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Hi everyone! :)

First of all, a brief introduction since I'm new : my name is Allyson, and I'm a 21-year-old animal lover from Canada (Montreal) who recently purchased a cute ringneck dove (named Clementine, hence the username :D ).

I tried to gradually increase her time out of the cage every day to make her feel at ease and let her warm up to me. At first, if we tried to get her to perch on a finger or put her somewhere she didn't like, she would sometimes start flying around erratically in what I originally assumed to be a confused panic, usually coming to a stop against a wall or a piece or furniture.
Only a couple of weeks later she's already a lot more tolerant of being handled (though she'll readily hop off if she doesn't feel like it), but her flying is still hit-and-miss, and since she's now very calm around me and sometimes even comes to see me, I'm thinking that it's probably not due to panic after all.

A few days ago we let her out into the living room while we were watching TV and after a little while she had another fit of erratic flying, but she eventually just landed on a desk and sat there happily so I didn't worry about it.
Today, however, after a good 7 hours out of the cage (with a break somewhere near the middle where she went in by herself), she randomly started flying around again, but instead of landing properly like last time, she flew into the wall again. I thought this wouldn't happen once she's settled in, so I'm at a loss! Has anyone else experienced this, and is it normal? Could something be wrong with her?

I thought about neurological disorders but she seems normal in all other aspects as far as I can tell, and sometimes she does fly directly from point A to point B with no problems (though she's not the most graceful of fliers). Do note that when I say "flies into a wall" I don't mean that she rams into it - rather, she flies until her chest is touching the wall, and then just keeps flapping as she's sliding down the wall, all the way to the floor. To my knowledge she has never actually hit herself hard against something, it seems like whenever she touches an object during flight it's always feet-first or chest-first and she merely bumps into it and resumes flying the other way (or sometimes keeps trying to fly into it as described).

I also wondered if she might just be hesitant to land somewhere, but she's found a few good perching spots in both my bedroom and the living room and sometimes flies straight to those without any fuss, so I'm confused as to why she doesn't just always do that. It's possible that she's simply not as settled in as I thought, but she seems very comfortable with eating, preening and even almost sleeping on me and in various parts of the house so I didn't think that was the problem.

If anyone has any advice or experiences to share, I'd really appreciate it!
 

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Hi Allyson,
Welcome on board :)
Don't have any such experience but just a guess. Could be some balancing issues while flights or could be if she can't see properly by one eye? Do you think, her both the eyes look OK?
 

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I'll add to what Kiddy has said ... does she have a good, long full tail and the flight feathers on both wings all intact?

Is she very young?

Be good if you could post a couple of pics so we can see just what she looks like.
 

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Yeah, missed some good points John, Thanks to add :)
 

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I had a Ring Neck Dove who would do that and she would fly in dim light and hit things and walls as well. Thought something was wrong with her but she eventually settled down and learn everything by rote. I guess by doing it. She picked out some spots and would pretty much stay with them. Believe it or not I think this is normal for them to learn the different aspects but it sure does worry you and puts your heart in your mouth. lol lol..
I guess just practicing and learning about things...Don.t really know. If I wore a different color shirt like maybe a brown and white print of some kind or anything with red in it this would set her off and she would fly frantically so I think this is a escape tactic of some kind. My dove would fly in total darkness if something set her off and in the beginning it did not take much to start her with this frantic flying around the room..But eventually she settled down but was always ready by the different coloring of your clothing or anything shocking to her...weird.. Her name was Mrs. Grouchy and lived well and since she was a wild dove who I helped I later released back to the wild and she is doing well for she visits me once in awhile..
 

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That's actually pretty normal for a dove who has spent its entire life in a cage.

Flight is instinctual, but there is still a learning curve and ringnecks are build for speed and agility.

A dove that's spent its entire young life caged just has no idea how fast it really is. They over accelerate with no idea how to break, so they hit the wall and flutter uselessly against it, not having realized that they can turn and continue to fly in another direction instead of just breaking their fall.

With more practice, Clementine's light will improve.
 

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That's actually pretty normal for a dove who has spent its entire life in a cage.

Flight is instinctual, but there is still a learning curve and ringnecks are build for speed and agility.

A dove that's spent its entire young life caged just has no idea how fast it really is. They over accelerate with no idea how to break, so they hit the wall and flutter uselessly against it, not having realized that they can turn and continue to fly in another direction instead of just breaking their fall.

With more practice, Clementine's light will improve.
Didn't know if she has always been caged so how could she learn to fly means they hesitate in taking off? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for the replies! :)

Kiddy, I thought about the eyes too, but they seem to be fine. Judging by the way she turns her head when looking at things, I'm pretty sure that both of her eyes can see properly.

John, I tried attaching a picture showing the wings and tail (will try to get an open-wing picture eventually), I'm not sure what qualifies as normal but it all looks good as far as I can tell! Her wings aren't clipped in any way and have never been (to my and the pet store employee's knowledge). It's possible that she could have damaged the feathers in some other way (maybe by flapping against an object during one of her frantic flights) but I can't find any signs of this.
The employee said she's probably around 1 year old, but couldn't give an exact age.

c.hert, that's interesting! I did think she was trying to escape at first, but she relaxed in my room for hours yesterday before suddenly doing it, so it seems more like she was just trying to fly around but failed to land.

Ramsey, I didn't realize they needed practice! But now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. She sometimes seems to realize that she can turn the other way but maybe she's just not completely used to doing it yet. Since she came from a pet store, she probably has spent her life in a cage as you said, though it's impossible to know exactly how the doves are reared at the store's supplier (the store received her when she was already sexually mature).
It's great to know that she could improve with practice!

While we're on the subject, I'd just like to ask a little question about letting a bird out inside the house. How do you guys deal with the mess? Especially since Clem tends to have somewhat runny droppings (going to bring her to the vet soon to check it out), I don't really feel comfortable just letting her do her business on furniture and floors, so I try to cover most big landing spots (but she keeps surprising me with new and inventive ways to perch on uncovered surfaces!)
I was thinking of getting one of those Flightsuits (essentially bird diapers) so that I wouldn't have to keep following her around and putting paper underneath her (which must be annoying for her too when I sometimes have to lift her up), but I'm afraid it might throw off her balance and flight aptitude even more. If any of you happens to have experience with that product or any other similar products, I'd really appreciate some tips!
The only information I can find about bird diapers on here sounds quite promising but it's all about pigeons, which are generally bigger and bulkier than my little ringneck, so I'm wondering how it would work for a dove. If we can pull it off then she would have much more freedom!
 

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Don't know about doves, but pigeons have to be landed to poop. We just put towels on stuff and below where they sit. Haven't tried the birdie diapers but some people really like them.
 

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How brightly lit are the rooms she is flying in. If too dim then she probably can't see that well.
 

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Don't know about doves, but pigeons have to be landed to poop. We just put towels on stuff and below where they sit. Haven't tried the birdie diapers but some people really like them.
I do that too, the only problem is that she keeps finding new places to sit, often outside of the areas I predicted! I keep having to run over to where she is to put towels or paper down, only for her to take off 15 minutes later and land in a new spot.
I think what you said applies to doves as well, Clem only ever seems to "go" when she's sitting (then again, she doesn't spend much time in the air so it could just be a coincidence).
 

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How brightly lit are the rooms she is flying in. If too dim then she probably can't see that well.
That's a good point! But usually she's out during the daytime, sometimes even with an additional lamp turned on, and I think our house is reasonably bright.
 

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I do that too, the only problem is that she keeps finding new places to sit, often outside of the areas I predicted! I keep having to run over to where she is to put towels or paper down, only for her to take off 15 minutes later and land in a new spot.
I think what you said applies to doves as well, Clem only ever seems to "go" when she's sitting (then again, she doesn't spend much time in the air so it could just be a coincidence).
Maybe if you were to put up a shelf that was appealing to her. Like put some treats in that spot. Maybe you could get her to want to perch more in one place. Worked with my pigeon.:)
 

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Thank you all for the replies! :)

Ramsey, I didn't realize they needed practice! But now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. She sometimes seems to realize that she can turn the other way but maybe she's just not completely used to doing it yet. Since she came from a pet store, she probably has spent her life in a cage as you said, though it's impossible to know exactly how the doves are reared at the store's supplier (the store received her when she was already sexually mature).
It's great to know that she could improve with practice!

While we're on the subject, I'd just like to ask a little question about letting a bird out inside the house. How do you guys deal with the mess? Especially since Clem tends to have somewhat runny droppings (going to bring her to the vet soon to check it out), I don't really feel comfortable just letting her do her business on furniture and floors, so I try to cover most big landing spots (but she keeps surprising me with new and inventive ways to perch on uncovered surfaces!)
I was thinking of getting one of those Flightsuits (essentially bird diapers) so that I wouldn't have to keep following her around and putting paper underneath her (which must be annoying for her too when I sometimes have to lift her up), but I'm afraid it might throw off her balance and flight aptitude even more. If any of you happens to have experience with that product or any other similar products, I'd really appreciate some tips!
The only information I can find about bird diapers on here sounds quite promising but it's all about pigeons, which are generally bigger and bulkier than my little ringneck, so I'm wondering how it would work for a dove. If we can pull it off then she would have much more freedom!
I've tried flight suits on my doves and will never do it again!

Doves bodies are very delicately balanced. Every little movement, including walking, involves movement of the tail feathers, and the flight suits pinch them closed. This throws their balance dreadfully, and after a distressing amount of flailing on the ground, my bottle raised dove daughter, Sami, would not even attempt to move again.

It took weeks for her to come anywhere near me again.

Doves are also badly frightened by anything inbetween their legs, so diapers in general are just an all around no. >v<

I make flight harnesses for my doves, but they just allow the birds full range of motion so that I can take them outside safely.

I wouldn't let them free fly until the runny poo is addressed, but once it is, an easy way to deal with furniture is to throw an old sheet over it.

You can teach your doves that they are not allowed to go certain places by telling them no and removing then the first time, and then ending free flight the second time.

Be patient with them. Doves do not learn as fast as pigeons, but they are also less willfully stubborn.
 

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The problem is that they don't hesitate to take off. They just don't know how to stop or turn. >v<
Meant to say that if she has been caged till now, why she doesn't hesitate to fly? how could she learn to fly? Do breeders keep them in cages? To pigeons they keep in coops usually. it is hard for caged birds to learn to fly even . Don't know much about doves so asking.
 
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