Monday, March 22, 2010

Mourning Dove's Nest

Well. having last written about tree-nesting birds, I'm now going to write about planter-nesting birds!

I was enchanted when my friend Louise (another Bird/Tree-lover) told me that her frequently visiting Mourning Doves had nested in a planter on her balcony and two nestlings had hatched. This afternoon I rushed round to see them. By climbing into her kitchen sink and looking through the window I was able to get an excellent view of the adorable little scaly-patterned babies and the one remaining egg; fortunately for me the parent bird was not sitting on the nest at the time. Later, she-or he- (apparently like many birds the male and female job-share) arrived and sheltered her nestlings. Louise saw her feeding them but unfortunately whenever I looked at the nest they remained hidden!

These charming little birds are very tame and I read that they often nest in planters or hanging baskets apart from trees and shrubs.

It is hard to believe that such a delightful bird should be one of the most popular game birds, up to 70 million being shot in the US annually, both for sport and meat.

The Mourning Dove has a variety of names: Zenaida macroura; the Western Turtle Dove; the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove and formerly was called the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtle Dove.

Here are some photos of them:

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