Heated Birdbaths

Doves nesting on patio - Worried about Crows

by Lisa
(Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA)

2 baby doves nesting on outdoor speaker

2 baby doves nesting on outdoor speaker

A few years ago, we had a family of doves and had so much fun watching the progression from building the nest to weening the babies.

Our kids were still pretty little and really invested in the whole nature thing in our backyard.

Our backyard is great for birds and we always have a nice variety, but the doves are the most fun to watch because they're large and pretty.

The doves built their nest in the eves of an attached patio right over our BBQ. We had to abandon any outside cooking once the babies hatched.

But because they were in a good location, we could always keep an eye on them. We felt kind of special that they had picked our backyard for their home.

Unfortunately, one sunny spring morning as we were getting the kids ready for school and of course checking out the babies, we had the unfortunate experience of watching crows attack the baby birds on our patio and kill them both.

It was actually quite traumatic. We were really sad since we had been watching them closely for so long. We never dreamed that a crow would come that close to the house. The parents seemed shocked.

I don't know if wild birds have feelings or emotions, but those parents looked sad.

It's been several years, but we now have a new family of doves nesting in another part of our backyard in a detached patio. Again, we have been watching them closely for several weeks. The babies now look ready to leave the nest.

We have stopped letting our dogs go in the backyard, just in case. But there's nothing we can do about those mean crows. We have a fake owl out, but I don't think that does anything.

The parents stay close, but they're no force against a crow. We would really rather not see Mother Nature and the circle of life at work again.

If we could, we would stand guard to make sure no crows attack, but that's not realistic. All we can do is hope that these babies and mom and dad can beat the odds. We will do what we can as good hosts for our dove family.

From: Wild-Bird-Watching.com

One visitor who had crow problems offered his solution to us:

He said that he bought a taxidermy crow and hung it upside down where the crows could see it. He said the crows are a smart bird and knew to stay away. We've never tried it, but do know how intelligent crows can be.

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Feb 22, 2018
by: Anonymous

Just had the same situation happen to us(in NSW-Australia). About two weeks ago we had spotted doves come and build a nest outside our kitchen window under the balcony.

It's covered, and they built it so that you can see it from inside the house, but not when you're out in the yard. They had 2 babies that we watched grow up, get fed and even worry when the mother left for a few hours wondering if we should get them on a heat pad.

Well, this morning at about 3am, I was woken up due to my illness, and when going downstairs for the bathroom I heard some rustling on the roof.

It's plastic sheet stuff, so you can hear birds walk on it very distinctively.

I opened the back door and turned on the light and no birds in the nest. Another member of the house also said they heard the birds chirping and the roof making noise.

We have sulpher crested cockatoo's that come very close to the nest and get hand fed, and feed from the grain that we had left for the doves. We also have a pair of crows that frequent the area, and a kookaburra that we sometimes see.

Very sad to see happen, especially after we have just lost our family dog of 12 years. I know it's nature, but damn it sucks. Both parents came to the nest looking around confused also. Just very saddening...

Oct 26, 2017
Oh my heart!
by: South African

I had laughing doves on our braai area in the balcony. I was so honoured they had chosen our place! A Crow came for the eggs and one day it ate one. Another day it scared the mother and the egg was out of the nest. I put it back even though I didn't think it would still hatch because it looked cracked to me.

It eventually hatched and the Crow came and I chased it away because most of the time the mother would crash into our sliding door trying to run from it, alerting me in the process to give chase.

This happened until the baby was too big for parents to sit on. So 2 days ago I decided to leave to give them space to feed their child as I saw them around. When I came out again the nest was empty.

I had thought the 11 day old baby dove was too feathery to be eaten! I was devastated and full of what ifs and things I should have done differently. 💔

The parents kept coming back as if disbelieving. They even come closer to our windows and around the kitchen window, as if they suspect their baby is inside our house. Really broke my heart. Now looking into crow deterrents so that if they try again I can be ready.

Jul 05, 2017
doves attacked
by: Gene

The cover was the factor in the doves choice for a nesting site. The flags may help if they choose to nest again and only then, does preventing crow attacks matter.

Jul 03, 2017
Baby Doves Gone Parents Devastated
by: CA Bird Lover

We have hosted several nests over the past two years as we have a deeply covered overhang with flower baskets on our back patio. The fledglings had hatched and were making good progress. Late last week the ficus trees were cut back by the association which provided shade and a screen to the back area.

Last night I noticed the mom was not on the nest and when I looked further the babies were gone. Both parents have been circling around, checking and checking the nest and are just staring into space. I now believe it was crows. They move fast and are stealth. So I have these flags I picked up in Saulita last month and I'm going to string them on my patio. Will this help?

Jun 18, 2017
it happens; it's awful
by: Anonymous

One of the hanging baskets outside our kitchen door has no plant in it, just for the doves, who come back every year and put up with us walking back and forth right next to them. Year before last they raised 3 families of babies but it took a lot to outwit the crows. Special "predator" music, fake owl (must change position every other day), wrapped the entire porch area with bird netting twice a day (unwrap in a.m., wait for father to come back and mother to leave; re-wrap. Unwrap around dinner time, wait for mother to come back and father to leave for the night. Last year we were not so vigilant, I didn't know the babies had hatched and one morning, the father and the babies were gone. When the mother came home for the day shift, she just sat on the edge of the basked and stared into the nest, for hours. Imagine. You come home and everyone's dead. Gone. The crows are cunning. They know to wait until we're away before they approach the house. Now we have 2 little eggs and I'm going to start wrapping the porch area with bird netting sooner than later. And get a BB gun.

May 07, 2017
Doves return after nest disaster
by: Anonymous

A pair of doves made a nest in our hanging fuchsia, but when the eggs hatched, a raven attacked and killed the two fledglings. The nest was empty for 2-3 days, but now the dove parents have returned.

Is this common?

I just noticed one nestled down in the plant this morning.

Apr 28, 2017
Shiny scarecrow
by: Anonymous

Lots of shiny mylar balloons and Pinwheel's. The balloons don't have to be inflated. Just hang them from string and they blow in the wind. I hang them all around the perimeter of my patio. Somewhat close to the ground because the crows walk in to where they think there is a nest.

They don't fly right in. I use pretty large deflated silver balloons. Neighbors were perplexed but once I explained they no longer thought I was totally nuts. They also said they noticed less crows all around their yard too.

So far so good. Did this last year and it worked. Hope it works again.

One additional thing I'm trying this year is the balloon weights from the dollar store that are the shiny foil like ones. I put them on the ground around the perimeter of the patio. Nice and heavy so they don't blow away.

Apr 15, 2017
Shiny moving objects
by: Anonymous

I put Mylar balloons around my deck and added a few more sparkly things that move in the wind. I saw info that said crows don't like shiny things that move! My dove has hatched one of her eggs today so I'm hoping for the best with my crow deterrent!

Apr 06, 2017
Damn Crows!
by: Dove Lover

I had doves on top of my tiki bar last year, which is under a gazebo and we were thrilled. I knew little about the crow predators until they stole the 2 eggs almost in front of me. Crows are extremely smart, bold and aggressive compared to most local birds. Sadly, doves seems so innocent and not very smart. The first clue is the rather sloppy and effortless nests they build compared to most birds. Regardless, we love them!

This year, they returned and made their nest in basically the same place, but even more concealed than last year. This time one of the 2 eggs hatched and I assumed the other would also hatch during the day while I was at work. When I got home, I checked the nest and saw no parent! Uh oh!!! I got a chair and peeked in and the hatchling, the other egg and all evidence of the assault was gone! I was so furious, but more sad. I know it's nature's course, but I selfishly hate it.

The mother returned today, about a week after the attack and just laid 2 more eggs in the same nest. I'm seriously going to try and protect them more this time, but I'm not sure how unfortunately. If anyone has had success with crow deterrents, short of killing them, please let me know! Thanks!!!

Apr 05, 2017
Baby doves
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing your post. We also had two fledglings and just this morning they were attacked and killed. This is the second year the doves came back, last year their eggs were taken. It is sad and you want to protect them, but there is nothing you can do.

We live in a patio home and the nest was right next to the stucco wall of our neighbor's home and only about 4 feet from the ground and still, they got attacked.

Jul 02, 2016
doves return
by: Gene

If they felt the site was no longer secure they will move on. Crows do eat the eggs and young of other birds. So do many other birds.

Jul 01, 2016
Crows and an empty Nest
by: Nicole

I'm so sad... We had doves nest, have hatchings and somehow I managed to see them off the day they flew the coup. It was awesome.

The mom and dad came back last week, about a month has passed since the babes flew off. I was so happy they returned and as we watched them build a new nest and then over the past few days a parent has been in the nest all day every day but I haven't seen any eggs.

This morning the nest was empty. I did see what I believe to be Shelia E and Prince (oh that is what we named them since they arrived the first time right after The Purple One's passing) on the clothes line just below the nest then they made a loop, stopped on the cable wire directly across from me and the nest and then they flew off.

My husband said he saw crows on the fire-escape about an hour later. I'm so sad I don't know what happened, why they left or if the crows were involved.

Side note we live in the city and the nest was in a planter on our fire-escape, right at window level. Will they come back? Ideas on what happened. Grieving Auntie...

Jun 14, 2016
Doves and wildlife.
by: Anonymous

I have a dove on a nest on one of the large cedar branches. This AM I found dove feathers, under the nest on the ground! At first, I thought it was the female, but she was sitting on the nest! I believe it was her mate and I remember them flying back and forth every 60 seconds building the nest.

There are also crows that frequent my yard, but I don't know what actually killed the dove and there was no body! Also, a baby deer disappeared several days prior! It was the size of one of my large cats, who are strictly indoors. I thought of intervening, since the fawn was only a day ot two old,bu t I didn"t and.now I regret it. I was hoping the mother would find him. There isn't anybody out there who helps the deer, except poachers and animal control with a bullet to the head! Society has become as calloused as mother nature! I have rescued alot of cats and will rescue other animals as needed. It's nice to hear other people giving animals a chance.

May 05, 2016
Thank you for letting me know im not crazy
by: Barbara

Your post made me smile and feel sad at the same time...i swear i was reading my own story.... Last year we had the same situation, the eggs hadn't hatched yet and the mama was religious about sitting on them...we have security cameras and had one honed in on the nest because it was like our newest pets.

We stopped letting the dogs out back and walked so quietly all the time back there not to disturb them too.... I work at home and one day i looked up and say a crow that was as big as me, under the patio and i took off running after it...i was able to scare him away in time and the mom got back on the eggs and a couple days later we had two babies...who ended up growing and flying away.

Now they are back with their own nesting...i guess when you spend so much time watching them, they get to know you in a way and you recognize their coloring, so i know its at least one of them....

Flash forward to this year and a couple weeks ago they started nesting and i went on crow watch, to the point that my family calls me the crazy bird lady haha but the other day a giant crow made it under the patio and although i got to him, he came back the next day and they're gone abandoned the eggs.

They still sit around the patio and are here every day and all day but haven't gotten back up in the nest again...i am so grateful to read your suggestion and we are going to try it.

I hope your doves come back too... I don't know what it is about them, maybe because they just seem so innocent...but i too felt special that they picked our patio to build their home. Take care

Apr 03, 2015
I hope it wasn't a crow...
by: beach mom

We've had the joy of watching doves in our courtyard build a nest and hatch two babies. They are about one week old. This morning around 7am, one of the faithful parents was there with the babies.

When we left for school at 8am the nest was empty! Yesterday morning, the parent left for about 30 minutes, but the babies were in the nest. I think they are too young to fly! I hope they are safe somewhere and learning to fly...

Jun 02, 2014
Killer Crows
by: Nini

I have Eastern Wood Phoebes that have nested in the same spot on my porch overhang for 6 years now.

I started feeding the squirrels sunflower seeds this year and here come the crows. They have killed the last nest of fledglings and this morning I went out to check and they have destroyed the eggs the Mama just laid.

I think they might have killed the Mother Pheobe also as there were feathers everywhere. I am heartbroken. I am sending off for a CD called Crow Away. you can Google it. See if that helps.

You would think they would not nest there anymore but they jsut keep on trying and I keep on getting heartbroken (as I am sure the Mother and Dad Phoebe are also.) Will let you know if it works.

May 18, 2013
Patio Dove Nest
by: joe

We have nesting Mourning Doves in a planter on our patio and have been there several days on the eggs.
The nest is in sort of a protected location and hopefully will be adequate and safe for this hatch to survive.

Mar 14, 2013
Thank you
by: Cristin

Thank you for your post. I very much enjoy the dozen doves that live around my condo complex and since I am calm around them, they chose to nest on top of the porch lamp. I've been enjoying watching them building their nest and then this morning, a crow came and flew very close to them scaring them away.

A few years ago, someone within the condo tore down a nest that two doves had been working on for a week. Within a day, there was a new nest and this time, in my backyard. The dove had her babies but the crows attacked and killed them within a couple of days.

Mother Nature can be so cruel.

And by the way...animals can sense loss. Whether they have the cognitive abilities to figure why, is a mystery.

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