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Discussion Starter #1
I have two spotted neck turtle doves named Spitfire (girl) and Hurricane (boy).
About 6 months ago, Hurricane began freaking out over disturbances during the night and taking off into the aviary roof and wire. Both my birds are in an outdoor aviary in a big backyard and originally I believed that I had eliminated the reason for why this was occurring, as this tendency eventually stopped. Now that we've moved house to a different neighbourhood, Hurricane has had two more episodes of this in the past 2 months since living here. The first was just 2 nights ago, the latest incident was tonight. On all the other occassions it only happened in the pitch black night, between midnight and sunrise, but it is only 7.30pm and Hurricane has been spooked to the point of going into the aviary walls again. my other bird, Spitfire, barely even cares or sometimes gets spooked by his behaviour, but manages to get herself onto a perch and avoid hitting anything.
I'm so worried about Hurricane, nearly everytime this happens I take him inside and always inspect him for wounds and I'm hurting myself knowing that he probably is continuously giving himself a concussion and that must be so painful. I want the best for both of them, and want to figure out how to stop this entirely, but it seems to occur more frequently now, with less and less provocation.
The second to last time this happened (just 2 nights ago) he ended up with an obvious gash on the top of his head. I am so tempted to keep him as an inside bird, but he loves the outdoors and Spitfire and him are becoming such good friends.
My current plan is to just bring him in at night time before it even gets dark, every night for a few nights to a week, and let him into the aviary again in the morning so he can enjoy the sun with Spittie. As time goes on I will leave him outside later and later, in his small cage within the aviary, so he can get used to the sounds, smells and sights that might occur during the night without being in the big aviary and therefore without being able to gather enough speed to really injure himself if he flies into something.
I really want to train him to accept his aviary and the environment around it at night, has anyone else had this experience?
Spitfire and Hurricane are both hand reared doves who fell to the ground as babies, but unrelated. Spitfire is very sturdy and bossy and confident in nature yet Hurricane is very sensitive, slow, quiet, affectionate and sweet. I get the feeling this may just be his personality where he gets quite worried over little things, much like a human.
Comments welcome, thanks heaps.
 

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it sounds like what they call night frights. I have heard two remedys for pet domestic birds which is confusing.. one said to put a light on so they can see, another said to make it totally dark so they won't see shadows and think it is a predator at night..I guess if they see nothing they are fine. I had a bit of this with my cockatiel and the darker seemed to work better.. if there are porch lights or street lights he may be seeing shadows and flickers and think he is going to be attact by a predator. these birds where in the wild they probably do better would have room to burst flight as the sky is not a roof .
 

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Thankyou Spirited Wings. I'm in a way relieved this happens to other birds, and its not something unique to my Hurricane! I can see how being so 'flighty' would be beneficial from a survival point of view in the wild, as a cat could be climbing the tree in which they sleep to kill them or predator birds who hunt at night.
I had thought of putting out a small light so they can at least see where their perches are if they do frighten or at least see the shadows properly and see them for what they are, although I have read birds don't sleep unless it is completely pitch black, or close to it.
I'll try blackening out my back windows with a few good, dark blinds, and putting something up to stop the noise/light from the neighbours' too, as well as slowly getting them used to sleeping outside in their new environment again.
Will keep people updated as others may have this problem in the future and might want to know what works.
Cheers
 
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