Collared doves dying

Hello everyone

In the past week I have found two (fairly young I believe) collared doves dead in my garden. No blood on them and no feathers around, so I don't think they have been the victims of local cats (of which there are several, and there is also a sparrowhawk around). I  have also observed doves sitting around on the ground a lot, and not flying off until I get very close. Can anyone advise me on whether this is normal dove behaviour, and what might be responsible for the deaths? I am worried I am doing something wrong in feeding the birds that is making them ill. I clean all the feeders once a week and in between clear away any uneaten food (seed mix, suet, mealworms, peanuts). I feel so privileged as I live in an urban area but have encouraged so much wildlife into my garden (including a very cheeky hedgehog who pulled the straw  that I put in the hedgehog house  into the sod heap!!), so finding dead birds is very upsetting and I don't want to be doing something that is harming them. 

Thank you so much for any replies. Lu

  • Hi Lu
    Being a bird that flocks together there may be sickness amongst them, you will usually see them fluffed up and lethargic, and the ones I've had in the past all are dirty round their back end
    You may want to consider removing your feeders and water for a while and let them disperse

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  • Hi Alan, thank you so very much for replying, This has lead me to a link on trichomoniasis, and I have removed all but the hanging/caged feeders. Devastating as I now have a lot of confused birds hopping around the garden, but I'd be even more devastated if the doves/pigeons passed this on, as I have a sparrow colony and understand they can be susceptible too.
    Thank you again, Lu
  • At least at this time of the year there is still plenty of natural food available so they should soon move on.

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