Hanging Planter - Returning Doves Become More "Friendly"

by Dr Bob & Denise, Tully River Quail Co
(Reading, PA)

Greetings from a pair of semi-old PA bird-brains. We have a little story for you that goes something like this:

Here in Pennsyltucky, we have a few hanging fern planters from our eaves - two in front of the kitchen windows and the rest hanging off the carport fascia (we like ferns!).

mourning dove on eggs

Mourning Dove Back in Hanging Planter

Well that was the idea about 4 years ago when we dug up "yard ferns" hoping they would behave as Boston ferns. (I guess we are too far south, lol).

Anyway, the 5 baskets we have do have plants in them... just nothing we planted. We left the decoration up to God.

4 years ago we had a mating pair of mourning doves nest in the hanging planter closest to our front door.

Since we also run a little UnderOurWoof pet-sitting gig, we had different dog-guests stay with us throughout the year... some more rambunctious than others.

This proved to be too imposing on the doves during incubation as our daily 2x walkings disrupted their routine forcing them to leave the nest for short periods upon our exit/return.

Luckily they did have a successful hatch that year, but have since moved "one door down" to the next planter about 8' (vs 3') from the front doorway and have been coming back for their springtime retreat at our "Mourning Dove Motel", Room #2 every year since.

Well, that's all fine and good, but here is the point of our special little story.

Three years ago we started Tully River Quail Co, raising Coturnix and Bobwhite Quail as a business.

I'm a retired/disabled DDS and my wife is a retired disabled DDS caregiver :).

Raising quail in retirement has been a wonderful way for us to contribute to a decentralized homestead-based parallel poultry initiative.

And it's a way for us to enjoy the benefits of growing our own super-healthy protein as Coturnix Quail lay an egg a day year round (under proper light conditions).

If you do not know about Coturnix Quail, or the benefits of quail eggs... you got some learnin' to do.

Incredible stuff and great for vascular tissue repair (think heart, lungs, blood)!

As professional quail farmers, we have become "Bird people" (I'm the "Birdman from alco-traz" quips my occasional adult beverage-sharing neighbor pal).

We like birds and it feels like the birds know it. Read on...

We have made attempts over the years to make our Mourning doves as comfy as possible, even holding up a few live wiggly-worms as a friendly offering.

"Here Momma... If you want this nice juicy worm for the babies, I'll leave it right here for you". (Do You talk to your mourning doves??).

Doves switching places for incubation

Hen and Rooster mourning doves trading places

We also use one of our extra quail feeders loaded with some nonGMO USQuail Coturnix3 Breeder feed and place it on the "staging area" where they often fly to before checking into their room and switching jobs.

So the wife & I have often wondered if this is the same breeding pair of doves that come to visit us every spring.

We have concluded that they are. Why you may ask? Behavior!

Every year Mom & Dad show less and less apprehension about us human observers to the point that this year I believe I could almost/probably hand-feed momma right on her brood.

Of course, I won't as I spend enough time feeding our other 100+/_ birds as a farm chore.

We hatch 1000's of Quail annually and sell hatching eggs and live quail all across the US as members (and Co-founders) of the USQuail Cooperative.

I know when to hold'em, and know when to walk away as Kenny Roger's once stated.

They behave more like "We're back! than "You can't see me".

I think the hen even rotates the basket so she can watch me make the morning coffee, but I digress.

Anyway, It's to the point now where I think the doves enjoy watching us as much as we enjoy watching them!

We have been posting videos and photos on our TullyRiverQuail FB page of Mom & Dad Dove, and I hope to catch a video tomorrow of Mom feeding the baby (only one this clutch we believe, as we saw Mom remove a shell fragment a few days before the actual hatch.)

We are hoping there are two, but we know "we" have one fo'sho.

Now we know not every folk ain't bird folk, but nature in any form is glorious.

I find the gift of life amazing... every single time is new and just as interesting.

Something to consider: We offer a "hatch-cam" service for "expecting quail parents" in our business using an old cell phone and the free Alfred Cam app.

We also have IP cameras I've yet to set up, and both Rumble and YouTube channels where if and when I have time, I am going to set up a live hatch-cam portal to our little love-dove friends.

I've seen less interesting videos posted that's for sure, and since we have yet to teach the doves to twerk, they probably won't get many views or followers but who knows... live fish tanks and fireplace feed were all the rage not that long ago, before society dropped off the deep end.

In closing, we are thankful for these guys and that they are comfortable enough to trust us not to harm them.

I was a Biology/Sociology major way back when and have wood duck boxes along the Tully River below our house that we monitor every year.

We have a 25' rhomboid-shaped Bobwhite flight pen with 2 recall hutches in the woods with two 40-50 bird bobwhite coveys we care for.

These are our pets. And of course, we raise the Asian Coturnix quail to help teach other folks how to grow their own protein and get families & kids interested in replacing their $0.50 lemonade stands with $5 Quail egg stands.

But being accepted as part of the family by "nature" herself is just priceless.

dove brooding young hatchling

Mourning Dove raising babies at Tully River Quail farm

Mourning Dove Motel will always be open for business. Just fly on by... it's cheep, cheap, cheep!

You can learn more about raising quail for meat & eggs, fun, or profit below or see what we are doing to fight corporate food factories and centralized food supply (control) by visiting USQuail.com.

We are people like you just trying to offer our skill set to others to help save our country.

You can help us, join us, or just watch us Grow!

~Doc & Denise

Tully River Quail Co, a Reading PA Homestead Quail breeder and member of USQuail Cooperative USQuail.com

Comments for Hanging Planter - Returning Doves Become More "Friendly"

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May 19, 2024
by: Frances Middleton

I love this touching story about the Doves. My mourning Doves show up the same way as well to the same planter.

I love it, seeing their heads peek out. And my planter hangs on my front porch, close to the front door. I love it.

May 19, 2024
Thank You
by: Donna Thomas

…for sharing this story. I don’t even know how I got to it. Some things are just meant to be.

I'm in a little town (much bigger now with a little over 23,000 compared to maybe less than 1000 when I was growing up but that was a few years back!

I, too love birds! I love feeding them, putting a few houses out for them, making sure they can get to water and they pay me back with enjoyment.

I also love the hummingbirds and have several of those feeders out too!

I thought I saw my first hummingbird flit by the other day but I may have been mistaken. I haven't seen him since.

I love your story and Thanks for sharing!!

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