A pair of mourning doves are building a nest at my place. I noticed they’d been hanging around for a few days.
But I was delighted when I saw them bringing yard debris in their beaks last Saturday.
And now I know what happened to my garden gloves. They’ve been part of the architecture of their nest.
Mourning Doves Information:
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.
The Nest Is In A Galvanized Container:
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 won’t be getting used for its original purpose for some time.
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.
How It Works:
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.
I put water for them on the potting bench just underneath this nesting place. Just in case they get thirsty building their nest and don’t want to veer far from home.
As you see I’m taking my first nesting experience very seriously
About The Mourning Dove Babies:
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.
Cultural Signs Of Seeing Mourning Doves:
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.
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.