Photo is Registered Trademark Copyrighted in 1988 by Clarkson &Co .gif of Doves on Poinsetta

This photo is of BABY & FROSTY, two of my magic show's doves. Frosty was hatched during the Christmas Season in 1988.

Doves are members of the pigeon family. They are natives in most part of the world. White doves are found throughout the middle east and Asia. Many major religions place significance upon doves. White doves Are associated by Christians symbolizing the "Holy Spirit." Doves are also considered sacred symbols in many other faith systems. In 1928 the International Socialist Party selected the dove as a symbol of "peace" after it had been suggested by Artist Pablo Picasso (Picasso actually drew a pigeon, but the party assumed it to be a dove). The United Nations has recognized the white dove as the universal symbol of peace since it's organization in the 1950's.

There are wild brown-grey colored doves in North America as well as wild white doves that have been either released or escaped captivity in warmer states.

If you find baby birds, do not pick them up, both parent doves feed chicks with crop milk and there is usually a parent bird hiding nearby waiting for you to leave the area. If the parent bird is killed or injured the flock will usually take care of chicks. Doves are extremely prolific and can lay eggs every three to four weeks. If danger approaches, the parent birds may abandon young chicks to fate and try to save their own lives rather than defend the nest. They will return after the danger passes. Doves do not build nests as such, but will take advantage of any site, such as a potted plant, even a bare window ledge may be adequate. People often see a dove chick on a window ledge and think it may have been blown out of a nest, but it merely was left there by it's parents... who will return.

Our Basic Care Plan for Doves

* without providing a large bowl of water to allow the nesting parent doves to bathe in, the dove eggs can dry out and suffocate the unhatched chick, especially in dry climates such as in Montana according to the WSU School of Veternary Science Ornithology Professor, Dr Starbuck, whom I called to ask why my dove's eggs were not hatching the first year I tried breeding white doves. Since then I have bred well over 150 birds from the original 4.

For questions about doves and dove breeding here is another person interested in helping:
Here is a site devoted to birds...

Click Here to Send me an E-mail Messages ,
but I am not an authority, merely a dove owner who's overrun with extremely healthy birds.


WARNING: Do not keep more than a half dozen doves inside the house with you.
The feather dander in concentration can pose serious risks to respiratory health. If you
have a large breeding operation, such as I do, build your birds a heated barn outside.
The $1500 I spent for a mini-barn plus heating costs has proved far less costly than the medical treatments.

Answers to commonly asked questions,

  1. My doves eggs take about two or three weeks to hatch.

  2. Dove Chicks eat mother's milk, the only birds that do this are pigeons and doves.

  3. It takes doves about 6 to 12 months for females to mature sexually.

  4. Doves are known to live 20 years of more. I have had some live over 16 years.

  5. All doves coo, both sexes coo aggressively when another bird of the same sex is around.

  6. Other than actual observation of egg laying I do not know of any certain way to determine the sex of my doves. Some people say you can feel the vent bones, but I can't tell any difference except when a female is about to lay an egg her bones do move wider apart.

  7. Doves will practice homosexual behavior if an opposite sex dove is not present. Later when other birds of opposite sex are introduced all the birds in the cage exhibit heterosexual behavior and establish dominance.

  8. Doves fight and challenge vigorously to establish dominance or order. When a dove is getting beat too badly and starts bleeding or I observe swelling wounds I usually remove it from the cage.

  9. Doves seem to do better with seed for food. If you cannot find dove mix, wild birdseed with suffice, but I was told by calling WSU School of Veternary Sciences that sunflower seed has too much fat for caged bird's health. I preferred Kaytee Bay-Mor Dove Mix in 50 # bags. I tried to switch to Finch Seed (2nd best choice) but it is unavailable in quantities I need for 40+ birds. So now I am forced to feed Wild Birdseed with a little Wild Game Bird Chow mixed in. I think this is a little too rich for the bird diet, but it is all I can find in this area, Montana.

For more information visit: THE AMERICAN DOVE ASSOCIATION website!

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(c) Robert Noel Clarkson 1996
401 North Hoback Street
Helena, Montana 59601