These are the ramblings of an eclectic and whimsical homeschooling family of eight... a little peek, if you will, inside the daily dawdlings and habits of my active and delightful family seeking to please the Lord in all we do! Hopefully our thoughts, observations, and activities will challenge you, inspire you, tickle you, cheer you, and let you know you are not the only one!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's official!

Spring is almost here!!

Outside our kitchen window this morning was the most pleasant surprise! Mourning Doves and their lovely nest containing exactly two perfect little eggs!! What a joy it will be to watch this sweet family for the next few weeks... and what a wonderful 'birds' eye' view we have! ~pun intended~! We'll keep you posted on their progress. Here are our first pictures...
Now what kind of homeschooling mother would I be if I didn't turn this into a teachable moment about Mourning Doves? Not to worry... I did a little bit of research and for your edification I'm providing a few tidbits so that you may get to know Rose and Walter a little better. Yes, the children sat down and decided on names for our new parents first thing this morning.

"The male leads the female to potential nest sites, and the female will choose one. The female dove builds the nest. The male will fly about, gather material, and bring it to her. The male will stand on the female's back and give it to the female, who then builds it into the nest. The nest is constructed of twigs, conifer needles, or grass blades, and is of very flimsy construction. These birds will sometimes requisition the unused nests of other Mourning Doves, other birds, or arboreal mammals like squirrels.

Most nests are in trees, both deciduous and coniferous. Sometimes, they can be found in shrubs, vines, or on artificial constructs like buildings, or hanging flower pots. When there is no suitable elevated object, Mourning Doves will nest on the ground.

The clutch size is almost always two eggs. Sometimes, however, a female will lay her eggs in the nest of another pair. The eggs are small and white-colored. Both sexes incubate, the male from morning to afternoon, and the female at night and the rest of the day. Mourning Doves are devoted parents; nests are very rarely left unattended by their parents.

Incubation takes approximately two weeks. Mourning Doves are strongly altricial, with the young, called squabs, being helpless at hatching and covered with down. Both parents feed the squabs pigeon's milk (dove's milk) for the first few days of life. The crop milk is gradually augmented by seeds and adult foods. Fledging takes place in about 11-15 days, before the squabs are fully grown but after they are capable of digesting adult food. They will stay nearby to be fed for up to a few weeks after fledging.

Mourning Doves are prolific breeders. In warmer areas, these birds may raise up to six broods in a season. This fast breeding is essential for the survival of the species as mortality is high. Each year, mortality can reach 58% a year for adults and 69% for the young.

The Mourning Dove is monogamous and forms strong pair bonds. Pairs typically reconvene in the same area the following breeding season, or sometimes may remain together throughout the winter. However, lone doves will find new partners if necessary."

Information compliments of Wikipedia.

Stay tuned! More on the Adventures of Rose and Walter coming soon..


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How fun! I can't wait to see them! See you Sunday.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Toni said...

Hey, I just posted about spring on my blog too. Great minds think alike. We have two mourning doves who apparently stayed all winter (do they do that???). They were here all last summer and we saw them a few times over the winter. They're quite visible now. Love 'em. Stop by my party if you get a chance.

9:30 PM  

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