Help! Injured Mourning Dove in My Backyard


The injured yet fast and elusive mourning dove


This injured mourning dove in my backyard stole my morning. Find out how...


Now I LOVE birds. I'm a bit of a bird maniac, in fact, and I love all the birds that come into my backyard. The pomegranate tree is blooming, which means hummingbird time! Yesterday, I caught sight of a whole flock of white pelicans circling overhead. I have the regulars too: scrub jays, mockingbirds, sparrows, finches, crows, the occasional hawk, and, of course, lots of mourning dove pairs.

So Tuesday morning a mourning dove flew into our sunroom window. I heard it from bed and came out to find the dove a little stunned but walking and not dragging his wings or anything. I figured he'd shake it off and fly away. But he didn't. At dusk, he did jump up on the watering can and onto the picnic table bench. I figured he'd get his groove back soon. I left him food and water and hoped he'd make it through the night (cats!).

He was still here Wednesday morning. He hid all morning, but there he was in the afternoon peeking out from behind a bush. I called our local Wildlife Care volunteer for mourning doves. She seemed to think he was a fledgling and was a little "fly-scared" after the window incident. She said to watch him for the day and call back if he hung around much longer.

When my son Clyde got home from school, I had him help me corner the dove. He's fast! The dove lifted up a few times, seemed to be doing okay. Then I caught him and lifted him onto the picnic table hoping it would help him fly off. He just stood on the picnic table. And stood.

This morning, there he was. I called Animal Control and they said to bring him into the local Animal Care Center. I went out to catch him. I figured I could use my cat carrier to take him in. But man, he's fast for an injured fellow. You should have seen me running around my yard like a frantic person in garden gloves.

He did lift off again, but this time I noticed he definitely had a problem with one wing. Then I proceeded to lose him. My yard is tiny, people, and I can't find where he's hiding now. He's nowhere to be found.

Hopefully I'll catch him later when Clyde gets home from school and can help me. *sigh* And so the saga continues...


+++ What about you? Have you ever had an injured bird in your backyard? What did you do (don't tell me if it didn't end well; trying to be hopeful)?


gardening, yards


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Chris... ChristianBabe87

ok so now I want to know if you catch it. Good luck. I hope its ok.

Cafe... Cafe MicheleZ

I hope the bird is OK! Keep us posted. A friend of mine once took an injured bird she saw in NYC to the animal hospital. She stayed with the little one and the staff was so impressed with her that they helped the bird out for free.

Tessa... TessaBianca

I love birds so much. Mourning doves are very social. Maybe put out a little sunflower seed and some bird gravel. You can get bird gravel at your local farm supply or pet store. They need it to digest their food. Maybe if you can just keep him safe, he'll heal? Good luck!

Aemelia Aemelia

We lost our injured dove.  =(  But it was no where near as spry as yours sounds.  Ours was attacked by something and clearly bleeding.  We did our best to keep it safe and treat it but it eventually died after several days.  We all cried and cried.  I told my kids it was better to try and fail then to not try at all.

Hwizim Hwizim

I have had many injured birds and other anamials too. Thank goodness i had connections though. I volenteer with a birds of prey and other wildlife facilty that help injured birds of all kinds. If the birds didn't find me... I found them.

On my way home one time i found a injured hawk, one time a blue heron, a owl, duck, turkey, and the list gos on!  Sometimes birds came to me from other people saying they were injured and then it turned out they weren't. They were just babies adventuring off to explore the world. I just released them back to the wild where they were found.

your story has me interested.... Let me know if you find the little guy. thanks :)

Laura... Laura1229

The animal care center will just kill it.

Contact a local chapter of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition.  They are made up of volunteers who take in, rehabilitate, & set free injured wildlife. 


awww, poor guy. I hope you find him and get him in to the animal experts.

I saved a robin last summer after a storm destroyed his nest and two of his siblings were killed. :( he was obviously the largest and strongest of the three so I had hope. I did what you are supposed to do and put the nest back where it was and hoped mama would return. She did not. I called the wildlife rehab place again and they said I could bring him in so we drove like 100 miles round trip to drop him off. I would do it all again though, he deserved a second chance and those people definitely know what they are doing so I know he is OK. :) Hopefully there will be a happy ending for your dove friend as well...

scien... science_spot

how is he this morning? 

I have helped protect injured birds in my yard before.... usually I get them up on something like a box on an inverted trash can, so the cats can't get them, and let them rest.  i come back later and they are usually gone.


good luck little birdie!!

Cafe... Cafe Sheri

A follow up on my little friend here! I did find and catch the little guy (and only pulled out a few tail feathers in the wrestle; oops!) and took it into our local Animal Care Center and they released him to our local Wildlife Rescue for rehabilitation (assumingly because he wasn't too bad off). I'll probably never know his ultimate outcome—unless, of course, he heals and finds his way back to my little yard to say thanks. So I'll be waiting for that. Thanks everyone for reading and sharing your bird stories too!

nonmember avatar donna

so my cat had a bit of fun at a juvenile morning dove's expense. this poor thing has no tail feathers and is just sitting on my balcony. i cant leave it there to die. any suggestions?

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