A Conversation for Collared Dove
collared dove rescue
magicbettina Started conversation Jun 9, 2008
We live in Spain and our neighbour shot a collared dove which then landed in our garden. It's wing is broken and the vet says it will drop off or have to be amputated.
Meanwhile Birdie (that's her new name) is doing well in her recovery box and just about accepting her antibiotics etc.
Does anyone have any experience of looking after a one winged wild bird?
I asked the vet if she (Birdie, not the vet) would get lonely on her own but the vet thinks not.
What kind of avery do we build?
I don't want her attacked by our dogs or other birds but would like to think that if her mate were looking for her he could find her and visit.
We've only had her for two weeks and have never really looked after wild birds before so any advice would be welcome.
collared dove rescue
cururoocuk Posted Jun 21, 2008
Hi to All and magicbettina and Birdie,
A short Dove Tale (excuse the Dovetail pun, I used to be a carpenter).
A dove crashed into my window last year in July (I live in the West Midlands England) and broke her wing, she is called Curu, a name I chose which is similar to her song and to which she replies. I brought Curu in from the garden her wing hanging down badly in a limp fashion from her crash, before the local cats found her. I knew very little about birds at that time, so I after a little research I found that the solution was to tape her wings to her back using 'Micropore' tape (for easy removal later), for 2 to 3 weeks to prevent movement until the bones had set. This is similar to how we treat our own broken bones. If your Birdie had a compound fracture a little improvisation may be necessary using plastic straws or lollipop sticks to support the bones and the healing time may take a little longer. If it was a compound fracture, the antibiotics was a very good move, but they may have to be continued until the bones are fully healed. As long as the blood supply to the broken bone has been continuous, the wing will not fall off or need to be amputated. Be prepared for a fairly lengthy physiotherapy period. I found that with Curu, once the bandages came off she no longer wished to, or had forgotten how to fly, this is very often the case with caged birds, they become happy to stay on the ground because food and water is available and see no reason to fly. Don't despair at this, with patients and imagination, I raised Curu's food tray a little higher every few days using a stack of books, adding another book to the stack raised the food tray up an inch or two which encouraged her to realize that there was a good reason to fly. I recorded the hight of the stack and her progress, it took about 12 weeks to reach a hight of 20". Something like the time a human hip replacement needs for recovery. In fact since I have had a few broken limbs myself in the past, I recalled the "no pain no gain" motto that the hospital physiotherapist had used on me to get me moving around again after 3 months of immobility. So I put the pressure on a little at this point and raised the food tray up to three feet in hight and let Curu walk up a broom handle to get to the food (I have some nice films of this). I then slowly made the broom handle angle steeper which encouraged Curu to start flapping her wings to assist with her broom walk to the land of food. The Collared Dove is a very clean animal and they do like to bathe, so I gave her a gentle shower now and then. At this point while she was in the bath I decided to use water therapy (as we do with humans) and fill the bath with a few inches of water and let her swim using her wings, which proved to be very good for building up her waisted muscle power. There is much more I could say, but to cut to your question, Curu can fly beautifully now and doesn't live in a cage or an aviary, she happily sits quietly in the house on a large plastic seed tray on top of a high cupboard near to the window in my flat during the night. During the day Curu hops our out of the window and either sits on a high platform I placed outside of my window and watches me, or she flies up into the trees and sunbathes all day. At dusk she lands back on the platform and comes back into the house for the night. If its gets late, I go into the garden and whistle for her, and within a few minutes she will land on my outstretched arm. So if possible your Birdie's mate may find him/her if Birdie has a similar daytime platform. Other birds do mob the Collared Dove at times because they get mistaken for Sparrow Hawks and the like, so perhaps some kind of defensive cover may be needed. No, Birdie won't be lonely because you will be Birdie's friend for life and he/she yours, I regularly have conversations with Curu sitting on my shoulder. Where does this tale end, I'm not sure yet, Curu has stayed out a few full nights since the summer has arrived and at the moment is spending a lot a lot of time sitting on a coil of computer cable on top of her cupboard perhaps to her it looks like a good nest site, we will have to wait and see, but the story so far is a very happy one. The Collared Dove I can honestly say has a very calm, placid nature and will have the same affect on you and your friends and will repay you many times over for your kindness. They live for around 3 years in the wild, but have been recorded with up to a 30 years lifespan in captivity. I will close here, but would like to point out that it is illegal in the EU to shoot any wild birds, this practice by farmers has now been outlawed and was one of the prime reasons for the decline in the Turtle Dove (a close relative) population.
I hope some of this will help, and all the best to you and Birdie.
With every good wish,
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