I observed a pair of mourning doves hanging out on the fire escape across the way from my 6th floor apartment in Greenwich Village.
The sound of their gentle call alerted me to their presence. I began to photograph them and look for them daily. I named them Penny and Benny.
After about a month or so while my son and daughter-in-law were visiting, the doves began to make their nest. The nest was quite flimsy just as I learned after reading about their nesting habits.
But they did have some protection from a large flower pot that was empty at the corner of the fire escape. Finally it was evident that the egg or eggs had hatched although I couldn't see much.
For a long while I thought there was only one squab, but much to my surprise, I saw there were two as they both had their beaks down their parent's throat getting their pigeon milk.
Today I saw that for the first time neither parent was at the nest for awhile. They take turns caring for the squabs. Today I saw the whole family together.
It's been a great experience for me learning about life through the life of the doves. I'm going to miss them when they're gone.
Benny was cooing today, and it sounded like he was trying to coax one of the squabs out of the nest.
They're about ready to start their lives outside the nest. They didn't seem that anxious to go.
Squabs Step Out Of Their Nest
Penny and Benny's babies are growing up and venturing out of their nest onto the fire escape. Their feet are not that secure and sometimes miss the fire escape and go between the iron slats. They are a real cute pair!
Henny, (I think) sitting on the nest next to the flower pot on the sixth-floor fire escape in NYC.
I submitted our story about our first nesting doves in 2008 -- Penny and Benny. Well, we are now on our third mourning dove family.
The new parents are Henny and Kenny. I haven't seen Kenny around much. He was on the fire escape with Henny when a loud chirping house sparrow came by and was very vociferous about something-- but Kenny finally took charge and defended the nest by physically bumping this nuisance until he flew off.
I saw Kenny for a minute the other day, but he doesn't stay for very long.
Now Henny is sitting on the nest. There seems to be less action at this time. I cannot see a change of birds at the nest. It always appears to be Henny, but I can't be sure.
I am sure I will be seeing some babies pretty soon. It's about two weeks since Henny started sitting on the nest full time.
I'm looking forward to seeing the new brood. I'll try to upload some photos of Kenny and the babies soon.