Question I rescued a wild mourning dove that was not fully feathered. I live in southern Michigan in the country and it has been in my home since Oct 8th. It is eating well (parakeet seed) and now is able to fly well also. I have taken it outside and it is able to find food. We have feeders near the house and have a lot of doves here. I don't usually leave it unattended while it is outside because I'm not sure if it will fly if approached by predators. It has seen other birds but not the doves. Should I just leave it alone while out there? Also it is now Nov. 4th and we have been having some evenings in the low 30's and I have been bringing it in at night. The next few nights are suppose to be in the 40's and I'm wondering if it is okay to leave it out all night to get used to the cold and will it find a place to roost for the night? We do have a screen porch that is large enough for it to fly around in and I could put it in there if necessary. I would really like to release it before the snow fly's but not sure if it's already too late. I would very much appreciate any helpful info. Thank you so much! Luanne
Answer The rule of thumb is always to release it as soon as you can. The longer it stays in captivity the less chance it has of making it in the wild. It may be cold and there may be predators and the bird might not make it - bird mortality is typically very high for young birds- but if you don't release it, you make it more dependent on you and less and less likely it will survive. So release it an hope for the best. Try one night on the porch and then release it. And thanks for your concern.
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Thank's so much for your help! I am working on it's release now, it does well with other birds including the other doves but so far has not tried to fly away with them. I have a rehab person to take it to if I am unsuccessful with it's release. Thanks again, Luanne
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