A couple of mourning doves have entrusted their nest against the patio wall, in an empty little planter. I’ve noticed it last week as I kept seeing a shadow flying towards the house. After a little inspection I found the small nest in the planter, and soon after a dove was sitting in it. What I had seen were the shadows created during nest construction. At first I was worried as my resident squirrel, named “Silverback for his mostly gray back” comes by regularly and feeds only a few feet from the nest. So far, so good and both don’t seem to mind each other all that much.
Last Monday I had to go on the patio for a moment and as careful as I was, the dove flew off. I’ve been out several times since and the dove has trusted me enough to stay in her nest now. I took a quick peek at the nest during the first time out, and saw one small egg in the middle of it. I realized that Dovey was planning to birth her offsprings in the very nest she had built. “What an honor” I thought, glad that I wasn’t considered to be a threat and that Dovey (What I call her) was building in such close proximity to me. By Wednesday I noticed a second egg, which are now the twins (Lolek & Bolek), ha, I’m losing my mind.
Since then, I watch her every day, say good morning and goodnight, and did a fair amount of research. I learned that mourning doves mate for life and have one partner. Both built the nest in joined forces and are lousy builders. True it looks a bit like a hot mess but no doubt is it obvious that love went into building it. Every once in awhile one brings an additional little twig for added comfort and it’s so cute. Both take turns sitting on the nest for a incubation time which will take about two weeks, so around next Monday I should have baby chicks. They lay one to two eggs, and if two eggs are present, one will hatch a day earlier, which explains why not both were laid at the same time. Once hatched the parents leave the nest, leaving the chicks to themselves. I hope they can stay warm on their own with this El Niño weather we are having. Parents will return for 11-12 days to feed the chicks from a milk like fluid that builds in their throat. If the chicks haven’t left the nest by then, trying to fly, the parents simply don’t come around anymore, forcing the chicks to make an attempt when they get hungry enough, and this is exactly where my horror begins.
The nest is several feet off the ground which is good since I have a stray cat stalking the yard and my squirrel. I’ve been chasing it off, scaring it half to death in the hopes it won’t come around no more. I even use my slingshot (yep I got one) to shoot rocks against the metal shed, which believe me the sound of it just about scares the pants off of you.
But now I wonder, and I’m afraid a chick might fall out off the nest and I don’t want to find a dead one on the ground. I am so sensitive seeing dead animals and I feel their loss to the core. It’s quite a tall order to take your first flight attempt while being several feet off the ground. I imagine it to be like running off a cliff not knowing how this will end up or work. But if I put the nest on the ground, I think it makes them even more vulnerable. It says that of course the first two weeks they are the most vulnerable and need bushes to hide in. With that I am afraid if I move the nest to a bush the parents may not find it or abandon it all together thinking a predator has messed with it. Can you see my dilemma? I want to provide the best possible chances for the chicks to survive.
If you have any input, please let me know what you think I should do.
Dove spirit animal message:
Express your love to as many people as possible in words and in deeds, even in small yet significant ways. The soul of someone who has recently passed is making a smooth, peaceful and joyous transition. This is a powerful time of prophecy and clear vision, and now more than ever you’re able to glimpse the future. You’re experiencing a spiritual renewal that’s the result of a period of intense self examination and challenges. This is a good time to stay at home and enjoy your domestic side. It’s important to nurture yourself with loving care.