Guest Post by Frank Atkin
Last spring, a pair of doves decided to build a nest on the rain downspout attached to the house wall and next to the kitchen door. We were delighted to see the doves build a nest and so close to us. We could enter and exit, and the doves on the nest did not seem to be concerned about our presence.
All was well until the neighborhood crows discovered the nest. In no time, they made off with the baby birds, leaving the nest shredded. The parent doves flew about frantically. They hung about nervously for the next couple of days and watched cautiously as they seemed to expect a second attack. At that point, I decided to give them a hand. If the doves built a second nest in the same location, it would only invite a repeated attack. So, how could I arrange a nest location that would be safe from crows? I wired a small straw basket, about the same size of a nest, onto a tree branch. I placed the branch under the roof eves as I forced it between 2 braces. With the basket now under the eves, it could no longer be spotted by marauding crows. Also, there was adequate space for the doves to move about but too confining for crows.
It took the doves about 2 days to find the basket and move in. And as the nest was only about 3 feet away from the large bedroom window, we enjoyed a daily nature show with parent doves tending to their young. I was surprised to see them actually rear a second set of babies in one season. I count this as one of my favorite nature experiences.
Photo by John Duncan on Unsplash