Mourning Dove Nest Abandonment
by Doreen ML
DayTtime Nest Watcher
We have a lovely mourning dove who has set up her home in our back yard. 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.
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 back yard.
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 back yard for weeks now, not wanting to disturb her. The dogs haven't been out in the back yard 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 week 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 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 wont allow it to remain un attended overnight.
I will take them to a rehaber first if necessary! I will keep you updated!