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vintagejuls
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Mourning Doves in a Nest

Right around Easter, I startled a Mourning Dove out of a hanging basket of Geraniums under my patio cover. She (or he) quickly returned but not before I could take a look to see if there were a nest with eggs. Indeed, there are 2 eggs and the pair of doves have been taking turns incubating the eggs for over 2 weeks now. The Doves are quite common here where I live in a suburb of Los Angeles but I've never had the pleasure and can't wait to see chicks. Doves have tried nesting in my hanging baskets before but with an active Hummingbird feeder and my watering I think I've scared them away. This winter I took the Hummingbird feeder down and had not replaced it yet. :oops:

My research on the internet indicates 14 days before hatching and then a couple of weeks until the chicks leave the nest. Will I hear peeping because I think the eggs should have hatched by now. Does anyone have any experience with this? If so, would love to hear your thoughts about what stage we are in so I can anticipate replacing my Hummingbird feeder. I love to have the Hummingbirds flying around. :D
~ Julie

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vintagejuls
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What, no one has ever had doves in their yard? :oops: :lol:

Well, I think maybe she's sitting on the babies. I'm contemplating getting on a stool to see if I can see anything under her.

There was a 2nd pair building a nest in my Wisteria this morning but my lawn sprinkler scared them away. Just as well since their nest didn't seem too sturdy.

Would love to hear thoughts from anyone... :wink:
~ Julie

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vintagejuls
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We have baby doves

This morning from my bedroom I saw movement in the basket. With my binoculars, I saw the babies with mouths opened wide for mom to feed. It's so exciting! Yipee. :D

I'm so happy because I didn't want mama dove sitting on unhatchable eggs; although, I guess mother nature would have let her know.

If I can get close enough to take a pic without scaring her, I will. She (and or he; they rotate sitting with babies) is quite brave because I have been very busy in the yard and on the patio these past few weeks.

Happy Birthday doves! :lol:
~ Julie

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cynthia_h
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This sounds terrific! :D

The closest I've ever lived to mourning doves was in 1993/94. I was living with a girlfriend in a rented house, and a colony of doves would fly in every evening onto the garage roof, which had passion-flower vines on it. She and I would hear them cooing, but due to the plants and the angle of the house vs. garage, could almost never see them except in flight.

There have to have been nests up there, but we had no way of getting to the garage roof to see them or any babies.

So "your" babies hatched (most likely) on Sunday, May 3?

Cynthia H.
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vintagejuls
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Hi Cynthia,

Yes, I don't really know for certain; thought I would hear an abundance of chirping like the sparrows do... but the doves are real quiet. They must have hatched sometime this weekend. Small enough to still fit under mom but big enough to pop up their heads for feeding. I'll try and get a pic today or tomorrow.

This is exciting since I'm in the burbs and wildlife is scarce. However, we do get quite a variety of birds - even an occassional Red Tail Hawk and Osprey; from time to time a squirrel runs across the telephone lines and the opposum eat our snails! Near the golf courses, fox, skunk and racoon are prevalent. :wink:
~ Julie

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Those baby birds sound absolutely adorable! (which is a word I generally don't use, but what else can I say about just-hatched baby doves???)

If you can get a picture, great, but please don't put yourself or the Mama Dove's peace of mind at risk. I'm sure lots of us have a terrific, idyllic scene in mind from your well-written descriptions! :)

Cynthia

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That's so neat that they decided to nest so close! I've heard of house finches nesting in a hanging basket, and my MIL has mourning doves nesting on the top of the porch columns every year, so I guess they're not as fearful as you might think. As the name suggests, their feathers are non-descript and quiet, but actually, the male, especially in the sun, has some startlingly beautiful markings. :D

In my garden, mourning doves (same ones?) nest every year on top of the weeping cherry. There is apparently a perfect spot where all the weeping branches radiate out. I've never tried to look at the nest, and the doves always look so startled (it's the way they look, I think) peeking over the top of the nest, that I generally just tip-toe around. This year, there is a dead branch that needed to be pruned, but I missed my chance, and the doves are sitting there already. :roll:

If I remember rightly, their chicks are not as noisy as say the house wrens or house sparrows. But when they're a bit older, they do make a racket every time they're being fed. Even in my Zone 6b area, the doves usually raise 3 sets of babies every year. So I don't know... maybe you could move the hanging pot in an out-of-the-way spot after the first babies have fledged?

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vintagejuls
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Here are some pics of Dove and babies.

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0103_073.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0105_075.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0106_076.jpg[/img]

Thank goodness for ZOOM! The chicks are tucked under her breast.. so cute. :o

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0108_078.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0107_077.jpg[/img]

I stood on a stool for the closeups and used a zoom. The others are taken from my lawn just to give you an idea of how close the Doves are to my house and don't seem to mind the activity of gardening, lawn mowing, watering, dog chasing and barking at the mailmain (Rotties don't bark unnecessarily though), BBQing; they have been quite brave. Who knew! :roll:

As the chicks become fledglings, I'll try to get some more pics to share. :wink:
Last edited by vintagejuls on Tue May 12, 2009 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
~ Julie

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Great shots. Wow, Momma Dove *is* quite placid, being so close to a house. And the babies are sooooo tiny. Well, I've never seen dove eggs, so didn't have a concept of how small/large they are to start.

Just little bitty balls of fluff.

Cynthia

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vintagejuls
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Thanks Cynthia. Yes, little bitty balls of fluff. :lol:

It's been fun and interesting tracking this dove family.

applestar, you are right, doves just naturally look startled... :roll: I haven't heard from them yet that I've noticed. It seems as though Spring is in full bloom... with all the bird noises a round.

The 2nd pair of doves continued to build a nest in my Wisteria but I think my neighbors cat has scared them away. Something jumped over my fence when I approached the back of the yard; from time to time I've spotted my neighbors cat crouched down in the back corner watching all the bird activity. I usually have feeders there but not yet this year; planning to wait until the doves are fledglings so as not to scare the adults into abandoning the nest with so much activity from other birds.

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0098_068.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0101_071.jpg[/img]

Wisteria in back corner about 15-20' from patio with active dove nest
Last edited by vintagejuls on Tue May 12, 2009 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Good Morning - Day 6

Look what's happening now. This is daddy dove; he stays with them during the day.

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0118_087.jpg[/img]
Morning feeding - view from the house

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0119_088.jpg[/img]
Look how they've grown!

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0120_089.jpg[/img]
Too big for dad to sit on.

I hope to get some more pics before they leave the nest.

Oh, and I don't think the plant in the basket is long for this world since I haven't been able to water it for over a month now. :roll: oh, well...
Last edited by vintagejuls on Tue May 12, 2009 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Fledgling Began Monday 5.11.09

Mother's Day was wonderful seeing the babies with more smooth feathers ~

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0123_092.jpg[/img]

But Monday morning was a different story; it turned out to be quite eventful - fledgling began and I wasn't ready... :oops: This is what I found when I went to check on the Doves:

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0136_105.jpg[/img]

This little guy was all alone in the 'basket nest' and nowhere in sight were any other doves. I checked all around the yard - no doves and no sign of doves. hmmmmmm

Well, eventually I heard cooing and mama returned to feed. Then later daddy relieved mama but I was still concerned about the other baby.

Around 2pm, I noticed a baby in my flowerbed and contemplated catching it and returning it to the nest. My sense was better let mother nature take it's course; didn't want to interfere and possibly upset the other baby in the nest. Then within minutes mama was in the flowerbed with baby... whew :roll: About an hour later while baby #2 is still in the nest, I see mama and baby #1 up on the telephone lines! :o Clearly, baby #1 is in great shape for it's maiden voyage. Baby #1 sat up there alone for over an hour.

A short while later, baby #1 and mama are back in my yard. My guess is trying to get back in the nest but baby #2 felt left out and joined them on the ground. Mind you it's after 5pm now; time to get ready for bed.

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0138_107.jpg[/img]

Unfortunately, something startled them into my Wisteria and then the neighbors cat caught wind of the activity and crashed the party. The baby doves went flying onto my other neighbors patio with mama close behind. Sadly, that's where they are now... I guess. Hopefully, they will make it through the night. At least they didn't land in the yard of the neighbors cat but she does prowl around.

Stay tuned ... :wink:
~ Julie

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Wow! They're getting big very quickly! 8 to 10 days old and fledging already...

I hope they made it safely back to the nest sometime during the night.

Cynthia

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Good news ~ 1 baby made it through the night out of the nest. It was in my yard this morning. This afternoon there isn't any sign of any babies. I believe the end of the story is here and the doves lived happily ever after. :lol: They're just out there doing what doves do...

Now, out to hang my hummingbird feeder... :wink:
~ Julie

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We should have a 2nd brood this weekend. :shock:

I discovered 2 eggs in the same basket with a new nest built by the same pair of doves on May 16th. And that was the first day mama dove had not moved from the nest for 24 hours - so I'm counting that as day 1. My plan is to leave them alone more - less picture taking so they can parent even better this time. Not that they didn't before but I'm not sure the babies made it; although, no evidence to suggest their demise... :?
~ Julie

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We have some doves that come by every day, I enjoy seeing them.

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Wow, nice shots! I'm glad you shared these because there's a fledgling hanging around that was born in my gutter. However, he is the scraggliest looking thing, skinny neck and tiny head compared to the rest of the body. Looks almost deformed. But I have seen the parents feeding it. They are absolutely quiet, I've practically knocked him off two perches before I noticed him. Yeah, they grow up fast, I noticed the eggs the first week of may, but I think only one survived. Not a whole lot of room up there, and doves are lousy nest-builders. I wondered if it cooked the eggs, being in full sun most of the day. No eggs washed out, even though it's right next to a downspout. Said downspout empties into a screened rain barrel, which I used to use for rinsing off my hands. Not no more!
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Recap and The 2nd Brood

Fledgling occurred the week following mothers day - how fitting... 8)

When I hadn't seen any of the dove family, I cleaned up the plant and gave it a drink of water. Then the morning of Thursday, May 14th, I wake up and find the family enjoying their clean 'basket'. This is the last time I saw the family.

Mom, Dad and 1 Baby
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0148_116.jpg[/img]

Baby alone in nest
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0151_119.jpg[/img]

Baby roosting while I did work in the yard; planting my tomatoes...
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0158_126.jpg[/img]

Mom and Dad planning round 2
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0162_129.jpg[/img]

Well, the doves returned after my spring cleaning to build an even better nest and lay 2 eggs which I discovered on the evening of the 4.7 earthquake we had here. Yes, I felt it big - like a 6.0 because I'm near the fault line it ran off of. Fortunately, no damage; just a few wall hangings knocked askew. :roll:

Today I couldn't wait any longer and looked into the basket nest while Dad was nesting and saw movement of a hatchling. Only saw 1 baby but the other could have been under him. It's been quite cool here for a normal SoCal spring. I estimate they hatched Friday because Mom was wiggling around on the nest. No pics yet. I plan to give them more privacy this time... I think they may have fledged too early with all the paparazzi activity 8) :lol:

Thanks everyone for checking in to see the latest on my Dove Family. :D

:arrow: BTW, I hung the hummingbird feeder and the Doves haven't minded at all despite the 2 to 3 hummers that hang out and quibble over the feeder. I find they enjoy perching themselves on the tomatoe cages which is right below the feeder. :wink:
~ Julie

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2nd Brood Updated Pics - 6 Days Old

Thunder and lightening in a spring shower - just had to look into the nest... So, here is Daddy Dove with 1 baby. There were 2 eggs but it looks like only 1 hatched.

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DaddyDoveandBaby4June2009.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0202_166.jpg[/img]
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I think he's getting used to you. He looks like he's greeting you with a smile. :wink:

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I think it's a grimace... :P
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Update - 2 Babies

Actually, I too think it is a grimace... :( I snapped this picture after the 'exchange' (mom relieving dad) and then startled mom off the basket. ooops, big oooops but she returned within 5 minutes as she was roosting on another hanging basket under the patio cover.

The good news is there are 2 babies!!! :P And, I need to keep a safe distance so fledging doesn't occur prematurely like I think it may have last brood.

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0203_167.jpg[/img]
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Aww - you're being a good landlady, you are. Just keep filling the birdbath or other water source, and, if you want to give them something, they do like millet and corn bits. It helps to feed nesting birds because then they can concentrate on getting "babyfood" and not have to worry so much about feeding themselves. :wink:

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applestar, does the dog's water dish count as a water source? I think that's what they may be using as it seems to be getting murky quicker than normal... :roll: And, they may be using it before we get up in the morning. I'm somewhat of a night owl when I can be.

I have a bird feeder that hangs from the Wisteria trellis which I can fill. But my concern was to keep the traffic down in the area; it's about 20' away from the nest. Probably should be OK... Your thoughts? or anyone? :wink:
~ Julie

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The water in a birdbath is usually a couple of feet up off the ground, maybe because birds want to see their surroundings? I have seen birds "bathing" in puddles after rain at the Point Isabel dog park, but only when the birds' line of sight is unobscured for a good distance, maybe 12 to 15 feet.

Maybe the urge to be up off the ground is instinctive, due to ground-level predators (cats, raccoons, etc.).

Birdbaths are also shallow so the birds can stand in them and get the dust and other crud (a technical term :wink:) off of their feathers while also getting a drink. My MIL has a three-level circular fountain, and I've seen birds stand on the edge of the top level, but not the lower levels. There *are* outdoor cats in her neighborhood, but no raccoons, so far as I know.

I don't have any advice on the distance of a bird feeder from the nest; sorry. I've always had indoor/outdoor cats (until last year) and felt it unethical to feed birds and lure them to the yard. Maybe I can, now that I have indoor-only cats...I could certainly use the bug control...

Mom and Dad Dove definitely like your geranium basket! :D It's a good thing you watered the poor thing when you did...

Cynthia

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Baby Doves Day 10

It's natures wonder and awe when you can look out your window to watch a feeding, grooming and wing stretching. Here they are at approximately day 10. Fledgling should occur in 3-5 days.

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0212_176.jpg[/img]
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Eve of June 10th - Approximately 12 days old

It shouldn't be long now before they are ready to leave the nest. They are so cute - my pet doves... :lol:

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0234_194.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0231_191.jpg[/img]

No need for me to stand on the stool. They sit up high and alert.
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Man, do they grow fast! The mutant fledgling of prior posts has been spotted, and it still doesn't have the colouring of an adult, although it appears to be full size and on it's own; nor has the head and neck caught up in size, still appears stunted.
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You got some REALLY great portraits there, vintagejuls!
Congratulations. :D

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vintagejuls
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Thank you. Well, I guess I'm a Grandma afterall. :flower:

The babies have been alone in the basket for over 2 hours this morning. An adult dove did roost for a bit on a nearby hanging basket but it's not there now. The adults are probably getting the babies comfortable with being alone...? :roll:

Today is lawn day but I will forgo mowing the backyard; don't want to startle the babies out of the nest prematurely. Since we have had marine layer every day all day for several days now, the backyard can wait until next week. I'll do some weeding instead.

Stay tuned for more dove update episodes... :wink:
~ Julie

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2nd Brood has Left the Nest

Thursday morning was like any other morning... mom and dad alternating feedings.

[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0237_197.jpg[/img]

But during Thursday afternoon, everything changed. The babies were left alone for hours.
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0240_200.jpg[/img]

All afternoon, evening and into the night.
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0245_205.jpg[/img]

Friday morning, they were still waiting but then suddenly seeing mom and dad in the yard, one by one they took flight to greet them.
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0253_213.jpg[/img]

The fledgling doves needed a rest, so they roosted all afternoon. Right below them is a clay saucer full of bird seed. They had been watching mom and dad partake earlier.
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0251_211.jpg[/img]

Late in the day only one fledgling remained. Roosting and watching the sparrows arrive to nibble and feed on the seeds.
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0256_216.jpg[/img]

Roosting into the evening, until after nightfall he was gone.
[img]https://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/vintagejuls/Doves%20May%202009/DSCN0255_215.jpg[/img]

Midmorning today, Saturday 6/13, mom and dad were in and out of the yard... feeding, roosting but no sign of the fledglings. Maybe they're enrolling in college. :lol:

So the hanging basket nest has been cleaned out and watered; until the pair decide to nest again. :wink:
~ Julie

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So the chair is a bird feeder? And here I thought that was part of your good dining room set...

Astounding how fast they develop.
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Wow. Beautiful shots, and very engaging story-telling.

I haven't looked back through the thread, but it seems like they go from balls of fluff to fledging in 10 days???

Cynthia

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vintagejuls
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Thanks Wing and Cynthia for viewing my post and listening to my story.

Wing, Yeah, that chair is now a bird feeder because the doves cannot get to the regular feeders so I put a big red clay saucer full of seed in the chair seat which has chicken wire stapled in. Originally, a friend made the chair for me as a planter. I should redo it or another. Maybe I can find a chair at a garage sale... :idea:)

Cynthia, Good guess on the 10 days. Close, it's about 14...

No new nest yet... I was out of town since Sunday, returned today and thought I would find a dove nesting but no one is home... :( :o
~ Julie

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Location: Michigan--LP(troll)

I think mine are gone from the gutter, too. Thank goodness.
Happy Gardening,
Wing

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applestar
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Posts: 28233
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Vintagejuls, how are you dove family doing?

I've been meaning to post about this, and I finally had the chance to take some pictures. Shortly after your reports about the doves in your hanging basket, a pair of doves moved into nest in the remains of my bird feeder.

My expensive but old feeder literally flew off the post one pre-hurricane day last autumn and smashed. I rigged a platform feeder with a nursery bedding tray DIY'd with window screen, scrap wood, and wired on branches. It was serviceable and attracted many birds through the winter.

Some time in late spring, the roof which was being supported with rubber bands on the central post fell down when the rubber bands dried up and failed in the heat. The feeder stood empty except for occasional grubs and cabbage worms I tossed in, and the doves decided it was an ideal nesting site.

[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image4696.jpg[/img]

Today, we caught sight of a pretty well grown chick in the nest:
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image4695.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image4694.jpg[/img]

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vintagejuls
Green Thumb
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:12 am
Location: Southern California / USDA Zone 10

Applestar,

Great Dove nest you have there. Who knew...? :o

No new nest; the last fledge was June 13th. Doves come in and out of the yard to feed from the seed I put out. I'd like to believe that some are the babies all grown up... :D
~ Julie

Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well... Emerson

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plkelly
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Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:52 pm
Location: Springfield MO

I've so enjoyed following the mourning doves all this summer.

We had a pair in our yard last summer, but I would only see them hunting seed on the ground. Their nest must have been well hidden.
Patsy

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
--Margaret Atwood

jmoore
Senior Member
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:57 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

plkelly wrote:I've so enjoyed following the mourning doves all this summer.

We had a pair in our yard last summer, but I would only see them hunting seed on the ground. Their nest must have been well hidden.
+1 Great story and pics.

We've got mourning doves literally by the hundreds in our neighborhood. I've got a huge pecan tree in my backyard and they love that thing. They are constantly in there cooing. It's very relaxing listening to them when we sit on the patio in the evenings.

GeorgiaGirl
Senior Member
Posts: 228
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Metro Atlanta, GA (zone 7)

Oh my goodness, I had missed this thread before. Love the photos and narrative! So amazing to see "coming of age" in action right in our own back yards.
Julia in Georgia



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