Last year we had a family of mourning doves move into a basket on a shelf under the back patio awning. They raised two clutches of eggs and then left. We emptied the basket out after they had left and put it back on the top shelf.

This year they are back again. I got to see them assembling the nest from the start. This is a portrait of Mom (right) and Dad (left). I think this year we have a different father; last year’s male was much lighter in coloration. The nest is at the bottom so you can’t see it well but I checked it when both parents were away foraging and there are two very tiny little chicks in there. I put some wild bird feed nearby to be convenient for them. Mom seems to appreciate this.

Last year I never saw the mother leave the nest until the chicks were quite large and I never saw the father visit the nest at all. This year I’ve seen Dad several times and sometimes Mom will leave the chicks alone briefly to forage as well. Maybe they’ve learned we aren’t a threat.

We also have a new nesting pair in a juniper in front of our house. I’m thinking one or both of them could be from last year’s broods.

Mom and Dad take turns at the nest.