Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: I seem to have acquired a pet bird

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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
May 2, 2012 3:23 PM CST
A mourning dove has been staying in the same spot in my yard for several days, this is day 4. It looks small for a morning dove, so I don't know if it's a hungry adult or an abandoned fledgling. I've been watching for a Mom or Dad but they're nowhere to be found. He's pretty much staying under a little Japanese maple that's next to our foundation. I bought him some seeds yesterday ($7, thank you very much!) and I've been throwing some daily. Also gave it a shallow plastic lid for water...

He's not very afraid of me, lets me get within a couple of feet before he hops away. He doesn't seem to be able to fly. Eventually I'll have to stop feeding him so he learns that I'm not Mom.

I've been thinking of him as a HE, but my husband named him Ethel Mertz. Hilarious!

Karen
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
May 2, 2012 3:51 PM CST
I had a couple of juvenile dove do the same for me last month. They could fly a little but not far. They would fly up to the hood of my car, then the top, and then to the tree branch about three feet above the car. They stayed about 2 weeks. I bought them some seed also, now that they are gone, I'm feeding all the White-winged Dove that have discovered the seed.
Thumb of 2012-05-02/Horntoad/cd22e9
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[Last edited by Horntoad - May 2, 2012 3:52 PM (+)]
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Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
May 2, 2012 10:14 PM CST
That happens sometimes with the baby birds that haven't learned to fly yet. They might try to fly and end up not being able to yet...then can't get back to the nest. Or strong wind blows the nest down sometimes. We once took a couple of scrub jays in. They were WAY too young to fly and we didn't know where their nest WAS. So we raised them for a while, even let them practice flying in one room of the house later before we released them. I must say, foraging for insects to feed them was one of the weirdest things I've ever done.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
May 3, 2012 4:17 AM CST
Good news- the bird flew away last night. When my husband approached to give it some seeds, it took off, flew up to the power lines. By nightfall, he hadn't come back. Hopefully he'll make it on his own.

I do like mourning doves. They're such cute birds.

Karen
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
May 3, 2012 5:38 AM CST
When I went out on the deck this morning, he was back under the little dwarf maple. I guess he thinks that's his nest now. After a while, he flew away again. Hopefully he'll figure out that the ground isn't the best spot. Cats and other critters could get him so easily.

Karen
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
May 3, 2012 10:57 AM CST
Mourning Doves are lovely birds but sure aren't the brightest bulbs around. They seem to be unafraid of too many things and easily fall asleep on the ground were lots of bad things could happen to them. Hopefully your little guy (or gal) makes it.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
May 3, 2012 5:34 PM CST
After a quick flight this morning, he came back and spent the rest of the day under that little tree. He's still there. He can fly. Maybe he's just not old enough and strong enough to fly long or far. He's cute though.

Thumb of 2012-05-03/kqcrna/c86762

Karen
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
May 4, 2012 5:43 AM CST
He's still here. I didn't throw him any seeds yesterday, as I want him to learn to forage for food for himself. Maybe I should give him some today.

Karen
Name: Raindancer
NE Florida (Zone 9a)
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Raindancer
May 9, 2012 5:56 AM CST
Karen,
I'm so glad I'm not the only gardener with "pet" birds. I have a gang of woodpeckers who visit the suet logs I put out for them and heaven help me if I'm late getting them their peanut butter. A couple of the older ones will cling to a tree in my front yard and screech until I walk out the door with the tray of food. I'm always amazed at how fast all the critters learn where the food and friendly yards are. I put out the peanut butter suet for the woodpeckers but the cardinals, wrens, finches, chickadees, etc. have abandoned the seed feeders for the suet logs. The small birds built nests in my Azaleas, Citrus and heavy vines, woodpeckers are in a nearby woods. I love it! They're bringing their young to my front yard for feeding. Little rascals are beating me to the ripe blueberries and pecking holes in my tomatoes. I agree with Linda that doves are a tad slow but they make such soothing sounds and they're one of my favorite little friends.
Smiling

Jo

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