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About a month ago I found a baby mourning dove. He had no feathers and was on the ground with no mom in sight. I waited for his mom to come all day but never did so I took him in. I never took care of a bird before so it was all new to me (I could not find a rehab center for him). I named him Bean so he would have a name suited for a boy or girl, I feel like he's a boy though. I gave him the Kaytee exact and he got big and strong. We grew super close and he loves attention and cuddling in bed. He will sleep on me and lay beside me or on my pillow. He is the best birdy. Now I'm faced with the dilemma of releasing him. My concerns are that he will die so fast out there. His left leg isn't as strong as his right. He falls over every few steps. He is also very trusting of people and cats as my cat has spent a large amount of time next to his cage. They are buddies but I don't doubt my cat would eat him if he could. I actually let him out yesterday around 9am and he flew into the trees and I didn't see him until 6pm. He went to the ground and ate some seeds I put out. He then tried to take a nap on the ground... So I took him back in and he ate a bunch more and drank a ton of water and rested on my bed with me. I love Bean so much and I know he deserves freedom but how long does he really have? He has no bird instincts, he doesnt know what a dove is and is basically hawk bait. He may have years with me but as much as a day out there. What do I do?
 

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Little Bean

Hi there,

Please, please don't release little Bean! I was in the same predicament as you are until last month. I rescued a baby mourning dove last year and she became my best friend. Unfortunately, she was a female and bonded to me so strongly she laid 18 eggs in less than three months, despite hormone shots to get her to stop. There was no way she could continue to lay eggs at that rate and remain healthy, so my only choice was to release her and I took her to a rehab center outside of Dallas. They were going to do a soft release but on her second day she escaped and has been out on the loose ever since. I miss her like CRAZY and worry about her all the time. I have an Inca dove that I also rescued but is a male, and he needs a friend. He misses Rooh (my mourning dove) and is lonely. Mourning doves are such sweet and devoted birds. Rooh did exactly the same thing Bean does. She would sit on my chest while I watched Twilight Zone reruns, sit on the piano while I played, and she followed me everywhere. If you google "Rooh Mourning Dove" you'll see a couple of youtube videos of her and also one of Necco (the Inca). Warning: they're pretty dorky. Birds will do that to you!
If you're thinking that Bean needs a buddy and you want to find a good home for him, I'd love to adopt him (as long as you're in the continental US I'll drive!) But please don't release him - you have a friend for life. And you're right, he'd be hawk or cat food and and his weak leg might make it hard to become part of a wild flock.
 

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About a month ago I found a baby mourning dove. He had no feathers and was on the ground with no mom in sight. I waited for his mom to come all day but never did so I took him in. I never took care of a bird before so it was all new to me (I could not find a rehab center for him). I named him Bean so he would have a name suited for a boy or girl, I feel like he's a boy though. I gave him the Kaytee exact and he got big and strong. We grew super close and he loves attention and cuddling in bed. He will sleep on me and lay beside me or on my pillow. He is the best birdy. Now I'm faced with the dilemma of releasing him. My concerns are that he will die so fast out there. His left leg isn't as strong as his right. He falls over every few steps. He is also very trusting of people and cats as my cat has spent a large amount of time next to his cage. They are buddies but I don't doubt my cat would eat him if he could. I actually let him out yesterday around 9am and he flew into the trees and I didn't see him until 6pm. He went to the ground and ate some seeds I put out. He then tried to take a nap on the ground... So I took him back in and he ate a bunch more and drank a ton of water and rested on my bed with me. I love Bean so much and I know he deserves freedom but how long does he really have? He has no bird instincts, he doesnt know what a dove is and is basically hawk bait. He may have years with me but as much as a day out there. What do I do?
wild morning doves are not suppose to be pets, that is why they are protected by the migratory bird act.(a heafty fine if they know you harbor one) doves should be released to do what they were meant to do, that is find a mate ,nest and raise young, and migrate. IMO it is wrong to keep wild birds unless they are injured/ nonreleasable. your bird sounds like he would do well with a soft release which is what you are doing, keep food out for him as he knows how to find it from the feeder, he will learn from just having instincts and other doves coming to the feeder. summer is a good time to do this. what most don't realize is the less handling the better from the beginning, that is what licensed rehabbers know to do for a future release. I would hate to see mourning doves in the pet industry and so do allot of other people, that is why they are protected. If a person wants a pet dove there are domesticated ring neck doves sold at the pet stores. I hope The dove does well out in the wild where he belongs. good luck. :)
 

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Please think about giving it to Trish before releasing him. I would not release him. It seems you love him so much and want to do the best for your dove. I was thinking exactly same like you until last sunday. My husband had found a baby pigeon. He wanted to save him and brought him back to home. We hand fed him. We loved him so much. When we were in garden we led him fly free; He usually went to the roof, stayed there maybe maximum half an hour and came back. He preferred to be inside though. I wanted him to find a partner and enjoy life. I thought we know the end and it is important to live life in full. Last sunday we put his cage outside and opened the door. He flew far away and did not come back that night. I worried so much. He came back today - 72 hours later. I love this bird and I don't want to lose him ever again. He seems happy to be back also. I just read "Lucky in Love 1 & 2" in this site. It is a nice story, which tells about deep love connection between a bird and a human. I think the most important thing is love and happiness is where you find it.
 
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