Help caring for a collared dove?

A friend has brought me a young collared dove (looks like it hasn't quite grown all its feathers yet) after waiting at home for two days for the RSPCA to show up and not hearing anything from them. Apparently her dogs brought it in. At the moment it's in a small cardboard box in my shed, with bird seed and a bowl of water, while I figure out how best to care for it so it can go back into the wild. It seems very tame even though as far as I know nobody had any contact with it before my friend rescued it - whenever my friend tried to get it into a tree, it just climbed back down her arm and rested on her shoulder, and when she was holding it it never struggled or tried to escape. It doesn't seem hurt in any way and looks quite relaxed.

What should I do to care for this bird? I know it should have been left near where it was found, but my friend's worried her dogs will get it again if it's left near her house before it can fly, whereas my shed is in a tall, fenced-off compound which was designed to be as predator-proof as it can get since it also houses my guinea pigs and rabbits. 

  • Hi Lucky welcome to the community.
    You can try looking on here to see if there is anyone nearby that can help or try the RSPCA again.
    It wont be much fun for it in a cardboard box unless you can find space for it in your compound if it has a roof on it, I had a Racing Pigeon for a few days a couple of years ago and managed to find a cheap bird cage on the internet for it.

    My Flickr photos

  • Morning Lucky,
    I work on a voluntary basis at a wildlife rescue facility here in Switzerland.

    I would echo Alan's advice: find a local rescue centre.

    Care is, or can be, pretty complicated. In my (limited) experience, antibiotics and an anti-inflamatory are administered to almost all birds that have had contact with dogs or cats as even tiny micropunctures can lead to septic shock.

    Until then, lots of quiet and some water available.

    Re food, I'm trying to dig out some notes I have. If I find them, I'll post a link.

    All the best -
  • Still looking for those notes. But you can also try (can't vouch for the organisation though..)
  • Can't find the link to those notes Lucky, but a few extra thoughts:
    Warmth. The bird will need to be kept warm (should be warm to the touch).
    Habitat. Small box is good. A branch to perch on will help.
    Water. Keep the water (small, heavy dish) away from the branch to keep it clean. Also, you may need to rehydrate the bird (if it's not drinking of its own accord) hourly. A local vet should be able to provide you with syringes---the type they use for administering meds.
    Food. The first question is if the bird feeds itself or if, when approached, it opens its beak. If it does the latter, it needs feeding. And that will also need to be hourly from sunrise to sunset. I'm not actually sure what young Collared Doves eat... as a grain eater is will need grit/sand, but as a *young* grain eater it may not eat grain yet (young Greenfinches, for example, are insectivores).

    A rescue center or rehabilitator is your best bet, I'd say.

    All the best -
  • Hi Lucky and welcome to the community, I have hand reared baby pigeon from a few days old, but yours sounds to be a fledgling that will need seed and grit, can you take a pictures of it so we can see how old it is. If your thinking of feeding it yourself it may never want to leave the area so you may have to put seed down for it in the future. this vid will show a way of getting it to eat seed.