A Good Home, Doves and Babies

Back to the Birdies


A parent dove sees everything.

Including us, spying on him as he sits on the nest. 

(Dove mothers sit on the nest at night, fathers during the day. )

Blog Photo - Dove looks back

Hamlin set up his camera and tripod just inside the window. Timing was everything.  He said, one day:

“Do you know how long I sat there, waiting for feeding time?  And that bird wouldn’t do anything.

“I was precariously perched and couldn’t move, just in case I scared him off.

“We basically waited each other out, I guess: he got tired of waiting and started feeding them.”

Blog Photo - Dove parent feeds growing offspring

The babies’ feathers were looking ready, but their heads still looked fuzzy and not quite ready for nest-leaving.

Blog Photo - Dove babies getting their feathers

So we relaxed a little, thinking we had a couple more days before they left us.

Blog Photo - Dove Baby under Parent

But in the picture below, the father must have been giving them the crucial pep talk… 

Blog Photo - Dove Parent and Babies

… because when we weren’t looking, parents and young ones flew away. We were all quite bereft — Hamlin perhaps most of all.

“They didn’t even say goodbye,” he joked, trying to mask his feelings, I’m sure.

We eventually had to face the fact that the bond of affection was entirely one-sided, and that doves, it seems, will nest wherever they feel safe.

Blog Photo - Dove in Nursery sign

For proof, Hamlin offers these two photos, taken in a local plant nursery.

Blog Photo - Dove in Flower Pot in Plant Nursery

But it was fun while it lasted, and we were glad to have provided safe lodging for “our” birdies.

37 thoughts on “Back to the Birdies”

  1. Oh, sweet! Hamlin’s patience was rewarded. Wonderful pictures. Truly, you two are Friends of Animals (FOA?) And those doves nest in the darnedest places. Good thing the owners are FOAs, too.

  2. It is so rewarding to watch. We got to see our Carolina Wrens leave their nest years ago. Mom and Dad lined the babies up on our porch wall and they all jumped into the flower bed to look for bugs.

  3. Like Mae, I love doves, too. I remember a time when I was desperately missing my grandmother. As I sat at the kitchen table, a dove came to the window and perched on the seal for half an hour watching me. Whenever I see a dove, I think of my Mamaw.

  4. It seems like this pair handled Hamlin’s observations quite well and seemed quite comfortable. Perhaps they’ll be back next year or later this summer, if they nest twice. They didn’t say goodbye, but left memories.

  5. Oh, how beautiful! Lovely pictures so Hamlin was rewarded for his patience. Too bad he missed them flying away…..

  6. Thanks, Hamlin! And Cynthia for sharing! We still have a couple of hummingbirds that have hung around to be feed. I know I will miss them when they are gone. A woodpecker comes around too to help itself to the feeder.

  7. How lovely to have a dove family nesting right up against your window. I wonder why the mother nests at night – is the father standing guard?

  8. I enjoyed reading this so much, Cynthia! We had a couple of morning doves on our patio for more than a month. They were always close together, as if keeping each other warm. I was sorry to see them go, but one day they were just gone.

  9. Thank you, Hamlin and Cynthia, for this lovely post! They do become “our” birds, don’t they? We have not had doves nest here yet, but we have had swallows nest in the shed. Every year there is a new crop of goldfinches to enjoy, too.

    All the best to both of you! 🙂

  10. This is such a sweet post, Cynthia! I am grateful to Hamlin for his lovely photographs and for his patience. I know how attached one gets to the animals and birds that chose to share our space and how strange it is when they go.

  11. How curious it must have seemed to Daddy Dove to have a human crouched over a camera just beyond the window! Lovely story, Cynthia. Well Done, Hamlin, for the pics.

    My very best,


  12. How wonderful! And stunning shots, while they were still in the nest. Birds generally fledge early in the morning and hang around for a day or two. Did you get to see them later? I don’t know anything about doves’ habits so may be quite wrong with them! (I love the idea of the parents taking the day and night shifts too.)

  13. We had two bird nests in hanging baskets this year. One was a pine sisken and the other house wrens. They fledged their broods and flew off into the woods too. – Oscar

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