do mourning doves use other birds nests

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A variety of adaptations on mourning doves encourage multiple brooding and energy conservation during reproduction. The construction of simple nest structures, the recycling of old nests, including those of other species, the quick development of nestlings, and early fledging are some examples of these adaptations (Mirarchi and Baskett 1994). %20Nice%20(1922)%20reported that in her study of mourning doves, she discovered that in 2015, nests of a variety of species, such as robins, mockingbirds, house sparrows, common grackles, and mourning doves, were recycling nests.

It is common for mourning doves to build their nests next to or atop man-made buildings. While they have been observed to nest in eve troughs, rose arbors, light poles, working traffic signal lights, atop a steel I-beam supporting a house, and a variety of abandoned cars and car parts, mourning doves are usually found in edge habitat, which includes shrubs, trees, and the ground (Sayre and Silvy 1993, Davis 2014). A few years ago, John Kricher sent me a picture of a pair of Mourning Doves nesting on a student desk in a Wheaton College dorm room in Norton, Massachusetts (Figure 5). In order for the birds to fly in and out, the student had to keep the window open all the time.

Because mourning dove nests are so thin, occasionally the eggs are visible through the nest’s bottom. Because man-made structures are frequently strong and secure, they provide fragile nests with structural support and protection. The frequency of using man-made structures for nesting appears to be correlated with tolerance for human disturbance, and tolerance may even be a requirement for nesting. I hypothesize that if there is a genetic component to the ability to tolerate human disturbance during incubation or brooding, then the use of secure man-made structures and their corresponding ability to tolerate human disturbance during storms, when vulnerable tree nests are at risk, may be traits selected for Many bird species have evolved to nest in man-made structures; the most notable example of this is probably the Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica). Perhaps the Mourning Dove is evolving in that direction.

The Mourning Doves that were nesting next to me intrigued me because of how tolerant they were of human presence and disturbance. People approaching their side door would pass within two feet of the nest, and the homeowners, Robert and Janice Giannetti, frequently spent hours sitting on their porch less than eight feet from the nest. The adult dove was sitting when Janice reached within six inches of it, but it did not flush; instead, it only raised a few of its back feathers slightly. There was a time when four adult humans were there, chatting and moving around, while I was taking pictures of the nest. This instance of tolerance for human intrusion is not unique. About one-sixth of nesting Mourning Doves remained on their nests until touched or almost touched before taking to the skies, according to an early study on the activity (Nice 1923) It is evident that Mourning Doves are obligated by genetics to stay on the nest during the incubation and brooding stages.

My neighbors across the street invited me to observe and take pictures of an unusual Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) nest on their open porch on June 11, 2016. The nest was situated about six feet from their side door, at eye level on top of a cabinet (Figure 1) On June 14th, the two eggs hatched, and by June 20th, the young birds were spotted in the nest with an adult (Figure 2). While the adult was away from the nest, the shelf had been rearranged and the canisters removed. The young were fully feathered by the 23rd (Figure 3), and on the 26th, they fledged (Figure 4).


What does it mean when a mourning dove nests at your house?

Message From Loved Ones Courtesy Teresa Taylor Mourning doves can symbolize peace or love. Some believe that the meaning of a mourning dove is a visit or sign of encouragement from a friend or family member. Doves provide comfort because they help people remember their loved ones are watching over them.

Do mourning doves use bird houses?

Unbothered by humans, Mourning Doves are not terribly particular when it comes to nesting and will choose spots just about anywhere: on the ground, in a bush or tree, gutters, eaves, etc. They will not use a nest box but may use a nesting shelf if one is offered.

Are mourning doves good birds to have around?

After nesting season, Mourning Doves are often found in large flocks near fresh water and food. They are very easy-going when it comes to feeding with other birds, and will even dine with squirrels. These ground-feedering birds are fun to watch and easy to keep around if you provide food and water.

Are mourning doves aggressive towards other birds?

Mourning Doves are sometimes aggressive to other birds, particularly around food and nesting sites. They’re not equipped to do much damage though unless the other bird is in a pen or area where it cannot escape.