A Good Home, Doves and Babies

Back to the Birdies

PHOTOS BY HAMLIN GRANGE

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.

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

The Little Ones

PHOTOS BY HAMLIN GRANGE

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.