Birds--General/nesting Dove


Hi Roger, outside our window here in South Florida we have a Dove that has made a nest on the frond of a King Sago Palm; it is hardly the place for one, for it is just sitting on the slightly curved frond,,,but she has been sitting on it for about 2 weeks now and I have yet to see it empty in that period (wondering how she is eating and drinking). I am afraid that when (if) the eggs hatch and the chicks begin to grow they will most assuredly fall out of it in a good wind....any suggestions?? thanks Nick

Hi Nick. The incubation period for Mourning Doves (you may have some other species) is between 14 and 21 days, depending on the weather. Males and females switch incubation duties quickly so you may only think you are seeing the female all the time. Doves build pretty flimsy nests and occasionally eggs or young fall out. But doves are very successful reproducers, so not to worry. I almost always recommend that you let nature take its course. What most folks don't know is that a very small percentage of eggs make it to adulthood the next year. But birds, especially doves, handle the hazards and disaster quite well. Just enjoy the show.


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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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