Mourning doves are just so precious and gentle, and so pretty. The subtle coloring on them is really beautiful. The one in the back, a boy, came in late fall injured from a cat attack. All of his skin and feathers were torn off from the mid back down. It took a month of wound management to repair the damage. That sort of repair is always stressful just due to the potential infection. But, he pulled through just fine. His new skin is healthy and ready to grow feathers, so we are just waiting for him to finish that process. And he has to grow a tail.
The gal next to him came in after hitting a window really hard. She had a fairly serious hematoma around her eye. Luckily all was fine once the swelling came down. I put her with the other guy so they could keep each other company. She runs over to him when the scary woman comes in. No, they do not get that I won't hurt them. Doves are very stressy birds. They will be released together, and perhaps we will have helped them find love together.
I really adore these birds, but they are one type that are just frustrating in care. Their key defense is to blow out their feathers - and I mean a LOT. You will notice that neither has their tails. Earlier today the girl did, but she decided to let them all go when I went in to clean the cage. I have a protocol that works with this behavior, its called 'let them be.' They will both grow their tails back once in the aviary.
A little science: The right picture is an excellent example of what a "blood" feather looks like (the dark shaft at the bottom of the picture). This is what a feather looks like when it is just growing in. A feather grows out in a protective sheath that holds blood to grow the feather. The blood has all the nutrition for growth of the feather. A bird that breaks a feather low at this stage will bleed. Feathers are fragile at this point. Eventually, the full feather grows in and the blood section shrinks down to nothing.
These two are doing great, and they will be released as soon as they both have all their feathers and tails back.
Native Bird Care is small. But the work we do is critical. The needs of the birds we work with - song, shore, and waterbirds - are often underestimated. Each species is so unique that we must cater to each type of bird and their particular needs in care and housing. Add to that, handling these birds can be tricky; they all require specialized training.