Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We have Mourning Doves!


Almost two weeks ago, I go to water my hanging flower pots in my front porch, and the one that is most closest to our front door...


had a pile of sticks and twigs all added into the soil.  At first I thought, how did all this get in here?  I didn't touch the sticks or twigs, thank goodness, but pulled down the pot to the porch to see inside.  And there was...  a nest! 


After calling over my family to see it, we had said we felt so privileged that a bird chose our flower pot for their babies!  Butterfly was in amazement!


We later saw who it was building the nest, a mama and papa Mourning Dove!


This is exciting for us as we live in a city-ish neighbourhood, not enough country unfortunately, so this is an automatic homeschooling project going on at our front door!  We have a great view at our front window as well!  So of course, I didn't water my hanging pots in the porch for almost a week, too afraid for the doves to get scared, but I think we've finally established a trust, as I managed carefully from a distance with a watering can to get water in that pot.  As you notice from the photo above, my flowers are dying and the leaves are turning yellow.  I don't want the plant to be totally withered as it's providing shelter and coverage for this Dove family.


Here are a few photos of one of the dove parents in the nest, incubating the eggs.  So glad my phone has a great zoom!


 We walk very quietly and carefully when going out the front door and told all those who come to visit, the same thing.  This is too exciting to risk having the doves abandon their nest if they feel their surroundings look too dangerous!


 What I love about doves is how committed they are.  They are the sweetest birds.  The parent couple stay together always.  And the mama and papa dove also share parenting.  The papa sits in the nest and incubates the eggs during the day and the mama sits in the nest during the night.  How nice of the daddy to keep mama warm and safe during the night hours!  A true couple, sticking together, committed in their relationship and sharing parental duties.  Even when the two squabs are born ( they only have two babies at a time) the parents share feeding and babysitting duties equally.


A real life natural experience happening at our front door, calls for some Homeschooling Projects!  Here's our Mourning Dove information sheet that we wrote up on what Butterfly has been learning.  Did you know their wings WHISTLE when they fly?!  That's the noise you hear when they take off and land, because their call is a "coo-coo", the whistling is not their voices :)


Butterfly has kept a bird bath and extra seed outside for them, along with keeping our bird feeders full in our backyard!  When Butterfly had her twin amigos over for another play, we made some Dove crafts!  We image searched Mourning Doves and the girls picked out their main colours of grey, black, white, and some have a slight peach colour to them.  So we gathered the right coloured crayons and markers.


 We printed this Mourning Dove colouring page out and the girls got started colouring!


I cut up some brown craft foam, brown paper and yellow yarn, and let them use these to build a nest under their doves.




 I cut out two white eggs out of craft foam for each girl so they could glue them in their nests, as we found out that Mourning Doves only hatch two eggs at a time.  (They can lay 2-6 times from Spring till October!)



 For another dove craft, I bought craft feathers that look like real bird feathers that have the same grey dove colour.

 

 I provided the girls with a fun googly eye for their bird, their dove colours, glue, and the feathers, and let them go to dove craft town!




How cute and fuzzy their birds turned out!



We learned that it takes up to two weeks incubation before they hatch, so we are expecting something to happen by the end of this week!!  Then the two squabs stay in their nest for another two weeks, possibly longer!  I will keep you all updated and try to get some good zoomed in photos of the happy family!

It's so nice to have a Symbol of Peace by our front door!


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