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Mourning Dove

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Old Thursday 22nd July 2004, 23:18   #1
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Mourning Dove

I've been reading online, and it says that mourning doves take turns incubating their eggs, with the males taking the day shift and the females taking the night shift. Well, for about a week now, there has been a dove sitting in a nest made in one of my potted plants (!). I don't know whether this is the mother or father, but it's been the same bird. It keeps making a high-pitched crying sound, and no other bird has come to answer it. I've watched it as much as I can, but it doesn't seem to be moving, even for food. I moved a feeder full of wild bird seed to the hook next to it, but the seed level hasn't changed..

is there anything I can do to help this bird? it's saying they need water constantly, but I haven't seen it leave the nest. and the cry seems to be getting weaker, day by day.. and it's so HOT outside.

the day I first discovered the nest, I pulled the plant off the hook to look and see what was inside. the bird stayed in the nest, staring at me. I thought that because it wasn't making a ruckus as I expected from a mother bird, it was somehow hurt. I began taking the hanger off the plant base, but the second of the three hooks was a little too close to her tail and she flew a few feet behind me onto the fence. I began walking over to the place where the plant had been speaking slowly and quietly, and she flew over to the edge of the roof where it had been hanging. I hung it back up and she immediately got back in.

From this experience I know she can move and leave the nest, but she's such a good mother that I don't think she wants to. Should I move the nest into a cage of mine, and set up food and water? or just leave her? what if she starves? I wouldn't be too worried about it had there not been a nest, but I don't know how to take care of the chicks. They need her..
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Old Thursday 22nd July 2004, 23:32   #2
KC Foggin
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Hello Blue and on behalf of the staff here at, a warm welcome to you.

I am going to beg you to please leave the nest be and do not move it. It is actually against the federal migratory bird act treaty to interfere with any wild bird on their list and the morning dove is on that list. Morning doves are known to have the flimsiest of nests. So flimsy that you would find it hard to believe that it would even hold one bird let alone a nest full.

Is there something wrong? It's possible. It is also possible that you are just not seeing a changing of the guard and they are doing what is absolutely normal. I do applaud your caring so much about them but it really will be best for the doves if you just leave them to their own.
KC a/k/a common KC

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