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Mourning Doves...population growing!

Posted by Kay_Ont z5a (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 12, 02 at 14:06

I'm a bird lover, I do everything in my power to provide a safe haven for every sort. I plant plants that will provide food, especially those that offer winter berries. I have feeders and plenty of water scattered throughout my garden. Seems all those that take to the air, are quite content.
I had a new visitor this spring, a Mourning Dove. A rather brave soul I might add, she had no fear of coming up to the deck and cleaning up the dropped seeds from my feeders. Soon to follow, a male. With that, expressions of love without modesty in my garden. lol To beat the heat she's always found nestled down in the mulch. No problem there, but lo & behold, a third arrives on the scene...a fourth...fifth. All female. Seems the male has outlived his usefulness and has been given the boot. Now I have as many as three at a time sleeping in the mulch (crushing my young plants) plants that could someday be a birds food. This morning number six arrived. Help?!! I don't want to see them harmed in any way, but how can I discourage them from setting up house? Instead of tippy-toeing past their sleeping area, should I be shooing them away? Any suggestions? Any ideas, I'd be ever so grateful.
-Kay


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

I think they will not lay in the garden all day and crush the plants, as they have to go eat and hide from predators. Be patient.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Mourning doves eat weed seed, making them very useful neighbors. I love mine anyway.

Perhaps you can establish a nice cool mulchy area for their use?


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

If you are a bird lover, what is wrong with having mourning doves? I think they're wonderful. I don't understand what this selectiveness is about, is it because you fear they will crush your plants? If you've set up an area to attract birds, why are some not so welcome?


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Mourning Doves are among the most quiet, docile, useful visitors to my garden. I see about 4-6 in the garden whenever I walk out the door. They leave the plants and berries alone, don't make a lot of racket, and quietly eat weed seeds. They are welcome any time...

Try some row covers or bird netting on your plants. It may be enough to discourage them.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

I didn't get the impression that Kay doesn't want doves, I think she just doesn't want them sleeping on her new plants.

Whenever I plant a new plant or seeds, I stick a stick or two into the ground right by it to keep my dog from lying down on the plant. I have numerous sticks laying around, so it's easy for me to find some. If you don't have sticks, you might use plant stakes or anything that will stick up out of the ground where you can see it, and it will keep the doves, or dogs in my case, from using the new transplant as a bed. Once the plant has gotten big enough, you could probably remove the stick. Maybe at the same time you could leave a few empty places just like the spots the doves like to sleep, and maybe they'll move there for their naps.

Sally


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

...but how can I discourage them from setting up house? Instead of tippy-toeing past their sleeping area, should I be shooing them away?

Well, I could be wrong...:)

Notice I suggested using netting over her plants--not her entire garden--which functions to keep the birds away from her plants--not her entire garden--pretty much as your solution of sticks does.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Don't hang me please! I do LOVE the doves, and I don't separate my likes or dislikes from one bird or the other. I even have a rather sad looking red-wing that visits my feeders (some would deem him a pest, but he's more than welcome). I refer to him as sad looking because he's missing all of the feathers on his head, (I surmise, a battle, or lucky escape). He has his good days & bad...on the bad, (no he doesn't have a nest) he attacks me without mercy, at times I really do wonder if he's laughing at me.
As for my fear of the doves setting up house...well, personaly I think it's a justifiable concern. Ah...this mornings count...7. Sleeping under the dogwood, wasn't so bad; now a few have decided to spend their slumber in the bird baths, leaving the other birds with tongue hanging out. So, you see, I assure you I separate no bird, but in this case I'm getting rather concerned about the expanding population. :-o


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Kay, I wasn't attacking you and sorry if it sounded that way...what I was trying to say was that in my experience the mourning dove are the least destructive visitors to the garden, and I'm surprised that they are proving otherwise in yours.

As they are causing you problems, I still suggest trying netting or sticks around the plants.

I'm curious. What plants are they crushing? If it is a very small plant, maybe a lightweight floating row cover would work better.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

They do the same here - you get one and pretty soon you have a dozen. I'm a terrace gardener, so they're not too much of a problem, but they do tend to lay in the windowboxes in early spring soaking up the sun. They look a lot bigger in a windowbox than in the garden and 8 at a time is a lot like an invasion. I have found them harmless enough to the plants, though, so I don't mind them and even got one to eat from my hand one summer.

I've done the same thing with sticks - I use chopsticks from the Chinese take-out - when I have small seedlings that I don't want them to lay on.

But how do you tell the males and females apart?


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Update on the doves. Seven it is, and not another. I guess I read into the statements here incorrectly, forgive me for thinking that I was under attack by anyone. Nerves a little frayed I guess.
Turtlelady, the difference between the male and female is slight, there is a purplish-green iridescence on the neck..the female has more brown and the male somewhat brighter head and breast. Hope that helps.
thanks everyone for your support, Kay


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

I've seen the irridescence - but which gender has it?


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

The males have the iridescence.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

I have a similar situation. A mourning dove set up house in one of my window boxes. The first few times I was able to shoo her away, but eventually she succeeded in laying a couple of eggs in there. Great. I couldn't water that box very much because I didn't want to harm the eggs. They eventually hatched into two of the ugliest chicks I've ever seen. Soon they were on their own and I could go back to watering that window box. A week later, there is a nest in a different box this time. I don't know if it is a different bird, or the same one out to get me.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

We have them too, and they are well loved by this gal. My DH is not quite so loving about them, especially the one that sits directly above our bedroom window cooing at 6 a.m.
each morning!!

Thanks for the stick idea, hope it works with rabbits, we have a bumper crop of them this year and what they aren't eating they are laying on!!


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

  • Posted by Slvr z6a New England (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 24, 02 at 22:04

Oh my...I was just getting ready to post with a question about how to attract mourning doves. :-) I used to have tons of them in the neighborhood. I just love them. I love the sound of them. I find it so comforting.

For the last few years there I have stopped seeing them. I can't imagine what is different about our neighborhood that they have left. Can anyone suggest what I could do to attract them to the yard?

Kay, maybe you could send me yours by FedEx? [g]

thanks,
Slvr


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

WE toss out a cup of birdseed mix every morning and usually have half a dozen doves, a couple of towhees and 2-4 quail kicking and scratching for an hour or so...I'm amazed that the doves can survive all the predators given how tasty they look, but they seem to prosper (albeit there are the occasional piles of feathers). A month or two ago I saw a hawk try to take one in flight..and was amazed to see her dodge and escape!

But I ramble...the coolest dove story was watching a pair of them under a rotating sprinkler....as the sprinkler went clockwise the birds lifted their right wings and half rolled over to get a good splashing...when the sprinkler came back counterclockwise they lifted the left wing....it was like a circus to watch.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

We used to have lots of doves around here to. They used to nest on my back patio. It was fun to sit at my computer and look up to see a dove watching me! Then the robins seemed to take over. How many times a year do they have a 'brood'(right word for it?) This year there were 2 broods in one nest and 1 in the other one. As for doves when they were in my garden, I put down some stepping stones. I guess they like the heat that the stones absorb because they were resting on them every day. Only the chicks hid under the foliage of mature plants to get away from the neighbours cat I guess. Nothing like walking out to your garden and suddenly having 2 projectiles taking off in front of you. marg


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

They do like cracked corn and some of the seeds in the birdfood mix that other birds do not like. Seed sprinkled on the ground always gets them for me.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

margret1: Here in Wisconsin, Robins have 4 broods (correct term) a year.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

I know they're ground feeders, so if you want to feed or attract them, you should sprinkle something on the ground.

I once saw a hawk chase one here, too, they went around the side of my building so I never saw the outcome (maybe I'm glad).


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

  • Posted by Slvr z6a New England (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 27, 02 at 11:35

<<<<<<<<<
WE toss out a cup of birdseed mix every morning and usually have half a dozen doves, a couple of towhees and 2-4 quail kicking and scratching for an hour or so
>>>>>>>>>

Hi,

Yes, I was thinking of throwing some cracked corn on the ground as I had heard before that they are attracted to that. I am wondering how I can do it without creating a problem for myself.

I can put it in the driveway or along the curb in front or on a mulched area in the back. Either way, I am wondering if I am going to end up with bird mess all over the surface where I put the corn? Or could I put it in the grass, will they find it?

Anyone have any experience with whether I should expect them to leave a mess where the corn is?

Thanks,
Slvr


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

They really will not make a big mess but just be warned that with cracked corn it is very possible to attract the types of birds some of us don't want. Pigeons for instance. I used to get grackels and cowbirds as well as the Morning Doves in the Summer but now that its Fall, the Grackles and Cowbirds do not seem to be around. There are more Morning Doves than ever, though. I like them so I don't mind.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

A friend and I used to gather up all the old stuff from our kitchens and feed it to birds and squirrels in the park. Between us, we got rid of rancid nuts, stale crackers, old rice, and those last seeds in the bird mix that no one wanted to eat. What the birds didn't like, the squirrels couldn't get enough of, and vice versa.

Anyway, I had a bag of seed and one of rice all set for the park, but we never made it for a last summer trip, so eventually I tried putting it in my bird dish here and the mourning doves love the rice - they pick it out first before the seeds! They didn't even mind that it was old and stale smelling.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Since the really cold weather has arrived here on Long Island this December and January, the number of Morning Doves has really dwindled. I would expect at least as many as I have in the summer, when I have lots of them, but they have become really sparse around here. I see two or three most days when there used to be flocks of 20-30 easily. I like them so I miss them.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

I believe they are working on or have a hunting season on Morning Doves in Iowa. Dosen't seem to make much of a difference.

Our flock is down from 65 or so to 45 this year so I don't know if it is West Nile or what. The average flock is 50 or so. Have fun.

Looks like we will go through about 300 lbs instead of the usual 400lbs of bird food this year. We have a wide variety of beast.

I believe I read they are making an study of what birds are affected by this virus.

Cheers!

Jade


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Could hear the Morning Doves singing at dawn the past few days. Its been warm here and the singing must be a sign of spring, as they have not been doing it previously. I really like Morning Doves. I think they are pretty birds and miss them when they are not around.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

  • Posted by Jonesy z6 midwest (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 18, 03 at 19:05

Oh I love this. A friend complained about hanging a petunia basket on their deck and some finches built a nest in it, so I hung a planter and of course no finches, the squirrels did take all of the spagnum out of it for their nest (elsewhere). I guess I should put out a window box and hope for doves. I love the soft cooing of the doves and the velvety look of their feathers. They squeak when they take flight.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

The Morning Doves made a nest in my Blue Spruce directly in front of my house. Last week, one of the little ones fell out of the nest onto the ground. It was feathured and all but just could not fly. The father Dove feeds it everday and it hangs out in my newly planted woodsey shrub border. It blends in so well to the leaf litter than you can walk right by and not see it until it moves. It also hides in the nasty thorney barbery hedge. At first I though it would never make it and that some stray cat or passing racoon would eat it but so far so good. Its flying alittle by now and can get some lift off the gound.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

My post in the Gallery may interest you.
Also see the update posted today (5-24)

Here is a link that might be useful: Saved from a hawk


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RE: Update

Here's a quick link to the update:

Here is a link that might be useful: Saved from a hawk - Update


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Stuart-- The picture of your baby dove looks a lot like mine did the first day I saw it. Since the parent was feeding it, I left it alone hoping for the best. Hope your guy learns to take care of himself. Never checked the picture gallery here before.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Since its Summer, I have my usual flock of Morning Doves eating seed on the driveway with other birds. In the winter I will get one or two of them but come spring afew more and they seem to multiply as the summer progresses. I have one bird that lands on my back kitcken stoop and patio area. It doesn't care if I am there or not. Then it proceeeds to walk around and look for seeds or something to eat. I really think its the same baby dove that fell out of the nest all grown up now because that bird got very used to being on the ground and seeing me up close. It learned that I would not harm it. I can't see any of the other doves being this used to me, they always fly off if I come around by the driveway where they are eating seed. The one on the patio even walked accross my bare feet one day as I was sitting in the chair on the patio.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Wow, NYRita, I would love to know how you got them to be so friendly! I have about a half dozen who visit my yard on a daily basis. Every time I open the back door or enter the yard, they flitter off with cries of dismay and indignation!
Also, though I occasionally hear them cooing, it doesn't happen often, and I wish it would, as I love the sound.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

We have a bazillion morning doves. The male is larger than than the female. I have mixed feelings about them. They do squeek so, when than fly. It can be a distraction when you are trying to here other songbirds.


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The Morning Doves are usually spooky. It was just that one bird that was so friendly. Either it learned to be as spooky as all the others or some animal got it because its no longer around.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Try planting a wildflower garden for the butterflies, if you want to attract mourning doves. They were snacking down there, so I ended up buying plants from the nursery. Mine live in my loblolly pine. The alley cats, crows, and bluejays keep them on their toes, so they don't ever lie down in my flowers. They even fly away when I'm working in the garden (unlike the catbird, who has no fear).


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

started out few years ago with just one or two mourning doves and then thru one winter had about 70 of them coming to back yard area where we feed...It dwindled down for some reason but now they are starting to come back again..They have nested for past number of years in the spruce trees in back of propery ...Even though they must know by now we are not going to hurt them they take off as soon as we start toward where they may be feeding or soaking up the sun..
Because so many of them started feeding them cracked corn which even drew in numbers of pheasants and their families.
Is bad because have pigeons and few crows which are annoying but if dont feed then would not be able to enjoy all the others coming in...


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

I wish I had more Doves! I live on 5 acres of woods and the red-tailed hawks have just about wiped them out. I use to see 20 in the trees early in the morning but that was several years ago now I'm lucky to see 2. I use to like hawks until one tried to get a dove one day and it crashed into my living room window. Then it never took the dove just watched it die in the snow and then he flew off. Probably because I was watching him and he knew I was mad! Anyone who has too many send them my way.


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I always have the Morning Doves around all summer but come the colder weather they multiply greatly in my yard. After House Sparrows, they are the most numerous bird eating seeds were I put them on my driveway everyday. Little flocks of them sit in the Dogwood tree and roof of the garage and look down to see if there is seed there to eat before coming down.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

When I lived in IL, I had 3 mourning doves. I thought they were just beautiful. We recently moved and I wasn't seeing any birds at all. Then the builder says, just wait till I put the grass seed down. Good heavens! I've never seen so many. These birds are something else. In IL, they never ate from a feeder. They were always on the ground. Here? The weight of them sitting on the seed catcher (tube feeder) made it loosen and fall off. After putting it back on numerous times, I finally left it off. They just want to sit on the feeders (tube and the wooden platform type) and not allow any birds at all to eat. They spill the seed on the deck, but they don't eat it. It's like my doves in IL had manners and these have none!! LOL!! I heard awhile ago was dove season and I haven't seen as many lately.
terry


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

I counted 12 in my Long Island yard 2 days ago!


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Birds must be thinking of Spring. Its been sunny here the past few days and the Mourning Doves have been singing away the past three days. I really like the sound they make, totally unlike anything else I hear from the birds around here. Usually I only hear them in the Spring and Summer.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

My mourning doves eat off the ground and feeder. Sometimes you will see them sitting on the feeder hiding from the rain. I have many doves, but have never found a nest in my yard. My mother has a dove that comes back to the exact same spot every year. Last week, she came back and sat on the rafter of the back porch, the first time she ever got that close, and actually "cried" every time I walked away from the door. Apparently she wanted me to know she was back for the year! I've only ever lost one dove to a predator, a red-tail hawk, and he ate every last bit of it. Didn't even leave the beak. Don't know what surprised me more, that he did that, or the fact that he was just sitting in my backyard. I do have a cat, so I have to be on my toes when she is around. My doves eat just about any type of food out there. I feed the finches too and the doves seem to really like that seed more than just regular bird seed.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

To anyone who is listening.....Here's my dilemma: Every year the same mourning dove nests in my back yard on my patio in the rafters. Mama dove has flown the coop yesterday leaving behind one baby, she hasn't been back to the nest yet. Is she gone for good? Will the baby bird survive? The baby is about 10 days old. I put a little bit of cracked corn in the nest but I don't think it has been eating it. What will happen to the poor thing and is there anything more I can do?


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

what happened to your baby mourning dove? I have one in my yard as of today, and as of today i joined this web site! my son found it in the yard, the dove seems almost unafraid of humans. i put out water and uncle sams cereal. i hope the baby dove is ok!


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Firt time posting here.. but I will read everything I see about Mourning Doves. We lov'em! Durring the warmer months we have 50 to 100 doves. Durring the deep freezes of winter I have counted as many as 250.


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Still lots of Mourning Doves visiting here everyday for the Birdseed put out dailey.


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  • Posted by jwutzke PHX Cntrl Corr. (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 26, 05 at 17:19

Following up on an earlier question -- is there a particular way to attract mourning doves without (especially) attracting pigeons? (The two being incredibly closely related...) I love mourning doves and for the first time ever heard one here in Phoenix this a.m. Granted, I've only lived in Phoenix for 4 months, but still :)

I hate to think of Iowa having a hunting season on them -- it is from Iowa, staying with grandparents as a child, that I have my first memory of mourning doves and why I have such a fond feeling for them. Their morning mournful coo is to me music to my ears... Still, I also understand how even the most appealing of animals (doves, deer, etc.) can become a biological and ecological problem in sufficient numbers.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Here is a picture of the 2 types of doves in our yard (They sound quite different) from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology page:

Ringed Turtle-Dove on the left and Eurasian Collared-Dove on the right:


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

to preface this letter i enjoy most all wildlife,but,the doves are out of control-they have reached the point of being a pest much as a pigeon-must be 50 of them just in my yard-they wake you up at the crack of dawn every morning-sit and crap all over everything-that coo has really gotten old-seem to have crowded out the other birds-i hope mich opens a hunting season on them!


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Hello, i raise and care for mourning doves (best wild birds ever) and what i do is hang wooden plant baskets from trees my roof whatever and they love building their nests in them (the kind you get at walmart's garden center) 1st i started out with one and the same dove would come back every year to the same basket and lay her eggs, now i have 10 hanging around my garden for them to nest in .... i keep these hanging baskets away from open space so meat eating big birds dont eat the babies when they are born ...... i live in Fort Myers and is always up to raising lost baby birds, i built them a huge walk-in cage until they are old enough to be on their own, which they always stay around which i don't mind because like i said before they are the best wild birds ever! i hope this info helped you


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

I enjoyed all your comments so much! We have a nest in a pine
shrub seen easily from our bathroom window. I even keep the shade down so as not to disturb the dove couple's nesting.
Several days ago we were able to see the baby doves. Watching
them has brought such peace and joy into each day. We have several other pairs of dove - I love the suggestion of hanging
flower baskets out for them to use for nesting. Maybe we'll
be able to watch other baby dove's.


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Just a little humor (or ignorance) on my part - when identifying the male from the female mourning dove, I always considered that the male was the one chasing the other (female) because he was....... I apologize to any fellows that are reading this. I have also noticed that those "males" always appear to be a little bigger. Is this also a trait when talking about gender?


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Hi,

Floridabirdlover...could you describe the basket you bought that the doves nest in? We have a few coming to the feeders, but no nesting sites since ripping out old shrubs and new ones pretty small. Would enjoy to have a nesting site. Could you also describe the best placement of the basket? How high off the ground, did you hang it from something?

Thanks,
Adam


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Our doves did try to eat some of the rice I threw out for them
as I had read that someone had said they liked rice.

Yesterday I noticed that our baby doves were sitting alone but
we were also aware that the Mom and Dad were close by watching over them. Late in the day a Blue Jay was after the two little ones sitting in thier nest. Both parents decended on the Blue Jay until he flew away. Neither of the parents went
back to the nest; we were concerned that they wouldn't make it to the next day.

To our joy we found the Mom sitting on the nest early in the morning. However later both parents were away from the baby
doves.

Late this afternoon I was thrilled to witness both the Mom
and Dad at the nest; Mom was feeding the little ones.

And later - no parents, no baby doves. They had left the nest. My previous witness of all four of them together must have been the LAST family gathering.

My question is: Do the parents stay with thier young long enough to teach them full flying lessons or do they kick them out of the nest and expect them to survive on thier own?


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Parent birds stil feed their babies after they fledge from the nest. Usually they show them all the good stuff to eat around the neighborhood!


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Adam, I believe just left-over flower baskets from a nursery
or garden center; maybe you have some from previous years' hanging baskets. Hang the baskets in tree or shrubs where preditors can't see the nests, with eggs. Blue Jays tried to
attack our baby doves, for instance. I think crows would do the same.

My doves have laid two more eggs! Mommy and papa are sitting
on the nest every minute!


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RE: Mourning Doves...population growing!

Hi,
Somewhat related, but it sounds like a lot of bird lovers here.
We have a seasonal dove's nest between two patio lights under a large patio overhang. We love watching the doves and enjoy them around most of the year. However, we need to take the patio overhang down. We've actually started, leaving a third of it up, where the nest is located. Eventually, we have to take the remaining third down, sooner than later. However, we want the dove's to stay in our yard and perhaps nest in another area. We are willing to provide what we they need, except for the patio cover. I like the hanging basket approach, but am not sure if it will work for us. We have no trees (just lots of concrete). Any ideas?
Thanks,
Scott


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