28/100: Dove tenants

Bernie and Bernie, as L named them, our little dove couple has retuned! They first made an appearance a few weeks ago and began to build a nest on our balcony. We felt bad when we had to remove everything from the balcony a couple days later so that painters could paint the exterior of our building. We just put everything back yesterday, and lo and behold- they are back today, busily building a new nest in the same place. I can't believe they came back!

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Having just read up a little on these little guys, I learned a few fun facts:

  • These seem to be mourning doves.
  • These birds are monogamous and mate for life. (Aww!)
  • Mated couples preen each others feathers.
  • The male leads the female to potential nest sites, and the female will choose one.
  • The male collects then return, stand on the female's back and give the material to the female, who then builds it into the nest. (No comment.)
  • They usually lay 2 eggs at a time.
  • Both parents incubate the eggs (the male from morning to afternoon, and the female the rest of the day and at night).
  • Once hatched, both parents feed the squabs pigeon's milk (dove's milk) for the first 3–4 days of life. Thereafter, the crop milk is gradually augmented by seeds.
  • They usually return to the same nesting area for the next breeding season.

My sisters may need to warm up to this, however, I love that we have a potential bird foster family on our balcony! I feel pretty honored that they would chose the top of our styrofoam cooler as their potential nesting area. And I'm really interested to see what happens next. Eggs would be amazing!

I think we need a dove cam!