May 3

Dove Hen

Category: animals

dsc_2975.jpgWhile doing yard work I found a brooding dove hen. She is so cute! She’s pretty hard to dislodge, but I’ve scared her away a few times by accident while walking in the area where her nest is. Speaking of which, I thought that doves were primitive nest makers, capable only of making “scrapes” of extremely flimsy, primitive platforms. As you can see from the picture, the nest is quitedsc_3044.jpg substantial. I don’t know if she made it, or just inherited it.

If I move slowly and don’t make too much noise, she sits absolutely still, watching me with her huge black globe of an eye. Usually I try to avoid disturbing her but today when I scared her away i decided to look into the nest (using a little mirror) to see what it held. One new chick! I hope it survives. The nest is well placed, in an arbor with thick growth and away from daily activity, but positioned in our yard which contains a bird feeder and bird baths.

Another thing I learned about doves is that they will mimic injury to draw an intruder away from the nest. I know that killdeers will do this, but I had never seen a dove do it. She flew away, making a racket to get my attention, and the fluttered weakly along the ground dragging both wings as if injured, all the time walking away from the nest.

Update: The chick must have fledged, because the nest is empty and the dove hen is gone.  It’s been three weeks or so since we first noticed her.

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