This is a bittersweet story with me because I am an avid bird watcher and bird lover and have been a dove fan for years. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) reached out to inform me that dove mortality is on the rise in Texas due to a parasite known as trichomoniasis.

Doves symbolize peace, purity, and the Holy Spirit in the Bible. The sad part is that they are dying left and right. According to the TPWD news release, trichomoniasis is a disease that mostly affects pigeons and doves, but other species, like finches, and even birds of prey feeding on infected doves can become infected.

On the bright side, trichomoniasis does not pose a human health risk. That said, I have some very healthy trees around my home. Thousands of doves have come and nested in the trees around my home.

This is where the first problem lies: male doves are very vocal during the baby dove-making season. Doves are known to mate for life. They are monogamous and often stay together all year round, especially in Texas where warmer weather prevails.

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Doves only look for other mates when their partners are dead or lost. The video below shows the sounds of doves cooing. The doves at my house coo right outside of my bedroom window from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. continuously. Yes, non-stop! They are driving me and my wife crazy. Guys, go find a new mate, she ain't coming home.

Many believe (me included) that when doves coo they are carrying a message from a deceased loved one. You can believe what you want. The fact remains that doves are dying.

The National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) has confirmed that several doves have been collected around the Trans Pecos and Rolling Plains, and have tested positive for the parasite trichomoniasis.

The TPWD says if you encounter a dove, pigeon, finch, or any other kind of bird that may be infected with trichomoniasis, contact the TPWD's Biologist immediately.

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