Wednesday, March 28, 2012

She's back!

    Last year I wrote about a dove who built a nest on the brick ledge outside our bathroom window.  Well, she has done it again.  I'm afraid she didn't learn from last year's experience when she abandoned her nest because she was so startled every time we came into the bathroom. There is a guest bedroom above the bathroom which also has a brick ledge and wouldn't have had anyone bothering her, but for some reason she prefers this window.  I think it has something to do with the climbing hydrangea growing around the window.
       I only hope she will be brave with all the activity in the bathroom and stay long enough to hatch the eggs and care for the young.  What a wonderful "bird's eye view" the location affords us if she continues.

    Sorry about the glare on the window which makes it a little more difficult to see the nesting dove.   I am amazed she allows me to photograph her so close--especially since I have to pull the mini-blind away to get a good shot.  In the bottom photo you can see she has 2 eggs.

Here is some interesting info I found--and did not know--about the nesting process:
      "Both the female and male dove incubate the eggs and feed the nestlings. The female typically sits on the nest for long periods during the day and the male picks up the incubation duties at night. The switch between the two may be a quick one, giving the appearance that the same bird never leaves the nest. Male doves have iridescent feathers on their necks, so by looking carefully you might actually see that both sexes are involved with incubation.
        Mourning doves begin nesting by early March and may continue through September, sometimes raising as many as 4 to 5 different broods of young in a year. Adult doves incubate their clutch, usually 2 eggs but sometimes 1 or 3, for about 14 days before they hatch. Then, the newly hatched nestlings take about 14 days to fledge (leave the nest). Adult doves feed their young a milky substance, called "crop milk", sloughed from the lining of their crops. The crop is the first part of the digestive system, after the lining of the mouth." 

    I'm going to have to see if I can tell when they change nesting duties.

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