Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This white winged dove was picked up as a juvenile because he was showing signs of malnourishment, which might have been due to his reluctance to fly. In the course of a week, he had grown about twice his size, enjoys eating, and can fly at will for the most part- especially if he is perched. I noticed that sometimes when he is on the ground, especially on carpet, he fails to take off and spins in a circle. This does not happen all the time.

Let me explain that he is a feral bird but seems to be semi-tame despite his young age. By this I mean he seems more accepting of human contact than he does of other doves. He does not like the calls of other birds and will cling to my head whenever another bird is present. He prefers to stay inside (perhaps because there are no other birds there) and he likes to remain in my presence. He will fly to my head and shoulders and peep happily whenever he wants attention. However, he is reluctant to be touched if not by his own will. He will perch on my finger, let me pet him, and carry him places only when he chooses to let me. He will throw a fit if I try looking under his wings, taking him somewhere he does not want to go at the moment, or offering something he does not wish to eat. He seems to have no interest in bathing even though I have provided a number of different ways for him to bathe. Even misting and bath spray seem to upset him. I want to stress that I've been very gentile with him and have tried my best to ease him into everything he does. When he shows signs of rejecting, I tend to stop immediately. I try to give him the most peaceful, stress-free environment I can.

During his flights, I began to notice that his tail feathers has small patches of light shining through. He preens fairly often and is not very delicate with his feathers as he does so. He will scratch his head and rub the side of his head with his shoulders, but his top feathers seem to be doing just fine. His tail feathers, on the other hand, are a sight I've never seen before. I reluctantly sprayed "UltraCare Mite & Lice Bird Spray" on him and his cage, but the problem didn't clear up at all. If anything, I just exposed him to questionable chemicals and caused us both undue stress.

He will not let me fan out his tail feathers to take a picture, so I will describe it as best I can. The thinning is mostly on the tiny hairs of the feather and it spreads out across the entire tail in an even thickness. There are 2 or 3 thinning lines running across his tail horizontally, as if they were barred feathers. He has numerous stress bars especially on the outermost tail feathers, which are the ones he treats the roughest when preening. There are maybe 2 of these tail feathers that have visible damage to the vein which appear like a white spec. I cannot tell if this is indeed due to parasites or if they had been bent the wrong way at some point. One feather has a pea sized chunk missing from it (which is what pushed me into trying the Mite & Lice spray).

Vets around my area are very hesitant when I inquire about checking my bird for parasites and even less willing if I mention he is a feral dove. White wings are hunted quite a bit in Texas, and apparently some people view them as noisy pests. I know I will eventually need to take him to a willing vet and perhaps a rehab center if his condition improves. However, I'm trying the best I can with what I have now, as meager as it is. His general health seems to be fine (no fluids around the eyes or nose, normal skin on feet, healthy appetite and mixed diet, mostly normal stool, periods of actively flying foraging and playing, clean vent area, no abnormal head twitches) but since the tail feathers are in such poor condition, I tend to raise flags at any odd behavior. At some point during the day, he will rest on a flat surface while leaning on an open wing. He doesn't pant or open both wings, and sometimes he will nap with one eye open in this position.

What worries me the most is every once in a while he will chirp in a way that sounds pained. It is usually a soft chirp that sometimes grows louder and he does not do so for long. I usually pet him a couple times and dim the lights- since I can't even hazard a guess at what's actually ailing him. He does a few different happy sounding chirps throughout the day that signify a good meal, looking for a new place to perch, and the need for affection. This other chirp is usually near nighttime and may simply be that I'm not paying enough attention to him or that he wants me to bring him back to his perch for sleep, but I'll always worry that he's in some sort of pain.

(poor quality) Video of the dove preening his tail feathers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=httDhcWwkaw

Video of the dove's distressed sounding chirps:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FLK7be_sG0
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,301 Posts
so what is your question? if it is about her/his lack of good feathering then his diet needs to improve, perhaps more black oil sunflower seeds. and also treat for feather lice again, sometimes it has to be repeated. I like to use seven dust 5% and dust the bird watching his eyes and nose. it works and repeat every two weeks for 6 weeks IMO. I like the dust/powder because doves feathers are dry feathers not oily feathers also I think it is easier to get all over the bird and in the feathers and you can do a bit of massaging, with the spray it just makes a mess IMO even though I have heard it works if used correctly. you will have to handle the bird for these moments so your best bet is to do what you need to do and not worry about it. as far as the vet goes if your state is the same as mine the dove is a protected species and the vet would have to release the bird to the wild when ready or euthanize it, they don't want them kept as pets because they are wild birds. also one can get a heavy fine if they keep one without a license. a rehabber may be the way to go as they are licensed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess the issue is that I have never seen mite damage or lice damage that looks like this. There's obviously more than one problem going on. His tail feathers are a mess, and of course I'm worried it may be a sign of stress, possibly an early indicator of an illness.

I considered sevin dust but didn't get it for three reasons. First, it's not the safest for birds, and I figured I should try something made for birds first. Secondly, I'm not sure Sevin dust wouldn't end up all over the place except for the stubborn bird. Even if it gets on the bird, I have some sort of worry that he'll start preening immediately after, and that would be another hours worth of mess. Lastly and most importantly, I can't personally be sure it's parasites only. I have not noticed any fine white, brown, or red dots near the head, tail feathers, or under his wings (though I realize any parasites would try to hide). I cannot find little dots on the paper under his perch either. This is why I called around trying to bring him to a vet.

I know the law, and I don't intend to keep him. I never intended to keep him as long as I had. I gave him a meal and shelter for the night. He was more shocked about going back outside again, so I figured I should find a rehabber in the area. There are none in my immediate area, and I'll have to make quite a trip to get to one. I don't care too much if he isn't with me, but I don't exactly want him to die immediately. There are many 'incurable diseases' and 'behavioral problems' that lead to an automatic euthanization of a bird. I don't want a rehabber to put him down for something like PMV or for his apparent fear of other birds. Also, it's not fun when you have a dove and learn the rehabber in a 100 mile area mostly focuses on birds of prey. I want to make sure he doesn't have a rehab-troublesome disease and so far people haven't exactly been motivated to give medical attention to a recreational hunting bird. I just don't want him to be the bird that wasn't given a chance.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top