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Tori Morgan

Cottage Grove Lake, Lane County, OR, United States


On 11/28/15, among the 35 (that day; some days 55) usual Mourning Doves eating from my seed and cracked corn ground spread, this dove was seen with a red left eye along with pulled and matted feathers about the neck and left side of face. I couldn’t decide if it had been attacked or was sick. The photos are poor due to dim light and window glass but the eye looked redder (blood red) than in the photo attached . Despite careful observations throughout following week I did not see the bird again, however I did find a dove kill 2 days later (the only one so far this feederwatch season) in the same area. Can’t help but wonder if it was this more vulnerable bird. I had a Sharp-shinned hawk here then plus there are dusk-hunting owls in the woods surrounding my place. I continue to watch the flocks here closely but have seen no other sick/injured doves nor red-eyed birds of any species.


Eye problems


Sick/injured Mourning Dove

21 replies on “Sick/injured Mourning Dove”

Karen Liniewicz says:

I live in Fl. I found a small white dove on the ground. It looked like another bird was fighting and tore a hole in it’s neck. It is deep and I can see the seeds it last ate. If we keep it warm in a box and give it bird seed will it heal on it,s own or die?
It looks ok otherwise. Please let us know if there is more we can do.
Thank you

Chelly says:

I read your post and wondering if the dice you rescued did survive or not. I have a similar situation right now. I have the dove in a big box. I can see the seeds mix with blood. Is anything I can do??

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Chelly, It’s imperative that you contact a wildlife rehabilitator. It is against federal law to possess a wild bird unless you have the proper permits, or are under the direction of someone who does. Please reach out to your state or province’s wildlife department – they should keep a list of rehabilitators with federal permits who can assist you further.

Karen Liniewicz says:

I have a dove who has a hole in it’s neck from a fight with another bird. What can I do to heal it.

Ava Johnson says:

You can contact your local wildlife rehabilitator for help.

Cathy little says:

I have a pet mourning dove for the last 13 yrs … it recently flew straight up and hit its head pretty good …
I have been making sure I get him water by syringe …. I have not seen him eat or drink so I am trying to help him …. I crushed up seed with some water and have been getting seeds in him that way …. is there something more I can do for him ? Other food I can get him ? Or am I doing all I can the way I’m doing it ?
Have some clue of what I am doing just need to know if I’m doing all I can for him … leave him in cage ? Put him in box ? I really need an answer and a little help …. you feed back would be appreciated… thank you

Ava Johnson says:

Do you have a permit to keep the dove as a pet? It is illegal in the United States to possess a wild bird without the proper permits.
If there is a vet that you have contacted before then you can contact them, or you can contact a wildlife rehabilitator and see if they will help you.

amber L. says:

have a sick or injured dove that i found n warehouse where i work it is almost dead as in not moving much at all i think its been stuck in here for a few days. was on ground not movingmuch

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Amber, please contact your local wildlife authorities or local wildlife rehabilitator for advice on this bird – they will be able to give you the most accurate advice on how to proceed according to your state and federal laws.

Tori says:

I’m helping a wild morning dove. She’s a baby but she has her feathers. She keeps squinting her eyes,her wings are droopy and she won’t eat but she will drink.She is also unbalanced and shaker.

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Tori, Please contact your local wildlife rehabilitator – they have the necessary federal permits and training to handle and treat wild birds. Without these permits, it is against federal law to do so.

Freda says:

I found a mourning dove that cannot fly yet looks ok.. I gave it water and seed. It is locked in our school garden. If it says alive by tomorrow what should I do?

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Freda, it’s imperative that you call a local wildlife rehabilitator. Possessing a wild bird is against federal law without the proper permits. Please refer to this article for more information on what to do when you find a baby bird.

Penny Webster says:

I found a wounded Mourning Dove in Southern Alberta. Its tail feathers are gone, it can’t fly and its back is all scabbed over. I don’t know what happened to it. I brought it in my garage as there are a lot of dogs & cats in the neighbourhood. I’ve had it in a tub there for 8 days. It is eating wild bird seed and drinking. It seems alert, but won’t attempt to fly. I feel like it might be alright given another week or so of resting and healing. Will it be too late for it to fly south if I can turn it loose by mid to late October?

Ava Johnson says:

Hey, actually it’s illegal to possess a bird unless you have the correct permits. Next time, contact a rehaber in your area. It’s great that you want to help it though!

Zoni says:

Hi I found a teen bird that has the back of its neck and eyes injured. he’s in a box resting. we cleaned the wounds. He has water and oats. I’m in Mexico, I need to know what to do to help!

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Zoni, It is imperative that you contact a local wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife veterinarian. Most birds in North America are protected by law, and these individuals should have the permits that are necessary to care for wild birds.

Margaret says:

Hi. I have a young mourning dove that 2 days ago I thought could not fly, until I tried to get it with a towel ( as directed by a local rehaber) and he flew away, but not far. He was back in my garden today and is not eating as he was the other day, he was soaking wet and tipping over whenever he tries to walk or flly. He looks perfectly healthy except for maybe a couple feathers on one wing(which maybe were damaged from tipping over so much?) No one will get back to me and I don’t want a diseased bird in my house! Help!!

Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

Hi Margaret, you will need to reach back out to your rehabber for the best advice in your situation – it is illegal to handle or treat a wild bird unless you have, or you’re under the direction of someone (like the rehabber) who has, the proper federal permits. If the dove is in your possession already, bring it to the rehabber as soon as you can. If it’s still outside, it’s ok to leave it until you hear back from the rehabber. Regardless, it will be a good idea to take your feeders down for a few days and clean them. Be sure to wash up well after touching anything that the bird may have touched, or use gloves if possible. Learn more about how to clean feeders here.

Kathleen says:

I found this lil morning dove
Bad storm coming it cannot fly what dhouks we do??

It is pecking things off rhe ground. Very young… not sure if injured but on my front porch for over a day

What should I do

Heidi Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hello Kathleen, if you find a sick or injured bird, it is best to first contact a local, certified wildlife rehabilitator, who will have the required training and permits. Handling the bird yourself is against federal law without proper permits. You can find more info on our website here:

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