We had just planted flowers for the Spring/Summer season. On our porch we added a beautiful bright hanging plant to add to the color of the season.
Within two days of the plant being on our porch, we noticed the top was separated. We climbed up on a chair and took a look inside.
Sure enough, a nest had been started. So, we let nature takes it's course.
Our babies were born on April 29, 2010. Every day we would check to see if the eggs hatched yet. Surprisingly enough, Mom & Dad Dove were not afraid of us at all.
They let us approach the nest every day. We went in and out of our house. They had no problem with our dog barking, we even weeded and spread mulch and they didn't flinch.
Once the eggs hatched, it was awesome to watch.
Before we looked up information on your website, we thought that one dove was with the nest all the time.
It was really neat to learn that both parents are involved in the parenting. So, every day we watched them grow and watched their habits. It was a really cool experience.
The parents started leaving the babies alone for a few hours each day, a few days before they left the nest. We took a lot of pictures. I will attached a few with this story. The babies left the nest on May 14th.
My husband and I were hoping to be watching when they left, but they flew away while we were having dinner. We have seen them since. We have bird feeders in our backyard and they have come back to eat. Great experience.
A mourning dove fell from a nest in the maple in our backyard. The parents hung around but I thought I would set something up to protect him from predators.
I placed a patio umbrella in the far corner, near the nest and hung a plant pot, with lots of dirt in it, under the umbrella.
His parents could easily access him from where they sat on our fence yet no overhead predators could see him. I put seed and fresh water in the pot daily. I handled him and took many photos of his progress. The parents stayed and continued to bring him food as well.
After 2 weeks he was attempting to fly. I kept swooping him into the air but still low to the ground so he wouldn't hurt himself if he stumbled.
Eventually he started to fly about the yard. And each night I returned him to the pot. In the morning I would find him on the ground again.
Needless to say my cats were not allowed in the backyard at this time. They were not amused at being housebound.
One day we went to the Toronto Zoo and when we returned late evening, he was gone, nowhere around. I searched everyday for him to no avail.
I was heartbroken, thinking a predator may have got a hold of him. I could only hope that he had gained the strength and ability to fly and stay safe.
Each and everyday I went outside in hopes he had returned even though I knew it was foolish to believe a wild bird would come back.
About 2 weeks after he had disappeared, my husband was mowing the back lawn and called me outside. He said, "I think your dove is back". I had named him 'Lovey Dovey' and called him that each time I approached him. I spoke to him constantly during the time he was with me.
When I saw the dove on the fence, I called out, "Lovey Dovey, is that you?" He tilted his head toward my voice.
I couldn't believe it might be him. I sat on the grass and called again. He came over from the fence and sat on the grass a few feet from me.
He continued to walk towards me slowly and then flew onto my shoulder and then into my lap.
He stayed and allowed me to pet him. After a visit of about 20 minutes he flew back to the fence and sat for awhile.
I kept talking to him and eventually he turned and flew away as I called out my goodbyes.
It was the most amazing experience and had a profound effect on me. I took photos from when he was nothing but quills and fluff to when he came back to visit. The posted pic is of his return.
My Doves, as I like to refer to them have given our family much joy through the years.
They first started nesting on our covered porch in our hanging plants, they would usually just have one brood and then I would await their arrival the following year.
Well this year my darling dove is on her third brood. What's different this year is how close she has nested to our front door.
She greats me every time I open and close my front door, as she is so close I could easily reach out and touch her, she always looks at me and I softly talk to her and she has no fear of me or our family at all.
Another thing that is different is she is on her third brood, we watch her teach the babies to fly in our nearby fountain garden, our family including our grandchildren, watch from a nearby window, they have kept us entertained amongst the isolation of the stay at home orders.
Once she and her mate have their babies flying she is back on the nest with another brood. I have come to love these little birds as they make no mess and are a joy to watch.
She's as close to being inside our home as she could be. I think of her as one of our pets, like our little dog Andy as part of our family.
When I photograph her with her babies she looks so proud, almost as if she's poising for the photos.
I hope you enjoy some of the photos I have included.
Comments for Doves trying to become part of our family
This year, 2020 has been especially difficult for my family. I lost both my father and younger brother within two moths of each other.
Following that tragedy, the pandemic hit. This was a difficult time for millions across the world and for me I was still mourning the loss of my family.
During this time I became especially interested in birds. Living in Kentucky the Cardinal, our state bird, took on a new symbolic meaning to me.
Maybe it was my loved ones visiting. With each spotting I became hopeful, even if it was a fleeting moment: which made me more observant/submersed into the world of birds.
This is when I had my first encounter with Mourning Doves.
The quiet beauty and loving nature of the bird grew my attention once we noticed a nest built strategically on top of our arbor, sheltered by the edge of a roof from the building attached.
Being amateur animal enthusiast anyways and with little to do since confined to our homes, we took an interest in this mama and daddy bird who worked together to successfully raise FOUR sets of broods/fledglings (the fourth is underway currently).
Your website was very informative and helped feed our curiosity for what we call our new “neighbors”, whom we joined each afternoon as we relaxed underneath the arbor.
Each day and night it was amazing to watch and learn about their patterns. From the meet up and exchange between the father and mother to watching the fledglings feeding deep inside their mother's mouth.
My husband who took an special liking to our friends, restored an antique bird bath left on the property by my late father who loved watching the birds each morning.
So he added a drip irrigation head and timer to refill clean and fresh water throughout the day.
We also purchased a bird feeder filled with their favorites and positioned it in a close tree.
However we found that more Cardinals and Blue Jays enjoyed this more and of course we had to device a few systems to keep squirrels from ransacking it; that was a challenge.
I didn’t know what joy could come from watching these birds.
It felt peaceful watching each of their fledglings grow and still stay around, as if to stay with their family.
Watching even the dad Dove play such an important role was healing. Even in winged creatures the intricacies of family are vital.
I don’t know what I'll do once this mother bird decides she's done for this season.
But I do know that the Mourning Dove has helped me mourn my loved ones who've made me into the person I am today and for that...I'm grateful.