Mourning Dove Nest Abandonment

by Doreen
(Rhode, Island)

We have a lovely mourning dove who has set up her home in our backyard.

FAQ: Answered Below

She and her mate are beautiful creatures that seem curious about us, rather than anxious.

We can easily see her from our bathroom window and our back deck.

For weeks now I have not mowed my lawn, used my back deck, or even enjoyed our hot tub on the deck because I do not want to disturb her.
dove on nest

Daytime Nest Watcher

I have two shepherds that run out back often and she hasn't been spooked so far.

The couple set up their nest on our trellis, under the protective cover of our eaves on our one-story bungalow home in RI.

I watched her sit on her eggs for several days until one day I noticed she seemed very large!

She looked twice the size!

Well, I noticed that she had some movement under her and sure enough had her babies!

She has put up with my son and two shepherds coming in and out of the back door, onto our deck, and using the backyard.

At times we are loud, and the screen door that is just a mere 3-4 feet from her nest can make some loud noises as well.

She has put up with us and seems used to our routines here.

I must admit that I stayed clear of my backyard for weeks now, not wanting to disturb her.

The dogs haven't been out in the backyard as much, and we haven't used our deck at all.

Today I would guess that the babies are approximately seven days old, give or take.

We went out back in an attempt to mow our 18" high grass!!

The lawn mower was broken, so we used a weed wacker on the side of the yard furthest from mom (or dad) dove.

We also used the weed wacker on a very low setting so that it would make less noise.

Ironically, when we approached the nearest to the deck and trellis where she resides, we noticed some movement in the tall grass and saw a tiny baby bunny!!

So we ceased all grass-cutting activities right then and there.

Shortly after we went back inside I came back out to clean up a few things and noticed she or he was gone from the nest.

Slightly alarmed because I have not once seen the nest unprotected, I have been watching over the babies now for nearly an hour, and no one has returned.

I am so upset that she may have abandoned her nest! The babies are alert, heads up, and looking for mom or dad.

I don't know how long they can survive but I won't allow them to remain unattended overnight.

I will take them to a rehabber first if necessary! I will keep you updated!

The image below is of mourning doves babies in a nest but not the ones mentioned in the story.

baby doves in nest

Frequently Asked Questions

Mourning dove fledgling on the ground - Why and What to Do?

If you come across a mourning dove fledgling on the ground, it is likely that it has either fallen out of its nest prematurely or recently fledged.

A fully feathered dove fledgling should be left alone as the adults will continue to care for and feed it.

If the fledgling appears injured or sick, it is best to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.

Why do baby doves die - causes?

There are several reasons why baby doves may die, including predation, disease, lack of food, and environmental factors.

In many cases, the death of a baby dove is a natural occurrence and is part of the circle of life.

When baby doves leave the nest do they return?

Once baby doves leave the nest, they typically do not return to the nest for sleep. They do occasionally make short return visits.

However, they may stay in the vicinity of their nest for a short period of time as they learn to fly and find food.

How long can dove eggs survive without their mother on them?

First, both the males and females sit on the eggs. Dad during the day and the Mother through the night to mid-morning.

Dove eggs can survive for a short period of time without incubation for a few hours depending on temperatures.

However, it is important for the mother and father dove to incubate the eggs as much as possible in order to ensure their survival.

Do doves leave their babies unattended at night?

Doves typically do not leave their babies unattended at night.

While there comes a time that the adult doves do not spend the night in the nest they are still watching.

They will often roost near their nest in order to protect their young from predators.

Baby dove fell out of nest what to do?

If a baby dove falls out of its nest prematurely, it is best to leave it where it is and observe it from a distance.

If the fledgling appears healthy and uninjured, its parents will likely come back to care for it.

If the fledgling appears injured or sick, it is best to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.

When do doves leave the nest?

Doves typically leave the nest at around two weeks of age.

However, they may stay in the vicinity of their nest for a short period of time as they learn to fly and find food.

Comments for Mourning Dove Nest Abandonment

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May 11, 2024
The parents came back
by: Tish

The parents came back- they spent time in my window box - they seemed bewildered that the babies were gone. I took a video - is there a way to add it?

May 08, 2024
Tish - re-Missing Doves
by: Gene

Hello Tish, a hawk has most likely taken your dove family. Cooper's, Sharp-shinned, and Red-shouldered hawks are common hawks in towns and cities and will eat doves.

Grackles and Crows will also eat the young of other birds.

The adult may have gotten away but we don't know.

May 07, 2024
Missing mom and 2 almost newborn babies
by: Tish

A mourning dove built a shallow nest in my upstairs window box.

I could carefully and quietly view her - there were two eggs - they hatched maybe 2 days ago and 2 babies appeared to be okay- she was sitting on them this morning.

When I came home late afternoon, the nest was empty, and no sign of the babies or Mom.

I looked in my yard and did not see anything. What might have happened?

Apr 25, 2024
To Melissa
by: Gene

Adult birds often stop feeding and attending to nestlings to encourage them to leave the nest.

They don't just abandon one because the first has left the nest. They also tend to them after leaving the nest.

If the bird looks healthy, leave it be and let the adults take care of things. If you don't see any adults around ever, then you might want to contact a wildlife rehabilitator.

Animal control will have no interest in a dove.

Apr 25, 2024
Mom left baby dove behind
by: Melissa

I had a dove making nest on my porch. She had two eggs and the mom and dad sat on them forever.

Then the babies hatched one larger than the other. The large one has left the nest and the smaller one is still there.

I haven’t seen the mother in over 24 hours. I'm not quite sure what to do with the remaining baby.

I do not want it to die so I think I will call
animal control tomorrow and have them come get it.

Mar 16, 2024
by: Debbie

I have had Doves nest on my front porch for the last 3 years. They came back this year, but I forgot to move the hanging pot they normally nest in.

Where it is now is right next to the door I open every morning. It freaks them out and they fly away.

Well, today I moved it. Like less than 5 feet away. Mama was not in it, but there was one egg. Just one this time. It’s windy and cold.

Neither Mom nor Dad has been back. Did I mess up moving it?

I just wanted the nest out of the elements a little more. Praying they come back and are safe.

Mar 10, 2024
Helping Baby Dove
by: Gene

Try to keep it warm. The male comes around in the morning so you can make a makeshift nest for the fledgling. Then wait and see. If it's too cold that may be a problem.

Here are a couple of resources.

Emergency Care for Birds

Toronto Wildlife Centre

Some people use a gerber product for feeding but do not force it to eat or drink. You can harm the bird if not done correctly.

Mar 10, 2024
Cold and no Mama
by: Samantha

Our mourning dove's nest was attacked sometime after dark. The mama died.

But we did find one of the fledglings scared to death hiding in the corner of the patio under a workbench.

It's very cold here and the nest was torn up and toppled over.

We brought the baby in for the night. It was so scared it didn't even try to get away.

Should we put it back out in the am or keep it inside with us until the wildlife rehabilitation opens on Monday?

(We are experienced with avian care, parrots, cockatoos, and chickens; but not doves or babies)

Dec 26, 2023
Baby dove fell out nest with strong winds
by: Wilma

I found a tiny baby dove that fell out of the nest because of strong winds

Brought the dove inside to keep it warm and safe overnight, this morning early, I put him outside in the garden again, in a tiny box.

I crushed some mealies near the box.

Other doves come to eat, but I don't see anyone feeding him. What if they don't feed him, he is very small.

Mar 06, 2023
Will Doves Stay in Yard
by: Gene

Hi Shar,

It's not uncommon for dove fledglings to stay around for several days before moving to a new territory.

Mar 06, 2023
Babiy doves are staying
by: Shar

Every year I've had doves nest in the backyard. And again this year.. mom and 2 day the nest was empty.

For the first time 2 birds from the nest are staying in the backyard, this is something new.

Will they stay and make the yard their home or fly away someday? I feel very privileged.

I know they feel safe, but I must redo my yard after winter.

Jul 13, 2022
They may not be abandoned
by: Sharon

We had three sets of hatchlings and fledges last year with five baby doves.

I am watching this year's two hatchlings and noticed that for seven days they were very attentive and then last night they left the chicks alone all night but came back in the morning.

They don't abandon them they just let them be on their own for a little bit we noticed this last year of the same thing.

I'm also learning to not intervene because nature is nature.

Earlier this year the doves came early than they did the year before and nested and laid two eggs.

Unfortunately, the scrub jay that also nests in our yard was not happy with this he attacked them and ate the two eggs.

I am learning not to interfere because they did return on the exact same date that they had first laid eggs the year before.

We have a pond and I put out seeds and we just watch nature be nature.

It is hard not to impose our human feelings onto creatures that know what they're doing.

I think the privilege of watching nature is amazing.

Feb 01, 2022
To the Commentor Below
by: Gene

If the young pigeon is healthy it's always a good idea to wait.

When young birds are ready to leave the nest the adults limit feedings to encourage them to fledge.

I would suggest calling a vet or a wildlife rehabber in your area if the birds appear unhealthy.

Giving liquids to a bird can cause drowning. Doves and Pigeons feed their young a substance called crop milk.

After the young leave the nest they are taught where to find food and what foods to eat.

Not knowing where in the world you live but there are baby formulas you can use. In the US the formula goes by the name Exact.

Pigeons in the US are not protected species so it's legal to help.

See Also: Pigeons

Feb 01, 2022
Do parents return to nestling after leaving for two days ?
by: Anonymous

I have a nestling pigeon; that has been abandoned by its mother! It's been two days now with no sign of parent returning!

The nestling has a little yellow colouring with feathers; but maturing into a dark brown black!

Have dropped water droplets over its beak as I'm worried about dehydration!

It looks healthy but concerned it will not get food!

Will the parents return or should I wait a few more days and seek professional care?

Jul 28, 2021
Worried about baby
by: Liz McCarthy

We have had doves sit on eggs and seen several dove babies eventually leave the nest.

The baby dove that is in the nest now is trembling day and night. There is just 1 baby and not the usual two.

The mama does not seem to be coming back anymore.

I want to help but I don't know what to do. I called animal control to ask questions and they said that maybe there is something wrong with the baby so the mama abandoned him.

It's just so sad. I wish I could do something. Can you help with any advice?

Jul 18, 2021
Some of Your Dove Questions Answered
by: Gene

Check out The Habits of Doves

Jul 18, 2021
Morning Dove hit the window and died
by: Dani

I have a nest on the eve of my house right outside my big floor to ceiling windows.

I have watched the male and female build their nest, it has been there for a month and three days ago I noticed they have one baby bird.

Last night during shift change when my mom came back and the dad took off, he then returned to the Nest and flew into my window and died.

I left him on the driveway so she can see him and know he's dead. I am worried because now there's only one morning Dove left to care for the baby bird.

Will she be able to go out and feed? Will she abandon her nest? Will the baby fall out of the nest when she's gone?

Jul 08, 2021
Predator attack-help for eggs?
by: Anonymous

We have had nesting pairs of mourning doves for several years now in our carport on the shelving next to our front door.

We even built a little shield to put in front of the nesting area so they wouldn't be spooked when my husband worked on the car.

Today mom is missing, feathers everywhere and the eggs are left alone. No sign of dad- what do we do?

Jun 10, 2021
They Will Be Back
by: Gene

It takes a while but they'll be back. Doves are reluctant to abandon their young. But you have to stay out of sight for them to feel it's safe.

Jun 09, 2021
dove baby
by: Anonymous

I went to replace my air unit and didn't know there was a dove nest next to it.

I was startled because I saw the parents fly away and I didn't touch the nest but I guess it
scared the Mom and Dad.

There is a baby and it has feathers but they have not come back yet.

The baby looks a good size,,,will they come back??

May 04, 2021
by: Gene


The adults will train and feed for a couple of weeks after the young leave the nest. The female may begin a second nest during this same time.

May 03, 2021
by: Tricia

I have a fledging who is now out of the nest. Will the mom continue to feed him? He's on my covered porch, so I'm worried about him finding food.

May 02, 2021
by: Anonymous

We're going through that right now as we speak... We just looked out there and the nest is abandoned... Kind of worried.

Apr 28, 2021
@Possible nest abandonment
by: Gene

It depends on whether they feel it was a predator attack and not their poor nest building. (doves can be lousy nest builders)

You can try hanging one of those coconut baskets for them to nest in. Hang near where they nested. Put some straw inside and see how it goes.

Apr 28, 2021
by: Gene

Actually it is illegal to move an active nest but even if it wasn't it's not a good idea.

The adults may think it was a predator attack and abandon the remaining young.

As soon as the dove fledges, remove the nest and block off access to keep the doves from re-nesting.

Apr 28, 2021
Possible nest abandonment
by: Anonymous


We had a pair of doves spend all day building a nest on our patio yesterday.

Woke up to discover mama had laid an egg, but it had fallen out of the nest and broken.

Neither mom or dad have come back today, but are hanging around in the front yard.

Do you think they'll come back to the nest to lay again, or is it probable that they've decided this nest and location aren't good enough since the first egg fell?

My kids and I so enjoyed the process yesterday and were hoping to observe through the hatching, rearing and fledging!

Anything we can do to encourage them to come back and try again?

Apr 23, 2021
Moving nest
by: Kelly

A nest was built on top of our awning where the bracket is.

So we have not been using it because opening it would cause the nest to fall. How and when can I move the nest before she lays more eggs.

There are two babies in there right now and I think they will be learning to fly soon.

I have a peek in the nest this morning and it looks as if one is dead also...the other baby looked big and healthy.

We did have a late spring snowstorm and cold snap and wondering if that might have been the cause of death for the one baby.

So I'm not sure how to go about moving the nest...especially is there is one baby that is deceased?

Apr 07, 2021
Doves Not Showing Up at Nest
by: Gene

Hi David,

Hang in there. Depending on age of squabs, the adults will reduce feedings to encourage fledging.

If the female has disappeared the male will show in the morning.

Night brooding is stopped by day 9 or 10 and the young will leave the nest by day 12-14.

See the link a couple of comments below for more information.

Thanks for caring about our birds.


Apr 07, 2021
Chicks abandon?
by: David

Hi. We have had a nest right outside our door and this is the first afternoon I haven't seen the mom or dad.

The chicks look super healthy and mature but haven't seen it unguarded like this.

I have found a couple times over the past day but seems like mom and dad go and come but by this time one of them is back.

Do I allow this to continue overnight?

Apr 03, 2021
Dove Eggs Gone
by: Gene

Hi Ginnie,

It does sound like the nest was raided by a predator of some type. It's unlikely they'll return to a nest site that is not secure.

However, they may still nest somewhere in your yard. It's always a disappointment when nest abandonment happens and it happens often.

Apr 02, 2021
Help! Mourning doves pair gone
by: Ginnie Lee

We had a pair of mourning doves in the backyard making a nest over the past 3 or so days.

They seemed to have finished and the mom spent almost two whole days just sitting in the nest.

We saw the dad from time to time.

We were waiting for the mom to lay the eggs and wait 14 days for her babies to hatch, but today, I was heartbroken to see that the nest was empty and that there were a few eggshell pieces inside the nest with no eggs and no doves nearby all day.

What does this mean?

Were the eggs eaten by predators?

Will the pair of doves come back?

They had spent 2-3 days making an incredible nest, and we didn't bother them.

Oct 10, 2020
Adult Doves Gone All Night
by: Gene

It's pretty common that once the young can keep warm on their own that the adults don't continue brooding.

Yours are a few days from fledging. If the young don't leave the adults will withhold feeding.

The young will not be able to fly and will most likely flutter to the ground.

Oct 10, 2020
Help - mama hasn't come back.
by: Worried

We have a nest on our porch with baby doves that are about seven to nine days old.

Mama has been spending less and less time there but always returns at night. Except tonight.

I arrived home tonight, it's dark and while the babies are there mum hasn't returned.

Are they too young be left alone over night?

Not sure what to do.

Jul 29, 2020
doves and roofing
by: Gene

I do believe that as the doves realize there is no more activity they will come back. They are not anxious to abandon their young.

By the way, it's the male that incubates during the day and the female through the night.


Jul 29, 2020
baby mourning doves left alone
by: Wendy

I have a mourning dove nest right below my patio roof. Three families have occupied it this season (or perhaps one family three times?).

In any event, they were quite used to me coming and going into the house and yard, but today I am having a new roof put on my house and I guess the commotion and noise just got to her and she left the two babies alone.

I have no idea how long it has been but I would guess at least 2-3 hours. The babies are not ready to fledge.

When the roofers leave for the evening do you think the parents will return?

Jul 17, 2020
by: Kitty

I posted about nest abandonment earlier. Ty for answering but since then, my husband saw a bird fly to the hanging basket & leave again( not a dove) When we looked at eggs, both were broken & blood all over them. Felt terrible, there was a baby dove inside.

Jul 17, 2020
leave eggs
by: Gene

I always think it's best to leave things and really mark the time. Let the male move on.

If the female has been harmed or worse, he will look for another mate, maybe even this season.

There is no harm in leaving things and watering gently around the edges of your basket.

When you're sure no adults are returning you can do what you will with the nest and eggs.

Jul 17, 2020
by: Anonymous

We had a pair of doves nest in hanging basket on our back porch. Three days ago, the female didn’t return for her night shift.

The male came back for those 3 days but yesterday, he left mid afternoon. He came this am & looked in nest ( 2 eggs still there for almost 3 weeks) but left again.

We feel so bad for him. We heard him cooing yesterday near our house & then flew off. Should we leave eggs & nest intact?

Jul 08, 2020
by: Gene

Wait, two hours really isn't much time at all. Make sure you are as far away as possible as they can see you from a great distance. They need to feel safe before returning.

Jul 07, 2020
Possible nest abandonment :(
by: Anonymous

I fear I may have two baby doves that may have been abandoned. The parent dove that was tending to the babies was startled and flew away.

The nest has now been unattended for two hours.

The babies are alert but not moving around in the nest. They can't be more than a few days old. They do appear to have feathers though.

I'm very worried. Should I take them to a wildlife sanctuary or wait to see if one of the parents returns. Thank you for any advice.

Jun 29, 2020
Thanks gene
by: Gwenn

Just as I was leaving today I guess the squab didn't Want me to worry so it got up walked over to the edge Of its nesting area flew down to the railing then flew in the tree, mommy was waiting and mommy and squab flew away.

I figure she already had the other squab protected since it never returned and was waiting for this one to leave. Thank you for all your help!!!

Jun 28, 2020
Baby mourning doves
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much for your response. We are heading home today and I was worried.

The other squab has not returned yet and I feel awful but there is nothing i can do.

I looked Everywhere. The parents are around as I heard them all day. I pray when we return all will be ok. Thanks again.

Jun 28, 2020
Leave it There
by: Gene

When it's time for the young to leave the adults spend less time around the nest and reduce feedings. This encourages the squabs to eventually leave the nest.

Leave it there as I believe the adults are around. Besides, it's illegal to possess wild doves. The other squab may return when it feel safe to do so but there are no guarantees.


Jun 27, 2020
Baby mourning doves
by: Anonymous

We have a summer home that we only frequent on weekends. We have a nest on our Second-floor deck in the eave.

The 2 babies have been there for at least 3-4 weeks. I have only seen Mom there once. Today they got startled and flew out.

One landed on the deck. I tried to pick it up and it flew downstairs in the grass. I went down and picked it up and returned it to the nest.

However, the other baby hasn’t returned and could not be found. Mom or Dad Has not returned either.

I feel horrible that one baby is in there all alone. We are going home tomorrow and I am worried about the baby.

Will it be OK? Will its sibling come back? will it’s parents come back? Should I take it home with me? Please advise.

Apr 29, 2020
Morning Dove
by: Michel

We had a nest under our back porch light and there were two eggs. After several days the eggs hatch. There was always a bird laying on the eggs.

Two days after the babies hatched they were gone.

I thought the mother moved them but then the next morning the pair of doves came back to the nest and one bird was searching frantically in the nest picking the nest apart.

I realized that something got her babies and I wept as I could feel how frantic a mother gets when she thinks she lost a child.

I mean she tore that nest apart looking for those babies.

My mother and I looked all around and found no babies. My heart went out to the parents.

It's like a bird sanctuary around here and my gut told me that the blue jays got the babies. Sad ending.

Apr 12, 2020
Doves on porch
by: Anonymous

Hi we have doves nesting in a hanging basket on our porch. Tuesday we have to remove trees very close to the porch and remove stumps several trees actually along a fence.

I know it’s the wrong time of year to do this but we need to do it now so we can build a new fence. I feel very bad that it may scare the doves.

I don’t know if they have eggs in the basket yet. If the doves scare is it likely they will return to possible nest or eggs?

Mar 23, 2020
by: Gene

You'll have to wait and see. I believe he (males incubate during day) will return. Whether the eggs get too cool to hatch will be the question. They'll try again if they don't hatch. Of course it may be somewhere else.

Mar 23, 2020
I don’t know what to do
by: Anonymous

Can someone tell me what to do? I have 2 morning doves that made a nest and they have two eggs in it they have been attending the nest diligently.

It's raining outside really hard and I went outside to talk to the mom she was looking at me but I took a step towards her and she left the nest. It's pouring outside will she come back. I'm so sorry and worried HELP

Feb 17, 2020
What happened?
by: Anonymous

Last year the pair had 2 eggs right between my bedroom window and my hurricane shutter. One hatched and flew after 2 weeks.

The other did not and disappeared. This year there are 2 eggs and within 24 hours no eggs in the nest and no birds!

I am puzzled about what had happened! I really have not seen any bigger bird, rat, or cat in the area.

My windows are high up. Did I spook them by taking photos? I did last year it didn't bother them. Can they move their eggs?

Sep 14, 2019
Baby doves appear to have flown away
by: Anonymous

I didn't see the baby doves near our pine tree this morning. Appears they flew away

Sep 13, 2019
by: Gene

This is very common. Keep cats away. The adults continue their care for the squabs for a time after leaving the nest.

The young don't just fly away. It's a dangerous time but it happens a lot.

The adults will stay away from the nest as fledging time nears.

They will feed less to get the young hungry enough to leave the nest site.

Once the squabs leave the nest (often landing on the ground) the adults continue feeding for a few days.

The female may start a new clutch of eggs while the male cares for the young.

Do not place food close to the young as it can attract predators. Try your best to keep the area as safe as possible.

Sep 13, 2019
Baby doves
by: Anonymous

A dove was made inside our hanging basket. Two babies hatched.

The doves left the nest but simply flew to our pine tree near the basked. They are on the ground near the base of the tree and look to be alive but they are very still.

It does not even look as if they are moving but their eyes are open. Should we do anything to help them?
We're concerned!
Any comments?

Aug 27, 2019
Abandoned baby dove
by: Anonymous

I have had a baby dove sitting beside my front steps for a week now. Mom not around. The young one can fly but not long distances.

Then it comes back to my steps. Don't see it eating. Worries me. Fear it will perish in front of my eyes.
Any advice?

Jul 22, 2019
Never Move a Nest
by: Gene

Moving a nest is considered a predator attack and nest and young may be abandoned.

Jul 22, 2019
Baby Mourning Doves
by: Anonymous

Hi! We live on the third floor of a very tall apartment building and mourning doves have made a nest in one of our flower boxes hanging over our balcony.

I’ve been reading about them and found out they usually leave the next before they can fly. Is there anything we can do to insure they don’t fall 3 stories onto the concrete side walk?

Do we move the nest with the babies?

Thank you!!

Jun 15, 2019
Don’t worry
by: Anonymous

I had this exact problem so I called a wildlife rescue place and the guy said the parents won’t be with them all the time now to prevent predators from finding them. They’ll only show up to feed the babies now.

Jun 13, 2019
by: Gene

Yes, if they are still in the breeding season (which they are) they will find a new location.

Jun 13, 2019
When A Dove Is Chased Away From It's Nest, Will It Rebuild Elsewhere?
by: Terisa

For the 1st time in 10yrs, a pair of Doves took turns building a nest in our back secured palm tree. It was at the closest part to the tree in some palm fronds.

Unfortunately at the same time, our neighbors were putting in a new fence & we asked them to be very careful, plus to watch their 3 cats, due to the new nest. We are sure that 1 of their cats tried to eat the Dove & scared her off the nest.

Luckily there were no feathers at the scene & no eggs had been laid yet.

Are the Doves likely to find a New Location to Rebuild their nest & lay any eggs?

I just saw 1 of the same Doves a few days ago & it went right to where the nest had been :(.

May 24, 2019
First thing in the morning
by: Gene

First thing in the morning I would try to get them as close as possible to the original site.

Google how to feed doves as there is a mixture you can make that imitates the crop food the adults feed.

If they imprint on you, they'll not make in the wild. You decide. Technically, this is all illegal but, I doubt a game warden will be visiting you.

Thanks for caring about our birds.

May 23, 2019
by: Anonymous


We recently bought a house with two overgrown trees. We had them removed this morning and shortly afterwards, we realized that there had been 2 baby doves nesting there.

They have their eyes open and are starting to develop feathers (although they are mostly fluff still).

Since the nest had somehow been thrown away, I made one from a basket and coated it with fake moss.

I then placed the babies in it and relocated it to the back yard (the neighbor's cat had been watching me so I decided against moving it to their front yard tree).

It has been 8 hours now and the parents still have not found them despite their search. It makes me nervous because it is getting later, therefor colder.

Should I move them to the neighbor's front yard tree despite the cat nearby?

If night comes without them being found, should I take them in? If so, what all can I do?

I have no idea how to take care of a bird but we have no rescue/rehabilitation centers in my area.

May 10, 2019
doves on windowsill
by: Gene

You most likely have a crow problem or some other avian predator attacking the nest.

The adult wouldn't purposely push the young out of the nest.

They stop feeding to encourage the young to leave the nest on their own. But that only happens when they are old enough.

May 10, 2019
Mommy dove kicked 2 healthy babies out of nest WHY?
by: Anonymous

Morning can anyone tell me why a mommy dove would kick both her babies out of the nest? We live in Qatar and it is getting really hot so I am not sure if this has anything to do with it.

We have been watching her for the last few months. She has made nest on our bedroom windowsill. Our flat is on the 1st floor so no cats can reach her.

She laid 2 eggs about two months ago and we enjoyed watching as they hatched and the baby finally flew away a few weeks ago.

I soon noticed she is on the nest a lot and on Sunday I had a glimpse of two strong babies only a day or two old.

Yesterday we came home to find one dead on the pavement below our flat. I went to see if the other was okay. And found mommy on the nest but the other baby lying outside the nest but close to her.

I kept checking but did not want to interfere as I did not know what mommy would do. This morning I checked and the nest is empty no mommy and no baby

Why would she do this? Is it because of the heat?

Apr 26, 2019
Egg abandonment
by: Anonymous

Hello, I have doves on my porch that lays and hatched two eggs successfully. After about two weeks or so the same pair returned. Another two eggs were laid.

While here they got used to my movement as well as my daughter. However on the morning of the 25th one egg fell from the nest.

This morning my neighbor scared the female, which flew away. It’s been about 40 minutes and either bird has returned.

I believe the same neighbor scared the bird yesterday by making noise banging her broom on the railing.

Does anyone know if the birds will return since twice got scared and left the nest. I’m really concerned.

Apr 11, 2019
Mourning Doves nest
by: Anonymous

I have a pair of mourning doves nesting outside my front door about 2, from the door. Sometimes they will fly off and watch from about 15, away on a tree branch then fly back. Should I just let nature take its course?

Apr 11, 2019
Nesting too Long
by: Gene

The doves will decide if its been long enough. You never know if they've removed eggs and have started over. So, nothing you can do.

Apr 11, 2019
Mourning dove sitting too long
by: Anonymous

There is a nest close to my balcony in a tree and there has been one of the mourning dove parents sitting on the nest for 4 weeks. Is it possible the eggs are not going to hatch? If so, what can be done?

Mar 23, 2019
Abandoned baby doves
by: Carole

I have a pair of mourning doves who return every year to a hanging planter on my deck to nest. They are never bothered by any activities around them. They have just hatched their first brood.

In the past I have always seen the male and female taking their turns on the nest. This time one of the doves have been scarce.

Approximately 3 - 4 days ago the eggs hatched. Around 2 days ago I observed both adults at the nest, possibly switching places. One remained.

Yesterday morning I observed the adult feeding the babies and then nesting with them all day. In the early evening the adult left the nest and the babies and has not returned.

It has been over 14 hours that the adult doves have been seen.

The temperatures overnight were in the 40’s. How long can these babies survive and is there anything I can do?

Mar 20, 2019
Nest fell and eggs broke.
by: Mindy

We have been having the same Mourning Doves for the last 3 years. They are very nice and sweet. My kids and I enjoy watching them, then seeing the babies.

Well today was super sad we came home from picking the kids up at school and the nest was on the ground and the 2 eggs were broken.

The mom and dad birds seem very upset. I was wondering how long I should wait to clean it up? Thank you.

Sep 10, 2018
why would a baby mourning dove be abandoned
by: Anonymous

I found a feathered small baby dove in the front yard under the tree where the parents had the nest but it was not able to stand on its feet and was rolling on the ground with ants crawling on its little body.

It must have fallen out earlier that day but the parents did not help the baby.

We picked him up in the late afternoon and tried feeding him egg and water mixture but forcefully, then left him in a box in the front yard.

In the morning the bird was still alive and no sight of the parents so we took him in but it was not doing well -- it never made any sounds, could not stand on its feet but would place them in front when sitting, one wing seemed a bit difficult to move, and the head was bobbing a bit.

We figured out how to feed him with a plastic tube in which he could stick his little bill but the baby was never alert or had appetite, although it was eating well enough, pooping regularly, and seemed to enjoy walking around in my palm and listening to the other birds in the trees.

In the last few days appetite was increasingly poor, I gave pedialyte, which helped a bit with dehydration, although it was excreting more water now and uric acid.

I followed all the directions about feeding with a formula too but the bird could not get better and died this morning. I wonder what it had? Whether anything could have been done or was it doomed from the start.

I could not afford to go to a vet and I read the if a bird has no chance of flying it would be euthanized at the rehabilitation places, so I preferred to give it my best care, which was not enough.

Does anyone know why this baby did not make a sound? Was it damaged from the fall? It had feathers but was small.

Jul 12, 2018
Abandoned Nest
by: Alice

On Saturday I noticed a Mourning Dove in an abandoned Robins nest.

Today I went to take out the garbage and found the mom had been eaten by the Hawk I saw yesterday. There are two babies in the nest. I have not seen the dad all day.

What can I do to help the babies?

Jun 12, 2018
Made a makeshift nest
by: Anonymous

I found two baby doves on the ground with no nest in sight. One looks slightly older than the other. Not sure they are from same nest.

I didn’t want to leave them in the ground because we have cats roaming and a couple of dogs. I made a makeshift nest and hung it up high in a palm tree near where I found them. I put them both together.

Was this a mistake? Will mom find them?

Jun 10, 2018
dove nest
by: Gene

If the eggs are not viable, they will leave them. Perhaps they are on their second brood.

Jun 09, 2018
Poor Mama Bird!
by: Anonymous

Please help! We have the opposite problem. A dove and her mate made a nest JUST AFTER ST. PATRICK’s DAY. She is still here, in the nest on our ceiling fan and there are no signs of babies.

If indeed they never hatch, will she finally realize it or hang on forever? We feel so sorry for her. Please advise!
Houston, Texas

Jun 08, 2018
by: Anonymous

Baby doves leave the nest by 12 days old. I have a nest on my porch and mom and dad come back always but there babies are always gone by two weeks.

If you look into them you will see this is normal activity. They do not frighten at people and normal activity. My outside table and my six kids have never scared them away.

We even have been visited by them on our deck rail. Trust me, mom and dad aren’t far away.

Jun 04, 2018
squabs gone
by: Gene

No, probably a snake, raccoon, or opossum.

Jun 03, 2018
Do doves ate their dead babies??
by: Yesenia

We have a dove outside that had two babies and a few days later the babies died. I left them there and two days later the babies were gone!! Something ate them. My question is, do you think the dove ate the babies?

Jun 03, 2018
Abandoned fletchling
by: Anonymous

Hello, I found an abandoned baby mourning dove a couple of days ago. I am currently taking care of it, but there is a nest of mourning doves here at my house. I was wondering if the doves would adopt it or would they reject it?

May 26, 2018
nest abandoned
by: Sue

Our dove returned from last year and built nest in same pot but then she has disappeared and we haven't seen her for over two weeks. No eggs were laid.

It is probable she was eaten by hawk or something? Can I clean out pot so my flowers can continue to grow?

May 10, 2018
Don't worry if the parents leave the nest!!! It
by: Christine

We have doves on our front porch. They have built a nest on a cabinet shelf that is approx 6'-7' high and well protected. We have gone about our daily lives and the birds are very comfortable.

I talk to them and check on them all the time. They hatched two babies and are very attentive. Once the babies are big enough and can regulate their own body temps, the parents start leaving the nest.

The babies only stay in the nest for approx 11-12 days. We watched the parent birds watching their babies in the nest.

One of the babies left the nest and the parent bird was right by its side. Of course I was scared the baby couldn't fly yet and found the parent tries to hide the baby in the flowerbed and under plants and leaves.

A couple of days later the second baby left the nest and the father bird kept the babies in our front flowerbed.

It was priceless to see him still caring for the babies. Monday, we saw the mom, dad and two babies sitting on our fence. All is well.

***Update, the parent birds are back in the same nest. Dad this afternoon and mom tonight. More eggs? I hope so!

May 05, 2018
Babies dead
by: janet

My mourning doves 2 babies are dead but mom keeps returning to the nest. I'm afraid to dispose of the bnst and the babies. What should I do?

Apr 25, 2018
Help - Father Dove killed today
by: JoJo

The mother dove is on the nest in my garage and i'm afraid with the father bird gone she will abandon the nest. I do not believe the birds have hatched. Is there anything I can do??

Apr 16, 2018
All is normal dont panic
by: Anonymous

Perfectly normal, they watch from a distance. They will soon fly away. The parents do return to feed when no one is around. You may even find that they come back yearly, we have the same doves for 4 or 5 years now

Sep 06, 2017
Adult mourning dove found dead
by: Anonymous

I found one of the adult mourning doves dead on our back patio this evening. I think it flew into the window at some point during the day.

This makes me so sad as I think it was the momma since the male has the day shift. Is there anything I can do to help save the babies?

I read that when they only have one parent, the babies most likely won't make it. Please help.

Sep 03, 2017
by: Ashley

We have a nest a two dead babies.....although they look pretty big....The nest was built into something dark and I am afraid the heat got to them.
Can you give them water from a sterilized dropper

Aug 30, 2017
Abandoned nest and now eggs are hatcing
by: Lisa

The doves nesting on my front porch have abandoned the nest and the eggs have now started to hatch and I don't know what to do.

The mother dove was eaten by a hawk a few days ago and the father had been sitting on the nest during the daytime.

He returned to the nest yesterday morning and sat on the nest for a couple of hours and left and hasn't been back for over twenty four hours. It has been 100 plus degrees here so they are warm.

Is there somewhere I can take them? There is nest on the patio of my neighbors house with mom and dad sitting on two eggs.

Can I put the baby and and the egg in their nest? Will they reject the baby and the egg? Any suggestions would be great.

Aug 25, 2017
Nest fell and baby gone!
by: Anonymous

Our doves nested in a hanging basket on our back porch. They took good care of their single baby who was about old enough to fledge.

This afternoon I noticed basket was on the ground and baby dove was gone. Later this evening mama came back looking for it & flew off.

Do babies usually leave nest without a parent around? Will they come looking for it tomorrow?
Worried because bad storms expected this weekend!

Aug 13, 2017
by: Anonymous

Do not disturb the babies mom and dad do come back and forth to feed after the babies are a few days old. They will fly around 10 days.

We watch the process over and over with doves on our back porch. Mom and dad are near by watching the babies.

Aug 07, 2017
mourning my mourning dove
by: mompam

It was the 3rd year that a mated pair of doves came back to make a nest in a pot on our front porch.

She laid her eggs and was continuously sitting on them and her mate would come in the evening and take a turn. They were good parents.

At least 6 doves around my yard are their offspring.

One morning I heard a loud bang on the front porch. I went to the door to look and I was horrified.

A cooper's hawk came from the roof of my house and had her by the neck flipping her on the sidewalk and when I went out on the porch yelling he took off with her in his claws.

I was devastated by this sight. I actually cried. I never saw this coming.

The eggs were left alone. I spent the afternoon cleaning my porch from her blood and feathers. This made me sick and immensely sad.

I buried the eggs in my garden and took the pot down. How long will her mate keep coming to the porch cooing for her? Its so sad.

He looks under the hostas and bushes for her. I hope he finds another mate.... To everyone, please be careful with your hanging pots.

The hawk came out of no where and attacked her. We had no idea they were in the area, we are in a subdivision near a city....he was no doubt probably watching her. Like I said it made me sick for weeks..:-(

Jul 27, 2017
Baby left
by: Anonymous

Thank you! The other baby was gone when we came home today.

Jul 27, 2017
One Baby Left
by: Gene

Leave the other one as they don't always leave at the same time. Mama is watching and when young squab gets hungry enough, it will leave.

Jul 27, 2017
1 baby left in nest
by: Anonymous

We have had a dove have 2. Abides outside our window in a flowerpot. Now mom and one baby left in the morning and havent been back. One baby still in nest. Not sure what to do... leave it alone? Try and feed it?

Jul 16, 2017
Need Some Advice!
by: Bill K.


We have a hanging plant right next to our front door that is used as a nest by a mourning dove mating pair. This is their second squab (I believe this is the correct term) this season.

We have stopped using our front door and stopped running the lawn mower in this area of my yard [I thought I was the only one silly enough to do this until I read this board ;) ].

The current nestlings are approximately 8-10 days old. Both seem healthy.

We had an incredible thunderstorm yesterday. The nest has top cover, so the nestlings were ok for the most part.

We had three lightening strikes within .1 miles of my house within a 5 minute span during the storm (one strike split a tree about 100 yards from my house). I saw 7 dead birds in and around my yard (none were doves) immediately after the storm.

Neither of the parent doves have returned since. Last night was the first night without mom and pop for the nestlings. It's been about 30 hours since one of them has been in the nest.

What should I do? Is this normal? Do I need to find a "rehabilitator" for the nestlings? If the parent birds are gone, for whatever reason, I can't watch the nestlings die.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Jul 08, 2017
by: Gene

Your intervening could be keeping the adults from attending to the squab. It sounds like the remaining squab is being cared for. Both adults tend to their young before and after they have left the nest.

Jul 08, 2017
Help please!.
by: Anonymous

I have a dove nest on my bedroom window. It had two nestlings and one disappeared suddenly. I saw the mom a few times after the loss of one of the babies (within the couple days after the loss of one of the babies) but now I have not seen her in two days.

The remaining nestling is still alive and I am very worried about it. I attempted to give it water but it was very afraid of me so I backed off immediately. Is it really abandoned? how long can it survive? should I intervene? Help please!.

Jul 05, 2017
Neighbours Dove Nest eggs abandoned
by: Carol

There is a dove nest next door that I watch from my window. My neighbour and I are thrilled to know that the dove comes to lay her eggs there.

This is now the 2nd year. This time she abandoned her 2 eggs. Should my neighbor remove the eggs in order for the mama dove to come back and lay more, or should it be left as it?

Jun 29, 2017
baby doves
by: Gene

As they grow, visits are farther apart to encourage departure from the nest. Hang in there.

Jun 28, 2017
Abandoned morning doves
by: Chrissy

I have 2 baby morning doves babies who hatched last Wednesday so they are a week old now.

They have never been left alone for more then 15 min max and now we noticed we have not seen a mom or dad bird all day maybe even since last night.

Will the parents come back or did the abandon the babies?

Jun 20, 2017
Will my other doves hatch eggs from my other dove who left her nest and eggs
by: Anonymous

I have a question I have two little eggs out in the front the mother and father have abandoned the eggs will the nest and I have another pair on my back porch that are on their third set I don't know if I can take the little eggs from the front and put them in the nest in the back will the parents hatch them?

Jun 07, 2017
Abandoned nest?
by: Eireen

A dove has been nesting in the same spot in the backyard for several years now. This past Monday morning, we thought she got attacked by a cat since there was a significant amount of feathers all over.

Luckily she (or maybe her mate? We're new to watching them closely, so we don't know which one) returned to the nest several hours later but by evening she was gone again.

There is one chick in the nest and another egg that doesn't seem to have hatched. The chick is probably 8-9 days old now and the feathers are still not fully developed.

It's been about 36 hours since we've seen someone come back to the nest. The baby is still alive and breathing. What should I do?

Jun 01, 2017
baby squab in nest
by: Gene

They are aware of the one in the nest. If they were to continue feeding, the squab would stay in the nest. Patience.

Jun 01, 2017
One baby left in nest
by: Anonymous

Two baby turtle doves hatched in a bush outside our kitchen window. One baby left the nest but the other one is still in the nest, all alone.

I'm worried that the parents may have abandoned the second baby since he was not ready to leave the when the first one left.

I saw the parent tending to the one that left, walking around the yard with it.

Are the parents just waiting for the second baby to leave on its own but still watching from a distance, or did they abandon the baby.

He is not dead,

May 26, 2017
Mourning Dove Nest
by: Angela

Thank You,
Tonight the babies are now gone.

May 25, 2017
baby doves/squabs
by: Gene

Do nothing. Squabs will often stay on the ground while the adults continue feeding and teaching them how to find food. It's dangerous but that's nature.

May 25, 2017
Found 2 babies alive
by: Angela

I found two babies it seems like they fell out of the nest. I did not move or touch them. They have there feathers it looks like they would be ready to fly. What should I do? They are in a safe spot.

Please help !

May 08, 2017
taken by hawk
by: Anonymous

A new couple of mourning doves got destroyed when a hawk took the girl. I couldn't save her. The boy has not been around all day.

Last time I saw him was this morning. He's not cooing or hooting anymore. Did he leave forever? Does he look for another new territory? Will he find another girlfriend again?

Nov 28, 2016
by: chassummer

My two garden doves reared one youngster late autumn and continued to feed him after he left the nest - he could fly and so was never on the ground.

All went well for a couple of weeks until mum and dad refused to feed him and he learned how to feed himself.

A week later as soon as he was able to feed himself, they chased him off. There is plenty of food in my garden for the birds, but although he tries to fly down to feed, mum and dad don't allow him to. Is this normal.

He is probably about two-thirds their size, but because it is a very cold winter I doubt whether he can forage for himself because he only knows the food location in my garden that his mum and dad have every single day - from me.

Unfortunately he was an only child and so is on his own - though he perches on a separate tree in my garden.

Mum and Dad seem very cruel. I can understand if they are nesting again, but not at this time of year. Is this normal.

Sep 02, 2016
Males Feed Also
by: Gene

Both male and female feed the young. It's not likely they both have abandoned the young. Doves do not feed their young the way other birds feed. They do not make repeated trips with insects.

Sep 02, 2016
Abandoned babies
by: Ellie B

How long does Mom have to be gone before I can be sure that two baby doves in a nest atop a pillar on my front porch are abandoned? I think they're a week old.

Jul 25, 2016
removing old nest
by: Gene

Remove the old nest and clean using a 10 percent bleach solution. Make sure you can ID the occupants. Good luck.

Jul 25, 2016
Mourning Doves -first experience
by: Anonymous

I have,what I believe to be, a Mourning Dove in the newspaper section of my mailbox. This nest was built around the end of March beginning of April.

I know there was at least one baby and mom and dad were very attentive. The nest is now empty. Should I leave it (in hopes these birds will return again in March) or should I remove the nest.

I have never seen this happen and want to do what is right to protect them and have them return.

They didn't seem to mind the mail man and we stayed away from the nest, except for getting the mail.

I would love to see them come back.

Jul 23, 2016
To kelly
by: Anonymous

The squabs will not leave their nests. The tenting will kill the babies. ( dead babies and heartbroken parents ) Mom and dad takes turn to care for the babies till they leave the nest.

Babies leave the nest around 12-14 days. Once they leave the nest parents will teach them to hide under the bush on the ground nearby the nest.

Fledgings are not good with flight till they are about 16-18 days old. I have been watching a pair raising their young; it is the sixth brood so far.

It's for sure the tenting will kill the babies and you can't move the nest once you move the nest the parents will not be able to find their babies and they will treat it as predator attack.

Jul 23, 2016
Tough One
by: Gene

It's actually illegal to disturb an active nest of protected species. Mourning Doves fall into that category.

Jul 23, 2016
HELP!! Termite Tenting
by: Kelly

Our house is being tented for termites in 2 days and there is a nest with 2 babies about 7 or 8 days old up under some eaves of the balcony.

Will the babies be able to fly away when the tent guys arrive? Should we try to move them along with their nest?

Jul 10, 2016
by: Gene

Doves are often attacked by cats and hawks while they feed on the ground. It's not easy knowing whether the adults have abandon a nest and when to intervene. It happens 1000's of times each season, we just don't see it.

Jul 10, 2016
Baby doves dead
by: Anonymous

I had a dove that had two babies and then suddenly I noticed she left then I approached the nest and the two babies were dead and being eaten by maggots should I have taken them out of nest when the mother did not come back and while they were still alive?

Jul 04, 2016
Caring for Young
by: Gene

Adults teach and feed young for 1 - 2 weeks after fledging.

Jul 04, 2016
Baby doves are on ground now
by: Laura

Will parents care for them and how long? This is 4th of July 2016.

Jul 01, 2016
cold and doves
by: Gene

They'll do fine in most weather.

Jul 01, 2016
by: Brenda

I have a dove sitting on her babies in a potplant on my balcony, but am worried they won't survive the cold, is there anything I can do to keep them warm

Jun 16, 2016
tree trimmed
by: Gene

Not much you can do. If it doesn't work out, they'll nest elsewhere.

Jun 16, 2016
Question on Heat
by: Anonymous

I have a beautiful nest in my backyard lemon tree. Today the tree got trimmed. (We didn't see the nest until after the tree was trimmed) but not the nest is in almost direct sunlight.

There are 6 eggs in the nest. I am afraid that the temps are going to get too hot for the birds to hatch.

I can see the mom and dad hanging out a good distance from the nest. I live in the desert so temps have been around 100 degrees.

This week they are supposed to rise to about 120.

Even if the nest were shaded I think it might get too hot, but now that the tree has been trimmed and lost a lot of the leaves on the top, I think it's definitely too hot.

Is there anything I can do????

Jun 16, 2016
Morning dove mother abandoned 2 eggs
by: Anonymous

I had a morning dove made a nest in my hanging flower pot. She has two eggs. The mama bird hasn't been around for 4 days now.. What do I do with nest and eggs. Is there a special place to take them?

Jun 09, 2016
Mama Dove left, took the eggs
by: David N

Pair of mounting doves built their nest inside my swamp cooler in May - the side had blown off during a windstorm, and I hadn't started it up for the hot season yet. (Swamp coolers are the SW version of A/C. Ours is 8 feet off the ground.)

There were 2 eggs in the nest when I accidentally found them. I placed a webcam inside the cooler so I could observe without disturbing.

8 days later she checked the eggs and appeared to take both with her and abandoned the nest. Kind of puzzling and disappointing, since the webcam meant I could've watched the youngsters.

(On the bright side, I got to setup & start the swamp cooler in time for the 100 degree weather.)

Jun 03, 2016
Baby dove died
by: Anonymous

If the baby dove died, should I completely remove the nest or just leave the nest and dispose of the baby? It's only been a day, and the mom/dad were coming around, but now they seem to have gone.

May 21, 2016
Prolific Nesters
by: Anonymous

This story and this site have helped me a lot in understanding our mourning doves.

Our mom and dad are rebuilding their nest today for Batch Number 3 of this year.

The first set left the nest on April 19th, and the second set left the nest May 19th and May 20th.

Mom and Dad built the nest up in the eaves outside our home office window in 2014 and have used it ever since.

This year they started sprucing it up again in January (but didn't start any serious sitting till late March)!

Since spring of 2014, they've raised about, hm, fifteen young ones. So far, only one egg hasn't hatched.

I don't know how the babies have done once they leave the nest, but in the first month or two I can tell which they are as they look like slimmer, sleeker versions of Mom and Dad.

Last year, I noticed when a young female out of the nest a month or so was being courted by a comparatively big, burly male.

May 11, 2016
Oh no! Is this gonna happen to me again!
by: Anonymous

I'm saddened by the last post. My bird made her nest. Then she leaves and I find the babies dead.. from the looks I thought they died and then she left.. but 2 weeks later. new nesters.

Built a nest in the same spot. ( I don't know if the same birds can nest again so quickly) the doves (mom and dad) would come around once every other day or so, just like the previous nesters until she actually laid her eggs, and now she's always there.

I was devastated when I found the nest abandoned. Why did it happen. I don't know if they died because they were abandoned or abandoned because they died.

I live in the Phoenix area, so it is not cold. It gets chilly at night still, but nothing serious, like at all. I'm gonna be so sad if this happens again. Are they known to abandon there nests?

To make it worse, I found 2 dead babies one day after the other that had fallen out of a tree in my back yard. So I've had 4 dead babies.. ( though the babies I found that fell out were yellow, not grey.)

If this nest goes bad, I don't think I'll let them nest on my back patio any more. It's sad cause it makes me so happy to see here every day.. but deviated when I had to remove the nest with dead baby doves in it.

What do you think? And also any chance this is the same birds from my nest before?

I had named them. ( mona and leo) I'd like to think I was seeing my doves again, but I don't know if it's possible to nest again so soon...

May 02, 2016
I just don't understand
by: Anonymous

For the second year in a row - excited to see the dove couple build a nest... mamma sitting on it. In our back yard so there is some noise - not much. Nest abandoned, eggs hatched babies dead. WHY??? Heart broken.

Mar 24, 2016
Mourning doves
by: Anonymous

Mourning doves are very attentive parents. One early morning we went out to find feathers on the ground and no mom on the nest. We checked the nest and found a new baby.

It was early spring and very cold outside. We brought in the hanging basket with the nest in it, put a sock full of dry rice in the microwave to warm up, made sure it wasn't too hot, then put it next to her.

We called our local zoo when they opened to find out that they rescue birds.

Just before leaving to take her there, I got a feeling that I should hang her back outside and see if the dad would come feed her. I left the warm sock in it and watched.

The Dad came back and cared for her all day. When Mom didn't come that night, he waited 2 hours longer than normal and left. We waited about 1/2 hour then brought her in.

I put her under a piano lamp with a red cellophane film between her and the lamp so she wouldn't get too hot. I also put a sock filled with rice in the microwave to warm up and kept it next to her.

I made sure it wasn't too hot before putting it next to her. We kept her all night then the next morning the dad cooed to tell us he was waiting for her. We put her outside and he stayed with her all day and fed her.

We became the night mom. We were never able to feed her very well. it just made a mess and she didn't like being sticky.

We had to clean it off completely or she would shake and move around. dad did a great job at keeping her fed during the day.

Luckily, the dad's are the ones that teach them how to eat and guard them when they leave the nest.

When she got old enough to leave the nest, we just left her outside at night. she was raised just fine.

Jul 23, 2015
Dove Nestlings
by: Anonymous

Doves made a nest in a hanging flower basket on our gazebo. I've been checking on mom/dad daily and talking to them. I stood on a small table the other day and saw 2 babies under dad!

I don't know when they hatched, but when I discovered them, I thought I saw one of the parents feeding the babies the "dove milk". So, maybe about a week old, give or take a day or so.

This morning I saw dad & mom change shifts. I went out for a couple hours and when I came home, neither parent was sitting with the nestlings.

That was a couple hours now and a parent hasn't returned and I don't see them close by. The babies look healthy and alert.

By what others have posted here, I guess the parents feel it's ok to leave the nestlings. But, I'll keep watching and hope to see the parents back to feed.

Jul 07, 2015
dove squabs
by: Gene

Doves spend about 2 weeks with the squabs once they leave the nest. Being on the ground is common.

Jul 06, 2015
Nesting or injured?
by: Anonymous

I just happened upon a Mourning Dove sitting on my patio hiding next to a brick wall. The dove seems to be nesting on top of another bird (I'm assuming it's a baby with feathers). Is there an injury or are they just resting?

Jul 01, 2015
It may be intentional of the parents
by: Anonymous

Some of you might find this website useful as I shared similar concerns.

Jun 25, 2015
Dove Nest
by: Gene

Sometimes they remove the nestlings and start over. Other times they abandon the nest and begin a new nest somewhere else.

I would let them decide. If they move on make sure to clean everything well for your sake.


Jun 25, 2015
morning doves
by: gail lugo

I have a nest over my door. The morning doves have been sitting on the nest for weeks. I finally climbed a ladder and looked into the nest. The babies both hatched but are dead.

Either the mom or dad dove sat on the side of the nest and looked at the babies for a long time--and then decided to sit back down on them.

This had gone on for 3 days after I saw the babies were dead. Is there anything I can do to get them to go on with their lives?

Jun 11, 2015
eggs no bird,,
by: Marilyn

It has been over night now no return eggs unattended, what happened?

May 18, 2015
Will mom and dad dove come back?
by: Charmaine

Hi, we've had the same couple of doves making their nest 3 times near our back sliding doors, they raised 2 healthy chicks, but unfortunately their thrid chick died a couple days after it hatched.

It was heart breaking, mom and dad dove couldn't do anything to revive their chick so they abandoned the nest, we've recently taken the nest down in hoping they would come back to raise another young.

My question is: will the same couple come back and rebuild their nest where the third young chick died or will they build their nest in another location?

Thank you for your answers in advance.

Apr 22, 2015
Come back!
by: Patty

On April 14, 2015 we saw the first egg in the clutch and on April 15, 2015, the second egg appeared. We have been watching Mom & Dad come and go since that time, taking turns sitting in the nest.

Sadly, today, April 22, 2015, neither of them have been there to sit on the eggs. I am heartbroken! Any suggestions?

Mar 30, 2015
Why Did Mum Leave Her Chicks
by: Tony Saville

I have a dovecot in the garden, and 4 weeks ago noticed the female dove acting strange. It appears she has a male fancy man.

Lo and behold there were 2 white eggs, after about 17 days they hatched and mum and dad had a shift system going on. Mum did the night shift and dad the day shift.

At 2 weeks old and just getting feathers, eyes not open yet, mum did not return to the nest. It was a bitterly cold night. I suggested to my wife that maybe I should cover them up till morning.

I was told to let nature take its toll. On inspection of the nest the next day, the two babies were dead, cold to the touch, Dad cam back for the day shift and seemed beside himself.

I removed the dead chicks, mum turned up mid-afternoon. Dad is still hanging around, what do I do?

Mar 19, 2015
My Sweet Doves
by: Kathryn

I've been watching my sweet doves for weeks now keeping close watch on the nest and switching places for the AM and PM shifts. How sweet they are.

I live in a new condo community and when I first saw them building their nest on top of a light fixture only 10 Feet above ground with so much noise around I went over to Mom and said - what are you doing!? This is an unsafe place for you! She/they didn't listen.

I've been watching for weeks now. This morning I saw 2 white eggs in the nest - excited!!. When I came home tonight it looks as though the nest has been abandoned!

One of the parents was on my balcony cooing and I've checked again and it looks as tho they abandoned the nest. I'm so sad!

Mar 16, 2015
When to decide to send the babies to rehab
by: Anonymous

I have been spending lots of time observing the beautiful feathered friends. The mourning doves are very dedicated parents! I have one nest in front of my entry door and I can observe the babies and parents everyday.

When babies hatched, the first seven days the parents will rarely leave the nest unattended even if so, the mom or dad will not leave more than 1 hour.

If the babies are newborn 1-3 days old I saw the mom and dad only when either mom and dad come back to take the shift then they would leave the nest. ( who usually takes the night shift and dad takes the day shift )

At seven days old, I think give the parents a little more time. I have seen the dad leave for five hours and came back to attend his babies.

Pay attention at night, if you can't see the mom come back, wait for the morning to see if dad comes back to take the shift.

Usually even if one parent was killed by predators I have seen and heard stories they will take over the babies as single parent, if the babies are 7 days or older the survival rate is very high.

So the conclusion is, pay attention if the baby is left unattended by both parents for 30 plus hours. Be prepare to help those babies.

I have rescued morning dove babies, but I only get involved when help is needed like I said mourning doves are the most dedicated parents!

Mar 15, 2015
mourning dove abandoned thier 2 eggs
by: Anonymous

What shall I do? it looks like after 5 days she has abandoned her nest. There are 2 eggs.

Jun 13, 2014
Need advice
by: Connie

We have a pair of Doves, this is the second time she has nested in over a month. The nest is under our deck eaves, and they've both been very diligent about the care of it.

I noticed today for the 1st time the squabs, but not quite sure how old they are. Mom's been nesting for nearly 3 weeks, so they could be approx a week old.

Mom or pop were there about 4pm, but after going out about 45 minutes ago (it's after 9pm now) no parent in the nest with the babies. Do I need to worry about anything at this stage, or simply keep a watchful eye on the nest?

At what point would I want to go and rescue the two babies? I ended up having to do this 2 yrs ago with 4 sparrows babies when they were 3 days of age, due to we figure the mother getting killed (she didn't return for over 12 hrs).

I hand raised them and since the vet informed me I couldn't release them, they are in a large flight cage and loving being spoiled.

It's not my intention to save/keep the doves as pets, but also cannot fathom letting them die if I can do something to help. PLEASE HELP!!!!

Jun 07, 2014
mom and dad not on nest
by: Anonymous

We have a dove that has been sitting for ever on the nest. Have had changing for the nesters also. This morning my husband started to paint the deck.

The dove left and has not been back about 9 hrs. now. Could the smell of the paint cause them to leave?

Do U think mom and dad will come back thank you for your time

Jun 01, 2014
re: to Steff
by: Anonymous

Mourning doves are well known for their dedication caring for their babies.

Dad usually takes the day shift and mom the night shift. Pay close attention to the nest I am sure mom and dad will come back.

If the parents were gone for more than 24 hours, I would say it could be young parents or nest abandonment, only if you are sure parents didn't comeback and I suggest to feed the babies ( also check the crop if it's looks inflated it's the round area under their beak if they have food it looks round if hungry it's flat)

But I wouldn't disturb the nest. I have a similar scenario in the past parents left for more than 12 hours and I used baby bottle and cut the tip and feed the baby doves Baby powder formula. Or do a research on YouTube

"feeding mourning dove babies" for more info.
I feed the baby prevent them to die from hunger, and I kept close watch and the parent finally came back.

If the parents never come back it's time to help the babies. Hope this helps!

May 31, 2014
mourning dove possible abandonment
by: steff

Our pair of doves has its nest in our carport. the parents have been doing 12 hr shifts. The baby is about 6 days old. Dad came back and was followed by a big Mockingbird.

It chased it and took off has not been back for over 5 hrs. They do they not fly at night. The weather has been in the high 60,s at night We just don't know what to do about the baby. We don't want it to starve or die. Any info?

May 24, 2014
Egg abandoned?
by: Susie Q

Mom and Pop have built a nest in the gutter over my deck; it has no protection from the elements. Last night, we had a very heavy rain with some hail.

I went out and held an umbrella over the nest for as long as I could. The parents, who always had one or the other on the nest, are no where to be found.

I climbed up and looked into the nest and there is one egg. Is there any chance they will return?

May 04, 2014
One egg, now two eggs and zero parents in nest
by: Anonymous

Last year in our hanging plant on the front porch we had a successful birth of two mourning dove eggs that flew the coop and lived happily ever after.

The parents were very dedicated and we saw them take shifts with incubation, raise and feed the young. It was fascinating!

This year in the same nest, it's quite different. One egg had momma on it for 24 hours and then she flew away and never returned leaving it alone for over a week. About four days later there were two eggs.

The parents do hang out around it all day but they are never in the nest.

I check morning and night, several times. The two eggs have been alone now for three days! Inexperienced parents??

Jun 05, 2013
We: flavia
by: Anonymous

It is uncommon for mom and dad to leave their babies alone at age 4 day. They may be distracted by dangers, mine have been very dedicated parents.

I know one time mommy dove didn't came back on time she came back in the middle of night at 1 am.
Pay close attention to the nest if it get freezing cover the babies cashmere socks on top of them.

And also check if their crops are empty. If you see it is filled up that means they are not hungry. Perhaps the parents came back to feed them.

If their crop remained empty it could be a sign telling you parent hasn't been back to feed them.
Day 1-6 is most critical age for babies to be under parents care.

Watch closely they might be back. I used to help two babies survived a freezing night with the socks and mom came back. They have happy ending. :)

Jun 05, 2013
Mourning Dove Chicks
by: Flavia

I am very worried about my mourning dove chicks. Their mom and dad have been there the entire time on my fire escape dedicated to taking care of them.

I even set them up with an umbrella to protect them from the rain so I know they are not afraid of me but I hardly see them since the eggs have hatched.

They stayed with the chicks for the first 3 or 4 days and now they are off all day and night. The chicks look ok. And maybe I don't see when the mom or dad comes to feed them but I don't want anything to happen to them.

I feel like I am their grandmother. Anyone know if this is typical to leave them alone all the time after 4 days ?

Mar 15, 2013
Mom didn't come back for her babies
by: Anonymous

Hi, we have a nest close by our door and there are two, 5 days old mourning dove babies.

Mom and dad have been dedicating their time taking care their babies.

I don't know what happened today, we do have a little bit more activity. The dad left around 5 pm and I have been checking on the nest and mom didn't come back. It is been four hours.

I put a cloth over the babies, it will get very cold, in the low 50's. I don't know what I should do.

Should I leave them there or rescue them and put them back to nest next morning?

Will the doves come back?

Apr 14, 2012
Help, I don't know what to do with the babies!
by: Stacy

I have come to the same situation. I have two alert baby birds in a nest right outside the sliding door to my back yard.

My boyfriend and I have noticed the mother leaving last night, and when I checked this morning the babies are still left alone in the nest.

I am extremely concerned, and I read all of your stories, but no one said what they did with the babies when the parents don't come back.

I don't want the baby doves to suffer and die, can someone please let me know what they did with the abandoned babies?

Mar 26, 2012
Morning Doves
by: Ann Marie

I am so excited to discover a dove nest and egg. I have been watching them from my bedroom window.

Mom has her nest in a thorny rose tree, and one egg in the nest.

We are in the middle of a horrible storm, cold weather and not a Mama in sight. I am quietly going to check.....I am hoping for the best.

Jun 14, 2011
I think the baby died
by: susan

The baby mourning doves that hatched a couple of weeks ago have flown the coup but the mother still remains and there is no sign of the father.

Why is she still there after her babies have hatched and flown away and where is the father? Thanks, Susan,


Perhaps she is going to renest. Doves nest up to 4 times a season on average.

The male is most likely still training and feeding the others. This is his job for nearly two weeks after the young leave the nest.

Jul 20, 2010
Egg Abandonment!
by: Anonymous

We have a morning dove that laid two eggs in a hanging flower basket. The mommy bird has been gone now for 2 days.

It has been very warm here but I still think someone should be with the nest.

We keep seeing a dove land on the railing or watching from the tree across from our balcony but no one comes to the nest.

What should we do? We are not sure if we should remove them or see what happens in the next couple of days.

May 08, 2010
Scared away mom/dad
by: Heather

Hi. We have a nest in our window sill where there is no screen, in our upstate NY house, in one of the 2nd floor bedrooms.

We have been watching a mother or father morning dove for about a month now.

Last time we were up here (2 weeks ago) she had 2 eggs in her nest. Now two weeks later there are two babies (squabs as I found out they are called) in the nest with her.

When I walked into the bedroom, I inadvertently scared her and one of the babies.

They flew off ( I think! ) I checked the ground for the baby b/c I wasn't sure if it was possibly it's first time out of the nest! The mother and one baby have been gone now for about 4 hours.

The other baby remains in the nest still. It is a very windy spring day. I am worried, that I have possibly scared off the mother and baby (if they are even together somewhere?).

And will the baby in the nest survive? Does it need food, and the warmth of the mother? Will the mother (and baby) return?

Is there something I should be doing? I hope I didn't mess everything up!

Please if anyone has any advice of mourning doves habits and or something I should do, please let me know.

Thank you so much.

Sep 30, 2009
our nest seems abandoned
by: roopa

Read your sad story Doreen. The same thing seems to happened with our birds too. The mom has abandoned her two baby doves because of the constant disturbance caused by us.

She had laid eggs in one of our hanging pots on the balcony of our apartment. The eggs had hatched and the chicks now are a week old Today was tough for her.

She seems to have gone for about six hours now. I am worried about the chicks.

Jul 10, 2009
My First Bird Watching Experience
by: Sergey from Russia

I`m sorry for my bad English/
My name is Sergey, I`m a journalist & writer. I'm leaving in a village near Moscow, Russia.

I've never been a birdwatcher, but now, in this summer, one bird built a nest near my country-house!

It built it on the apple tree near my window! There are only 7-8 yards between window & birdhouse!

I began bird watching and I discovered for myself that it`s a very interesting experience.
Unfortunately, there's absolutely no sites or blogs for back-yard birds watchers in Russia or in Russian.

But I`d like to talk with people who have more experience in B-Y-B-W then I.

I had some photos of "my" birds & her kids/
I think it`s TURDUS (in Latin) and DROZD in Russian, but I don?t know what`s it name in English. I could sending couple of them?

Jul 09, 2009
Update on Mom
by: Doreen

Thanks, Bonnie for your kind words. I'll take the 18" high grass and the baby animals over a manicured lawn anyday....that is the beauty of owning my own tiny piece of the world!

So to update anyone interested...Mom (I think) came back!! From what I read about these benevolent birds, Dad watches by day, and Mom by night.

She gave me quite a scare, leaving for a few hours.

But my initial intuition was correct, she does feel comfortable with our mostly quiet and quirky lifestyle!

Jul 09, 2009
You're a good bird friend
by: Bonnie

I hope that your Ma and Pa doves come back, Doreen. It's sweet that you've been so considerate of them -- finding the baby bunny shows that your back yard is suitable habitat for several animals when left unmown. Not that you'd want to do it all the time.

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