Collared dove fledgling advice


I have two in a low branch in my back garden easily accessible by my expert hunter of a cat Barney. 

I have been keeping her in for nearly a week until they fledged then yesterday they both flew away. I was therefore surprised to see them both return to the nest last night. This morning they were both there with a parent. This afternoon they still remain. 

I am nervous to let the cat out. Is this normal behaviour for collared doves? I’ve tried to find info about the behaviour of fledglings but couldn’t. Any idea how long it will be until I can let my cat out / they will fly away as she is determined to be outside and I worry she will get them. I will be sad to see them leave but it’d be worse if my cat got to them.

  • Others will give better advice than I could Netanya, but congratulations on having such a responsible attitude as a cat 'owner'.

    Best regards -
    Dave (another cat 'owner')
  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Ah thanks for saying that! I love all the animals and have grown very attached to the little things. I just want to give them the best chance I can.
  • In reply to Netanya :

    People with cats get a lot of stick (often deserved). It's only right that reponsible 'owners' get some praise when they take other animals into account. Bravo.

    Now, bring on the Collared Dove experts... (I hope).
  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Those that are irresponsible rightly deserve a talking to. I adore my cats but appreciate the dangers posed to local wildlife. Barney rarely goes near the bigger trees as they’re full of Magpies which dramatically scared her away once. Sadly this tree is so easily accessible. The older doves had been there tending the nest in shifts for a while but the extra activity of parents and young attracted her attention. I had to hose her out of the tree!

    I was worried not many would reply as I’ve seen a lot of dormant posts. If I don’t get a reply do you know where I might get advice elsewhere? Much of the info online is generic and lacking detail unfortunately.
  • There are very knowledgable people on the forum with regard to doves and pidgeons.

    If I don't see, later this evening, that you have help, I'll comment again to bump your post higher up in the view list.

    Best I can do...

    Off to hose down the cats...
  • Evening Netanya. I've private-messaged those I'm connected to on these forums asking if they know anyone who could help you out.

    Best regards -
  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Hi Dave,

    I really appreciate that effort! There really isn’t much advice widely available regarding collared dove young.
  • Hi Netanya, I can't help regarding how long fledglings use nest site but my experience of Collared Doves feeding in my garden earlier this year involved two adults & three youngsters quite regularly over a period of several days & I did read that they disperse very widely over the country but no time span given, will keep looking!
    Empathise with the difficulty in juggling cats & birds, my old boy died aged 20 this year & will not replace, however I have been 'adopted' by three different neighbour's cats so still on watch armed with water pistols!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Just posting to bump this up a little in the list.

    Anyone with further advice for Netanya?

    Best regards -
  • Hi Dave,

    I so appreciate the efforts you made to get me some help with this.

    I couldn’t see them at dusk last night, then this morning there was no sign of the fledglings. They had made their way, they had evidently came back to the nest for a rest yesterday (and a talking to from the parent that stayed with them for hours)!

    I have not seen them near the nest today at all, there has been no return. However, as it is currently dusk I thought I’d look out and saw them both sitting on the fence! They flew away a few moments later.

    The cats have been out today though they were cautious due to the wind. I’ve felt a little heartbroken to see them go, after having fiercely protected them and gone to special lengths to see them through. It has been unbelievably difficult keeping my huntress in. They really are the most charming birds and I have learned a lot about them. Seeing them go through nesting from beginning to end was just lovely.

    So it’s a success story. They fledged for good this time! *wipes tear from eye*