Watching baby mourning doves transition into beautiful and independent souls is bliss. Isn’t it? As a young-bird lover or owner, you might be eager to watch them flap their wings and touch the heights for the first time. But, hey! Is your young mourning dove unable to fly?
Don’t worry; we have the right solution for your newborn friend.
If you see a young mourning dove that is unable to fly, check if the mourning dove reached it’s fledgling age. If it did not, protect it from predators, ensure safety. If it crossed fledging age, check for injury or teach it to fly by training or keeping food as reward.
Follow along with the article as we discuss everything you should know if a baby mourning dove cannot fly. Keep reading!
What’s the Right Age for a Mourning Dove to Fly?
Before we give you an idea of how to help your lil’ friend to fly, you should ask a question: is it the best time for it to fly?
Young mourning doves do not become flight-ready within their shells. They acquire the talent by watching the adults flying, especially their parents. Birds have a prolonged transition phase from hatching to becoming fit for flight. The right age for a mourning dove or any bird, to be precise, is called a fledgling.
So, what’s the fledgling age for young mourning doves? Although it slightly varies among individuals, the perfect fledgling period for young mourning doves is approximately 11-15 days.
Fledgling in young mourning doves occurs way before their adulthood but after they become capable of digesting mature food.
Now, we can discuss the reasons behind flight-inability for mourning doves and the subsequent measures too.
Did Your Young Mourning Dove Attain the Fledgling Age?
Most dove owners expect the baby souls to fly too early, especially the newbie pet owners. They might become a dwarf version of adult mourning doves but way before attaining the fledgling age.
So, you should patiently wait and support the baby bird till it becomes mature enough to soar to the heights of the sky.
Do you think your responsibilities are over? Hell no! Rearing a young mourning dove is similar to nurturing a human baby. You need to replace its parents, attend to his needs, and train it for flight till it attains the fledgling age.
Here are some tips on how to care for a young mourning dove:
- As soon as you find an orphaned young mourning dove, ensure its safety from predators and natural accidents.
- It would be best if you carry it along with yourself or visit a veterinary clinic.
- Begin by finding a suitable place for the young mourning dove. You should nestle the little soul in a warm, dark, and quiet area.
- Use a clean and sanitized container to place the bird. Spread a towel in the box and keep a flap to cover the nest.
- Also, ensure that your artificial nest isn’t far from your living space. As a responsible parent, you should remain available for the baby at any time.
- The young mourning doves secrete antioxidant-rich crop milk in their throats. The crop milk is vital for the young ones to survive. Since your baby bird is orphaned, you can prepare a substitute formula and feed it with a spoon or syringe.
- You can get your hands on numerous ready-made baby bird food. You should feed the young mourning dove every 3-4 hours if its eyes aren’t open yet.
- As the bird grows, you can decrease the frequency to 3-5 feedings and 2-3 feedings in a day.
All your efforts will start fruiting in some time and fill your hearts with joy as the young mourning dove leaves the ground for the first time.
Hey! Is your young mourning dove unable to fly even after the fledgling age? Keep calm; we’ll deal with it together. Stay tuned!
How to Help Your Young Mourning Dove to Fly?
Firstly, you should understand why your mourning dove cannot fly. Among all reasons, the first one can be that it hasn’t attained the fledgling age. So, you should care for it till the baby becomes ready to fly, which we have discussed above.
However, the other probable reasons can be either the young mourning dove couldn’t learn to fly or is suffering from some injuries.
You can address both of these issues and help your feathery friend become independent.
1. How to Cure Wing Injury in Young Mourning Doves?
If you find a nestling in your lawn, street, or anywhere else, chances are that it might fall off its nest or was a missed prey for a predator. So, they might show fatal injuries mostly. Consequently, they become incapable of flying.
Here’s what to do if you find an injured young mourning dove.
- Put the baby in a clean cardboard box. Cover it with a towel to keep the insides dark.
- Apply gentle pressure on the wound for 1-2 minutes.
- Bring medicinal cotton, pour some mild antiseptic, and gently tap the wound.
- Avoid pulling the feathers as it might cause the wound to become severe.
- Dress the wound regularly.
- You should contact a veterinarian if the wound or bleeding persists.
The young bird will become healthy and flight-ready once its wounds heal completely.
2. Still Unable to Fly?
Is your young mourning dove unable to fly even after recovering? It might be due to improper flight training.
As your young mourning dove achieves fledgling, it will begin flapping its wings. That’s the sign of its flight-readiness. Now, it’s your responsibility to teach the baby soul to fly as a responsible foster parent. Here’s how to train it to fly!
- Make the young mourning dove sit on your index finger and call it out of its perch.
- Keep a treat on the perch.
- Go some distance and face the perch.
- Toss your hand and try saying “Go!”
- Once it flies off to the perch, reward it again.
- Keep increasing the distance and reward the baby mourning dove as it follows your order.
- Finally, provide the bird with a large open space and teach it to fly independently.
Tadaa! Your young mourning dove has overcome all hurdles and knows how to fly! Now, watch the soul touch the sky while cherishing the young memories you made with the baby mourning dove.