Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wayward Dove

There must be a sign painted on our roof: "House Full of Suckers - Land Here" We were out in the yard this evening and saw this dove in the lawn. He was wearing a bright orange leg band and was obviously domesticated.

He wasn't injured, just seemed to be stopping by for a break. I know nothing about doves so one of you is going to have to help me with identification. I held him for a bit and he sure was strong and kept trying to wiggle out of my hands. His feathers weren't like soft, pliable chicken feathers. They were rigid and stiff for powering through the air. Clearly he was built for flight.

Jim put some corn on the lawn and the dove found it and ate quite a bit. He also got a drink from the pond but seemed unsure of how to approach it - another sign of being someone's pet or 4-H project. As the sun went down he seemed to be trying to find a place to roost for the night after doing some preening.

First he tried to fly into the garage through a window but that didn't work. Then he landed on top of the chicken coop. Not high enough.

He tried the roof of the house. Still not high enough! Finally he settled on top of the barn. If he's still here in the morning I'll call the 4-H bird advisor and ask if anyone is missing a dove.

Sweet Pea asks, "He's not staying, is he?"


  1. He sure is pretty. Maybe he belongs to someone who does the dove release at a wedding or a funeral. They let off some doves at my uncles funeral. I'm not sure if they were all solid white or not it happened to fast. He could be a 4-H project also. You might want to call a local animal shelter to see if anyone is looking for him.

    I sure hope you can find his real home!


  2. That happened to me when I first moved into this home....

    It was a racing pidgen from illinois, a young bird. Well we contacted the owner by e-mailing a racing pidgeon website who helped us with the numbers on the band. The owner said to take him about 20 miles and release him to see if he would go home. Sometimes they just get tired and take breaks.

    Well, we released him and he came right back that afternoon! So the owner of the bird said to just keep him....We ended up naming him buddy.

    BTW, we have one of those signs on our place that only critters seem to see as well....infact a new kitten happened to show up on the doorstep this very morning.

  3. That's really a pretty dove. That same thing happened to my nephew in San Antonio - a dove flew in to his back patio and never left. He comes and goes but mainly hangs around their back patio.

  4. He has beautiful markings. You just might have a new permanent resident on your hands. I know you have no objections and those errant creatures will always have a good home with you guys.

  5. You do seem to be a the repository for lost birds! He has beautiful markings! Maybe some of his friends will show up and then you can build a dovecote! Wouldn't that be pretty!

  6. What a beautiful bird! We found a white one in our pasture one year, with a band. We put it in a box in the garage, but it seemed ill. Upon examination, it appeared to have lice, and it would not eat or drink. It died after 2 days - but it was the sweetest little bird....Yours looks to be so healthy, and BEAUTIFUL!

  7. Amy, you have one of those signs too? Lol, well the dove must have heard from all the others what good care you take of them and decided to stay. He really is beautiful. We have doves that feed in our bird feeders but they are those gray ones and not nearly as beautiful as that one.

  8. Hi Amy, that is not a dove but a fancy pigeon, either a homer or a racer. He probably got off course and just needed some food and to rest. Pretty bird. (I used to breed doves and showed with folks who raise pigeons)

  9. Hi all, after doing a bit of research I've learned that this is a racing pigeon, just as Mare stated above. It is advised to provide water and some grain to give the bird some fuel and a chance to rest. Usually after 24 to 48 hours the bird will simply go home. Let's hope our little visitor decides to do just that. I know that if it was my bird I'd be worried about him and want him returned to me. This bird is clearly used to being cared for and waits patiently to be fed. He's been getting water from our pond and he flies around here and there from rooftop to the barn roof. He's very pretty and fun to watch. But I'm afraid I've got enough birds to care for and I'm not getting into racing pigeons!


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