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.
March 30, 2022 at 07:54
We have always had tons and tons of Morning Doves here, and they live in the tree outside the bedroom so we wake to their beautiful yet plaintive song, so beautiful and yet so sad sounding. They often nest in the bushes along the pathways. As you probably know, they use the startle response in other animals. They wait until someone is right on top of their hiding spot, then leap into the air with much sound and fury which causes one to go into his or her startle response and hesitate which gives them time to escape. Even when you know they are there, you still cannot prevent your own startle response from ringing off! They seem to like to nest where humans are because we scare away other predators. I have even had them nest in the open by the door to my work shop, I look at them, they look at me, kind of an uneasy peace. I once had my grandfather from the old country explain to me that they are the souls of our ancestors come back to sing their mourning song to us! Which is why they are called, “Mourning Doves”!