My bird couple seems to be venting so I don't get laughed at by my kids

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Posted 5/15/2013 by wannaplay in NSBR Board


PeaNut 295,424
February 2007
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Posted: 5/15/2013 5:16:57 PM
Because it's so much better when total strangers on the internet laugh at you for being sad about dumb birds and mad about a stupid cat.

Early last month, a pair of mourning doves were attempting to make a nest on my front porch. We have huge winds here through the spring and one afternoon I came home to their 1/3 finished nest on the ground. I put it back up on top of the lattice where they were building, sure they wouldn't go near it. They were back working on it the next morning. Two days after that, DH came home to it knocked down again from wind. He secured a box to the top of the lattice and put the nest back in it. Again, sure they weren't going to go near it. They did. They finished their nest and have been taking turns sitting in it for the past several weeks.

I like my bird couple. I speak to them every night when I come home and every morning when I leave. We don't get up there to see if they have anything in the nest and they just watch us come and go throughout the week.

Yesterday, leaving for work, I noticed they weren't there. When I got home last night, still empty. This morning, I come out and there are two doves on the roof of my house (not sure it's my couple or not) and the big fat momma cat from down the road sitting in my mulberry tree. Watching them and checking me out. I chased her off. I swear, if she's scaring of my bird couple, I am gonna flip. I already hate her and this will just seal the deal on me trapping her and sending her to the shelter since Ms. Bitchiness Who Owns The Cat down the street can't keep it indoors.

Just wanted to vent a bit. I really like my bird couple. And it mostly has NOTHING to do with the fact the DH showed what a softie he really is by securing their home for them.


PeaNut 215,113
July 2005
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Posted: 5/15/2013 5:49:33 PM
Your story made me smile.I have a similar situation.
I have a bird nest built on the ledge over the window above my front door, they are making a horrible mess of my front porch, but I just don't have the heart to get rid of the nest until the babies are gone. I honestly hope it's soon, I have to warn people that come to the door to be prepared to be attacked.
My son offered to get rid of it, and my neighbor thinks I'm crazy for letting it there,but, it's their home and I can get rid of it when they are " empty nesters"


PeaNut 9,640
January 2001
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Posted: 5/15/2013 5:56:53 PM
I hope your birds are OK, and come back. One of the best parts of my day is watching a Cardinal couple and their fledglings in my backyard while I eat breakfast, so I know what it's like to care about the little guys. Fortunately my cat is an indoor cat, and can only sit at the window and dream about hunting the birds .

Kristen, lucky mom and proud retired Army wife!

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PeaNut 486,619
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Posted: 5/15/2013 5:57:35 PM
I'm sorry you're missing your bird couple. I, too, know just how that feels. Recently, a bird couple built a nest in one of the parking garage mirrors at my job. Every shift I worked, I'd greet them in the morning and say good night on my way home. When the babies hatched, I'd talk to them, too. On occasion, I'd stop and watch mama bird feed the babies and listen to them squawking. Not long before the babies were ready to leave the nest, someone from maintenance removed the mirror entirely. Where the nest went, I do not know. To say I was crushed is an understatement! Mama and papa bird were perched upon the door by the elevators looking for their babies. Call me crazy, but I could feel their sorrow and sadness.

I thought about writing into our administration to inquire about where the birds went and why their nest was removed but I held back. On my way in to work the next day, I noticed that someone hung a note that questioned and criticized the nest's removal. It stayed up for a few weeks and many, many people read it.

I'm happy to say, the birds built a nest one floor down and we have new babies! I don't get the feeling they'll be messed with this time.

I do hope your bird couple returns soon!

& the Velcro dog

PeaNut 133,429
February 2004
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Posted: 5/15/2013 6:07:29 PM
I get it!

Last year, we had a robin who wasn't too smart. She tried to build a nest on a not quite 1 inch board that runs along the inside of some decorative work on our patio. It runs the length of the side.

Anyway, that bird worked itself silly only to have the nest fall a few times.

So, dh gets out a couple of small boards and makes a shelf for her. The bird won't build on the shelf, but moves to a new location further down the board. The nest falls. Dh moves the board. Bird tries to build in a new location, not the shelf. The nest falls. Dh moves the shelf.

I don't remember how long this nonsense went on. But, the bird finally moved on and dh forgot about the shelf.

This year, a smarter robin took advantage of the shelf and built her nest. It's just outside our bedroom window.

We also have a mourning dove that built a nest in one of our many pines. I haven't checked on her, as she built barely 3 feet off the ground. I want to believe the babies are growing nicely and will leave the nest soon. (There are a few cats in our neighborhood, too.)

I love watching the baby birds as they grow!

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PeaNut 226,467
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Posted: 5/15/2013 6:12:41 PM
I don't think this is something to be laughed at. You and your husband are an example to your kids on how to treat creatures in this world. My parents were like you and your dh, and I can't tell you how many times I've stopped to help a turtle across the road before some idiot drives over the shell to hear it POP. I've taken fallen birds to the shelter, and even got into the cold water behind my house when an endangered Osprey caught a fish too big and was drowning because he wouldn't or couldn't let it go. Me yelling at him did make him leave.

My mom has mourning doves that build nests on the eave of her house. She keeps cats and snakes away and helps them all she can. One year she even rescheduled maintenance on the windows beside the nest so not to scare off the parents.

As for the Cardinals in the parking garage, maybe somebody complained about bird dropping on their car. At least the note shows that people didn't like the fact that the nest was removed, so maybe if somebody did report it, that they just moved to a different spot.

Doxie Pea Mom

PeaNut 52,841
October 2002
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Posted: 5/15/2013 6:14:27 PM
I'm sorry you are missing your bird couple. I bet the birds on the roof are your couple. They are waiting to get back in their nest. They will come back and have more and more babies in the same spot for years. Eventually, you will probably be doing everything you can to get them to move somewhere else because of the mess. LOL

At my old house, our doves had babies down low enough where the cat that was always let outside to roam killed them all. I was PISSED!! I have a photo of the mama dove putting her wing over her babies protecting them from me. Little did she know, I had no intentions of hurting them but the cat sure did. Just one more reason why I hate it when people let their cats roam the neighborhood.

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PeaNut 53,649
October 2002
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Posted: 5/15/2013 6:25:09 PM
You can call the cops on the nest removers:

Hands off that nest!


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PeaNut 29,331
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Posted: 5/15/2013 8:47:28 PM

Your story made me smile.I have a similar situation.
I have a bird nest built on the ledge over the window above my front door, they are making a horrible mess of my front porch, but I just don't have the heart to get rid of the nest until the babies are gone. I honestly hope it's soon, I have to warn people that come to the door to be prepared to be attacked.
My son offered to get rid of it, and my neighbor thinks I'm crazy for letting it there,but, it's their home and I can get rid of it when they are " empty nesters"

That's my situation. This year I finally managed to keep the doves, sparrows and assorted other nesters off my side porch. I have tried before and they always get their nests built and eggs laid before I see they are they. I just can't bring myself to take them down if they have eggs in them.

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PeaNut 295,424
February 2007
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Posted: 5/15/2013 10:15:37 PM
Aw. Thanks for understanding guys. The nest was empty again this evening. No babies in it nor egg evidence (my son climbed the mulberry and peered over the nest.). Perhaps that's why they left. Because I really don't want to think that dang cat got into their nest.

Thanks again for getting it. I wouldn't have chosen to have them live on my front porch, but felt kinda honored that they did. My house is a constant hum of activity with grown kids and their kids coming and going. They seemed quite content to watch all of us and seemed to know we were happy to have them hanging out. I'm going to miss them if they don't come back.
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PeaNut 45,072
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Posted: 5/16/2013 5:08:27 AM
I'm so glad I'm in good company. Currently I'm not watering a certain tree in my yard with the spinkler because momma bird built her nest about 7 feet up. The sprinkler would hit her nest and the babies so I've been hand watering. She peers over that nest to watch me and so far we are on good terms.


PeaNut 561,690
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Posted: 5/16/2013 5:20:20 AM
What a great thread. "Nature , red in tooth & claw" and some success stories too.

I am in Jo'burg, S.A. where winter is just starting to bite and as the natural food gets scarce various fruit-eaters resume their winter routine of coming right up to the patio doors to be fed, some of them by hand. If food does not appear just before sunrise, they fly up to the roof, look down on us through the skylight and knock!

Hope your little doves are not far away- no laughter from me and for that pesky cat.


PeaNut 539,967
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Posted: 5/16/2013 8:34:52 AM
If they are doves then they would be happy with some sticks on the ground Doves are the the worst nest builders. I have a single white dove (not through choice, she was wet and shivering at my gate one day 5 years ago) and she lays eggs regularly but never in the box or area with shredded paper. How these birds are not extinct beyond me

We gave her a small shallow dish with grit in it and she just tipped it over and has made that her bed. She now has a heavy grit bowl that she cannot tip. She has sometimes laid in her sleeping bowl and I have watched her push the egg out and climb into her tiny bed. I love her dearly and the coo coo cooing is very sweet but if she is angry she can make a very ragey sound! She is such a nice girl but her poops are huge - big brazil nut size, so when she is out for her daily fly I sit with her and a tissue until she poops on it then she can go stretch her wings.

It might be that the female has laid her eggs, doves are not nest builders, eh I could have said all that much more succinctly but I love my dove.

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PeaNut 257,022
April 2006
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Posted: 5/16/2013 8:48:20 AM
No laugher from me. I am sitting here now, worried about a couple of birds that are building a nest in a 4 foot high Hibisus Tree on our patio. We have chairs on either side of that plant that we like to sit in and a matching love seat facing it about 5 feet in front of it. Our going in and out of the door of the screened porch to take the dogs in and out does not seem to bother them, so that is good. The tree is backed by a wall of the house and is underneath an overhang, so it has some protection. I just hope that we don't disturb them too much and that babies don't fall out and one of the dogs hurt one before we know it is out. The backyard has a privacy fence, so hopefully we won't have to worry about a cat getting them. I love birds. Hope yours are ok.

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PeaNut 18,741
July 2001
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Posted: 5/16/2013 9:10:46 AM
Totally get this! We have two big holly trees that are on each corner of our front porch. Some mockingbirds starting building their nests in there a few years ago. In the last few days, we've been watching them build their nest, as they come and sit on the porch railing with the nest building materials and check out the area before moving into the tree.

We also believe there's a robin's nest in the other tree. And a cardinal pair is building some where near by because in the late afternoon/early evening they also use the porch railing as a zone of checking out the area before proceeding.

In our case the isn't a cat, though we have one. What happens here is when the baby birds are ready to go and fall out of their next, one of dogs is likely to find it before the baby is able to fall off. There's really no way to deal with without patrolling the area for whatever period of time it takes to keep it from happening, and only letting the dogs out when I find that the "coast is clear." I would be willing to do this but the other family members just won't remember.

ETA: I purposely make sure to leave horse hair around at this time of year (clipping time for shows) and I've seen them use it in their nests. They also use the loose hay and straw bits that are around.



PeaNut 295,424
February 2007
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Posted: 5/16/2013 9:24:39 AM
The bird stories have made me smile this morning. Still no bird couple out there. And these doves are messy nesters, too. I swear they just threw sticks in his box and called it good for 6 weeks. We were so shocked that they accepted our help twice.

I love reading all the stories. You ladies have made my morning brighter. Thank you.

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PeaNut 475,028
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Posted: 5/16/2013 9:29:50 AM
Lol at this thread. Glad to know I'm not the only soft touch when it comes to birds. -- A few years ago I had a row of hanging plants along the edge of my front porch, about four or five of them. Birds claimed one for a nest so I let that plant die rather than disturb them by watering. It looked pretty funny to see four healthy plants and one dead one but I didn't want the birds to leave. They ended up staying and hatching a couple of eggs. And we didn't get dive-bombed too much, only at the beginning. I think they grew to know us and figured out we were friendly.

I used to work at the riding stables in DC and one year we had some bird build a nest in a bush right by the path that went from the office/parking lot area to the stables. That bird would dive bomb everyone who passed by. The kids started wearing their riding helmets as they walked by the bush to protect themselves.


PeaNut 441,182
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Posted: 5/16/2013 6:51:00 PM
We have a neighborhood pair of mourning doves. They nested in various places in my house for probably 5 years, then I thought they were gone. They had just moved to one of the neighbor's house. I still see them around. I haven't figured out where they're nesting this year.

Here's some things I've learned while watching the mourning doves. They have up to 4 clutches (# of matings per year) and one or two eggs per clutch. Once they hatch, they're out of the nest within 3 weeks (ours were usually out within 2 weeks). They grow extremely fast. So if it's been a couple of weeks since you saw them in the nest, that doesn't necessarily mean that the cat got to them. They are incredibly protective over the nest and attacked several people when they decided to nest in a wreath on the front door. Our birdies would have their first clutch very early in the spring (when it was still really cold outside). They've probably already had a second clutch by now.

So keep watching, cross your fingers, and I bet your birds will be back at the nest soon. (They aren't too bright about finding safe nesting spots, are they?!)


PeaNut 263,868
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Posted: 5/16/2013 7:32:50 PM
I understand how you feel. My parents have had barn swallows building nests all around their house for years now. They hate the mess, but love having them there. We know nothing about the birds, but my mom likes to think that they return generation after generation to raise their babies. The other morning she called me in a near panic. She had walked out on the back porch, just sensed something wasn't right, and looked up to see a black snake at the top of her porch with its head in a nest! Thankfully, my dad was at home and was able to remove the snake. When I was on the phone with her, the mama bird came back and she was able to see that at least 2 of the babies were alive and popped their heads over the edge of the nest. I don't think she realized how attached she was to the little things until she saw that snake getting "her" babies!

Michelle Rae

PeaNut 11,947
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Posted: 5/16/2013 10:27:10 PM
I understand. We had a mama build her nest in a Walmart bag sitting on a box on our front porch. She laid 4 eggs. A few days later she pushed two eggs out of the nest. They didn't break but apparently she knew they weren't viable.

Two babies were born. Ugly little things but we were so excited. Best part was the nest is eye level so we could see right in the nest.

One died a few days later and she kicked it out if the nest. For a week we kept our eye on the only baby. How amazing it was to watch it grow so quickly! Within a couple weeks this hideous little creature grew wings and I'm not kidding when I say it seemed to grow right in front of our eyes! One day it was this featherless creature and the next thing knew I heard a thud on the porch. I looked out and there was a tiny bird fluttering in the porch. Looked like a full grown bird with all its feathers but a little baby size. Little did we know that was the last we'd ever see it.

A week before the mother only came back to the nest to Feed. She had a friend helping her bring back good to feed the baby! But she didn't sleep in the nest any more. It seemed As if over night the baby had grown so much there wasn't room for both of them! Lol

I don't know if it is common the baby wouldn't go back to the nest once it could fly. I hope so. I really don't want to think something bad could have happened.

I wish we could have seen the cute baby bird longer!!!

I'm glad my little one didn't grow up that fast although sometimes it seems like it!

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