A Good Home, Birds, Hamlin Grange Photographs, Nature, Nature Photography

The Little Ones


We have babies!
“We” being the pair of doves that nest in the vines just outside our window.

Blog Photo - Dove in Freezing weather

Blog Photo - Dove in Freezing weather 3

These birds are monogamous. Their roles are quite specific at first and perfectly illustrate the term “nesting”. The male selects the spot for the nest (“Hey Babe: I’ve found us a nice piece of property!”) He also collects the twigs and brings them to the female, who builds the nest.

After that, the parenting duties are shared equally: the egg-sitting (the male sits on the eggs during the day, the female at night) and  the baby-feeding duties, and watching out for predators. 

This morning, we noticed that the mother/father had left the nest for a little while, so Hamlin took this photo through the window:

Blog Photo - Baby doves

Isn’t it a strange-looking little grey bundle?  They hardly look like birds!

Meanwhile, under our deck, the robins have built a nest. This couple shares the gathering of twigs, and the female builds the nest alone. It usually takes her 2 to 6 days.

I’m wondering if the female had help this time because the nest was built in just one day. (It was built after a night of soaking rain, which is ideal for gathering building materials.) 

Blog Photo - Robin's nest

And that, in my uninformed opinion, is an amazing feat. So we’ve decided to let the nest be.

Which means, when the robin babies are born, we’ll be dive-bombed every time we pass. Yikes.

Ain’t nature grand? 

Here’s more about the doves. 

And the robins.

65 thoughts on “The Little Ones”

  1. oh, so gorgeous and mesmerising. There is something so very special about being privy to birds nesting, hatching and fledging 🙂

  2. How wonderful to have them right there by the window for easy viewing! We have doves around here and their nests in trees always seem so precarious. Your babies seem to have a solid foundation. Enjoy!

  3. Lovely to have these nests so close. My robin took days to build her nest outside my kitchen window and very untidy she was too, she dropped as much as she used all over the outside table.

  4. I’m happy you let the nest remain, even if it’s not in the greatest location. Watching these little fellas put so much effort into the construction, it’s difficult to disrupt them. We’ve got several robin nests around our back yard.

  5. How sweet. We have a dunnocks (a small brown bird with a grey head) nesting in hedge opposite our kitchen window. While not as close as yours, we can see the chick every time the parents come to feed it.

  6. Those dove babies look like they just hatched,Cynthia! Fun photos and hello spring! Our doves are busy cooing. They’ll have a nest out there somewhere! And the flicker is pounding on our vents. Noisy! He wants to make sure the girls know that he is available. –Curt

  7. Yes, nature is grand. Interesting how some bird varieties are monogamous and help each other and some do not. Just like humans. 🙂 Love birds and doves are a favorite. I could listen to them for hours. Hope you can capture more of the babies when they are hatched.

  8. That will be fun to watch them grow – other than that dive-bombing part! Sounds like she scouted our your window awhile back for a Good Home. Will hope to hear more about their progress.

  9. You are blessed by the trust these little creatures put in your home as a safe secure place to nest and rear their young. 🙂 In Cairo we were delighted by a palm dove couple who regularly nested on a window ledge of our apartment ; a little touch of nature in an urban jungle.

    1. Oh, what a lovely comment. ‘Our’ doves seem quite trusting indeed. They are my favourite of the birds here, and because their nests are always high above the ground, they haven’t dive-bombed me yet!

  10. I always feel so honoured when creatures decide to make their homes near us. We have passed some kind of test it seems, and been accepted. The trouble comes when the babies appear and we have to be careful where we go. Our goose has nested on our island and on Friday we saw four goslings. Our pond is no longer ours but the goose family’s, just as you will not be allowed out of your house without being dive-bombed by the robin!

    1. How well you’ve described that, Clare. Never thought of it in terms of being approved, so now I’m feeling honoured too! (And shall get myself a steel hat… tee hee)

  11. What a great birds eye view of the nest Cynthia.. And lovely to spot your post this afternoon in my reader.. Its a wonderful time of year to watch birds nesting.. And its amazing how they never fall out of those fragile looking nests with the sparse twigs..

    We have a couple of blackbirds nesting.. We watched her take beak fulls of moss and dip it in mud to line their nest.. Always wonderful to watch birds..
    Thank you for sharing..
    Sue 🙂

  12. It will be fascinating to be an observer of the whole nesting process. I can’t wait for our swallows to return. They nest every year in our barn but this year they will find we’ve made some renovations – they have a special entrance made especially for them so we hope they’ll use it!

  13. Imagine gathering building materials in the rain 😃 How lovely to be able to watch those babies grow. Don’t forget, don’t open that window! Great pics thanks Hamlin

    1. Or go too close to the window! They pick up movement, even on the other side of the glass, but they calm down if we slowly move away. Hamlin’s had an interesting time trying to get pictures of the feedings.

  14. You are going to admire the spectacle of the growing then the first flying of the young doves.
    You will be enchanted to hear the little criis of the robins .
    Nature comes to your home, Cynthia.
    And compliments to the photographer
    Love ❤

  15. A beautiful spring post, Cynthia, and thank you for the links! We have many robins and doves come through here, but the only one that have nested on the farm are the tree swallows. They have used our shed from time to time. One year, a blue jay attacked the nest, eating the young (it only ate the heads) except one, who was huddled back under some cardboard sheeting that was over part of the nest. The parents raised the one. At fledging time, the youngster somehow did not realize it could fly out the open door, and needed help. I scooped up the youngster, took it outside, and lifted it up. He or she took off and flew circles above me, along with the parents.

    1. Wicked blue jay, but what a great nature story, Lavinia! Glad you helped the youngster to find its wings. Thanks for sharing.
      I will be over to dwell a bit in your newsletter, to see what else has been happening on the farm this spring.

  16. I love the noise the doves make. It’s such a “summer” noise and I miss it through the winter. These pictures are beautiful. Oh and it’s probably best to wear a hard hat when walking by the robin’s nest 🙂

  17. What a terrific post AND community of comments afterwards. I had no idea blue jays (one of whom I was admiring on my walk this afternoon) might kill swallow chicks and eat their heads!!! I, too, love the cooing of doves in the warmer months. And, although my family had a small pride of cats who mostly lived outside when I was a child in the northwest corner of Connecticut, I have been told on good authority that domestic cats who are allowed to roam outside kill HUGE numbers of wild birds and may be the most significant cause of declining numbers in many beloved bird species… Now my mother and sister’s cats are both indoor felines. Glad to know that your nests have been safe so far!

  18. How sweet. Perhaps you have another door for the time being? Those protective mamas can dive bomb! (Had a similar experience with blue jays once.) But as you know … nature IS grand, and so they nest. 🙂

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