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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a pair of Mourning Doves (Boris and Natasha). I inherited them from my mother who had a stroke.
"AnyHOO," things are going okay, other than Boris cooing anywhere from 1-4am most nights. Sometimes for just a few minutes, and sometimes sporadically throughout all morning hours, prior to sunrise. And almost ALWAYS at 3am. I don't know what time zone Boris thinks he is in... but he is driving me nuts. I have tried speaking in soft tones to him, tried total and utter darkness in their cage. I have tried noise cancelling panels instead of a blanket to cover cage. I thought maybe he was hearing the cats walking around at night, and it was upsetting him. Doesn't matter, because nothing is working to keep him settled at night. Anyone who says doves have such a sweet and soothing sound, has not heard the same dove sentence 40 times in a row in the middle of the night.
The ONLY way he will stop, is if I put him in a pet carrier, cover him completely, and leave the carrier on my bed at night, while I finally get some sleep (and the cats are on the bed as well). What does he want from me? He doesn't seem settled and comfortable. He is always chasing Natasha and pecking during the day. He has already destroyed one of her eyes, so she doesn't see half the blows coming at her from him. Luckily, due to somewhat poor eyesight in dim lighting, many of his pecks go without contact. Occasionally they have to be separated, but you can tell they are a bonded pair. He is just constantly being aggressive with her. My perch! My water dish! My food dish! My nest! Mine mine mine!
Help!
 

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Hello,

To be perfectly honest, I don't think morning doves make good pets, when in captivity.
A lot of the time there wild instincts take over there behavior and they hurt each other.
You can try and figure out why they are like that to justify there aggressiveness,
but a lot of the time it comes down to keeping them in confinement.
They tend to get crazy and frustrated from not having there freedom.

Hope This Helps,

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How long have they been with you? Sounds like he wants to mate and start a nest, but she is not ready yet. Can be the change of environment affecting her.
Thank you for responding. I have had them just over 2 yrs now. I think she may be too old for producing eggs, but I don't know for sure how long my mother had them before me. I found younger looking pictures of them from 2014 in my mothers photos. They were in a tiny little cage at my moms house, enough room for one small lovebird/finch. Now they have a flight cage that is 2.5 ft wide, 3.5ft long, and 4 feet tall. They have plenty of room. Usually we slide a board halfway through the height, to separate them. They each have water dishes (2 each) and feeding stations. I only separate them while at I am at work, since he is so relentless when he gets aggressive. In the evening when I get home, I let them mingle, supervised, and I correct him when he gets too hurtful. He lands on top of her on occasion, but he is so clumsy that I don't think he is actually trying to mate, he is just trying to force her down into the lower half of the enclosure. On the weekends we let them out of the cage to gets some real flight (indoors anyway). They mostly find a comfy spot and just clean themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a pair of Mourning Doves (Boris and Natasha). I inherited them from my mother who had a stroke.
"AnyHOO," things are going okay, other than Boris cooing anywhere from 1-4am most nights. Sometimes for just a few minutes, and sometimes sporadically throughout all morning hours, prior to sunrise. And almost ALWAYS at 3am. I don't know what time zone Boris thinks he is in... but he is driving me nuts. I have tried speaking in soft tones to him, tried total and utter darkness in their cage. I have tried noise cancelling panels instead of a blanket to cover cage. I thought maybe he was hearing the cats walking around at night, and it was upsetting him. Doesn't matter, because nothing is working to keep him settled at night. Anyone who says doves have such a sweet and soothing sound, has not heard the same dove sentence 40 times in a row in the middle of the night.
The ONLY way he will stop, is if I put him in a pet carrier, cover him completely, and leave the carrier on my bed at night, while I finally get some sleep (and the cats are on the bed as well). What does he want from me? He doesn't seem settled and comfortable. He is always chasing Natasha and pecking during the day. He has already destroyed one of her eyes, so she doesn't see half the blows coming at her from him. Luckily, due to somewhat poor eyesight in dim lighting, many of his pecks go without contact. Occasionally they have to be separated, but you can tell they are a bonded pair. He is just constantly being aggressive with her. My perch! My water dish! My food dish! My nest! Mine mine mine!
Help!
I apologize - - they are Pied Turtle doves. Not Mourning Doves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello,

To be perfectly honest, I don't think morning doves make good pets, when in captivity.
A lot of the time there wild instincts take over there behavior and they hurt each other.
You can try and figure out why they are like that to justify there aggressiveness,
but a lot of the time it comes down to keeping them in confinement.
They tend to get crazy and frustrated from not having there freedom.

Hope This Helps,

Good Luck
Thank you! I apologize - - they are Pied Turtle doves. Not Mourning Doves. Not sure if it makes a difference.
 

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Hi, I had too a dove, Semir, who did the same... I was used to say that he was a vampire dove because he "song" at night instead of sleeping... He was not frustrated or anything else, he had a wife and loved her so much. He was a happy dove, was very sweet with all of us (his human family) but loved to coo at night time ... In some periods he "song" more, in other less and was quieter... He passed away last year, I miss him so much. I miss even his songs but, yes, in the "worst periods" he drove me crazy...so I understand what you meant about cooing in the middle of the night...
Probably your dove stops to coo into his carrier because he feels a bit "scared" inside it..

The world of doves is a bit complicated.
Doves are very territorial and have a hierarchy rank. I had four doves and I had to separate the two males because they could not live together. Usually there is a "alpha": fighting is a way to show and to strengthen the leadership and to subjugate the other birds.
Sometimes I bring some food to wild birds in a garden, there are even two couples of doves... Well, they always fight a lot, one of them always chase the other pair and try to forbid them to eat...

Sorry for the stupid question: are you sure that you have a male and a female? Usually males are not aggressive with their own partner, at least I can say that based on my own experience (but I have never had turtle doves, I have never seen them here). They can attack others females like a single female dove or the partner of another male. Yes, sometimes they can "drive" their own partner back to the nest shouting and maybe pecking but that's normal, it could happen. But from what you said, Boris is very aggressive towards Natasha and they live together since many years... This is why I asked you that question...

That's not related to your cooing issue but I have a "tip": doves love hanging nests. If you have a small basket you can hang it to a curtain rail and see if they like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi, I had too a dove, Semir, who did the same... I was used to say that he was a vampire dove because he "song" at night instead of sleeping... He was not frustrated or anything else, he had a wife and loved her so much. He was a happy dove, was very sweet with all of us (his human family) but loved to coo at night time ... In some periods he "song" more, in other less and was quieter... He passed away last year, I miss him so much. I miss even his songs but, yes, in the "worst periods" he drove me crazy...so I understand what you meant about cooing in the middle of the night...
Probably your dove stops to coo into his carrier because he feels a bit "scared" inside it..

The world of doves is a bit complicated.
Doves are very territorial and have a hierarchy rank. I had four doves and I had to separate the two males because they could not live together. Usually there is a "alpha": fighting is a way to show and to strengthen the leadership and to subjugate the other birds.
Sometimes I bring some food to wild birds in a garden, there are even two couples of doves... Well, they always fight a lot, one of them always chase the other pair and try to forbid them to eat...

Sorry for the stupid question: are you sure that you have a male and a female? Usually males are not aggressive with their own partner, at least I can say that based on my own experience (but I have never had turtle doves, I have never seen them here). They can attack others females like a single female dove or the partner of another male. Yes, sometimes they can "drive" their own partner back to the nest shouting and maybe pecking but that's normal, it could happen. But from what you said, Boris is very aggressive towards Natasha and they live together since many years... This is why I asked you that question...

That's not related to your cooing issue but I have a "tip": doves love hanging nests. If you have a small basket you can hang it to a curtain rail and see if they like it.
Thank you so much. I am glad to know I don't have a mentally challenged dove. Or maybe I do. Maybe it's me! Also glad to know I am not alone about the cooing at night.
When they were at my mothers' house, I do remember her making a comment whenever there was an egg. Either I do have a male/female couple, or I have 2 females. I don't think she ever had any chicks though. I don't recall if she removed the eggs after realizing they were not fertilized, or if she removed them immediately. I have been wanting to take them to our vet. Just haven't done so yet. Boris is definitely dominant, and the big mouth, and a bully. Natasha is quiet, reserved, and usually hunkering in a corner somewhere when they are intermixing together. And yet, occasionally she sings little tidbits to him, which he seems to really enjoy.
I am allowing Boris to stay with her at night now (always trying new techniques), since his eyesight isn't good in dim to dark lighting, he can't drive her. So far, knock on wood, he hasn't been 'as' vocal during the night. He tries. But as soon as the covers are off, he leaves his perch and lunges at her. He has already damaged one of her eyes (before I received them), so I tend to be a little extra protective of her. Now he is separated from her as soon as I take the cover off. At least she has some peace during the day.
I think this is a step in the right direction. I will get them to the vet, find out what we are actually dealing with. I am not savvy when it comes to doves. It has been a learning as you go kind of thing. I've had an African Grey Parrot for about 10yrs, which I took over for my mom as well. I thought I understood birds because of the Grey. I was way WAY off. Cannot even be compared. I will definitely look for small nests to hang on cage. Both doves currently have a cigar box each, with filling. Oh my, don't even get me started on the nesting material. I bought stuff specifically made for nesting birds, colorful, safe, paper like product, no artificial dyes, etc.... Boris ate it. Couldn't eat it fast enough. I mean, come on! I have found he does best with lawn grass, straw and small twigs. But I think a smaller nest would be great, because then he would have more difficulty landing next to her and pecking when she is in it. And they each can have their own.
Thanks again for all the input. I feal more equipped to handle his moods. Thank you thank you thank you!
 

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You're welcome!

I remember that when Semir started to coo at night I talked about that to my vet and he said: "maybe it's because of the blow to the head" (he was hit by a car in the parking of a supermarket) 😅...
No, don't worry, you don't have a mentally challenged dove 😅, just a vampire dove 😉😜! Seriously I remember that other members had a similar issue. At that time Semir drove me crazy but now I miss his night coos so much. Anyway, let us know if you find the good technique 🤞 !

If you bring them to the vet, let us know the result of the test. We are curious to know their sex (lol, surely one is a female).

Let us know if they like the hanging nests! In the pic you can see my dove Phryne.

Good luck!
 

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Thank you so much. I am glad to know I don't have a mentally challenged dove. Or maybe I do. Maybe it's me! Also glad to know I am not alone about the cooing at night.
When they were at my mothers' house, I do remember her making a comment whenever there was an egg. Either I do have a male/female couple, or I have 2 females. I don't think she ever had any chicks though. I don't recall if she removed the eggs after realizing they were not fertilized, or if she removed them immediately. I have been wanting to take them to our vet. Just haven't done so yet. Boris is definitely dominant, and the big mouth, and a bully. Natasha is quiet, reserved, and usually hunkering in a corner somewhere when they are intermixing together. And yet, occasionally she sings little tidbits to him, which he seems to really enjoy.
I am allowing Boris to stay with her at night now (always trying new techniques), since his eyesight isn't good in dim to dark lighting, he can't drive her. So far, knock on wood, he hasn't been 'as' vocal during the night. He tries. But as soon as the covers are off, he leaves his perch and lunges at her. He has already damaged one of her eyes (before I received them), so I tend to be a little extra protective of her. Now he is separated from her as soon as I take the cover off. At least she has some peace during the day.
I think this is a step in the right direction. I will get them to the vet, find out what we are actually dealing with. I am not savvy when it comes to doves. It has been a learning as you go kind of thing. I've had an African Grey Parrot for about 10yrs, which I took over for my mom as well. I thought I understood birds because of the Grey. I was way WAY off. Cannot even be compared. I will definitely look for small nests to hang on cage. Both doves currently have a cigar box each, with filling. Oh my, don't even get me started on the nesting material. I bought stuff specifically made for nesting birds, colorful, safe, paper like product, no artificial dyes, etc.... Boris ate it. Couldn't eat it fast enough. I mean, come on! I have found he does best with lawn grass, straw and small twigs. But I think a smaller nest would be great, because then he would have more difficulty landing next to her and pecking when she is in it. And they each can have their own.
Thanks again for all the input. I feal more equipped to handle his moods. Thank you thank you thank you!
 

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Hi there your doing great I know the feeling of helplessness when our "kids" are in trouble I have to be honest I experienced my male dove "scalping" the female to death. It started w/injury close to her eyes Dont blame him unfortunately they have to pay for our mistakes . You must separate remove any and all boxes and anything that could be used as nesting. My male actually stole my phone charger and even plastic wear to nest build all white continuing to savage that poor female He is not a pet and trust me his aggression will escalate he will become very destructive (mine ruined deliberately 2000$ levelor blinds just ripped them off on a flyby the bad news you've lost and he has won he has no more respect for you or his surroundings I'm so sorry to relate this He attacked me for no reason (we had been best buddies) and but my face missing my eye by centimeters the worst part I'll never forget was the look of absolute hatred in his eye right before he nailed me oh I forgot to tell you that he killed the 2 babies as well by deliberately stepping on each one's neck This was living a night mare as I knew after contacting univ of Fl that he was a ROUGE bird created by me and he paid for MY mistakes with his life He was not a pet he belonged in nature x
 

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Hello,

To be perfectly honest, I don't think morning doves make good pets, when in captivity.
A lot of the time there wild instincts take over there behavior and they hurt each other.
You can try and figure out why they are like that to justify there aggressiveness,
but a lot of the time it comes down to keeping them in confinement.
They tend to get crazy and frustrated from not having there freedom.

Hope This Helps,

Good Luck
You are so knowledgeable and correct I have recently rehomed dove to central fl I hear that he is settled w/a mate and the aviary is huge But he is a bully because of my mistakes but can't be rehabbed enough to be safe if set free I hate that he had to pay for my poor judgement thinking "he's so cute he will be great house pigeon " thank you so much x
 
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