Day 2: Two Turtle Doves


No matter where you live in Canada, doves are likely a part of your daily life. Urban or rural, Rock Doves (pigeons) are very good at taking advantage of food resources. This ability to thrive in human-dominated environments often leads to their demise, as Avitrol poisoning is a major cause of death in this species. Avitrol is marketed as a flock deterrent. It causes seizures and vocalizations from affected birds, which serve to scare away the flock. The substance does cause death in a proportion of affected birds, however, and improper bait mixing often leads to widespread poisoning of the flock.

Rock Doves are not native to Canada and are under no threat of population declines, but poisoning is not recommended for controlling populations. Not only is this method ineffective for repelling flocks over the long-term, but it will also kill other bird species that ingest the bait. Acute secondary Avitrol poisoning from feeding on contaminated carcasses is thought to be rare, but it has been documented in birds of prey. Canada Geese and Trumpeter Swans have also been submitted to the CWHC because of direct accidental or intentional Avitrol poisoning.

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Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim via Wikimedia Commons

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