Mourning Dove parents return to empty nest

by Carol
(Dandridge, TN)

babies with feathers

babies with feathers

babies with feathers
mom and babies
quietly planning the escape
Mom & Dad return to empty nest

We were about to trim the low branches off a crepe myrtle close to our house when we noticed a nest and a dove sitting on eggs. It was right outside our window, so we had a perfect "bird's eye" view of all of the activity. Once the babies hatched, we never saw them until they had feathers, as the parents kept them quite hidden beneath them as all times. When the babies finally appeared (2)they were fluffy with some feathers and within a week or so, were flapping their wings in the nest. Within the next few day they were out on the little limbs holding up the next, which by this time was literally falling apart from all the heavy rains. The night before they left the nest, we saw both Mom & Dad in and next to the nest, quite and like porcelain statues planning the escape. The next morning, the babies were gone and a few days later we saw 2 adult and 2 fledglings up on the electric wire right in front of our house. It had to be them ! Now in the past few days both the Mom & Dad return to the nest and just sit there in and around it. I have never seen birds return to an empty nest, and wondering why this behavior in these birds?

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