What do I do if I find a pigeon or a dove and how do I know if it needs help?
Some people would argue that pigeons are just vermin but this could not be further away from the truth if you ask us. These beautiful birds can live up to 20 years and if you look closely their feathers shimmer in all the colors of the rainbow. Sadly most of them will only live a few years in the wild but just like any other animals or birds, we think that they are worth saving. Pigeons and doves are different from most other birds as they breed all year round. Therefore it is not unlikely that you find a little baby even early in the year.
Obviously not every pigeon or dove you see needs our intervention so how do you know when to interfere?
If the bird has an obvious injury ALWAYS secure the bird and contact your closest rescue center.
If the baby is on the ground and it is in danger (for example if it is on the road or your cat/dog is showing it too much attention) secure it and contact your closest rescue center.
A hatchling ( between 0 – 4 weeks old) will not survive on the ground. It will have a small amount of down and will not be able to get away from any predators. It will also suffer from the cold.
Even after they fledge they can look very vulnerable but please be careful so that you don’t interfere where it is not needed. If you see a baby that you think is in trouble start by staying back and observe. Are the parents around (Make sure that you don’t stand too close as they will stay away)?
Is the baby bird sitting in a tree? If the answer is yes on either of these two questions please leave it as it should be alright.
If the baby is on the ground and the parents are nowhere to be seen then catch it. Once it is caught secure it in a box big enough for it to move but make sure that it is covered. Place it somewhere quiet and warm and call a rescue center.
Do not EVER try to force it to drink water, if anything just offer it some water in a shallow bowl.
We cannot stress this enough as we have had babies brought to us that died after being force-fed water through a syringe, had their head put under a running tap (no joke...), or head pushed into a bowl of water.