A Dove Story
(Rockton, IL USA)
A robin built her nest in a potted tree rose just outside our living room window. Something bad must have happened, for one morning there was a broken egg in the nest and Mama Robin never came back.
But a few weeks later, two mourning doves stopped by, and seemed to have a great deal of interest in the nest. They spent a day or two in the front yard eyeing it up, and finally decided it was the perfect spot for their soon-to-be family.
Mama Dove moved in and laid 2 eggs. Papa Dove and she traded off keeping the eggs warm for what seemed a very long time, and July 2, 2013, which is also my wife's birthday, the first of two little doves popped out of its shell. The adult doves continued to alternate sitting on the other egg and it too hatched. Now it is July 12, and the oldest of the two birds stretches out his neck over the edge of the nest, while the baby lies quietly alongside, for the most part.
Mama & Papa Dove spend a lot of time in our back yard cleaning up the ground around our bird feeder. They are not EVER around the nest it seems, and we are wondering just what it is the babies have for food. Do the adults feed them in the dark of the night, and if so, what? We suspect the babies have cleaned up their egg shells, though we aren't sure about that. Do the parents feed their babies like the robins do, by gathering food and regurgitating it?