The plaintive ‘cheep … cheep’, rather like a mournful whistle, attracted my attention as I was about to leave off watching birds in the garden this afternoon. So intent had I been on the antics of the Pin-tailed Whydah and the Village Weavers among others that I had not noticed the fledgling Laughing Dove perched on the hinge of the French door not even a metre away from where I was sitting! When had it arrived?


Having observed it for some minutes, I rushed indoors for my camera – happy to see it still in place on my return. Note the yellow down still fringing the feathers and the characteristic white tail feathers. Although I have not seen a Laughing Dove nest, I assume there must be one nearby. There are several of them feeding on the lawn at the moment – any one of them could be this fledgling’s parent.



  1. My husband rescued one that looks just like this as it was being attacked by other birds. I have no idea how to help it.


    • Thank you for stopping by. As a general rule it is best to leave young birds to their own devices and there is bound to be a parent (or two) in the vicinity to feed it from time to time. We have seen this over and again with young thrushes and bulbuls. The dove mentioned above must have fallen into the same category. Rescuing one from attack is quite another thing – what birds were attacking it, I wonder – but even then it is best to provide a box for it close to the spot where it was found, unless it requires some medical intervention of course.


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