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Get to know Dazzle the dove! Hear how she came to live at Animal Wonders and what her future holds.

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Welcome to Animal Wonders. I’m Jessi, and this little cutie is Dazzle. Dazzle is a very small species of dove called a diamond dove, which is a species native to the forests and grasslands of Australia.

She’s one of the animals we recently rescued and is now a permanent resident at Animal Wonders, so I wanted to properly introduce her to you. [CHEERY INTRO MUSIC]. Doves and pigeons are some of my favorite birds because they’re fairly easy to provide for and they can be incredibly rewarding to watch thrive in your care. They also have fun personalities once you get to know them, and if they’re treated kindly and given plenty of attention, they can respond with trust and affection.

We first heard about Dazzle in July 2020 when she had been brought to a local bird rehabilitation center. She had a broken wing, couldn’t fly, and wouldn’t have survived if left outside where she was found. So the rehabber got her to safety, bound her wing, and contacted us.

Since diamond doves aren’t a native species where we are, the rehab center couldn’t release her back into the wild and they needed to have a permanent home to place her in once she was healed up. After about a month in rehab, she was healed enough to leave the rehabilitation center and move to her new home. So Dazzle joined us at Animal Wonders, and since then we’ve been working on getting to know her and forming a strong trust bond with this tiny gal.

Our goal for Dazzle is to be able to share her with audiences in the future, so part of what we’re working on with her is getting her used to being held, having her sit calmly on a variety of perches, and making sure she’s comfortable with people moving around her. So far I’m really happy with her progress, and I’m wondering if she has some past experience with human interaction. We don’t know her full history, but I’m guessing she was formerly someone’s pet that either escaped or was let go.

I’m guessing this because she doesn’t have that general intense fear of humans that most wild birds have, which is instilled in them by their parents. When we take in an animal with an unknown past, trying to piece together a good care plan can be a bit like trying to solve a mystery and it can sometimes take awhile to work out. Since we didn’t have a complete history on Dazzle, we didn’t even know her age or sex, which are important things to know because those can play a role in how we care for an animal.

So in order to determine her age and sex, we were playing the waiting game and making some educated guesses. When Dazzle first came to us, we thought she might be a juvenile since her color pattern wasn’t as distinct as most wild diamond doves. Usually the adults aren’t this light, and they have distinct bright white spots on their wings, but Dazzle has a lot of white on her back and her wings have mostly a mottled pattern with just a few spots.

But she was full sized when she was first found 5 months ago, which means that by now she’s at the very least 6 months old and she could be much older. Diamond doves are fully mature at 6 months old, so if she was a fully sized juvenile when she was first found, we would have seen her change from a mottled pattern to a more distinctly spotted pattern by now. So since there’s been no change in her pattern, it’s most likely that this is her adult coloration and she was born or bred specifically for this color mutation.

Once we determined she was an adult, the next mystery to solve was her sex. Diamond doves are sexually dimorphic, meaning you can see the difference between males and females just by looking at them, which isn’t something you can do with all bird species. The difference in diamond doves is males tend to be larger, with a bigger and more vibrant orange eye ring, and they tend to be more grey than brown.

Females are slightly smaller, have a more subdued orange eye ring, and generally have more brown in their wings along with the grey. What made it challenging to determine if Dazzle was male or female at first was because juveniles don’t have those distinct physical differences, so we had to wait until I could confirm she was an adult before making an educated guess. [WINGS FLUTTERING] And Dazzle would like to go on the tree now. Wanna go on in there? [WINGS FLUTTERING] There you go!

It’s still a bit challenging to make a definitive statement on her sex, but I’m basing my guess on the size and color of her eye ring. It’s not as large or as vibrantly orange as a typical male would have. However, since Dazzle has an overall lighter coloration, her eye ring could also be affected by her genetics.

So, if there’s anyone experienced in diamond doves who would like to chime in and confirm. Dazzle is a female or tell me why they think she’s a male, please leave a comment below! So Dazzle has survived a broken wing, made a wonderful recovery, she’s settled into her new home, and she’s doing good.

But It’s always our goal to find ways to allow the animals in our care to not just survive, but to thrive. Since we’re fairly certain she’s an adult female, the next step for Dazzle is for us to start looking for a companion for her. Diamond doves are a very social species, and it would greatly benefit her to have another diamond dove to bond with and I’m hopeful for her future.

Diamond doves may be small, but they are special little birds, and I’m excited to share her with audiences and teach about what makes the species interesting and how they play a role in their ecosystems. Now, pigeons and doves like Dazzle here are very good fliers, which is why they’re found on even the most remote islands. Flying is such an incredible ability and seems like the most distinct bird feature, but not all birds fly.

I wanted to know a bit more about how flightless birds live, which is why I recently watched this film on CuriosityStream called These Birds Were Made For Walking. This film looks at a few different flightless birds, from the ones you probably think of first, like ostriches and penguins, to ones you might have never seen before, like the flightless cormorant. You get to learn a bit about what advantages a bird might get from staying on the ground, and there is also some fantastic footage, especially the scene of the cassowary dad helping his babies eat fruit.

You can find the film on CuriosityStream, who is the sponsor of today’s video. They’re a subscription streaming service that offers thousands of documentaries and nonfiction titles from some of the world’s best filmmakers, including exclusive originals. It’s smart TV for your SmartTV, with topics like history, nature, science, food, technology, travel, and more.

A subscription to CuriosityStream is just $14.99 for the whole year. To sign up, go to and use the promo code “animalwonders” during the sign-up process. Thanks for letting me introduce you to Dazzle!

If you’d like to learn more about animals and go on an adventure with us every week, be sure to subscribe to our channel Animal Wonders Montana and I’ll see you next week! Bye! [BOLD OUTRO MUSIC].