"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
Emily Dickinson

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mourning doves aren't picky with nest sites

A bicycle helmet worked well as a make-shift nest.
Thank you to reader Diane M. who shared her photo and story about a mourning dove:

"After observing this mama dove flying desperately around our yard looking for a place to lay her egg, my husband decided to help her out.  He took an old bike helmet and strapped it to a plant holder about 6 feet up.  He had noticed she was attempting to make a nest in this area but in a very small flower pot.  We were surprised when she actually used the helmet!! It only took her a couple days to find it and use it!!  Very smart!  She filled it with her own twigs and nesting materials.  It's a good size - big enough for mom and baby!"

Mourning doves are prolific nesters, producing up to six broods a year. The female generally lays two eggs per clutch. The male assists with nest building, incubation and feeding the young.

The nest is a flimsy assembly of pine needles, twigs and grass stems. The nest is unlined with little insulation for the young. 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. These birds often reuse their own or other species’ nests.

Mourning doves are seemingly unbothered by people and often nest in gutters, eaves or hanging baskets on porches and patios.

Happy Birding!

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