My dog found a young ring neck dove on the ground that seemed to not be able to move very much. I picked up the dove and it was cold (night time temperature was 57 degrees) so I brought it into the house and warmed it which improved its energy level. It appears that it may be within 2 weeks of being able to fly. Can you give me some advise on what/how to feed it and any other care until it is able to fly?
Answer It is hard to know from what you told me, but the dove may have been attended to by its parents. Unless a bird is definitely injured or sick, it is best to leave it where it is as the parents are probably nearby. That said, it is VERY DIFFICULT to hand raise a young bird without experience so your best bet is to contact your nearest wildlife rehab center. If you can't do that you can go to www.ornithology.com/rehab.html for links to raising baby birds. Young doves are fed by their parents "pigeon milk" regurgitated from their crop. I understand that some feed stores carry something that would substitute. Good luck and thanks for your concern.
Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.
Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website www.ornithology.com, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.
Organizations A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.
Publications Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.
Education/Credentials PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.
Awards and Honors Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.