Q:

How do you care for baby doves?

A:

If you find a fledgling or nestling bird, you should call or contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center. However, according to the Schuylkill Center, every attempt should be made to reunite the baby bird with its parents. Care for a baby bird depends on if it is in a fledgling or nestling stage. It is a myth that mother birds abandon birds touched by humans.

Nestlings are young birds that have pink skin and are often featherless. If the bird has trouble flying or can't move around much, it should stay in its nest. Fledglings are old enough to leave the nest but may also be out of the nest because they cannot competently fly. When feeding nestling doves, you should attempt to recreate the feeding method of the parent bird. You can cut the tip of a nipple for the dove to slide its beak into, cut a finger off a rubber glove, place the glove over where the nipple was and cut a cross slit at the top of the glove. You can feed fledglings defrosted corn or peas one at a time by hand until the bird finishes swallowing each one. A desk lamp with a 40-watt bulb or an electric heating pad set on low will suffice for warmth for the first two weeks. Keep the housing away from dampness and drafts. If hand raised, take the bird to a sanctuary where it can mingle with other birds to learn how to fly.


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