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WhiteFeathers WhiteFeathers is offline
Posted 10th August 2009, 02:05 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Forest, Hampshire, UK
Posts: 34

How intelligent are doves?


Here is an example which I think proves that doves have more intelligence than I had given them credit:- When my white garden doves come to the back door asking for food I don't always give them the very expensive sunflower hearts that they adore. I often throw them some handfuls of ordinary mixed poultry corn, which they totally ignore. They don't even look at it. It is as though I had thrown them handfuls of pebbles. They walk through it and come a bit nearer looking up at me expectantly until most often I give in, and they wait while I go into the house to fetch the sunflower hearts they want. If, however, I resist and retreat and don't reappear with the sunflower hearts, they 'shrug their shoulders' and reluctantly make do with the mixed corn. Cheeky monkeys!

Anyone got any similar examples?

Elisabeth


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plamenh plamenh is offline
Posted 10th August 2009, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
Posts: 1,504
Today was nice and sunny day. I opened doors and windows of the loft. In front of the loft there was a bunch of pigeons and doves feeding. One Senegal dove walked determinately to the door of the loft and flied up to the highest cage. I was on my way to give medicines to all my sick birds and I saw it happened. I went inside, changed feeders, water dishes and gave medications. This dove was sitting and waiting patiently. I picked her up, checked and saw that has canker. I gave her pill and swabbed her throat. After that I placed food in the dish on the highest cage. She fly up and started eating. When I closed loft at the evening she was perching quietly on the same place.
Big deal you may say, coincidence.
This is not the first dove doing exactly same thing. All of them were sick!
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WhiteFeathers WhiteFeathers is offline
Posted 11th August 2009, 04:46 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Forest, Hampshire, UK
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by plamenh View Post
Today was nice and sunny day. I opened doors and windows of the loft. In front of the loft there was a bunch of pigeons and doves feeding. One Senegal dove walked determinately to the door of the loft and flied up to the highest cage. I was on my way to give medicines to all my sick birds and I saw it happened. I went inside, changed feeders, water dishes and gave medications. This dove was sitting and waiting patiently. I picked her up, checked and saw that has canker. I gave her pill and swabbed her throat. After that I placed food in the dish on the highest cage. She fly up and started eating. When I closed loft at the evening she was perching quietly on the same place.
Big deal you may say, coincidence.
This is not the first dove doing exactly same thing. All of them were sick!
How nice to think your doves have enough cofidence in you to know that you can help them when they feel sick. They just need to go and sit in the doctor's queue and await their turn and you will give them the pills and potions that will cure them. Very charming. Lucky doves.
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pigeonwriter pigeonwriter is offline
Posted 11th August 2009, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Munich
Posts: 70
That does not astonish me any more. I am convinced they have some kind of cognitive abilities. Mine do not only wait for their sunflower hearts, they know where they are and go straight away to the CLOSED container which is NOT transparent.
I could list innumerable occasions where they adapt from seeing just one time.

Just one incident which amazed me really:
3 days ago, our little one, Pina wanted to get back into the nest which I had placed on the floor. The wall of the flower pot was too high and she tried severl times in vain to get back by herself. I put a flat stone in front of the pot, Pina went around the nest again, realized the stone, hesitated for a short second in order to think about it, climbed on the stone and now she was able to get back into the nest. How about this?
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plamenh plamenh is offline
Posted 11th August 2009, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
Posts: 1,504
Hi whitefeathers,
No, my explanation is different. I would say that some of the doves and pigeons I cured and released found the way to inform others. When you are desperate and dying you would go to the ugly giant who you fear with all your soul and do anything just to survive. However stupid it may look in other circumstances.
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plamenh plamenh is offline
Posted 11th August 2009, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Johannesburg South Africa
Posts: 1,504
By the way talking about pigeon/doves intelligence, recently digging on the internet and looking for remedies for my birds I found following research facts:
- Pigeons can count to 6 while chimpanzee can count to 5 (experiment was conducted by testing abilities to remove every 2-nd; 3rd etc. object from the conveyor of identical objects)
- Pigeons can recognize similarities and group similar objects together like triangles squares etc.
- Pigeons do have abstract perception (can recognize picture of the person no matter single or in the group, and in different outfits.
- Pigeons like chimpanzee can use “tools” stick for example (or stone in pigeonwriter’s case) to reach their target.
- One of the longest runs home was 8000 kilometers during WWII pigeon carried message from West Africa to England. (I would get lost)
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egpigeon egpigeon is offline
Posted 11th August 2009, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cairo - Egypt
Posts: 626
I think It has special inelegance put not like Parrots as pets
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WhiteFeathers WhiteFeathers is offline
Posted 11th August 2009, 03:04 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Forest, Hampshire, UK
Posts: 34
[QUOTE=pigeonwriter;409668]That does not astonish me any more. I am convinced they have some kind of cognitive abilities. Mine do not only wait for their sunflower hearts, they know where they are and go straight away to the CLOSED container which is NOT transparent.
I could list innumerable occasions where they adapt from seeing just one time.


Loved hearing about your doves knowing which container the sunflower hearts are kept in. Certainly very intelligent. However, sometimes I think doves are not hugely bright. Example:- I moved the large blue plastic bowl of drinking water the doves use to definitely not more than three feet away from where it has usually been (because it had made a white patch on the grass). Romeo came swooping out of the dovecote after a long session of egg sitting, obviously in need of a drink. He went to where the bowl had been and when it wasn't there he gazed at the ground a little sadly for a while and then gave up and flew away. Of course he did find the water in time but you would have thought that he would have spotted straight away that the bowl had been moved. Not impressively intelligent!
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penname penname is offline
Posted 12th August 2009, 03:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 240
I think birds in general are more intelligent than most people think, but most of them aren't Einsteins either. I think different animals have different sort of intelligence, after all most animals can survive under conditions we wouldn't be able to!

Noddy my blind dove does something funny and sad at the same time, he is terrified of falling off things as he can't see how high he is obviously. He steps on the food and water dish and gets stuck. Even when he feels his way around and his food touches the ground and he's half off the dish he worries and steps back into the dish. It's funny to see but also heartbreaking. Sometimes he'll stand in the dish and peck the floor around it. He lives mainly on the ground and I have a perch on the floor for him so he doesn't get scared, and you'd think after all this time he got it?

That being said he's very cleverly learnt how to eat and drink and find food and water on his own! A while back I used to take him out to the garden and sit with him so he'd get some sun and fresh air and one day he flew like a bat out of hell off my hand and bashed himself on a wall. Ever since then he's become super careful and when he flies (not very often), he flies backwards not to bump his head. So they have long term memory and they're quite intelligent!

There is a BBC documentary about a parrot called the Kea in New Zealand, this bird is amazing! I know crows/ravens are mega smart and so are parrots.
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WhiteFeathers WhiteFeathers is offline
Posted 12th August 2009, 02:43 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Forest, Hampshire, UK
Posts: 34
Noddy my blind dove does something funny and sad at the same time, he is terrified of falling off things as he can't see how high he is obviously. He steps on the food and water dish and gets stuck. Even when he feels his way around and his food touches the ground and he's half off the dish he worries and steps back into the dish. It's funny to see but also heartbreaking. Sometimes he'll stand in the dish and peck the floor around it. He lives mainly on the ground and I have a perch on the floor for him so he doesn't get scared, and you'd think after all this time he got it?

That being said he's very cleverly learnt how to eat and drink and find food and water on his own! A while back I used to take him out to the garden and sit with him so he'd get some sun and fresh air and one day he flew like a bat out of hell off my hand and bashed himself on a wall. Ever since then he's become super careful and when he flies (not very often), he flies backwards not to bump his head. So they have long term memory and they're quite intelligent!


Oh! I did love hearing about your little blind dove, Noddy. How lucky he is to have you as his owner. Many people might have decided to 'put him out of his misery'. But he is obviously still enjoyng life with you. I didn't know it was possible for birds to fly backwards. That is clever.
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penname penname is offline
Posted 13th August 2009, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 240
He flies backwards in a landing sort of position as he doesn't know where the ground is poor thing. He doesn't seem to be miserable, I think he's adapted quite well to being blind, lots of people advised me to put him to sleep (not here on the forum, but in "real life"), I couldn't. The sad thing is he was picked by nature not to survive as we found him on the ground in our garden, but one thing's for sure, he's a little fighter
I've learnt a lot having him, I think we're the lucky ones that he's in our lives!
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WhiteFeathers WhiteFeathers is offline
Posted 13th August 2009, 01:48 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Forest, Hampshire, UK
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by penname View Post
He flies backwards in a landing sort of position as he doesn't know where the ground is poor thing. He doesn't seem to be miserable, I think he's adapted quite well to being blind, lots of people advised me to put him to sleep (not here on the forum, but in "real life"), I couldn't. The sad thing is he was picked by nature not to survive as we found him on the ground in our garden, but one thing's for sure, he's a little fighter
I've learnt a lot having him, I think we're the lucky ones that he's in our lives!
That is such a lovely story. I hope lots of people will read it. - Elisabeth
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