My husband and I have a small enclosed backyard, quite safe from roaming critters (except my harmless Maltese, "Ivan"). For the past few summers, a pair of doves come to sit on our back fence each morning.
Last spring, a pair of doves nested in the "dead-end" of one of our rain gutters. The doves sat on their nest through the wind, rain and weather. Since the nest was out of our sight, I don't know if they successfully reared fledglings.
I have an old, covered, weather-beaten bird feeder that I fill each summer. In mid-April, I noticed it had an occupant...a mourning dove!
Perhaps it is the same pair as last year, but this year they have nested in a "sheltered" facility. It is a good thing, since this spring has been especially wet, windy and cold.
We call the parents, "Margaret and Thomas" from the BBC series characters of "Lark Rise to Candleford." ("Margaret," the dove reminds me of "Margaret Brown.")
They don't seem to mind my photo sessions (of them) and gardening in the yard below them.
We have been treated with a great view of the nest and are able to keep an eye on the parents and chicks.
The feeder is only about 10 feet from our back door and 7 feet off the ground.
This has been our first experience with nesting mourning doves; it's fun and pretty exciting.
Hi - the first set of babies flew away in about a week's time. We couldn't see them at first and then started seeing feathers underneath the parents.
The parents seem to puff up to cover the babies when they are hatched.
After a couple of days we started to see their faces, and then they were out from under the parents.
My goodness they grow fast!!! In about a week they were huge and flew away.
But less then a week later, there were 2 more eggs!
I don't know if it's the same birds or different birds. The nest is really close to our front door and the parents tend to fly away before the babies are hatched but once they hatch, the parents don't move from the nest.
But the same thing, eggs hatched in about 2 weeks, and the 2nd set of babies are now here! So much fun!
Greetings. We are proud to say we have fledged many, many chicks from our yard over the years, which of course means we have also seen many nests raided and the babies snatched away.
We have always assumed the culprits were cats or rats since the scene involved major disruption of the nest and feathers everywhere -- and indeed it may have been such predators -- but over the years we have in fact discovered that other bird species are the most likely culprits.
Crows often prowl our yard, and we were shocked (and amazed and even somewhat delighted as birdwatchers) when we witnessed a coopers hawk swoop in one day and inspect everything (no nests then).
Then, about a year ago, I observed another dove -- of all things -- brutally harassing another parent dove doing its best to sit on its nest and tend its babies.
The attacking dove stood on the nesting doves back and ripped feathers from it until the mate returned and fought off the aggressor.
This made me wonder if anyone has ever seen another dove raid a nest and carry off or kill the babies. Anyone?
Then this: Last week we had a pair with very young chicks on a nest they had used already this season to fledge two broods successfully.
The nest is supremely concealed, about three feet off the ground in a flower pot mounted on a low fence.
It cannot be seen from above or on three sides, covered by many low hanging branches and boughs, but it was an ideal place for our observation; we often sat on a bench just three feet away, where the parents and chicks calmly tolerated us.
Unfortunately we awakened on Saturday to find the chicks gone… but there was no disturbance to the nest at all -- no feathers, no down, not a twig out of place -- and there was no disturbance to the surrounding foliage or ground cover of any kind.
Though in past years we have seen cats and even rats on patrol, that’s been so very long ago we discount the possibility this time, especially in light of the fact that there was not a twig out of place.
The one thing my sharp-eyed wife did find on the ground was the two crops or livers of the babies, as clean as if they’d been removed by a surgeon and washed for research -- but not another bit of debris or carnage or disruption of any kind.
So my question: Have any of you ever witnessed or learned of such a raid conducted by other mourning doves?…
Of course we are skeptical, and of course it’s natural to assume another form of predation, but the scene is so perfectly intact -- as if the parents and babies had simply flown away by choice (minus the crops/livers) that we just can’t figure it out.
We’ve set our trusty traps for rats (catch-and-release, of course), and we keep our eyes peeled for cats (even our neighbors say they haven’t seen one around in years), and we are confident no larger bird can detect the nest, but we are open to all suggestions, especially from anyone who’s had a similar situation.
I went out to cut the grass on Sat and noticed a mourning dove sitting behind my butterfly bush. I figured it would just move off once I started moving around, so I continued to ready my task.
I was picking up a few things and was just about to get the lawn mower when out from under the deck comes another mourning dove. Neither one of them appeared ready to move.
So needless to say I abandoned the idea of cutting the grass so as not disturb them. I just figured they would be gone in a few hours.
It is now Sunday and the pair of birds is still hanging around my yard.
Last I put out a bowl of water. I also put out some sunflower seeds. I am not sure if are sick or hurt or what.
This morning when I got up I thought of the birds. Are they gone? So out I went. I walked to the end of my deck and looked over on the ground and couldn't see them in either corner. Oh good, I thought, they flew away.
When I turned around, there they were on the railing. Sitting right there, not afraid. I went out to take a picture of them and thought once again perhaps they were gone and found them huddled together under one of my lawn chairs. I am puzzled as to what do.
Can I get some help, I don't want any harm to come to them and we have Feral cats around this area. Help!