I have one pair of very pretty doves. The female, Sky, wisely picked a friend of mine’s yard when she became injured. The friend took her inside and called me. They took her to a vet, who treated a wound on her side, and gave her antibiotics. When Sky recovered completely, the friend brought her to me. I obtained a pretty tangerine ring neck dove and put him, Storm, in the aviary with Sky.
Birds can be the very embodiment of love at first sight. Really, it’s lust at first sight, but it is still pretty magical. Storm began to coo and bob and court sweet Sky. And soon she was laying eggs in the food dish. I got a dove nest box, more of an enclosed ledge, and a nest bowl (cardboard and one use only), and slowly convinced them to lay their eggs in the nest. The babies soon climbed out of the eggs, and looked so funny. Their beaks look oversize and they lack the grace the parents have.
Sky on the nest bowl.
Soon they were flying around the aviary and the parents started a second clutch. Storm didn’t like having another male so close to him, even if it was his son, so he attacked the babies until I had to move them to another cage. I was given another pair of ring necks. So I paired them up with the babies, and let love happen again.
Storm in the aviary.
Interesting dove fact: The female will lay only two eggs at a time. Usually there will be one male and one female hatch from those eggs. So I knew I had a good chance at two unrelated pairs. And doves could be the absolute perfect symbol of fertility. No nest provided? No problem! A food dish will do just as well.
We ran out of cages where we could stuff doves. I took them to my bird club meetings, but those people know about doves. The only way to get rid of them (the doves, not the club members) was to put them on the opportunity drawing table and hope against hope someone would pick them. Someone new to the club and happy to have any birds at all.
Hard to believe these ugly dovelings will grow into such beautiful birds.
I did manage to find homes for all my doves, except Storm and Sky. But I notices they were aggressive toward any other birds’ nests, and put them into the baby holding cage. They mate and coo and lay eggs in the food dish. This has been going on for a couple years now. I stopped in to my local feed store which had bought some of my budgies and finches before, and asked if they were in the market for doves. The clerk told me they only wanted white doves. Well, Sky is white. I thought I might have some chance of producing white chicks.
I set them up with a box and bowl, and put the food dish in the nest box. A couple days later, I moved the food dish out, and put the eggs laid in the dish into the nest bowl. Two adorable but funny looking baby doves hatched out. And while one is more white than the other, they both have that tangerine streaking that is so pretty. I will take my chances and see if the feed store will take them, anyway. And if not, guess what will be on the opportunity drawing table for June?
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.