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Birds--General/Calif. doves in high desert


Pair of doves made a nest on ledge of patio and have 3 eggs.  The ledge is so narrow, most of the nesting material keeps falling off.  I just peeked today as one of them has always been there until this morning.   In their absense, I hammered a board up there to extend the nesting area and put some nesting material on the board but did not touch the eggs.  I am afraid the pair won't come back.  Is there anything I can do to save the bird family?  Did I do too much, or too little too late?

Nesting birds are pretty skittish and they consider you a predator. Generally they won't abandon the nest unless there is a lot of disturbance or permanent change to the nest or nest site. It's hard to know if they will come back or not. Only time will tell. In the meantime, just stay away from the nest to minimize disturbance. By the way, it's an old wives' tale that touching the eggs or nest will make the parents abandon the nest. Not true.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.


Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.

A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.

Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.

PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.

Awards and Honors
Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.

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