Uh-oh, MODO!

This little MODO (mourning dove) was brought to the VINS Wildlife Services department earlier this week. He was found roadside in Warren, VT, likely hit by a car.

Mourning doves are special birds. Their big brown eye pull you right in; their soothing summer coo will lull you. But don’t be fooled by these plump year-round residents. They may look and sound sweet, but when it comes to survival, MODOs can be the toughest guys and gals around your feeder.

Once you have your feeder up this winter, watch how the MODOs treat each other and birds of other species (even big old blue jays) who try to get some fallen seed off the ground. MODOs will whack other birds with their powerful wings, nip at them with their beaks, or waddle aggressively after them to chase them away. Don’t get between a MODO and his seed.

Below, Wildlife Services interns Priya Subbarayan (left) and Sarah McAteer tube-feed the mourning dove.

This particular mourning dove has two broken bones in his right wing and is on the thin side. The Wildlife staff here is tube-feeding him a nutritious grain-based liquid diet and has wrapped his wing to allow the bones to set. Once the bones heal and he puts on weight, we’ll return this MODO to his rightful home in the wild … where he can calmly terrorize your neighborhood seed-eating birds.

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