Find out what Project FeederWatch is, its history, and more
Find out how you FeederWatch, when you can FeederWatch, and what you'll need to do to get started
Review these instructions carefully before you count and enter data
Find out about types of feeders and types of foods, and where to place your feeder
Feeding Birds FAQs
Explore the winter distribution, food, and feeder preferences of common feeder birds.
Find out about color and plumage variations, bald heads, and deformed bills
Unusual Birds Gallery
Find out about bird disease and identifying the signs of bird disease
Sick Birds Gallery
Find out how to identify birds and download identification tools
Find educational resources for teachers, group leaders, and families
Find an article archive packed with lots of great bird study information
Learn about house finch eye disease
Review content from current and past BirdSpotter photo contests
Keep up to date with the latest FeederWatch happenings
These are exemplary FeederWatchers!
Send us your photos! Show us your count site, your birds, or you watching your site with loved ones!
Visit our live FeederWatch feedercams!
Cornell Lab of Ornithology feeders
Ontario (winter only)
See what birds occur the most by region
Explore species by state/province
See where FeederWatchers are
Graphs of regional population trends and distributions
Explore papers that have used FeederWatch data
Lab scientists analyze the data submitted by FeederWatch participants.
See birds well outside their winter range submitted to Project FeederWatch.
Start here for data entry and personal data review and exploration
Keep live track of your counts using the FeederWatch mobile app
Matawan, NJ, United States
I saw this dove while viewing my yard on my project feeder watch day. The dove on top in the photo is the one missing long gray-brown tail feathers and the one on the bottom is for comparison.
Species: Mourning Dove
Great picture to illustrate your observation. I’m seeing the same thing this rainy morning. At least one, maybe two, of my usual mourning dove flock have lost their long tail feathers. Also, some of the doves seem really bedraggled in the rain, while the rest of my feeder birds look fine. I hope the doves aren’t sick.
Hi Penny, Usually when tail feathers are missing it means that the bird had a brush with a predator and escaped, or it’s molting. The tail feathers should re-grow within the next couple of weeks. Sometimes they may grow in all-white, other times they will grow in normally.
I have 2 male ground doves, i had to sepperate them because my brown one was pecking at my white one almost blinding it. Got another cage and went to put the brown one in that cage when it tried to fly, it got away in the house but as it did its tail feathers come off. It still was flying but straight. I recieved it and put it in the cage seems to be doing fine. Will the tail feathers grow back its a young dove.should i be worried? It looks like a quail right now.still kooing like crazy. The white one dont koo right now. Just the brown one.
Hi William, Generally bird feathers that have been pulled out do grow back, though they may grow in white until the next time the bird molts. Are these wild doves or those you bought as pets? If these are pet birds, contact your vet for the best advice regarding the health of your birds. If they are wild, please contact your local certified wildlife rehabilitator, as it is against federal law to possess wild birds.
What worries me is a lot of these wildlife centers if you bring them birds ,squirrels, rabbits, hamsters, mice,rats your condeming to death, if their not releasable they will feed them to the Raptors and snakes an other animals that can be released, so make sure your ready to let them die this way ,these places are not pet adoption centers or some don’t have the staff to use rehabbing your animals,
I just found a young morning dove on the ground missing it’s tail feathers- it looks like he was attacked – I have him in a cage with some bird food and water – what should I b feeding him besides bird food.
And I saw that u said it will take a few weeks for his tail to grow back –
Hi Cindy, it is against federal law to posses a wild bird in this way. If the dove is injured, it is imperative that you contact a certified wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife veterinarian, who have the necessary permits to handle and treat the bird. Otherwise, the dove should be released if it’s simply missing tail feathers.
Hi, my sister saw 2 doves get attacked by Coopers hawk. When she rushed out it flew away. One dove is dead and the other lost all but 2 tail feathers, He bottom is bare. Her wing is drooping a bit and some wing feathers seem gone. on her belly she has lost a small circle of flesh exposing 2 yellow round (unpuncture) things(the crop for air sacs???) ( maybe corn kernel from food she laid in? . The had put a box outside on its side with a blanket for her and she liked it and stayed in there at ate food. they left for a couple days and nights, then they called me surprised it was still alive. I am training for my IWRC diploma but I still have one lab left. She is in a warm carrier now in a quiet room with a towel overtop and she is eating and I think drinking. I cleaned food stuck on her wound as they had given her too much and she had laid in it. I am trying to reach local wildlife place. I am wearing gloves but do not have any hydrogel. No sign of dried blood. What should I do?
Joan, it’s imperative that you contact a certified wildlife rehabilitator, who will have the necessary federal permits to treat wild animals. Please contact your state wildlife department to find one that is federally certified in your state.
I will bring bird to a rehab in am
i rescued a mourning dove when it was a baby and now its big, i wanted to free it, will the bird be ok? even it is not used to be outside?
Hi Aubrey, It’s imperative that you contact a local certified wildlife rehabilitator, who has the necessary permits to possess a wild, native bird.
My nxt doors cat had a dove this morning it was in quite a mess it’s tail feathers were missing and abrasion o it’s back little bit of blood on its eye. I’ve put it in a run 2days ago it’s picked up Brill eating running eye healed up how long before it’s tail feathers grow back before I can release it back into wild. Rspca and vets didn’t want to know bird flu
Also eating well seed meal worms greens fresh water every day even gave it earth worms just wanna see it fly off again at moment so vulnerable
How long does it take grow back tail feathers on s collared dove feather bone is still there. Thank you
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.