Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

My Mourning Doves May 3, 2011

My pair of mourning doves have been busy around the yard trying to find a suitable spot to nest. They usually do so in one of my large evergreen trees.  And many times their nests are not very well hidden.

In past years, they have been at eye level allowing us a glimpse into their world to watch the nest and the new babies hatch. When they are nesting, they don’t move off the nest when we walk right up; I think they know by now we’re not a threat.

mourning dove |paulasgardenpatch.comDid you know that they used to be known as a Carolina Turtledove or a Carolina Pidgeon? And that some of them winter over if they have enough food sources from feeders? They migrate during the months of March-May and September-November.

They are monogamous birds and form strong pair bonds. Even though the mortality rate is high, we’ve seen the same pair, or possibly squabs (offspring) from the original pair, here for 5+ years. Sometimes pairs stay together during the winter months and other times they go their separate ways during migration and then get back together during breeding season.

If I get the opportunity to find their nest and if I’m close enough, I’ll see if I can document some photos of their nest. It will be a challenge since incubation is a short 2 weeks!

What birds are nesting in your backyard?

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8 Responses to “My Mourning Doves”

  1. Sally Says:

    I’m in the west Twin Cities burbs. I have a mourning dove pair nesting for the first time in a hanging basket right next to my back kitchen door. Found the nest and the first egg the day after Mother’s Day (how appropriate!) and another egg a day later. We both got a little surprised initially, but now both(?) birds seem to be quite content to put up with my quiet comings and goings. Hoping to see chicks this week!

    • Paula Bonelli Says:

      How fun! Doves are SO pretty and their cooing is soothing. I think it’s ironic that such a skiddish bird chooses nesting places that are so public! Have fun see the chicks hatch. I bet you have pair that will return year after year.

  2. Sally Says:

    Checked this afternoon and saw two little grey fuzzballs poking up from underneath Mrs. or Mr. Dove! I know they take another 14 days or so to leave the nest, but since I’ve also read that Mourning Doves can have up to four broods in a summer, I’m wondering if I should move the hanging basket — so they have a bit more privacy and I don’t have to tiptoe around them on my deck! What do you think?

    • Paula Bonelli Says:

      I wouldn’t worry about it at all. They will go somewhere else if they need/want to, but you won’t bother them a bit. Enjoy them. 🙂

  3. Sally Says:

    Update: only one chick now — altho I know I saw two this afternoon. Unfortunately, I also got a pretty close look at a hawk in my backyard and accidentally foiled its attempt to take the remaining chick just in the nick of time. Looks like the hawk took one baby and possibly one of the adults. It’s found the nest — anything I can do now?

    • Paula B Says:

      Oh no. Poor things. See if you can move the basket so it’s in a more sheltered location. In or near shrubs or trees; somewhere near where it is now so it would be hard for the hawk, but still easy for the dove to find it.

  4. […] blog isn’t read by very many people; mostly friends and family. My busiest posts recently are My Mourning Doves and A Busy House Wren. Seems my readers like the bird adventures as much as […]


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