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Zoology/Sparrows and Mourning Doves


Is it possible I saw a mother(or father) Sparrow feeding her young which included a baby Mourning Dove? The mother sparrow was stretching to reach the mouth of the other bird. The bird clearly was larger than the sparrows and looked like it had the beak and eyes of a mourning  dove. The whole family, including the mourning dove, have been hanging around my deck for the past couple days.

Hi Nancy
I believe that the larger bird in the nest is a Cowbird. Cowbirds lay a single egg in the nests of smaller birds an leave. The cowbird hatchlings then starves out the smaller birds.
Mourning doves do not parasitize other birds. Parasitism is natures way of controlling populations of birds like sparrows



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Walter Hintz


I can answer questions about both vertebrate and invertebrate zoology. I am an expert in animal behavior, especially birds.


I have taught for over 50 years. I teach college biology courses and I have led tours to the Galapagos Islands and the Belize rain forest

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