Mourning Dove Eggs – How long for dove eggs to hatch?

mourning dove nest
Mourning Dove eggs!

How long does it take for mourning dove eggs to hatch?  The dove eggs will be incubated for 14-15 days; by both the male and the female doves. It takes about the same time for the young doves to leave the nest. The baby doves are fed regurgitated pigeon milk by both parents, and they grow and develop rapidly.

tiny baby birds in nest
dove eggs hatched, baby doves

Mourning Dove breeding season is April – July although some may breed as late as October.  Even in southern Arizona, nesting is essentially over by mid-August, and some of the early hatched Dove juveniles have already migrated by late July.

birds in Arizona
Mourning Doves, Turtle Doves

By the first week of September, the migration of most nesting populations is usually underway;  the juvenile birds typically leaving before the adults.

Beginning as early as March, these birds build a loose nest of twigs, grass, weeds and pine needles. The male dove carries twigs to the female dove who then weaves a flimsy nest of grass stems and twigs to lay her eggs.

mourning dove baby in nest
baby doves are called squabs

Mourning Doves, commonly called Turtle Doves, are one of the most adaptable, widespread North American birds. It is also the leading game bird for sport and meat. Doves are strong fliers and can reach speeds of 55 mph (88 km/h).

These doves occur from the lowest elevations along the Colorado River upward through forests of ponderosa pines to 8,500 feet. Their staple foods throughout the year are primarily small seeds and cultivated grains. In the Sonoran Desert the woeful call of breeding males can be heard as early as February, and pairs have been known to attempt as many as seven nestings in a single season.

baby doves left in the nest
mourning dove squabs 11 days old

During the blooming season of the Saguaro cacti it is typical to see White-winged doves (pictured below) eating the fruits of the giant Saguaro Cactus.

white wing
white winged dove on a saguaro cactus

Although still ranked as one of Arizona’s two most important game birds, dove hunting has since fallen off due to urban expansion, changing farm practices, and more restrictive season arrangements.

male mourning dove nest
male mourning dove caring for its young

Arizona Game and Fish Department, http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/hunt-info/dove/dove.shtml – When it comes to the early dove season, the hot action will typically be near agricultural areas with grain type crops growing or recently cut. While Arizona is well known for its cotton, the state also produces corn, sorghum, melons, barley, and even wheat – all great dove attractants.  Dove hunting is a very popular tradition, and Arizona has more than 30,000 participate each year.

Curve-billed Thrasher – AZ desert birds with personality!

With their long tails, melodious songs and zesty personalities, the Curve-billed Thrasher is one of my favorite Arizona birds.

bird that bounces around and pounds the ground
Curve Billed Thrasher is a confident desert bird

Each bird possesses its own charisma.  And sing…?  Oh yes this bird can sing!

The Curve-billed Thrasher, Toxostoma curvirostre,  is a common bird species of the Sonoran Desert.

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)

tucson bird digs the ground
curve billed thrasher bird arizona, red eyes

These desert birds are grayish, brown with a long tail and faint spots on the chest.  An adult Curve-billed Thrasher has vivid orange or red-orange eyes.  Juvenile birds have lighter yellow eyes.

gray brown bird with long beak orange eyes
Curve billed Thrasher’s long tail, birds with red eyes

Have you seen a Curve-billed Thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre)?  Then you’ve already witnessed their daring personality and fondness for charging into groups of birds provoking chaos.

Desert birds of the Southwest
Curve-Billed Thrasher orange red eyes bird

This Southwest bird is a ground lover.  Curve-billed Thrashers fly in abrupt jerky fashion from bush to bush.  They especially like areas with thorny mesquite trees or cholla cacti.

a bird that pounds the dirt with its beak
Thrasher birds flick the rocks looking for insects

This bird probes the dirt and leaf litter with its long, black, down curved beak.  While digging holes in the soil, the Curve-billed Thrasher flicks aside debris in search of seeds and insects.

Arizona birds
A thrasher bird foraging on the ground for food

In worker fashion, Curve-billed Thrashers use their robust legs and feet to shuffle through the plant litter beneath a cactus or shrub.

arizona desert birds
Curve-billed Thrasher’s long tail

In the U.S., this bird occurs most commonly in the southern parts of Arizona, New Mexico and western TexasMost of the country of Mexico is blessed to enjoy the sights and songs of the Curve-billed Thrasher.

Bird with yellow eyes
red eyes of the curve billed thrasher bird
Curve billed Thrasher
two adult Curve billed Thrasher birds in the AZ desert

This male and female thrasher look very much alike.  Immature birds are similar to the adults but with shorter, straighter bills and yellow instead of orange-red eyes.

It is the custom of this long-lasting pair of birds to mate in the winter after a charming courtship filled with song.

Arizona Sonoran Desert birds
adult Curve-billed Thrasher with its young

Beginning early spring the two birds cooperate in building a nest;  creating a deep bowl-shaped structure lined with long, thorny twigs.

Curve-billed Thrashers prefer the lower shaded branches of the cholla cacti;  while the Cactus Wren bird will build a ball-shaped nest on a higher cholla cactus branch.

Breeding usually takes place from May to mid-July.  The female Curve-bill Thrasher lays her spotted bluish-green eggs early in the morning on successive days, usually producing a total of 3-5.

blue green eggs with spots by cactus
bluish-green eggs in the nest of the Curve-billed Thrasher

The eggs hatch in about fourteen days.  The young birds will leave the nest, approximately, six weeks after the female produces her first clutch.

Arizona state bird - cactus wren
this Cactus Wren may nest in a Cholla Cactus near a Curve-billed Thrasher’s nest

For the next several weeks, Curve-billed Thrasher parents nurture the fledglings, still answering their cries for food but teaching them foraging to encourage their independence.

a bird that bounces around the yard
Curved billed Thrasher is a bird with personality

Unfortunately, this bird has lost a considerable part of its south Texas brushland habitat. And the expanding cities of Tucson and Phoenix are causing a rapid loss of habitat in Arizona.

Curve Billed Thrasher, Toxostoma curvirostre
Birds of Arizona, TX and Mexico

Although there has been little conservation work directly focused on the Curve-billed Thrasher; much work has been directed at protecting habitats in some areas where the species occurs.

Information on where Curve-billed Thrashers occur and in what numbers is vital to conserving the species. A project of Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, eBird is the world’s first comprehensive online bird monitoring program: http://www.audubon.org/bird/ebird/index.html

Mourning Dove eggs are hatching, dove eggs incubation period, feeding baby doves – Part 1

How long does it take for dove eggs to hatch?  The incubation period for dove eggs is 14-15 days.  Then another 2 weeks for the baby dove chicks to leave the nest.

The dove chicks, hatchlings, squabs pictured below are one day old, both eyes are closed.

baby dove chicks hatched eggs
baby dove squabs in nest, closed eyes

I’m a proud Auntie!  We have been very quiet so as – NOT to startle the mourning dove away from her nest.  Last time these mourning doves made their nest I was too involved and sadly scared them away leaving the eggs in the nest abandoned.  I felt horrible.

baby morning dove nest
newborn doves 1 day old squabs, Turtle Doves
mourning dove hatchlings turtle dove nest
mourning dove hatchlings, opened eyes

The one day dove hatchlings opened their eyes.  The female dove left very early this morning so I was able to snap a couple quick photos before the male dove comes to take the day shift. This bird family will get their privacy and no disturbances from us, so the squabs will be taken care of by mom and dad dove.

squabs in bird nest
baby mourning dove nest

Why do doves abandon their nest? Nest abandonment is very common with Mourning Doves.  If a dove feels any threat from predators whether human or animal, the dove may go elsewhere, abandoning both eggs and babies.

Below is a short video showing how to feed a baby mourning dove that was rescued.  I educated myself and am prepared just in case I have to feed or care for these hatchlings.

If you find an abandoned bird it is best to take it to a wildlife sanctuary. Baby birds can be hand-fed and raised until they can be released back to the wild.

The mourning dove’s nest in the photo is in our Arizona garden.

A Greater Roadrunner was in the garden – Roadrunner bird pictures

At my first glance,  I thought this roadrunner looked like a hawk. The face and the large talons were the most prominent feature I saw.  The long tail and large size told me it was surely a Greater Roadrunner.   We have a bird’s nest on the porch and I was concerned the roadrunner was after the dove eggs.

picture of a Greater Roadrunner

The Greater Roadrunner, classified as Geococcyx californianus, meaning “Californian Earth-cuckoo,” is a long-legged bird in the cuckoo family, Cuculidae. There are only 2 species in the roadrunner genus Geococcys, the Lesser Roadrunner and the Greater Roadrunner.  The roadrunner is also known as the chaparral cock, ground cuckoo, and snake killer.   Named for its habit of running along roads in front of cars before darting off into brush, the greater roadrunner is a chicken-like bird with brown, black and white feathers. It has a recognizable crest of black feathers on its head which can be raised or lowered at will. The bird has a long tail with a blue beak and legs. Greater roadrunners are two feet long and weigh about 10 ounces.

Greater Roadrunner in Arizona

The other birds moved out of the roadrunner’s way but stayed in the tree.  The birds were not frightened of the roadrunner just seemed to bid him respect.   Mr Roadrunner sort of hopped, flying around which made it hard to take a picture.  Contrary to popular belief, the roadrunner is not a flightless bird. It has useable wings to propel it onto perches and over obstacles, but otherwise the greater roadrunner keeps its feet on the ground.  How fast is a roadrunner?  When on ground the roadrunner has a top speed of nearly 20 miles per hour, making it the fastest running bird capable of flight. It uses this speed to run down its prey of insects, snakes and small mammals.

a large roadrunner

I have seen roadrunners cross roads and pass quickly in desert parks and they seemed small to medium size.  This up close roadrunner is triple the size I imagined. The pictures do not express his true height.

Majestic Greater Roadrunner

The greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) is a ground-dwelling bird native to the arid deserts of the southwestern United States and much of Mexico. It is slightly larger but otherwise similar to the lesser roadrunner, which resides farther south into Central America.

Greater roadrunners make rudimentary nests out of sticks low in bushes or cacti. Mating seasons depend upon weather conditions, but when a new pair is courting, the male will attempt to impress the female roadrunner by offering her food; if she accepts the male, the two will likely mate for life. Roadrunner broods contain 2-8 eggs that must be incubated for 20 days.

Greater Roadrunner

In the wild, greater roadrunners can live up to 8 years. The mated pair will maintain and defend their territory year round. Doing so means they must avoid predation by carnivores native to the desert environment including hawks, coyotes and raccoons.  Roadrunners frequently ambush and prey upon small songbirds at bird feeders, I didn’t realize this and I will have to make some changes in our garden.

Glad I could share this with you.

Mourning Dove Eggs – Mrs. Dove has made her nest – also called Turtle Doves

This lovely mourning dove has been building her nest in the same place for several years. The male dove carries twigs to the female dove who then weaves a flimsy nest of grass stems and twigs to lay her eggs. Congrats to the Mourning Doves, Turtle Doves, for their nest building teamwork!

Doves Eggs
Mourning Doves eggs

Turtle, Mourning Doves are not bothered by us humans. Commonly gutters, eaves and abandoned equipment are seen with Doves Nest. Last year, this graceful bird built a nest atop our treadmill on the back patio. Obviously we were not using it. No wonder we put on the pounds! That is a separate article… 🙂

doves nest
Mourning Doves Nest. This dove is happy to make her nest in our hanging mint plant.

Out of all the hanging plants in our garden the Mourning Dove picked this potted plant. I wasn’t sure how growing a mint plant in a hanging pot would do in the Arizona heat. Although the Mint Plant is  NOT drought tolerant, it is certainly heat tolerant and thriving in our desert garden. Partially shaded by the Chilean Mesquite Tree and extremely fragrant, this mint plant is making the best nesting area for our lovely Mourning Dove.

dove sitting on eggs
A Graceful Mourning Dove in her nest

It is common for a Mourning Dove to reuse their nest.  Our Mrs. Dove has reused this nest for several years. This is her second time in this doves nest over the past 2 months.  I’m going to be very careful to not bother this mommy dove. It is not an easy task to keep the dogs from scaring our precious dove.

Why do doves abandon their nest? Nest abandonment is very common with Mourning Doves.  If a dove feels any threat from predators whether human or animal, the dove may go elsewhere to nest, abandoning both eggs and nestlings.

How long does it take for dove eggs to hatch?  The dove eggs will be incubated for 14-15 days. It takes about the same time for the young dove chicks to leave the nest. Mourning Dove breeding season is April – July although some may breed as late as October.

mourning doves
mourning doves in love

TIDBITS:  Mourning Doves, commonly called Turtle Doves, are one of the most adaptable, widespread North American birds. It is also the leading gamebird for sport and meat. Doves are strong fliers and can reach speeds of 55 mph (88 km/h).