Desperate to know if I have two male doves or not

Lobzi

Crowing
May 6, 2008
2,307
256
306
San Francisco Bay Area, EB
Bow and cooing...is this an exclusive male behavior? Knowing the answer to this question will certainly help me. Thanks to those who will take the time to share their knowlege. Im new to dove owning and am in search of a female for my male. I was sold a supposed female. The two get along fine even built a nest together and have taken turns sitting on an empty nest. It seems as if each is waiting for the other to lay the egg though. Both do a lot of cooing which I was told is fine for both sexes but I also noticed this "female" adding in the bowing and that concerns me. The sooner I can tell if this is a male the better chance I will have at returning it in exchange for a female. I glad the two are getting along but I really wanted the doves to have the experience of rearing their young.
 

Szulptist

Chirping
Apr 10, 2015
53
57
81
USA - NY
If she coo's at the same frequency / pitch as he does she's probably a he (and even if she doesn't, cooing is a male characteristic). I was sold my first dove as a "girl" by an inexperienced jerk. The guy is actually relatively well known as a bird expert but he's really just a (insert negative word). I found out she was a dude because she went from being completely silent to constantly bow-cooing and laughing on a regular basis. It's possible that both your doves are males who thinks the other is a female. It's possible one of your doves thinks the other is a female and the one who is believed to be a female doesn't mind playing that role? It's also possible that they both are fully aware of the situation but don't care and prefer a mate of the same gender than no mate at all. I've had two pigeons in my backyard who are a "male and female" for over 8 months and they both play their roles perfectly but there are no eggs at all. Originally I got sold two and they wanted to kill each other but after I replaced one of the males with the new "female" they were in love in no time. if you place male and a female dove together in a neutral area (where neither claims territory) and watch their behavior you can usually tell if they are the same gender or not.

The only way to know 100% for sure what genders you have is if two birds end up with eggs that hatch or you get them DNA tested. Female doves usually lay eggs fairly regularly but they have to be old enough before that happens. Maybe the female is just a young male who hasn't found his voice yet? If they both start cooing everyday then I'd put my money on them both being dudes. Maybe if you have a friend who has doves he can give you two fertile eggs for them to sit on and see what happens?

Good luck, I've tried buying female doves before and they've always ended up as males so I've given up. Now I'm onto diamond doves, much easier to differentiate.

Eric
 

Lobzi

Crowing
May 6, 2008
2,307
256
306
San Francisco Bay Area, EB
Thank you so much for that. You know, I was thinking just that about the eggs. I even found an old mourning dove egg that I had collected and saved. I put that in the nest and all that did was discourage either from the nest for a while. Well at first, my male (for certain) dove sat on the egg but eventually stopped.
Of course I have fallen in love with this new one and would hate to give it up if they would both raise a baby that would be just fine. I like that idea. So far, the guy who sold me this new dove as a female is not getting back to me. He was a nice guy just busy. If he wont take the dove back maybe he would give me an egg.
 

Szulptist

Chirping
Apr 10, 2015
53
57
81
USA - NY
I'd put a fake egg underneath them and see if they incubate it before risking a real one. I'd also put two eggs (real one or two after the fake two) so that it is a more natural setup. Doves nearly always lay two eggs and even if only one of them is real it'll be easier for the parents to believe they are theirs. It's definitely hard to get rid of an animal even if it's wrong gender once a bond is formed, if you can have three or four doves total it should be fine unless they start to fight.

Good luck!
Eric
 

Lobzi

Crowing
May 6, 2008
2,307
256
306
San Francisco Bay Area, EB
I am going to get two dove eggs from the person who gave me the initial dove to try as a pet. By the way, in my quest to know if I have a pair or two males can I ask....does the female ever mount the male? I have noticed that although my original dove does most of the mounting it does go back a forth a bit. That has me most concerned.
 

Szulptist

Chirping
Apr 10, 2015
53
57
81
USA - NY
Good plan, I hope it works! As for the mounting each other thing, I asked someone the other day that very same question because my pigeons do that. They said that only the males should mount the females. They could be wrong, if anyone else wants to chip in their two cents I'd appreciate it. Otherwise I don't think either bird is being harmed by the mounting but if they are both males it won't really change the situation egg-wise.

Eric
 

Lobzi

Crowing
May 6, 2008
2,307
256
306
San Francisco Bay Area, EB
Another interesting tidbit to this story....

As I mentioned these two are getting along and have ever since a very short introduction (about 1 hour next to each other in separate quarters). However, when I trapped a wild mourning dove that was hanging around the aviary and put it in with my Cyrano (male dove) Cyrano when crazy...chasing the poor thing around until finally I just had to let the mourning dove out. This made me think the mourning dove was for sure a male. I would be happy no matter what sex these are if they would brood and raise some eggs I can get from a friend. How puzzling this is.
 
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jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,269
396
Thailand
Another interesting tidbit to this story....



As I mentioned these two are getting along and have ever since a very short introduction (about 1 hour next to each other in separate quarters). However, when I trapped a wild mourning dove that was hanging around the aviary and put it in with my Cyrano (male dove) Cyrano when crazy...chasing the poor thing around until finally I just had to let the mourning dove out. This made me think the mourning dove was for sure a male. I would be happy no matter what sex these are if they would brood and raise some eggs I can get from a friend. How puzzling this is.
OMG.. please don't go around trapping WILD birds!!!!!!
 

Dovelover22

In the Brooder
May 23, 2015
22
7
32
One of the ways you can tell is by feeling it's pelvis. The pelvis is underneath the anus and the males pelvis should feel hard and the females should be round and rubbery.
 

Lobzi

Crowing
May 6, 2008
2,307
256
306
San Francisco Bay Area, EB
Well Im just going to wait and get some dove eggs from a friend. I will put them in the nest and see what happens. Maybe these two will surprise me with their own eggs before I get any. The man who sold me the "female" is willing to trade but he still swears the one he sold me is a SHE.
 

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