Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jekyl and Hyde



These cute little visitors may not be quite what we’ve been thinking.

For the last few days, we’ve been watching a pair of doves building their nest, very visible from our deck, about 8 feet off the ground, in an evergreen tree. It was a pitiful nest, sparse, so we thought this might be a young dove. Yesterday, DH said there was no dove was sitting -- strange -- but one single egg was perched precariously on the edge of the nest. DH gently pushed it back into the center of the nest. Minutes later, I returned from work and he mentioned the dove was not on the nest, so I took a look. As I came near the tree, I noticed a squirrel dropping down the trunk of that tree -- we’ve NEVER seen squirrels in that tree before - strange. Looking at the nest, it was empty. No dove, no egg.

I searched for a broken egg on the ground, directly under the nest -- no luck, but on the ground 10 feet from the trunk, well away from under the nest, was one egg, freshly broken, with only a dab of yolk in it. And just WHO do we think the perpetrator is?

7 comments:

Diannia said...

That mean squirrel that's who did it! I have a nesting dove too! She started a nest on a curved garden hose holder mounted to the house but decided there was too much activity and moved to a brand new hanging flower arrangement instead! Of course it's over our head. Her nest isn't very well made either and now I can't water my new plant so it's dying. Doves sure aren't very smart!

log cabin quilter said...

We had a dove's nest in a precarious spot also. After a walk I noticed a branch that had fallen from a tree and landed on top of a bush - about 9 or 10 feet above the front sidewalk. I was going to pull the dead branch down but couldn't quite reach it. Then I saw a dove fly up from it and later we saw a dove sitting on the nest constantly. Luckily, the nest didn't fall down during some severe storms - I was worried because the nest didn't seem very secure. The eggs hatched and we actually could see the baby birds in it - then one day they were all gone. I looked up doves on the internet and it said they are notorius for not building very good nests and not very high up, either.

Candace said...

I used to like squirrels, but haven't for the past few years. I'm always afraid they'll try to get in our attic or have rabies. I'm sorry about your birds, I didn't know that squirrels ate eggs. I knew they stole the food from birdfeeders, but not that. I'm sure you were looking forward to watching the babies growing up, and I'm sorry you didn't get to do that.

Anonymous said...

It makes no difference how old the doves are. They all build sparse nests. I know this because I have watched them since I was a little girl----and that's been a very very long time ago!!!!! My folks said they use 3 sticks and a feather and expect the eggs to stay in the nest. Don't be fooled by the doves mild and shy demeanor. I watched a dove just walk toward a blue jay under the bird feeded one day and the jay flew away. You could see that the jay did not want to get into any kind of a confrontation with the dove. After the doves left, the jay flew down from the tree and ate on the ground under the feeder.
On the other hand, I'm sure the squirrel was the fiend that raided the doves nest.

The Calico Quilter said...

We have had dove residents for years and they nest in the strangest places. The wreath on my front porch is a favorite location - of course, that means we don't use the front door for a couple of months in order not to bother them. They also nested in a hanging basket at my back sliding door. It contains silk flowers, and isn't very big for a family of four, but they all could squeeze in there. A pair started a nest there this year but after they got a few scares from people in the house walking up to the glass door unexpectedly, they decided on a less populated area. We have enjoyed watching the doves raise their young; they are very good parents, attentive and conscientious. Even after the young leave the nest they stay with the parents for a few weeks, and are still fed for a while; that's a strange sight because by this time they are nearly as big as the parents. I'm sure it keeps the adults hopping satisfying those ravenous appetites. Any dove nests I have seen have been pitiful ragged affairs, especially compared to the robin's nest that was installed on my front porch wreath one year. It was intertwined with the wreath and lined with mud and feathers. I had to cut it off the wreath because it was so firmly knotted to the grapevine.

As for squirrels, they are ruffians and beggers and the less said about them, the better! They devour my bird seed, eat up my crocus bulbs and dig up my annual beds for no good reason. The battle of the gray squirrels is fought by every gardener east of the Rockies. I still have a soft spot for chipmunks, though. They are probably as destructive as gray squirrels, but cuter.

mamaspark said...

I am sorry about your birdies but that's nature at it's finest. I like squirrels even though they do get the bird eggs. They are just being what they were created to be and trying to eek out an existence too. Don't be hating on the squirrels, = ) In the wild every animal must make it's own way.

meggie said...

Not having squirrels in our world, I am always fascinated to read of them. Pity about the dove's egg, but no doubt she could lay another in a better location.