I’m so excited to show you where a pair of mourning doves are building a nest. I had noticed the mourning doves hanging around the last few days. On Saturday I saw them flying around with yard debris in their beaks. So I knew they were building a nest somewhere.
And now I know what happened to my garden gloves. They’re now part of a nest.
I started Googling mourning doves so I could figure out how this scenario was going to play out on my patio.
Over 2 to 4 days, the male carries twigs to the female, passing them to her while standing on her back. The female weaves them into a nest about 8 inches across.
They often incubate two eggs at once, laying the eggs within several hours of each other. But they don’t start to incubate the eggs until both are laid to ensure the eggs hatch at the same time. The gestation period for most doves is 14 to 16 days.
This galvanized container nailed to my back wall is what normally holds my small garden tools. But I’ll be finding a new location for them now. One is already covered with their nest work, so I guess it doesn’t get used.
How They Work Together:
The female of course lays the eggs, which are usually just two. After the eggs are laid the male dove is more than willing to take his turn at incubating.
The male incubates from morning to afternoon, and the female the rest of the day and at night. Mourning doves are devoted parents. Nests are very rarely left unattended by the adults.
When I go outside, I can see what I assume is the male in the mornings in the galvanized container. As soon as I open the door, the other mourning dove flies in to perch on the fence to make sure I’m not going near the nest. So I try not to disturb them.
I put water for them on the potting bench just underneath this container. Just in case they get thirsty building their nest and don’t want to veer far from home. You see I’m taking my first nesting experience very seriously!
I read that the young will leave the nest in 12-14 days. The mourning doves might reuse the same nest for five sets of eggs in a single season. Usually 2 – 3 broods are raised each season. The peak of the breeding season is April – July.
From the time the fledglings hatch, doves will leave the nest at about 11 – 12 days old. When they begin to self-regulate their body temperature, the parents no longer brood them at night. If a baby is reluctant to leave the nest after 12 days, the parents will often keep watch nearby but refuse to feed it.
Aw, how sad. But then nature has been doing its thing for a very, very long time. And I suppose this is the nature of these birds.
Many cultures see doves as a sign of peace. In medieval Europe, a dove’s first call of the year indicated good or bad luck. If the call came from above – prosperity and good luck would follow.
First Bird’s Nest On My Patio:
All these years I’ve had gardens and never had a bird build a nest. At least not one that I saw. The last nest I remember was back in Texas. Can you believe that? I was wondering what the bird community had against my space.
All yesterday afternoon the two mourning doves were absent. I hope they don’t abandon this nest and lay their eggs somewhere else. It’s in a perfect spot under the eaves where they won’t get wet during a rain shower.
Lacy Layered Petunias:
Last year I couldn’t find this particular petunia. The year before was the first time I saw them. These lacy leaves remind me of crumpled paper.
A local reader emailed to ask me if I’d ever been to this one nursery, and I said no. So I headed over there Friday after I had lunch with my daughter, as it was right down the street.
It’s called Stringer Nursery. Chickens and cats roamed the middle of the rows of plants, which I thought was fun.
It was there that I finally found a pale yellow petunia as well, which I’d been looking for and couldn’t find.
The white petunias are looking pretty. As are the purple and lavender ones. I just love petunias. You get a lot of bang for your buck with these long flowering annuals.
Finally A Daisy:
I also picked up a Shasta daisy and a Scabiosa at this new to me nursery, but they aren’t blooming yet. The Scabiosa is also known as the pin cushion flower.
So a lot of exciting things are going on here on my patio.
I often sit in my puffy chair and stare out the French door glass panes. All the color through those panes remind me of a scrap quilt, with the panes simulating stitches.
And here are the pet babies. Snug as two bugs in a rug. Can you see Ivy’s one eye peeking out just beyond Charlie’s leg?
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