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Old Tuesday 20th April 2004, 23:18   #1
Mandy
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Question Mourning Dove Nest

This past weekend I noticed a pair of Mourning Doves building a nest in our front yard. They've apparently decided that our spruce tree would be a suitable home for their babies. I watched them over the weekend (through my bedroom window) as they brought twigs, roots, and other materials into the tree to build their nest. It was very interesting!!

From my bedroom window I can not see the nest itself. I can see the doves moving around in the tree a little, but other than that I would have no clue the nest is in there. I want so badly to go up to the tree for a peak, but I will not as I don't want to disturb them. I do however want to try getting some pictures of the babies when they try to fly for the first time. Whether or not this will happen, I don't know. This is my first "nest observation" so I don't really know what to expect.

With that said, I now have a few questions.

1- They were actively working on the nest all weekend, but today they were not. In fact, today while I was watching, I saw the doves "switch positions". One dove was in a nearby tree and the other dove was in with the nest. When the one with the nest came out of the tree, the other dove went in with the nest. I'm assuming that this means that there are now eggs in the nest??

2- If I'm understanding things right, the incubation period is about 2 weeks. This will be followed by another 2 weeks of being in the nest. Then during the 4th week, the babies will attempt to fly on their own. Is this correct??

3- I'm hoping to try photographing the babies (through my window) when they try to fly. Is there a way to be sure I'll be able to see this moment?? I mean is there a certain time of the day when they're most likely to fly for the first time??

4- When they do fly for the first time, does that mean they're leaving the nest for good or will they go back to the nest for a few more days??

5- Will the mourning doves use the same nest for their next brood??


I think that's about it for now. Any info would be appreciated!!

- Mandy


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Old Tuesday 20th April 2004, 23:21   #2
steve_nova
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I'm sure someone will be along soon who will have the facts Mandy.

Steve.
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Old Sunday 18th July 2004, 01:01   #3
Ginger O
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I know a little

I have had mourning doves nesting outside my bathroom window last year and this year. They were kind enough to make the nest low so I can see inside. Last year they successfully raised 2 babies and this year they seem to have just started. The timeline you describe is about right as far as I remember. You should be able to see the babies because they don't just fly off in one day, they practice around the nest and return several times before taking off for good. I don't know how nervous most doves are, but I suspect they aren't too easly scared away because the ones outside my window put up with my window fan and bathroom noise and they are only about 3 feet away from the window. Hope this helps.
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Old Sunday 18th July 2004, 03:40   #4
shelley810
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This sounds really cool. I have many many Mourning doves around (right now huge a amount of 'squabs'!!) but I have never seen their nests....I figured they nested in the scrub line down the farm field next to our yard. BUT I do know some particulars and it coinsides with yours and Ginger O's information:
they lay 2 eggs, 2 broods a year.
incubation is 13-14 days
fledging 12-14 days....(cool info about them 'trying it out' for a couple days during this process.)
They build a flimsy platform nest that can fall apart in storm (I have never seen one, personally)
With all the nests that I have observed from start to finish, these serve as great guides and are marked by a change in behavior by the birds.
By the way, supposedly BOTH the male (during the day) and female (during the night) incubate.
Hope you are able to get some great shots! Birds are funny about fledging (my bluebirds fledged at suppertime, my tree swallows fledged during the day) but looks like from GingerO's observation, you'll have a good chance to see them atleast test their wings!
Good luck!
Shelley
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Old Sunday 1st August 2004, 20:24   #5
Marcia Hirst
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Mandy,

I had five mourning dove nests in my yard this srping. I understand they are nortoriously bad nest builders. One female decided my hanging fern was a ready made nest. She put a couple twigs on it, called it good, and layed her eggs. She was in plain sight, about 10 feet from my front door, but she raised her squabs and off they went. But I wanted to answer your question about doves using the same nest repeatedly. I found a dove nest out back on Mother's Day. There was a white broken shell under the tree, and I looked up and found what looked sort of like a nest -- lots of grass, in the V of a tree, looking like a sorry excuse for a nest. Well she raised her squabs and has been pretty much sitting on that nest ever since, and that's nearly four months! I guess they are not only bad nest builders but lazy ones, too!

mh


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandy
This past weekend I noticed a pair of Mourning Doves building a nest in our front yard. They've apparently decided that our spruce tree would be a suitable home for their babies. I watched them over the weekend (through my bedroom window) as they brought twigs, roots, and other materials into the tree to build their nest. It was very interesting!!

From my bedroom window I can not see the nest itself. I can see the doves moving around in the tree a little, but other than that I would have no clue the nest is in there. I want so badly to go up to the tree for a peak, but I will not as I don't want to disturb them. I do however want to try getting some pictures of the babies when they try to fly for the first time. Whether or not this will happen, I don't know. This is my first "nest observation" so I don't really know what to expect.

With that said, I now have a few questions.

1- They were actively working on the nest all weekend, but today they were not. In fact, today while I was watching, I saw the doves "switch positions". One dove was in a nearby tree and the other dove was in with the nest. When the one with the nest came out of the tree, the other dove went in with the nest. I'm assuming that this means that there are now eggs in the nest??

2- If I'm understanding things right, the incubation period is about 2 weeks. This will be followed by another 2 weeks of being in the nest. Then during the 4th week, the babies will attempt to fly on their own. Is this correct??

3- I'm hoping to try photographing the babies (through my window) when they try to fly. Is there a way to be sure I'll be able to see this moment?? I mean is there a certain time of the day when they're most likely to fly for the first time??

4- When they do fly for the first time, does that mean they're leaving the nest for good or will they go back to the nest for a few more days??

5- Will the mourning doves use the same nest for their next brood??


I think that's about it for now. Any info would be appreciated!!

- Mandy
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Old Monday 2nd August 2004, 01:09   #6
Rubberhead
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Doves are almost exclusively seed eaters. Most other seed eaters switch to catching insects to feed their young but doves, pigeons and other members of the family lactate feed their young. The male is known to produce more “pigeon milk” than the female.
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Old Monday 5th March 2007, 18:29   #7
BoBraxton
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nesting Dove(s)

Easily less than ten feet from our front door atop a large pillar (capped with wide timber / wood) beneath an extensive overhang covering much of our 8-ft. front deck. I noticed within the last couple of days the new nest building. Last year they used the same spot and did four (more?) broods! The first time we see the babies is just before the adults are ready to push them out of the nest and start the next go around!

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Originally Posted by Rubberhead
Doves are almost exclusively seed eaters. Most other seed eaters switch to catching insects to feed their young but doves, pigeons and other members of the family lactate feed their young. The male is known to produce more “pigeon milk” than the female.
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Old Tuesday 22nd July 2008, 16:44   #8
angeltellez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandy View Post
This past weekend I noticed a pair of Mourning Doves building a nest in our front yard. They've apparently decided that our spruce tree would be a suitable home for their babies. I watched them over the weekend (through my bedroom window) as they brought twigs, roots, and other materials into the tree to build their nest. It was very interesting!!

From my bedroom window I can not see the nest itself. I can see the doves moving around in the tree a little, but other than that I would have no clue the nest is in there. I want so badly to go up to the tree for a peak, but I will not as I don't want to disturb them. I do however want to try getting some pictures of the babies when they try to fly for the first time. Whether or not this will happen, I don't know. This is my first "nest observation" so I don't really know what to expect.

With that said, I now have a few questions.

1- They were actively working on the nest all weekend, but today they were not. In fact, today while I was watching, I saw the doves "switch positions". One dove was in a nearby tree and the other dove was in with the nest. When the one with the nest came out of the tree, the other dove went in with the nest. I'm assuming that this means that there are now eggs in the nest??

2- If I'm understanding things right, the incubation period is about 2 weeks. This will be followed by another 2 weeks of being in the nest. Then during the 4th week, the babies will attempt to fly on their own. Is this correct??

3- I'm hoping to try photographing the babies (through my window) when they try to fly. Is there a way to be sure I'll be able to see this moment?? I mean is there a certain time of the day when they're most likely to fly for the first time??

4- When they do fly for the first time, does that mean they're leaving the nest for good or will they go back to the nest for a few more days??

5- Will the mourning doves use the same nest for their next brood??


I think that's about it for now. Any info would be appreciated!!

- Mandy
Hi Mandy,
I know it's been over a year since you wrote this dove story, but I have one of my own that I would like to share with you.
Angel
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Old Saturday 11th April 2009, 23:43   #10
angeltellez
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Back again

Mandy,
After my roommate left and through the nest away, the doves are back, built a nest over the last 3 days and today I see and have photographed an egg in the nest. I am in heaven again and I hope to get great pictures again.
Angel
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Old Sunday 12th April 2009, 04:48   #11
Scrogdog
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My daughter lives in Plano, TX and has a cover over her back patio. Last year, a pair of Mourning Doves built a nest atop one of the beams under the cover and proceeded to hatch four different sets of birds ( three to four per hatch) before finally abandoning the nest in early August.

Gary
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