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Can mourning doves move their eggs?

Can mourning doves move their eggs?

Have you ever noticed a bird’s nest with eggs in your compound then discovered the eggs are missing after a few days? Well, they obviously haven’t hatched in just a few days. If the birds didn’t move the eggs, then who did, and why are they missing. Well, don’t overthink this. I have the answers for you.

Mourning birds are not in the category of earth laying birds. They are aerial nest laying birds. Hence, they can’t move their eggs just like other aerial nesting birds; therefore, if you don’t find eggs in the nest, there are high-risk chances that the predators will attack.

For some miracle, some birds can move their eggs. However, this is only for earth laying birds such as ducks. They could carry their eggs by pushing them with their legs significantly if they had fallen off their nests. It makes sense that only earth laying birds can move their eggs, after all, eggs are fragile and no bird would risk moving theirs from a high ground

Do mourning doves move their eggs?

Mourning doves lack the ability to move their eggs. They make their nests high on trees or terraces of a house. For this reason, moving their eggs for any reason is impossible. Only predators can remove the eggs. In case the mourning doves feel threatened, they move to leave their eggs behind, which makes it easy for predators to attack.

Why do mourning doves’ eggs go missing? Predators?

For animals, it’s survival for the fittest in that they all face dangers and have to find a way to fit in the ecosystem. Like any other bird, mourning doves have predators that look forward to attacking and pounce on them and their eggs or young ones when unaware.

Some of these predators include snakes, big birds like the crow, and home pets such as cats. Either of the above might attack the nest, moving the eggs or simply consume them when the mourning doves are away during the day in search for food and water. You could also make feeders for doves, so they don’t have to go far from the nest.

When you spot a mourning bird in a nest and have some eggs in its nest, you should keep your pet indoors and the neighbor’s away from the nest. Not forgetting that the mourning dove is one of the rarest species of doves, they also face the danger of human pouching.

However, the government has come in handy for their rescue and has made it illegal to pouch the bird.

How do mourning doves avoid predators?

Animals live by the simple rule of survival for the fittest. Hence each animal has to find a means of its own to survive, or else they get hunted down and become probably another animal’s meal. Mourning doves have not been left behind and have several tactics for their survival.

Some of its survival methods include: Firstly, they migrate or fly during the day and in big flocks, which helps keep them safe from other more giant birds that can attack them. Secondly, they lay eggs or nests many times in a year.

It is estimated they nest around six times a year, and each time they nest, the females lay two eggs where both parents help each other to nest.

Do mourning doves leave the nest unattended?

It’s one of the most challenging and unthought-of things a parent or both parents can do. One day they are waking up and leaving their home with their babies uncared. It’s one of the rarest things to occur, but situations force occurrences and both parents mourning doves can leave the nest with the eggs unattended.

Causes such as attacks from parasites can make mourning doves fly away. Pest insects such as pigeon fly, feather lice and also blood-sucking mites make the mourning doves at their nest uneasy and cause them to fly away, abandoning both the nest and the eggs.

Another reason why mourning doves abandon their nest and their eggs is a disturbance in the surrounding, maybe hearing sounds from pets such as dogs backing or even cats. Noises from children also playing close to the nest can chase these birds away.

It’s A tricky situation for these birds, but since they can’t carry their eggs, they get forced to abandon their nest and also their eggs.

What to do if you find an abandoned mourning dove nest with eggs or with a squab?

Hardly do both parent birds leave their nest during the brooding period unless they are a way to go feed whereby they do not take long. Mostly they take about an hour away; then, they return to care for their eggs and their squabs.

In case you find an abandoned nest mostly with squabs, firstly, always give yourself ample time before concluding that the parents have left the nest and the squabs because they could be away feeding.

After observing for some time and the parents aren’t coming, you can move them to a heated box to learn to feed by themselves. They should be kept in the wild box because they can get chilled and die when they are left out for so long.

It would be best always to be cautious when you find an abandoned nest, probably with some eggs. You should contact the wildlife conservers before deciding to throw away the nest or destroying it. You can also get them when you can’t manage to care for squabs, and you have come across some abandoned ones.

However, the mourning dove is always ready to protect its nest and its squabs.   

Do Mourning doves take care of their hatchlings and eggs? 

Mourning doves have great co-parenting skills. They incubate their eggs continually with the male and female taking in turns. Males mostly incubate the eggs from mid-morning to mid-afternoon in their nests. The females mostly incubate the eggs in the evening, at night, and early morning. If you do not watch them change, you may think the same bird is in the nest the entire time.

The male and female work together to feed their newly hatched babies. The adults secrete a crop lining that resembles cheese which they use to feed the babies. This is also called pigeon milk or crop milk which is rich in protein and fat. 

Unlike other birds that place food into the open mouth of the hatchlings, the mourning doves feed differently. The parents of the hatchlings open their beaks and the babies consume food directly for the parent’s crop. They feed this way to get both crop milk and seed. The babies’ diet changes to segue seeds by day four and they become fully-fledged by two weeks. They mostly use the same nest for five sets of eggs in a single season. This is usually a minimum of two broods raised each season.

Nest abandonment is, however,  common with mourning doves. They will mostly leave their nest when predators threaten them. These birds may abandon both eggs and nestlings.