((Blog post - http://tinytim2012.blogspot.com/)
18 Jan 2012
Today we found a little bird that blew from the nest.   I handed him into Hubby’s care as I have too much on my plate.    He covered him with a warm cloth and mixed some Pro-nutro and fed it to him by syringe.    The little thing was just sitting there in the box under the cloth.
19 Jan 2012
We kept the dove indoors in a warm place in the birdcage.   He I just sitting on the floor.
20 Jan 2012.   His poop is loose but not too dry.   At least he is getting enough fluid in.
He can now sit on the low perch and he started pecking at hi food.   I am sure he is swallowing some seeds.  
I put his cage by the closest window where he was found.  I was wondering if he would spot his mother.  Suddenly he made a low-pitched sound.  I decided to put his cage outside the window and spotted another dove nearby.   It was getting dark and it was cold and windy outside so I had to bring him in.
21 Jan 2012
I put Ronnie and his cage outside where the other bird feed.   I want him to keep in touch with the natural environment.  I read on the Internet that they feed on greens and insects also, so I cut some lettuce up for him.
He seemed depressed and stop eating as if he was waiting for hi mother to feed him. 
22 Jan 2012
He made no poop so I decided to give him another feed of pro-nutro.   He immediately started grooming himself and started eating his seeds.   It was as if he needed some attention.  Who knows what goes on in a birdbrain?
23 JAN 2012
I decided to put his cage outside where the birds feed again.   He showed no interest when the smaller doves were feeding, but when the big rock pigeons and red-eyed doves came to feed he got excited and tried to join them, but they seemed to have rejected him.
I felt so sorry for him.   He then went onto the highest perch (one that is covered by a canopy and remained hidden for the rest of the day.   His poo turned watery-green and I thought it was either due to infection or stress.

24 Jan 2012
I decided to keep him near the house from now on and created a nice secluded for his daytime sot near the back stoep so that he can see us come and go and not feel lonely.
I established a routine of cleaning his cage and taking him in for the night 
He is still so small, he does not even have tail feathers yet and his little wings are very fluffy still.
25 Jan 2012
He seems to settle into his routine and is a very happy bird.  He comes down to eat as soon as I put his food out.   At nighttime I put him by the window in the spare room, covering the cage but keeping the side facing outside open.   I want him to get used towards the night looks like outside for he is to be released in about a week.

 26 Jan 2012
Ronnie is now coming down while my hands are still in the cage when I change his food and water.   I put him outside by the bird feeder for a short time only.  He likes it but is quite happy to be in his usual spot.   I think his tail feathers are starting to grow and it looks as if he is loosing some of his baby fluff.  He looks real scruffy.  He should still be a nestling, I think.
4 FEB 2012
Ronnie will be released tomorrow, weather permitting.    

5 FEB 2012
Ronnie hopped out of his cage for the first time.   He immediately jumped off the table where hi cage was put.   I watched him all day. He managed to hop onto a low branch once but he mostly stayed on the ground around where his cage was.  He seemed stupid, not knowing what to eat.  He pecks at everything, sticks, stones etc.
I put the cage on the ground, thinking he would find it easier but when I returned from watering the front garden, there he was on the table where his cage wa.
I decided to put the cage back on the table, hoping he would be able to get up there again.
Towards sunset he hopped onto the table again but could not find the opening to get in.
He was just too short.   After what seemed like ages he jumped down again.   I found a little wooden block that could serve as a step, lifting his head higher than the opening.

After awhile he decided to hop onto the table again and found the opening and started eating from the feeder while he was outside.
It took a lot of patience before he hopped in.   About half an hour.  I immediately closed his door for the day and put fresh food and water in his cage.   He seemed quite happy and started eating immediately.
6 FEB 2012
Ronnie hopped in and out of his cage for the second time but did not venture far from it now that he knows how to get back in.   I locked his gate early, 3 pm to make sure he was safe for another night.   He is a bit cocky and learned that he can boss the smaller doves around.   He is of a larger breed that the other.   We are not sure if he will turn out to be a red-eyed dove.
I send out a little prayer to the bird angels to look after him and guide him back to safety at the end of the day.
Thank you bird angels.

7 FEB 2012

Much the same as yesterday accept that he now chases the other doves out of his cage.  It is his territory.
Ronnie flew up to our bedroom window and sat there for a while.   He has no sense of danger.   He behaves as if our cat and dog are his friends.
I made a mistake by approaching him and throwing birdseed towards him while he was outside the cage.  He got such a fright that he nearly flew over the fence.
I hope he will return to the cage for the night.
It took over an hour for him to forget his fear but eventually he returned.
I noticed he chased other birds out of his cage. That is his possy and this is where he is boss.
 It took all my patience not to go and catch him with the net but I know one mistake and all the good work will be undone.   He must see me as someone that does not hurt if I will be able to give him enough time to adjust to being outside during the night.   Every day he grows just a bit stronger and more able to fly out of danger spots.
8 FEB 2012
I decided to keep his cage near the house where he can get used to our movements.  The cage is always in the same place also.  I created a space where he can be protected from weather conditions.  He is now in a routine.  I am still busy cleaning his cage when he comes out from under the canopy (over the cage) where he spends the night.  He starts eating while I work in his cage.   He seems quite big and happy but he is still scruffy and full of baby fluff.
09 FEB 2012
I let Ronnie out very early this morning.  He can fly up to the trees, but he has no adult dove to teach him so he just sits around close to the house.   He seems quite anti-social and do not join the other birds at the feeder although he loves to it there once all the other birds and food is gone.   He went to his cage briefly for security but left for freedom soon.
We went out for the morning and when we returned we found three doves in the little cage with the door down.  The little door must have slipped.  It was quite traumatic getting two of them out.   I decided to keep Ronnie in for the night.  After this ordeal I am not sure if he will ever willingly return to his cage.

Tomorrow may be the day of Ronny and the big wide world.
He looks so lonely and it makes me so sad to see him out there on his own and I cannot help him.
10 FEB 2012
Tiny Ronnie is still so scruffy compared to the other birds.  He was locked in his cage early yesterday and today we let him out late because some necessary activity in the back yard.  When we opened the cage door he immediately took his flight for freedom.
 We nearly mistook him for his brother, who is also coming to the feeder and we admired how good he looked when the little runt made his appearance

Ronnie looked in a poor state when he returned this evening.  He seemed to have lost a lot of his new feathers.   I do not know what happened to him.  He looks small and pathetic.   Poor Ronnie.    I am so glad he returned because his chances of survival on his own are not too great.   At least we give him a safe sleeping place and a good feed in the morning.
I just hope he learns the rules of the wild without the help of an adult guide.

11 FEB 2012
Ronnie spent a lot of time in a high branch of a tree.   I shall be happy to leave him out for the night.     But he returned to his cage at about 530.   He is a loner.   I feel so sorry for him because he does not have a mature dove to show him the ropes.
12 FEB 2012
We let Ronnie out of his cage again as soon as we put the food out for the other doves.  He now flies high up to the trees.   We will be going out for the morning and my last glimpse of him sitting on my neighbor’s garage roof.   This is the first time that he ventured out of our yard.   There is always the danger that he will get lost without and adult guide.   One realizes how important and involved the training that parent doves have to give to their chicks.

From their nests they survey the neighborhood and establishing the landmarks.  The parent then has to teach them how and when to get to the food sources.  In the suburbs it is getting from one bird feeder to the next.
A caged reared lone bird like Ronnie has to discover all this for himself and become easy prey to cats, crows, snail bait and cruel humans.
Ronnie is backing his cage for the night but I would not have minded if he remained in the trees.   He can fly high enough now.

13 FEB 2012
Tonight I shall give Ronnie the opportunity to remain in the trees.
Ag Mamma he is still such a baby.  He is back in the cage for the night.   It is hard to cut the apron strings.
14 FEB 2012
I let Ronnie out of his cage early this morning.   He will be hungry tonight because he does not yet fight for his food like the other birds.   Neither does he follow the feeders in the neighborhood.   It is time he finds his overnight perch in the trees.   I have noticed an adult bird of his type near him often.  The only time she pecked him is when he wanted to climb into the cage while she was inside.  I thought that she was just mean to the little bird.   Is it possible that she is his mommy and did not want him to be in the cage overnight?
Ronnie came back to the cage again at 5pm and the adult dove was outside the cage next to him while he happily pecked at the seeds in the cage.  
We put him by the window in the spare room for the night, as usual.

15 FEB 2012
I opened Ronnie’s cage door early this morning.   It was still dusk and he was still under the canopy.    I did not see when he left; I guess when the other doves came into his cage to eat his food.    Ronnie spent long hours on the compost heap, which seems to be his favorite feeding spot.   He did disappear for a few hours in the afternoon but as far as I can tell, he is still a loner.
Ronnie was disturbed by activities around his cage, around the time he normally return to it, and he flew off.   When he returned the big doves chased him away.  I was naughty and chased them so he could return.
Perhaps I shall not interfere tomorrow.   The doves have a point.  He should not be in the cage It is not dove-like, but he is still such a baby.   Poor little pet.
16 FEB 2012
Ronnie left his cage immediately after he came down from under the canopy.   He was quite cocky at the feeder again, chasing the other birds.  He is much more bird shape now and is getting his adult feathers very fast.  He returned to the cage tonight but something scared the birds and they flew into the trees and did not return.  I hope I see the little bloke again tomorrow.  It will be sad if after all that care he does not survive to adulthood.
17 FEB 2012
Ronnie is now a free bird.   He was seen at the feeder, no longer fighting the other birds.   He is now one of the flock.   It is such a wonderful feeling to know one could hand over one of the creatures of the wild.   Perhaps that contact with human kindness will be carried over in his genes to balance out all the acts of violence against wildlife by human hand.   We humans have a lot of kindness to give to wild creatures to balance the many acts of cruelty neglect and abuse of animals.
18 FEB 2012

19 FEB 2012

20 FEB 2012

21 FEB 2012

22 FEB 2012
As soon as Ronny spots me he hides behind the shrubbery.
23 FEB 2012
Ronnie is no longer so easy to photograph.   He is sharp and spots me immediately.   He flies away as soon as he sees me.   Perhaps he associates me with someone that cages birds.   He is now truly a free spirit.
24 FEB 2012
We saw Ronnie around a bit more than yesterday but he is becoming too difficult to photograph.
25 FEB 2012

Ronny flew into the kitchen by mistake and then nearly knocked himself out by trying to fly through a closed window.
I recognized him by the little knob on his toe.   It will be difficult to recognize him from now on because he looks like the other birds now.  He is no longer scruffy.
I had to catch him and let him free ….for the last time.
He left me two little feathers as reminder of our journey together.

Go well Ronnie.
26 FEB 2012

28 FEB 2012
There was such a commotion in our yard when Hubby tried to put a bird back into a nest that our back yard was quite bird-less for a long time.
29 FEB 2012
Ronnie is still around but not so easily recognizable.