Ask Lafeber

Question:

May 16, 2019

ring neck doves in my yard


hello! i live in the san francisco bay area east. my neighbour and i are animal lovers who feed wilds and keep poultry. recently, a pair of ring-necked doves seems to have adopted our yards. i’ve lived in the area for 65 years and have never seen a ring-necked dove here before. we’d like to know what we can do to encourage them to live with us full-time. feeding won’t be a problem, as the grit necessary is available for the chickens and can easily be put up in a bowl for the doves, as well as seeds, mealworms and oyster shell. what we wanted to know is what kind of enclosure would they like, if any. we can offer open cat carriers with orchard grass bedding and roosts. we don’t intend to keep them caged, we just would like them to come back and know they can depend on us for food and shelter. our yards are very fluffy with trees and we think the chicken feed may have drawn them to us. they are lovely and the cooing is beautiful. anyway, if you could give us some suggestions, we’d love to care for this little pair and let them know we love them, and encourage them to grow families.thank you!maja & phillip


Answer:

Hi Maja,

Ringneck doves are not native to the United States. Unfortunately, people will release them at weddings and memorial services or sometimes they escape or are turned loose because the owner is tired of taking care of them. Many of them do manage to survive, which is unfortunate for the native birds because they will displace the smaller native doves. With this is mind, catching them and building an enclosure for them would be the ideal solution. They can thrive in mild weather but tend to die if there is sudden severe weather or very cold weather. If kept in an enclosure, you can protect them from this. You can probably lure them into an enclosure with seeds. If your chicken enclosure is large enough, they can live with the poultry. This would be my advice rather than helping them survive wild, as they are considered an unwanted, feral species due to the conflict with our native doves.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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