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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATE: SORRY I POSTED THIS IN THE WRONG THREAD
This is a wild dove, but not the feral kind.


First timer here. A very adorable collared pigeon was born on my balcony and at the moment I think it is 11 or 12 days old (see attached photo). But yesterday he/she/they already started to eat some seeds by themselves and even swallows them!
Isn't this much too early?
(I've put the seeds near the baby because I want its parent to come back. They only come back once or twice a day - I know this because I've put a webcam on the planter).

+ Its feathers are also growing fast and he is already trying to walk a little as well, and... since today he/she has started flapping its wings rather impressively!
I worry especially about the latter because the nest is in a (too?) small planter on my balcony and, even though I built extra fences around my balcony, I really worry he's quickly going to try to hop out, fly and fall down along the wall of my 3rd floor apartment.

I'm actually planning on keeping this lovely creature but I don't want to take him into my house too soon. I would want to keep him in my apartment the moment he can really feed himself, but (of course) before he's able to fly. I wonder when that will be with this fast learner?
 

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Why do you want to keep him in your apartment? He is a wild dove and yes he is old enough to start eating by himself. It will be cruel to deny him freedom and will be a lonely life for him. Rather start putting the seeds and water on the floor closer to the door that leads to your apartment, so that he would rather go there for eating than over the edge of the balcony. You can tame him a little bit, but don't deny his freedom. He will start following his parents around when a bit older, but hopefully will come back for eating on your balcony. That way he will have the best of both worlds.
 

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What is that blue thing on the foot? Is that some kind of crappy homemade band? If so, then obviously this bird used to belong to someone.

I'm new to this forum and by no means an expert on any of this stuff. I've never even owned a bird, though I have worked with them at several workplaces. I am an outdoorsman though, and a more generalized animal person so I'm just going to put in my 2 cents that no-one asked for. I'm going to make a somewhat controversial point and I'm sure this won't be the last time I make it on these forums. So here goes.

Life in the wild is romanticized by humans. We see the birds flying so gracefully through the sky and we see the noble stag in the forest standing tall and majestic and all that, and we ascribe human emotions and ideals to these animals. But the truth is that stag might be in the process of starving to death, and those birds might be trying to evade hawk attack.

Life in the wild is brutal and short. If that bird is to live as a wild bird it's probably looking at a lifespan of only a few years if it's lucky. Freedom isn't always preferred. Not even by humans. Not when security is dangled in front of them. When given the choice between freedom and safety, most people probably choose safety. So why would we assume non human animals to think differently?

That being said, I agree with Marina on some crucial points. The bird will be lonely. Unless you feel like dedicating every waking hour to this bird, you're gonna want to get it a friend. It doesn't have to be right away, but fairly soon. I also agree that you could try to give it the best of both worlds. Let it be free but provide it with some kind of support system right there on your balcony. I bet that would improve its lifespan. For one thing it would allow you to provide medical care when the bird inevitably runs into health issues related to living in the wild. Even occasional parasitic treatment snuck into the water would probably be a significant benefit to the little guy.

Taking adult birds from the wild and trying to make them into pets is not ethical. The stress this causes vastly outweighs the benefits in my opinion. But a fledgling? In my opinion, if you are going to do it the right way, I see nothing unethical about it. It will adore its adoptive family and its bird partner. Let it fly around the house and bask in the sun on the balcony. Keep it well fed and relatively free of parasites. Give it medical care when needed. Do these things and I bet the bird will not long for freedom. I bet it will live a happy life several years longer than it would in the wild.

If life in the wild was so great we wouldn't all be living in houses and shopping at grocery stores. That's just my opinion. I know a lot of people will disagree but I think I've justified it at least from my perspective. If you decide to keep it just do it right and NEVER release it back into the wild once you've decided to keep it as a pet. Once you make the decision to keep it, that decision should be permanent.

I should also add for anyone who may read this, only very few bird species can be taken from the wild in this way (at least in the USA). Don't go adopting any bird species you find on the street. There can be fairly severe legal penalties if you pick up the wrong bird and decide to keep it.
 

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A dove like that can easily live 15 plus years in captivity. However, it will be a life without producing any babies (that's what they are programmed to do). This is quite a long commitment and one will never be able to release them after a couple of years, cause they won't survive.

I must admit, she/he is quite a beauty. If you want to do good, keep on supplying her with food and water but still let her fly free out there. She might come back with a mate one day and start a nest of her own.

Rather try adopting a handicapped pigeon, one that is unreleasable. There are so many out there that needs help. I think a pigeon will be a much better option than a dove anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to everyone with their replies and knowledge. However my question is not about keeping him. My question is about: can this fledgling survive its first fall from more than 15 metres down my balcony?
(this is about 50 feet).
There is concrete pavement everywhere here and no plants or branches an exploring fledgling could hold on to.
 

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Yes he will. But once he is down there, he might not be able to get back up again. When they start flying, it's much easier going down for them. He will be able to fly short distances upwards, but will have difficulty with such a great height. I can now understand your concern for him.

So it's only a street down there? No trees, no balconies on a lower level with plants? Where do the parents sleep at night?
 
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