Broken Nest Rebuilt

by John Orr
(Corona del Mar, CA)

Nesting Dove

Nesting Dove

We recently found a mourning dove nest shattered on the ground inside our patio. It was obvious that the nest had fallen from a precarious position on top of a post.

At my wife's request I rebuilt the nest by hand weaving the twigs together a little more securely and then wedged it into a better position on top of the post.

I was convinced that the birds would not return to the nest as I was told once that they will reject the nest if a human scent is there. I told my wife not to be too hopeful.

The following morning we awoke to see our doves returned and sitting on my newly built nest. We now have had the privilege to watch them trade off positions many times and they seem oblivious to us.

Although we cannot be exactly sure when she produced the eggs, they have been constantly nesting for 14 days as of today.

They did both leave the nest a few days ago and I was able to get a photo of the two white eggs.

The photo is horribly blurred because I wanted to be very quick and not alarm or disturb them.

We are waiting patiently now to see the fledglings hatch and we hope that we will be a regular home for these wonderful creatures.

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Birds and Blooms Pioneer Woman People Magazine First For Women

Comments for Broken Nest Rebuilt

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Aug 01, 2023
Worried About Doves
by: Didn't Follow Directions

I had the pleasure of watching the co-parenting of 2 doves build a nest on top of my pergola.

I watched them build it twig by twig. Then there were 2 eggs! They had 2 babies.

It's been maybe 2 weeks. They cuddle with each parent day and night. This morning the nest had fallen apart!

I saw one of the baby doves in my backyard. It has feathers and can sort of fly.

Well, it flew away, I think. No sign of Mom or the other sibling.

Should I try to rebuild a nest for them? Will they come back?

Maybe not because they are old enough to fly away now. Eager to see what happens.

Apr 11, 2021
reuse nest
by: Gene

Generally, once a nest site has been attacked the birds go somewhere else to begin again.

Any other Robin would build their own nest.

Apr 11, 2021
They are gone
by: Gloria

I had a mourning dove nest in my shrubs and watched it every day to and from work.

Today I woke up and it was gone. Feathers all over blood on my pillar and just pure saddened by the whole idea that something hit the whole family.

Do you think she will use this nesting spot again in the future if I leave the nest?

May 21, 2017
fallen nest
by: Didn't Follow Directions

Hello, I am devastated. I had a mourning dove build a nest on our ladder in our back porch area.

She successfully had two babies that left the nest. Yesterday I noticed she was staying in the nest most of the day.

Today I went outside and saw her looking around and I noticed her nest had fallen on the ground due to the high winds. Sadly, her one little egg cracked.

My husband placed the nest back on the ladder and my question is will she return again to lay more eggs?

I really enjoyed having my little doves around. I even named them Lily and Peter.......any replies would be great...Thanks...

Sep 09, 2013
Thank you for sharing your story
by: Rebecca Phillips

Well written and interesting story. We have pondered some of the same questions over the past 18 months of having doves for our friends. It's stressful to enter their world.

I have no idea how they handle the chaos of living in the wild. Our carport is such a safe and friendly place to raise their young. We love watching them.

Jun 05, 2012
mom left the nest
by: Anonymous

We have a pair of mourning doves nesting the second time of the year, the mom has been there most of the time for up to ten days now.

But tonight I have not seen her return back, I was just concerned if she has abandoned the eggs?
Is this normal the mom would leave overnight?

Aug 03, 2010
Borken Nest - Devastated
by: John Orr

We are devastated! We returned home tonight to find no parent on the nest. I climbed up and peeked in to find the baby dead.

We have no idea what happened as he seemed to be doing so well this morning.

The mother has now returned and is sitting with the dead nestling. It is incredibly sad.

Does anyone have any ideas on how this could have happened?
Is it a frequent occurrence?

Aug 02, 2010
Broken Nest
by: Julianne

Congratulations on your to new mourning doves! I have a couple that has made a hanging plant on my front porch their home.

We have been very quite when using the front door, and not sitting on the front porch so they will not be disturbed, and looking forward to the young to be hatched.

We have a perfect view from inside the house.

Jul 31, 2010
Female Mourning Dove - Added
by: Anonymous

Female Dove Waiting to Take Turn Incubating

Jul 28, 2010
Rebuild Broken Nest (Update)
by: John Orr

We have babies!!
I am not sure if they hatched yesterday or today but we noticed an unusual movement from the bird on the nest.

He was arching his back repeatedly and burying his head in the nest.

I realize now that this was the act of regurgitation to generate the "milk" they use to feed the squabs.

This afternoon after being so patient I saw the two squabs enjoying a meal. How fascinating that they seem to almost completely disappear inside the parents beak.

I am being respectful and viewing them through a telescope from inside the house. They are only 12 feet away but the telescope is an amazing observation tool.

As soon as they grow a little more I will get some photos and post them. I bought some dove seed today and two little feeders (one for seed and one for water).

They have not used the feeders yet but I hope they will in the future.

Thanks for the comments, I love this website and have already spent hours reading other's stories.

Jul 28, 2010
broken Doves nest
by: Anonymous

Wonderful, warm hearted story. How wonderful this pair of Doves chose you and your wife to be safe with, in producing their family. Best wishes.

Jul 28, 2010
broken nest
by: 4deboids

Songbirds do not have a strong sense of smell, and would not know if you touched the nest or not.

Jul 28, 2010
by: Marianne

Thanks for sharing your precious story. How great that you took the time and effort to put the nest back together.

I too believed that myth but this website informed me that birds do not get the human scent.

Good luck to you and your new family - they will return again and again to the same spot as mine have. It is wonderful.

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