Doves On My Deck - Again!
by Steve Sarkees
Pot is on the right
LAST YEAR!! While sipping my Sunday morning coffee, I turned to look out of the kitchen window to notice a Mourning Dove sitting in one of my flower boxes on my deck.
After my wife and kids had a good look, I dressed into my shorts and t-shirt and began a day of yard work.
My family and I spent a solid ten hours planting flowers, cutting grass, mulching and trimming. At the end of the day, while we relaxed on the deck for a cook out, one of my sons pointed out that the dove was still there.
He was concerned and thought that maybe the dove was hurt. I thought it was odd to, but noticed a small nest made of twigs. I immediately Googled Mourning Doves and learned that this dove was nesting and was going to have little doves. I also learned that there was another dove around preparing to change shifts...
I thought it was odd that they took up residence right on my deck within arms reach! I also noticed a cat prowling around. I though, "Great, now I can't water those plants and now I have a cat looking for trouble!" What is wrong with these birds?
We took some old lawn furniture and stacked it up at the base of the steps to the deck as a barricade to keep the cat away. I would also look for the cat in the yard and make a loud noise to scare it away. The dove didn't seem to mind and the cat eventually never came back.
After what seemed like an eternity the baby doves hatched. There were two of them. They were very cute. I worried about the cat coming back, but within a couple of weeks, the babies were flying all over the yard!
They would even go away for a while and then come back to the deck together.. I was amazed.. It was a slight inconvenience catering to the adults and giving them their space for 2 months, but it was also rewarding. I felt as if we built their trust...
TODAY!!! The adults came back three weeks ago and tried to nest in my $30 hanging basket.. I didn't let this happen at first because the basket is hanging over my chair on my deck. I kept taking down the basket and removing every nest they would start to build (I know, you think I am evil). My intension was that they would simply move to another flower box or something. After it seemed that they gave up, I put the basket back out. A week went by with no doves. I felt terrible that I forced them to leave before they could start a substantial nest.
After seeing no doves, I planted more flower boxes on my deck. In one large pot, I planted a small tomato plant. To my surprise, three days after planting the tomato plant, they came back and settled in quickly! This tomato plant is not even three feet off the surface of the deck and is right at the entrance to go down the steps!!! It is also next to the deck furniture.. They don't seem to care.. I go about my business on the deck and for the most part, I ignore the dove and the nest. My kids are very good with the dove and they ignore them as well. We walk on the deck a little more lightly so as not to startle them and we don't make any sudden moves. It is fascinating! They seem to be very comfortable with my family and my deck.. I would like to know why.. They view of the yard and trees is great from the deck. I am wondering if this is the reason they continue to choose this spot.
Please see the pictures.