Doves nesting in Patio Planter

by Olivia Essary
(Fresno, CA USA)

One morning last week I was sitting out on my back patio enjoying the spring day when I noticed a dove 20 ft out at the edge of the patio, pacing back and forth.

Watching closely I realized he (I think it was the male?) was carefully pecking about selecting only the best long pine needles to pick up, one by one!

Not realizing why he was doing that at first, I watched as he then flew his prize up to the corner of the patio overhang to an old hanging planter I have up there, where his mate was busy inside it, pacing 'round and 'round, and making use of each needle he delivered, weaving her nest!

I was so overjoyed and felt SO BLESSED that they chose that old planter so close in proximity to where we could witness (CAREFULLY!!) the beauty and awesome process of their brood coming into the world, that my heart simply sang with delight!

I couldn't help but feel uneasy that they might change their minds once they discovered how noisey our huge chocolate lab, Rosie and our presence around on a regular basis.

But as I told my husband, "Well, honey, it's up to God, if they stay, then it will be His will, we can not altar our ways such as keeping Rosie more confined, it wouldn't be fair to her." And so I resigned myself to see what would happen next.

After that first day, I did not see them in the nest the next day, and my heart fell, thinking that they must have moved on, feeling threatened and deciding to move the nest elsewhere.

But then the next day, they were back! That must have been the day that "Lady Mamma Dove" laid her eggs, for I have not seen that planter empty since.

Day and night, a Dove, (either he or she, I am finding out), is there sitting diligently, no doubt caring for the eggs they now have!

Every morning I look forward to greeting the sitting parent! It brings real joy to my heart that they stayed! I'm sending this picture I took today so others may enjoy the sight.

They are Mourning Doves!

Best Regards to All,

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Apr 21, 2009
Update on this page
by: Olivia

About two weeks ago we had a bad storm, even so the Doves sat on the eggs all through it! The next morning I saw the nest empty and I thought, OH NO! No doves in the nest, but then not 5 mins later here came one of the parents and it looked confused, kept pacing around in the nest. I discovered that a predator had taken their eggs.
Since then, they have abandoned the planter and I miss them very much. I am hoping that they will come back and try again before the season is out!

Apr 21, 2009
2 more babies
by: West Virginia

I have over 50 birdhouses on my small piece of land here in West Virginia. I recently had a Momma dove hatch her two eggs. The doves grew very fast. The babies haven't flown far from their nest,which was at the top of my Christmas wreath that I had made from cuttings from the different pine and hemlock trees on my 1/4 acre plot. When I saw that the dove had made a nest on my wreath at the front door, although it had pretty much seen it's last days, I didn't bother it until the babies left the nest. It's been 2 weeks since they were born and they are still staying around the front of my home. The babies are almost as big as momma now. It was funny, when it rained yesterday, the doves flew onto the front porch and perched on the rocking chair huddled together. Momma is taking very good care of the kids.

Apr 11, 2009
I have them too!
by: Katie

I just did a search to see if others have had doves in their planters on the patio. I am on my second brood in the same planter this year!! I live in San Diego.

Just last week the first fledglings left the nest and yesterday I noticed two more eggs have been laid. I read that they can have up to 6 broods a year; my patio will be like a maternity ward! So nice though.. I feel blessed!

Oh, and I too have a dog, a very "birdy" Vizsla, but she has been fine with them!

Apr 08, 2009
Just What You Need
by: Helen

Cali-Bug,this is just what you need! Another peaceful way to enjoy His relaxing Glory! I'm happy for you that your doves (what better symbol right before Easter) decided to nest right there as a beautiful gift from our Holy Father! Love you, Sis!

Apr 07, 2009
It's a wonderful thing!
by: Anonymous

How lovely. We now a pair of mourning doves who returned to the same nest from last year. I agree. It is a wonderfully beautiful thing to witness. We have a shepherd mix and 4 cats - 2 of which do tend to "hunt", which means I have to really keep them in check. The doves were scared by one who witness the "changing of the guard" and started attacking. I thought it was all over, but, low & behold, they returned. Last year, in the same nest, one baby fell and a cat found it to play with. The second baby fell, too, but I was able to put it back in the nest and feed it until the parents returned. It is a precarious spot on our overhang, so after they left last year, I found a wire shoe box from home depot and put it up there so it had sides to it to keep the nest (and babies) in tact. They seem to like it! Yippee! I will be posting my pics soon... Enjoy. It is a lovely thing in spite of all life's challenges!

Apr 06, 2009
What a wonderful surprise for you
by: Cindy

Great story Olivia.. it was so touching. I hope you will write again.. if you get a chance to share the babies, or maybe a snapshot!! This one is precious. I pray the couple does well. How exciting to witness.. such an event.

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