Doves in Hanging Basket

by Marianne
(Palmdale, CA)

Dove Family in Hanging Basket

Dove Family in Hanging Basket

We have had wonderful generations of a Dove family in this basket over and over again for the last three years.

Doves Nesting in our Hanging Planter

This is the fourth set of hatchlings and the neighborhood is just full of doves.

They love the location of the baskets which are just outside the front door and hidden from the elements.

We never plant one basket so it is ready for them and try to keep the other one planted for shelter.

We keep a little cracked corn in the planted basket for them while they are sitting.

We immediately stop using the front door when they arrive to allow them privacy and fewer interruptions.

It is just so much fun to watch the process. God Bless the faithful mother and father as they remain on their constant vigil. Shift change seems to be at around 5:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Our weather this year has been just crazy so they have had to protect the eggs from snow, 28 degrees up to and including 95 degrees, and back again several times.

It has been a great experience - full of all the parenting joys and worries.

It is sad to see them go but you always know they are somewhere nearby..... and you can hear them talking to you.

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Jul 07, 2023
by: Susan

We've had doves here in hanging basket for a couple of years too.

We put our basket under the eaves outside of our front door and were going to put some flowers in it

The doves got there first.

When they flew away we put some pine needles inside the basket to make it comfy. They like them.

in a townhouse, we share our porch with our neighbors and they don't particularly like this.

So after the babies flew away, we took it down.

Today the doves are flying around looking for their nest.

I feel terrible because they have given us so much joy. Sorry neighbors, these little birds mean too much to us to take away their home!

My husband is out now buying a new liner and we will recondition the nest for them.

In the meantime, I hope they haven't found a different spot.

And yes, it's so nice when the wind is blowing out there and they're tucked in under the safe spot we have provided.

We live across from the Grand River in Paris, Ontario; the predator birds cannot see our doves so they are also safe in that respect.

Thank you for your article. kindred spirit.

Apr 15, 2023
Dove nest
by: Lisa

I went out to water my Fern the other day and I have a dove nesting on two beautiful tiny eggs!

I open my window to my Florida room and talk to either the mama or the papa every day.

I'm so happy that they chose my fern!

My father passed away 2 years ago and I have come to believe that my daddy is staying close to me and that's the meaning behind why the doves chose my fern.

Jun 01, 2020
watering while dove is nesting
by: Anonymous

I have the same family over and over. I have gotten to the point I can water every day without them flying off.

Mater of fact, the faucet will even touch their tail and it does not bother them at all. I love having them with us!!

Keep watering as much as you like! I'm on my 15th + nesting experience in the same basket.

May 17, 2019
New basket with dove and eggs
by: Anonymous

Is there a way that I can replace the flower basket that the mourning dove nested in?

I just bought my flower basket on Sunday and the dove nested on Tuesday.

I understand they like to return to the same area each year so I would like to come up with a permanent solution.

May 03, 2018
Doves in our hanging Boston ferns.
by: Diana McMahan

Every morning our Mourning Doves scratch around in the ferns. They make a pretty big mess on the deck, but I kind of love cleaning up their mess.

They are beautiful, I just thought they might be feeding off something in the fern, does, anyone know what it might be eating and why?

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Doves Nest In Hanging Plant on Deck

Two anticipated guests

Two anticipated guests

Imagine my surprise when I started to water my hanging plant and a dove flew out!

When first hanging the pot, I'd dropped it from the second floor and lost some of the soil.

But this created an empty spot right in the center-perfect for the nest I found inside the next day.

The following day there was one perfect egg. Then a second followed.

Keeping the plant watered to maintain the lush foliage has been a challenge. Finding a moment without mommy or daddy has been impossible.

I assumed one left and the other "came on duty" until I happened to see a dove fly TO the nest without seeing a dove leave.

I looked and they were both in the pot!

At first, my attempts to water would frightened off the dove and I would soak the plant enough to last a couple days.

I kept going on the deck to sweep, water the other plants and move around their plant so they would get used to me.

Now they allow me to water while in the nest!

I try my best to hide behind the leaves, stay low and pour slowly. They do watch me very closely with those bright shiny eyes!

The big day is near (1 or 2 more days) from what I’ve read. I can’t wait for the babies.

Hopefully I can get some pictures to remember this wonderful opportunity to see nature in action.

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Apr 14, 2024
Mourning dove nest
by: Diane

I'm in PA and my unplanted hanging basket on my back deck is a mourning dove nest with one egg as of yesterday.

I don't want to get too close and scare Mom/dad away to see if there is a second egg today.

We had 50mph winds about 30 min ago so, worried, ventured out afterward and saw that one of the parents was thankfully still on the egg through all that wind.

So glad the basket didn't fly off the hook! Thanks for the stories/info so I know what to expect.

Mar 26, 2023
Dove Returning Each Year
by: Gene

Thank you for taking care of our Doves. You can also use plastic greenery to protect them and not worry about watering during nesting.

But you seem to be doing just fine on your own, thank you.

Mar 26, 2023
Love these creatures
by: Beth

Upon relocating from NYC to PA some years ago, I moved into an apt with a terrace.

The first thing I did was hang some baskets of ferns.

To my surprise, a Mommy dove laid some eggs and I've been supplying a home for her (?) every year since.

A neighbor told me that the doves had returned to that same spot for years before my move here.

Happy to continue the cozy spot and plan to do for years to come!

Jul 20, 2021
Hanging Basket Movement
by: Laura

I am concerned that the mourning doves have nested in an unprotected (from the sun) hanging basket that is on a chain hanging from our gazebo.

The slightest breeze and the basket is turning in circles. She seems unfazed but I don't know how she doesn't get dizzy and hot.

We are thinking of trying to provide some more shade by hanging something else in front and higher up to keep out the sun. Think this is ok?

May 23, 2016
2 dove eggs in a nest in my hanging plant
by: Kelly

As the lady said before me, I went to water my plants that are hanging on my front porch when lo and behold a dove flew out of it.

I did the same thing the next couple of days watering the plant when I noticed no bird but a nest with two white small eggs in it.

I've been reading Google to find out if I should continue watering it or leave it alone and let them be Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Doves have been around here for a couple of years now so it's kind of neat they picked my front porch.


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Pretty Nest In Hanging Plant

by OutWest
(San Mateo, CA )

We have a dove family forming on our front porch in a hanging geranium pot.

So far the birds fly off when we open the front door so we're trying to use the back door as much as possible.

I moved the pot higher up on the chain so they would feel a bit less visible when someone comes to the door, and today when I went out for the paper the nesting bird didn't take off.

So I'm hoping they're getting used to some activity near the nest.

The eggs are so pretty I almost wish they wouldn't hatch! But it will be nice to see the babies.

A question for the more-experience dove hosts out there--is is possible to water the pot?

I'm thinking of waiting for the bird to fly off and quickly putting a little bit of water into the plant every other day or so.

It's getting pretty hot here and I don't want my plant to die.

Luckily it was watered right before the eggs were laid.

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May 28, 2020
Protect nesting doves from predator
by: Anonymous

We have had a nest in a hanging basket several times now. Some kind of predator took one of the babies. Only 2 left. How can I protect them?

Apr 29, 2020
moving planter with bird nest
by: Gene

Try to move it the least amount you possibly can and it may work out for you. At least you know you tried.

Thanks for caring about our birds.

Apr 29, 2020
Water not a problem
by: Anonymous

A dove nested in my planter that has an automatic drip system. It’s probably been there when it rained so hard a couple of weeks ago, so I don’t think you need to worry. I’m worried about having to move the basket so my painter can paint under the roof.

Jan 19, 2020
watering plants with dove nest
by: Gene

Water gently around the outside edge to keep nest area dry. If the incubating dove leaves, water quickly and disappear. It may take a while for the dove to return. Good Luck!

May 17, 2017
nesting doves
by: Anonymous

Do you water the plant while they are nesting? I just bought this pot and hate for it to die

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Mourning Dove Nest In My Hanging Petunia

by Bernie Warren
(Fairfield Twsp Ohio)

Dove Nest In Hanging Petunia

Dove Nest In Hanging Petunia

Last month I had a Morning Dove decide to nest in my hanging petunia on my back deck.

I didn’t want her there restricting my deck usage, so I removed her nest; yet she came back the next day and built another. So I removed it again!

This time I filled the spot in the basket with a large dragon candle to discourage her once and for all.

However, she had other plans as she shoved the candle out of the basket, built another nest, and laid an egg by the time I came home from work on that third day!

We learned to coexist and she allowed me to water the other plants on my deck.

Once, I got too close so she flew away and I could peek at her nest and saw that her egg had hatched into a beautiful chick!

There was also a second egg that had not hatched which I thought best to remove.

Several weeks later I noticed that neither Momma nor Poppa Dove had been to the nest for several days and the chick, now considerably bigger, had been hiding in the petunias to get out of the glaring sun.

I was really worried they had abandoned her because of something I had done! I checked on her and she was quite annoyed with me.

I prayed and prayed that the parents would come back and finally got the nerve to look in on her and she had successfully flown the coup!!!

I was so relieved and happy for her.

Later that evening, she came back and spent several hours sitting on the deck. I like to think she was telling me she was going to be ok!

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Jan 19, 2020
by: Gene

Just a couple of mentions here. It is best not to remove eggs from any nest as it can be interpreted as an attack on the nest.

The doves will remove any eggs that are not viable and as an FYI, it's illegal.

You may not have seen the adults but if they were gone several days, the squab would not have survived.

The closer it gets to fledging time, the adults reduce feeding to encourage the squabs to leave the nest.

Should anyone want to discourage doves nesting in their plants, simply drape a small amount of bird netting over the nest site until they move on.


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Doves in Hanging Baskets

by Marianne
(Palmdale, CA)

Dove Mother and Chick

Dove Mother and Chick

This is the third time I have had Doves return to this one basket for nesting. There are always two eggs.

Initially they are very nervous should anyone come close, but they got much calmer and didn't fly off.

Here is one of many great pictures. I put a dish of food you suggested in the basket next to the one they have made a nest in and placed water close by.

I worry about them all the time but they are so much joy!!!

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Jun 16, 2023
by: Must Have Name

Thank you for all the information on nesting mourning doves.

I was very concerned about watering my plant as Lovie & Dovie ( the names I gave them) are never leaving the nest for any length of time.

I planted my tomatoes this am on my deck and Lovie didn’t fly. They seem to be getting used to me.

They give me great pleasure!

Jun 11, 2019
Surprise Guests On My Back Porch
by: Rachel J

About a week ago, I was watering plants on my back porch and I was startled when a dove flew out of one of my hanging planters.

A second dove remained and I thought it may have been wounded since it didn't even try to fly away.

I gently touched the bottom of the planter and she flew off to a nearby fence. The next day, I noticed they were both back!

Later they were both gone so I peeked inside the planter and saw a nest! I had never heard of this and was beside myself with excitement.

There must be eggs in there by now as the nest is rarely unattended. It seems they take turns sitting.

The guard flies off when I quietly, gently water the plants so I'll have a look next time. I was hoping to post a couple of pictures but I don't see that option.

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Doves nest in hanging plants

by Suzi

Dad and chicks

Dad and chicks

This is the third season that the mourning doves have mated and raised a brood on our front porch.

Now we know that our hanging flowers will be covered by nests. The last pair have raised 2 chicks and thrown them from the nest.

They cannot fly well yet but are adorable and fun to watch them learn.

Now they have nested in another hanging plant next to the old nest. They seem to trust us now.

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Third Year Nesting In Hanging Plant

by Edwardine Baker
(Gilbertsville, PA)

mother dove and  baby

mother dove and baby

For three years or more, as soon as I put my hanging pots out, I have a dove making a nest in it. Last year there were three nestings and out of the eggs, only four survived.

This year I heard the whistling of their wings and I said, guess you are waiting for me to hang out my hanging plant.

Sure enough as soon as I did, they started building their nest. And as you say, it is a sparse nest material.

Today we saw them exchange places. They are so trusting. I walk right by them and they just move their eyes, not their body. I feel they trust me.

Last year when one baby died, the parent worked and worked to throw the dead one out of the nest but the bird eventually succeeded.

I felt so sorry for the parent but did not attempt to interfere as I was afraid she would abandon the other baby bird.

The doves seem to pick one or the other planters each year and sometimes the same and sometimes not.

Last year one nested right at our front steps and never moved when people came in or out.

What a privilege to be able to watch these gentle birds!

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May 10, 2022
Male Mourning Dove
by: Gene

Hi Barbara,

Male Doves incubate during the day and females do so during the night. They switch once in the morning and again late afternoon early evening.

You can learn more here:

Mourning Doves

May 09, 2022
Dove nesting without the male
by: Barbara

I have a dove nesting in my hanging planter. At first it was both of them building the nest but for the past 3-4 days the male has not been present.

She has not gotten out of the planter that I've seen.

Is this normal for the male to abandon the mother during nesting?

Jan 19, 2020
going out on porch with doves
by: Gene

Just do what you normally do and they seem to get used to having you around. As long as you don't bother them just to look and peek they should be fine.

Jun 30, 2014
Doves and Trust
by: Barb

I would like to know how to get the birds to trust me. I have doves on my porch right by the door.

I have to clean off my porch and need to before the monsoon start to clean up my porch. Any advice would be appreciated thank you.

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There's a Dove in My Ivy Plant!?

by Nan
(San Diego)

27 Mar 2016 - I stepped out on my back balcony and turned around to see this dove sitting in the middle of my ivy plant, staring back at me at eye level, right next to the back door.

I am not sure which of the two of us was more startled.

I very carefully went back inside, but later had to go back out for something and she flew off, so I could see that there are two eggs in the nest.

She was back on the eggs very quickly after I came back in the house.

She and her mate had been out there last week, trying to set up housekeeping in one of my fern plants, which I brought in as it did not need to be used as a bird nest.

I really didn't expect her to substitute the somewhat scraggly ivy plant - but apparently it didn't need to be the lush, green, soft fern plant to be suitable.


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Apr 18, 2016
They are gone now (Monday, April 18)
by: Anonymous

I took a photo of the almost grown babies, sitting in their ivy pot, on Saturday while their parents were away. They were gone the next day.

The parents have been back to the porch, but there are no babies here anymore.

We are on the second floor, and there are bushes opposite our building, so I am hoping that the babies tried their wings and made it across the tarmac to the bushes and not that one of the local seagulls got them.

Apr 08, 2016
by: Anonymous

April 7 - She/He is still on the nest. It must be any time now....

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Doves in Hanging Baskets at Front Door

by Beth Walsh
(Claremont, Ca)

My Doves In Planter

My Doves In Planter

Doves in Hanging Baskets at Front Door

Hello, April 12 we noticed a nest with a single egg in the hanging baskets by our front door. The next morning a second egg was noted.

Unfortunately, spring is busy at this time so the parents got frightened off the nest a few times before they figured out we were okay.

We ignored them coming and going and kept our dog on a leash. One egg hatched on May 3rd with no signs of the other egg. No shell fragments, nada.

The male bird appeared to have an Injured wing as he bolted from the nest when a visitor peered into the nest, fell to the grown and scrambled across the street.

He returned to the nest 10 minutes later but a wing is not right.

Yesterday morning we heard a lot of cooing for several hours. As we left home around 11 am all was fine.

Arriving home at 7:15 pm last night everything is gone. No birds, no's like they were never there. The female did not return to the nest last night.

Would this have been a predator or did the squab fly off in a week. Normally I would guess predator, however there was a lot of cooing in the early am so am wondering if the parents encouraged the little one to fly.

Typical predator​s here are squirrels, cats and Hawks. Also heard raccoons across the street a few nights ago.

Curious about your thoughts...


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Doves in my basket!

by Deanna Kaufman
(Allen, TX)

My morning ritual usually consists of a hot cup of coffee & at least an hour on the patio tending to my plants, hummingbird feeder & fountain.

Yesterday, started in the usual way. I opened the back door wide to get the fresh air. I went to the west facing side of my patio...rotated hanging baskets, filled the fountain, watered plants on that side.

Headed to the NE facing side of patio, watered, turned the first basket, went to turn the second & whoosh! Dove flew up & away, scaring me half to death. Wasn't expecting such a glorious surprise!

I carefully watered the plant & went indoors for a bit. I often see the pair of doves, noticed their comings & goings. I honestly didn't notice the nest building!

I work from home & I spend a significant portion of my day on the patio. I enjoy mornings there as well as evenings glass of wine,'s my retreat. A family of doves moving in is quite unexpected.

I really enjoy the busy lives of all the birds that frequent my patio...cardinals, blue jays, hummingbirds, & finch.

This though...this was special. Feels much more like an honor that they have chosen my patio & my hanging basket. I really look forward to watching the family. I can definitely post photos of the babies too.


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Nesting in the Flower Box

by Madeline Alpert
(Salem, Oregon)

Nesting in the Planter

Nesting in the Planter

We live on the top floor of a 5-story apartment building in Salem, Oregon. We have a balcony that overlooks a courtyard.

The courtyard is an inner courtyard protected by the four sides of the building which enclose it.

From the railing of this balcony we have hung four planters on the inner side of the balcony, again offering some protection.

Each planter is made with a cocoa liner and had had some grasses and some petunias and other annual flowers.

This winter was so relatively warm that some of our annuals have survived through it.

I had just purchased new liners, more soil, all ready to start fresh for the spring. I stepped out with my morning coffee and best laid plans to start changing the planters when I spotted the dove amidst the grassy leaves.

My camera was handy and the dove didn't give any indication of being concerned.

Even though I had opened a door and stepped outside, and took a picture, the bird took no notice of me.

As I watched through the day it seemed more like a sundial than a bird, turning about in different directions. And quite settled in.

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