This handsome guy greets me every day with a bob of his head. Daisy is over 19 years old. He was found coming to a bird feeder in late fall on Westport Point. Native to Africa, ring necked doves are not able to tolerate our New England Winters with out protection. A friend got him in a cage, and Daisy came into our care. Initially we thought Daisy was a female, but we soon learned from his persistent bowing and “chuck barrooooing” that he was a he. By that time the name had stuck, so Daisy he remained.

After a few months, a wildlife rehabber gave us a female ring necked dove. “They need to have mates”, she explained. “There is a female with a broken wing living in a vets office that needs a home. She’ll need handicapped ramps to food water and perches. She’ll never be able to fly again.”

“Sure, we’ll take her” I said. After she had a thorough exam, shots and grooming, I picked up Rose. Unlike Daisy, who was not fond of car rides, Rose sat calmly next to me in her cage and took in the world around her.

Daisy was thrilled to have a companion. Rose was obviously happy to be in her new home. After moving to an outdoor aviary with ramps, nest platform and lots of space. Rose began to fly! She didn’t have the ability to aim, and didn’t always reach her target, but she’d land safely, coo and walk up the closest ramp. At this point it was evident in her perky strut, and proudly held head that she was very pleased with the state of things.

Daisy and Rose had several dozen offspring over a decade. We don’t know how old Rose was, but she eventually passed on, and Daisy was left alone with a few remaining children.

For the past 4 years Daisy has been by himself again. We moved him out of his aviary and into his own room in the chicken coop. The chickens are good company. One of the hens was born soon after Rose passed away. Being all white it only made sense to call her Rose as well. Once, when the coop door was left ajar, we found Rose the hen crammed into Daisy’s tiny transport cage. Daisy watched on, seemingly amused.

Every day I bring Daisy fresh cooked peas and corn. I hold the bowl up, and many times he climbs onto my hand to eat. He still “chuck barrooos” when he sees me coming up the hill. Daisy you are precious!