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Name: Chris
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Question:
I have a mourning dove in my front stoop that just hatched a chick approximately three to four days ago. The chick fell out of the nest for about 10 to 15 minutes. I put the chick back in the nest but I haven't seen the mother return. The chick is starting to grow aduklt feathers and it is mostly grey with some blue feathers growing in. I believe that the eyes were open as well. It is now 1:30 p.m. pacific time and I would like to know what to do. How long should we wait to disturb the nest?, If we do should we then feed or give water to the bird?, what do we feed it and so on. Please respond as soon as possible.



Replies:
DO NOT try to feed or care for the bird. It is not legal, even with the best intentions, to care for wild birds without a license from the US fish and wildlife service. Leave it in the nest and let nature take its course. While it may seem cruel to us, a large percentage of nestlings will not survive in nature, they feed scavengers and predators, and the adults will renest this early in the season. If you feel you must "help" the dove, try to find a nature center or nature museum, audubon society, or some such organization in your area that can refer you to a licensed rehabilitator. Good luck.

J. Elliott



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