food out of the crop of the small bird.

At this time, they are just about equal in size, however, the smaller of the two is still just a tad smaller.

At any rate, I have a couple of questions, and hope someone may be able to shed some light.

The smaller bird has begun to chase the larger bird around the cage, also, the smaller bird has poked at the larger bird when both of them are eating the millet treat.

What is going on?

Aug 01, 2012
by: Amanda

We just found a baby mourning dove that fell out of our tree.

We weren't sure what it was at first or what to feed it, but now we're feeding him Exact parrot formula.

We named it Birdy and I guess we're going to keep him:) Thanks for the story, it helped us make our decision!

Mar 04, 2012
Time for a mate
by: Anonymous

I raised a mourning dove, and it sometimes sleeps with me on my arm.

It is constantly cooing, wanting out, then going to a spot on the top of the cage spreading its shoulders and doing the little coo- and mating gasp..blowing air in and out of its mouth with its mouth partially open any of you guys got a male by any chance?

Mar 23, 2011
New friend
by: Anonymous

Hi all last night whilst out on our patio a dove hopped up the steps to where I was and just sat there looking at me.

I then realized it could not fly but did not look injured in any way at all I went to the back door and it followed me so I sat on the step and put some water down.

It just sat right next to me very still just looking at me, I was worried cats would kill it in the night so I place it in an empty rabbit hutch with water food and bedding.

This morning it seems more with it so I opened the door up its not interested in going anywhere and is sitting there cleaning itself, maybe it knows it cannot fly?

I am not sure what I should do with it.

Oct 17, 2010
I have one too.
by: Anonymous

It is so amazing. I can't understand why the little bird wants to be with my Dad and I instead of being free. But it will not leave us. Why is that.

Jun 09, 2010
by: Another Bird Lover

You are so blessed! Glad he chose you to live with. They really are sweet birds and we love their song.

May 27, 2010
Sweet, sweet, sweet!
by: Karen

What a neat story! I love mourning doves and it is clear you do as well. Nice to have your love reciprocated, I'll bet!

May 27, 2010
How Sweet
by: Anonymous

That has got to be the neatest thing I have ever heard.

Thanks For Your Story

Apr 25, 2010
Wild Mourning Dove Turned Pet
by: LaDonna Clark

What a wonderful story! I'm so happy for you both! You have a wonderful pet, and he has a safe home. How lucky you are! :)

Nov 13, 2009
RE: Comment
by: Anonymous

Yes, we believe that he did loose his mate.

Nov 12, 2009
Pretty Boy
by: Anonymous

How sweet. Do you suppose he lost his mate?

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