We found a dove...now what do we do?

Last night I got a call from my sister saying that there was a dove in our backyard. What made it surprising was the fact fact that we live in a fairly urban neighboorhood, we hardly see any animals except for a rare cat, racoon, or pigeon. So, I told her to give it some bread and to leave it alone because it was probably resting. When I came home the Dove was still in our back yard. She was beautiful and docile. I approached it to see if I would find an olive branch in her beak but it didn’t have one so we took pictures of the it and gave it food.

This morning I wake up and I find the dove in our living room. It started raining last night and the Dove was shaking because it was very cold so my sister decided to bring it indoors. My sister said that the Dove tried flying away but could not achieve flight. So, here it is in our living room.

Now we don’t know what to do with it. We love birds (We once had a gray cheeked parakeet for fifteen years, that is why we had a cage for the dove) but we don’t know if we are doing more harm than good by keeping it indoors. This Dove is obviouly not domesticated. It seems like it is terrified. Should we call animal control? Should we keep it? Should we fire up the barbecue:)(Totally Kidding)? Any suggestions or information about these birds would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, I hope I put this in the right forum.

Contact a wildlife rehabilitator in your area. There is a partial list here:


You can find more sources on Google, your phone book, or call Information. Even if the one you get in contact with can’t help you, they will be able to get you in touch with someone who can. These people specialize in this type of thing.

I am not a wildlife expert. And since this is MPIMS…I can guess without someone pitting me.:smiley:
I am concerned that the bird may be ill and that this could be bad for you. I am concerned that having it inside could stress it even more. Yes, call animal control and do not handle the bird. They should be able to advise you about what can be done. I once ran up on some kind of wounded wader type of bird on the beach. I called animal control and I was very surprised that they had someone out within the hour. Good luck.

Hmmm, this is something I didn’t consider. Can we get sick from a bird? The only person who touched it was a family friend who put it into the cage.

The Dove is now standing. Before it was just sitting. It appears to be more animate.

I guess I will try to call Animal Control, but I am hesitant because I have heard horrible things about the one here. Since this is a pretty large city I hear that they really don’t know how to deal with these types of situations. A long time ago a friend found a skunk in his backyard. He called Animal Control and they ended up killing the poor thing in their attempt to capture it.

Thanks for the information Laughing Lagomorph, I did not find one near me in the link you provided. I will try to see if there is one in the phone book.

Maybe I can take a drive to a local park and let it go?

Bring it to a peace protest? (Just kidding)

Maybe this will be helpful.

I would also be worried about it being sick. Do you have West Nile virus in CA? I say put it back outside and let nature take its course. Cats have to eat too.

It’s funny that you mention this. You see, yesterday there was a protest a few miles away from here. This may explain how the it got here. Maybe they released some doves.

Thanks jacksen9, the link is very helpful.

I don’t think the virus has hit us here yet, Rhum Runner. That is why we brought it in, because there are a few cats that wander our neighborhood.

Saute with lemon and butter. Salt to taste.


No. Domestic cats are not part of the natural food chain, and they don’t kill out of hunger. Well-fed cats kill are just as destructive as unfed ones.

Chaco, I’ve worked as a wildlife rehabilitator, and have some experience with doves. What color is the dove? Is it white? If so, it’s a “domestic” bird. If it’s tan with beautiful markings, it could be a mourning dove. I’m not sure about West coast species, and am going to post before looking it up in order to expedite things.

First, since you have it in a cage, cover it up and put it in an out of the way warm place. That will reduce stress. Is the it shaking/twitching or moving it’s head from side to side? That would indicate head trauma. It may have a broken wing or breastbone, preventing it from flying. This needs to be treated ASAP, bird bones heal rapidly, so it needs to be set right by a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator. Jacksen’s link covers the basics.

California has a number of excellent wildlife centers. Where are you in CA? If you’d rather e-mail me, please do; I have some WL rehabilitator directories and will be glad to help you locate one. Time is important; a rehabilitator can rehydrate the bird and provide an appropriate diet, as well as the medical care. If you are in the San Francisco area, a good friend works for the WL shelter there . I’d recommend it highly. Don’t feel hesitant to call a rehabber at an odd hour/weekends; it’s a devoted bunch of people dedicated to each and every injured animal. Let me know if I can help further.

  1. Some cats are feral
  2. You don’t by that, substitute raccoon, coyote, weasel, fox, hawk, gull or other predator/omnivore of your choice.

Thanks elelle for the information. It was very helpful. The Dove is white. We spoke to the local Animal Care and Control Center and they also informed us that they are domestic birds. The Dove is overweight and that is why it has been having difficulty flying. Also, they told us that we are not the only ones with newly acquired doves. Several Doves were released at the peace rally yesterday and they are being found in various parts of San Francisco and Daly City both dead and alive.

ACC tolds us that we can bring it in and they will take a look at it to see if anything is wrong with it. If we want, they told us that we can leave it there and some one can adopt it. They said that sometimes restaurants adopt them so that they can make it food (I think she said squab) :eek: I don’t know about giving the bird up for dinner, so we may end up keeping it.

The irony of the peace doves being left to flounder and die in the city is just, so amusing and sad. But perhaps that is another thread! You’re a good sport for taking in the bird, I am sure it will get better soon! Good luck.

I seem to remember one of the recent Olympic opening ceremonies…Seoul, maybe?..featured a release of doves just before the lighting of the giant Olympic torch. Some of the doves had come to rest on the edge of the torch and were promptly immolated alive in front of a world-wide TV audience :eek: .

Chaco: Don’t release the bird to Animal Control; I’m shocked that a bird released as a symbol of peace is treated as a being less worthy of decent consideration. Here ya go: get in touch with these folks:http://www.wildcaremarin.org/ My former co-worker is now the WL bird gal there. She will understand the situation, and probably has many other doves under the same circumstances. She is the kindest soul you could ever meet, so rest assured, your dove will have good care. I am going to e-mail her now to let her know the situation; but she probably knows it already. Again, know that a bird in her hands is a lucky one.

When people released Doves for various events, I never really thought about where they might be going. Poor doves, I guess they are casuaulties of peace.

Thanks elelle, if we can’t keep the bird we will definitely contact your friend. There is no way we would release it to ACC. That is why I was hesitant to call them in the first place.

I have no advice to give. I just wanted to say that the thread title made me think of that Heavy D and the Boyz (I can’t believe I just typed that) song that goes, “Now that we found dove, what are we gonna do with it?”

Or maybe it was “love”. Whatever.

Chaco, contact that number, and ask for Melanie. I’ve e-mailed her. She is a top-notch bird nurse, so know your dove will be cared for. Be generous with any spare cash, too, it’s a great wildlife center you have there. We miss her here.

Since it is a domestic; don’t keep the dove without consulting with Mel. She will help you to realize if that’s a good thing.

Thanks for having a good kind heart.

Releasing live domestic doves is bloody stupid, as stupid as it would be to dump your pet parakeet or canary into the wild.

Quoth Cecil:

Sorry you had to deal with this.