Acquired: Pet store
Posted Nov 24, 2015
I've only had my dove for about 3 months, but we're already bonding quite well and I like her a lot. She's a nice little bird and I'm very happy I got her, although there were some unpleasant surprises. Do note that most of these are for my dove specifically and other individuals may of course differ, but as far as I know she's pretty typical.
Starting off with the pros :
- Very tame and can't really bite (although her little claws can inflict shallow scratches if not careful);
- Personable and entertaining, likes flying or hopping around between different spots in the room and often lands on me;
- Amusing vocalizations, with a cute and funny "laugh" and varied clicks/ clucks/ squeaks;
- Can be housed in something as simple as a dog pen (with perches and bowls attached afterwards, of course) since they do best in wide cages rather than tall;
- Very nice appearance, with plain colours but interesting variations in plumage, and beautiful big dark eyes. A swift flyer that's fascinating to watch in action.
- Not cuddly (though she shows affection by flying up to me and staying close);
- Cooing can get loud and grating at times, stopping during the night (as long as it's very dark) but resuming in the morning, sometimes early. Mine has a particularly shrill coo so it gets annoying;
- Difficult to train, although it's feasible (I've trained her to come to me or step on my finger on command and she's reasonably reliable). Haven't managed to potty-train so far but I'm not giving up just yet;
- Produces a higher volume of droppings than a budgie or similar small bird (obvious, but can be a pain to clean up especially since they like walking around on the cage floor and might get dirty when they walk into a pile of droppings);
- Difficult species to accurately sex without DNA testing, so you may end up with the wrong gender;
- It can be hard to find a good variety of dove food, accessories, treats and care tips since the pet bird industry is largely parrot-centric. Furthermore, while feeding them fruits and veggies is highly recommended for a happy and healthy dove, their narrow beaks which lack cutting ability make it harder to eat those things. You may have to cut them into tiny pieces and ensure they're not too moist (otherwise they tend to stick to the beak). My Clem often flings around those bits of fruit because she can't manage to swallow them!
I do wish that Clementine was a bit smarter and cooed less, but ultimately I wouldn't trade her for anything else. She's a really funny and adorable bird that brings us a lot of joy!
The dove's not-too-long, not-too-short lifespan of about 15 years also allows for a long-term commitment that's not TOO long term (as opposed to some parrot species).