What to Do If You Find a White Dove

  How It Happened 

    When the white dove first appeared in our yard. I was dancing around the living room to "Big Girls Don't Cry!"
    It took several hand gestures to get my husband and son to notice the bird- and they were in the front yard (playing).

The Dove

   Elvis had played too and all of us danced for that one! My (recently departed) grandmother, Claudia, loved 60's music and Elvis was her favorite.  I remember listening to a cassette of "Greatest 60's Hits" in her car as a child. The cassette tape had "Big Girls Don't Cry" on it.
    So... we were all thinking of 'Mingya,' (as I called her) as these 60's classics played!
   And that's when I caught a glimpse of the white dove.
    It was there, out of nowhere.
    It was on a Saturday.
    I threw it seed.
    It didn't stray far from our home and seemed unable to find food on its own.

    Upon chatting with my bird-savvy aunt Gail I discovered this white dove was:

1.) most likely domesticated
2.) wasn't native to this area and
3.) was likely some sort of pigeon, not a dove

Information You Can Use

    However, Doves and Pigeons are in the same family, Columbidae, and the only real difference I found in the 2 bird groups upon doing a little research is: doves are slightly smaller than pigeons.

    So, I saw and still refer to this bird as a dove.
    Scientifically I accept it's a pigeon but, spiritually, since I believe it was guided here by my grandmother's spirit, it's a dove!
    My grandmother wasn't a bird expert by a long stretch, so I'm sure she saw it as a lost dove, not a pigeon, when she guided it to us too.
The Dove

Dangers to Doves

    Over a 6-day-period the dove became comfortable, too comfortable in fact, for a cat-ridden-block.
    One of our cats is a superb hunter, despite her hideously bright bell collar she wears when outdoors!
Pigeons and doves are slow. They're heavy so it takes them longer to get off the ground than say,  sparrows, making them easy targets for cats.
    Mid-week a neighbor alerted me (via text) to "a black cat in my yard stalking a white bird." I immediately ran outside and thankfully the dove wasn't killed by our cat.         
    Worst of all, the dove seemed indifferent to my killer cat's presence... stalking stance and all. This alerted me to the fact that: in order to live, this bird had to go.

Who to Contact For Help; Catching the Domesticated Dove

    I easily found information for, and reached out to, a local Pigeon Club.

   The man with whom I spoke, Dan, asked about where the bird slept at night. I didn't know but had a hunch it was sleeping in a permanently-open garage 2 doors down from our home. Dan explained pigeons and doves 'like to roost, somewhere up high.' He thought it wise to try to grab the bird as it roosted.
    My aunt had also suggested a large net to capture the bird.
    I had already set up a make shift trap that day, an open, medium-size dog crate with seeds in it.
    As I spoke with Dan, the President of the Pigeon Club by phone, I walked outside to see if I could see our little friend.
    The dove entered the cage as I was speaking with Dan and my neighbor swiftly shut him inside.  We had him!

    The capture occurred on Friday, six days after the dove had appeared in our front yard.
    Dan came to get the dove that same evening.
    He was a gentle man and expert bird handler.
    When I asked him how many pigeons he had, he jokingly said, "more than I care to admit."
    He assured me they were all very well cared for and enjoyed 2 huge, free-fly areas on his property.

The Spiritual Side of It

    As for my deceased grandmother... 5 days after the bird's surprise arrival, as I lay with my sleeping son, I thought, "if that bird were really a sign from Mingya, wouldn't it have just flown away that same day?"
    "I got the bird to go to you Jessie but then couldn't get the damn thing to go away!" I clearly heard my grandma say (in my head) as she laughed.
    -She always had a great sense of humor.
    My experience with finding a white dove was both spiritual and scientific.
    I found out, via educated people and research, what I needed to do to help the bird.
    And, the bird will always be remembered as a special gift in our lives that appeared precisely in a moment I was honoring my grandmother's life by dancing around to music she loved.
    Finding a white dove, or having it find me, was a honor.

The Dove, captured in the crate.

Ending Note

    Hopefully this information helps if you find a white, or any color dove or pigeon, that seems domesticated.

Peace, Light and Love, as You Go Along, Not-in-Search of a Dove. 

Helpful Links:
National Pigeon Association: http://www.npausa.com
American Racing Pigeon Union: https://www.pigeon.org/findaclub.php