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August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7608
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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Im from Nebraska and have developed an interest in the Mourning

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I'm from Nebraska and have developed an interest in the Mourning Doves that have taken residence in our neighborhood. How long do the squabs stay with their parents? The father is quite a bit more colorful than the female, having a lighter tint than the female with darker spots and black tips of the wings and entire tail, plus entire white breast. Can he be a mix breed that made his way north. The female has a much smaller head and longer neck than I've seen shown also. The squabs were fantastic when they were just old enough to fly... totally white with black stripes straight down their front and each of their wings. Now, they are totally white with a black-tipped tail, presumably male. Also, do mourning doves call only to communicate, or do they "sing" like all other birds?
Don't you find something remarkably soothing and calming about the dove's "purr" ? I don't blame you for wanting them in your life


While the murmur or coo may sound the same to most of - to the doves there are variations with different meanings.

Most of those lovely "Coo COOO oooo" sounds are done by the males to let any females in the vicinity, including the one right next to him, know he's there and he's a prime candidate to make more Mourning doves


When paired up, doves will both tend to the nest and the chicks.

While ON the nest, the dove making those melodious coo's will usually be the female. Nothing like a mother's love song to her babies right? These songs are different from the typical Coo COOO ooo by a lone male trying to woo a female

As for the feathering, it may take a few molts and up to a year for the definitive coloring to come in on a chick; however, usually it's not very different from what you're seeing upon growth of the very first primary feathers (rather than the downy fluff)

Differences in feathering could be attributed to a bird with a different genetic additive in their background (hybridizing) or the result of an illness or infection usually passed on to the chicks while being formed inside of mom before laying; or while being fed by either parent after hatching

I know you're just asking about neighborhood birds right now but always remember if you're going to take on the responsibility of keeping birds of any kind it's absolutely important; perhaps the most important thing in the birds' life, to take them in at least once a year for a 'well bird check up' with a vet who has at the very least, 1/3 of his patients being avians.

I can't tell you how many owners come to me in overwhelming grief because they delayed care or never established a vet and then an emergency came up and no one would see them.

Plus, seeing a vet for the first time and during an emergency is the source of the rumor that bird visits are crazy expensive. Non emergency 'well bird check ups' run about $40 where I am. An emergency, first timer runs over $200.

And now you know


I'd love to work with you again - so please keep me in mind for any future bird care needs. Have fun !


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My specific interest I couldn't find anywhere else, thus was twofold--

1) The "chicks" or "squabs," which you partially answered. However, my primary sentence and question was never answered, "How long do they stay with their parents?"

2) The difference in which I saw in these particular mourning doves and those I saw in other sources and possible reasons why, which you suitably answered.

I'm sorry, I got called away for a rescue of a blind bird. Heartbreaking

The chicks (squab)will stay with the parents as long as the parents allow it, but after a couple of months mom and dad are ready to start a new family and will urge them to move on. In fact, at about 3 or 4 months the 'children' can start their own families!

Thanks for being patient with me and I'm here for you if you need anything else


August Abbott, CAS and other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Laurinda,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

S. August Abbott, CAS