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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! My husband and I have two happy, pampered rescued white pigeons who are indoors at night but we often put their cages outside on nice days so they can get some sun and entertainment watching the other wild birds that frequent our backyard. Well, all was well until I suddenly heard a loud "thump". Unfortunately I recognized the sound as a wild bird flying into a window. Well I no sooner got up to go investigate when our (indoor) Cockatiels suddenly began screaming and thrashing around their cage. So I quickened my pace and ran to the back door just in time to find a Cooper's Hawk sitting on top of the pigeon cage! Both pigeons were sitting "frozen", frightened but unharmed, and as soon as the hawk saw me it flew away. Moments later, however, I was heart-broken to find a dead mourning dove on the patio underneath the pigeon's cage... no doubt the one who flew into the nearby window trying to escape the hawk. Now, the other part of this story is that there has been a Mourning Dove incubating some eggs in her nest up on some patio furniture over the past week or so...but she is now gone. Whether it was the one who flew into the window or not, we can't be sure, but we kept an eye on the nest all evening and neither parent has returned (it's now midnight and she was usually sitting on the nest by sundown at the latest). Since it's now quite cool outside we're concerned about the abandoned egg and are wondering what we should do: Should we just leave it there over night in hopes that the parent might still return in the morning or will the chilled air kill the chick? We could try putting it in with our female Roller Pigeon, to see if she might adopt it but she's not a breeding female. In fact, she gets Depo-Lupron shots every few months to prevent her from laying, so I don't know if her maternal instinct would even kick in. Or should we take it in and try to hatch and raise it ourselves? I know it's "just an egg", and I'm probably being silly to be so concerned, but I can't just forget about it without at least trying to give it a chance at survival. Any advice?
 

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Hey, i feel kind of heartless for saying this but i think you should let the eggs be. Even if the mourning dove which died is the one which was incubating the eggs, it's partner will take care of the eggs though the chances of the eggs hatching will be slim. If your pigeons would have been a mated pair with their own eggs maybe you could have placed those with your pigeons eggs but if you put the eggs in their cage now most chances are they will see around it for sometime maybe a day and half but after that they will abandon it even if they show signs of incubating the eggs initially.So, if you really want to save this egg, wait till next afternoon if no mourning dove arrives then take in the egg and try to hatch the eggs yourself but do it only if you are ready to take up such a delicate task, you will even have to take care of the babies if the eggs hatch.If you decide to take in the eggs and the mourning doves arrive later then put back the eggs when they are not around.Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, I don't think you're "heartless". In fact, it's one of the options I considered. I know sad things happen in the natural world and sometimes I can be a bit obsessive or unrealistic about trying to save a living thing. That's why I wanted to bounce it off you guys... yes, to find out if there's a way I might be able to help, but also to see if I'm being unreasonable thinking I can intervene and save the little thing and to ease my conscience if I do such as you're suggesting and it doesn't survive. So thanks for your support!
 

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It looks like you are an amateur with pigeons, so I think that it's best if you leave the eggs because only very experienced pigeon fanciers are able to hatch abandoned eggs and then keep the hatchlings alive (even they fail to do so sometimes), do let us know if the mourning doves return.
-Rubeena
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good news! Mama (or Papa) is back on her nest this morning! Well, I learned a valuable lesson about the avian maternal instinct, and what to do with nests that appear abandoned (if a hawk attack isn't enough to scare away a nesting bird, I don't know what is!) Yes, I guess you can say I am fairly new to pigeons. We've had our first rescue pigeon for about six years and the second came to us a couple of months ago, but have no interest in breeding them. My family did successfully raise a baby bird during my high school days, but I've never incubated, and hatched, an egg, so I really appreciate your suggestions and am so glad the parent finally returned!
 

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:) That is really great news!If you have a pigeon from 6 years then I guess you're not even close to an amateur :p. I was kind of concerned about the eggs and I feel very happy now that the parent has returned but the only thing which I feel curious about is that why is there only one parent?Have you never seen another parent around the nest?If you have always seen only 1 parent near the eggs then chances are that the parent is a hen and either the eggs are infertile and won't hatch or this hen is a 'side hen' of a male who already had a mate and he mated with her only for fun and will not take care of the resulting eggs/squabs so she is incubating the eggs on her own.
-Rubeena
 

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What I would do to help that dove is simply put out a good food supply so if and when the babies hatch, which they may not as they will have chilled overnight, depending on how far along they were in development. If she doesnt have to go far to worry about foraging, that alone from you may help her succeed in raising them AND whos to say that it WAS one of the pair, could be another dove from anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's hard to say if she still has a mate. Remember, one mourning dove flew into a window and died (presumably trying to escape the hawk). My husband said he used to see two hanging around the patio area but hasn't seen the second one for a while. So, that may have been her mate. There are also quite a few mourning doves that hang around our back yard and we did see a lone dove sitting on the electrical wire yesterday, at the back of the yard, so perhaps that was the mate. At any rate, we do throw some of our pigeon feed out on the patio for them. It's a pigeon & dove mix that I buy at a local poultry, horse and livestock feed store (not a pet shop). We found it's not a good idea for us to put out a specific feeder because the neighborhood hawk finds out about it and dive-bombs them while they're all huddled together eating (I've seen him do it!) So now we just scatter it out on the pavement so they can search around for it. Oh, also, I actually did take the egg from the nest that night when it started to get cold (and here in Tucson Arizona, "cold" means around 40 or 50 degrees) and kept it inside for most of the night until about 4:00am when I placed it back in the nest in case the mom returned. So I'm hoping we may have kept it warm enough to survive. I guess we will see. I'll post if it hatches and let you know the status!
 

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Oh, I hope that the mate is alive and will return soon.If there is only one egg, then maybe the single parent can hatch the egg and take care of the hatchling is he/she is determined enough.
-Rubeena
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I work at home, so I can monitor her. If she turns out to be a single mom, we'll keep a close eye on things and make sure there is plenty of food and water nearby. Then, if by chance she does abandon her chick, we would either take it to the wildlife rehabilitation center or do our best to hand rear it. Of course, we would make sure she was really gone before we would do that. When I had the egg inside the house that night I "candled" it with a flashlight and saw a vague ring of zig-zag lines running around the shorter circumference of the egg about 2/3rds of the way down but no visible embryo yet. So, if fertile, it must have been in the very early stages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good News!

Good news! All is well! We are sitting out on the patio and just witnessed the "changing of the guard"... Yes, the other parent just flew down from the utility wire at the back of the yard, where he or she was standing guard with a bunch of other doves, and changed places with his/her mate on the nest. It was sweet to watch, and we are happy to finally know that the parents are both alive and well. The parent that was just relieved of nest duty is now fighting the other doves in the yard for his or her share of the food we have thrown out on the patio area for them. This nesting pair tolerate a considerable amount of activity on the patio around them, and to get back into the house we have to pass within a few feet of their nest but they don't even stir. So, barring another hawk attack, I think they'll be just fine!:D
 

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Hi! My husband and I have two happy, pampered rescued white pigeons who are indoors at night but we often put their cages outside on nice days so they can get some sun and entertainment watching the other wild birds that frequent our backyard. Well, all was well until I suddenly heard a loud "thump". Unfortunately I recognized the sound as a wild bird flying into a window. Well I no sooner got up to go investigate when our (indoor) Cockatiels suddenly began screaming and thrashing around their cage. So I quickened my pace and ran to the back door just in time to find a Cooper's Hawk sitting on top of the pigeon cage! Both pigeons were sitting "frozen", frightened but unharmed, and as soon as the hawk saw me it flew away. Moments later, however, I was heart-broken to find a dead mourning dove on the patio underneath the pigeon's cage... no doubt the one who flew into the nearby window trying to escape the hawk. Now, the other part of this story is that there has been a Mourning Dove incubating some eggs in her nest up on some patio furniture over the past week or so...but she is now gone. Whether it was the one who flew into the window or not, we can't be sure, but we kept an eye on the nest all evening and neither parent has returned (it's now midnight and she was usually sitting on the nest by sundown at the latest). Since it's now quite cool outside we're concerned about the abandoned egg and are wondering what we should do: Should we just leave it there over night in hopes that the parent might still return in the morning or will the chilled air kill the chick? We could try putting it in with our female Roller Pigeon, to see if she might adopt it but she's not a breeding female. In fact, she gets Depo-Lupron shots every few months to prevent her from laying, so I don't know if her maternal instinct would even kick in. Or should we take it in and try to hatch and raise it ourselves? I know it's "just an egg", and I'm probably being silly to be so concerned, but I can't just forget about it without at least trying to give it a chance at survival. Any advice?
Timing has to be right for fostering, both parents need to develope pigeon milk to feed. I dont blame them for not coming back, they would of been a meal, it is possible that one or both got it from the hawk. I would offer the eggs to the crows and hopefully the pair are ok they will start again in perhaps a more discreet place. If they come back now the eggs are probably not viable from being chilled.
 
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