Baby Mourning Doves

I hear the cooing of mourning doves almost every morning at my place in Jamaica Plain. The birds, often in a pair, can be found within a hundred feet of the house. That pair has had babies! Yesterday, we saw the two young mourning doves in a Norway maple.

Fledgling mourning doves on a branch

We only saw one of the parents with the babies. But, that parent took off for a while. The babies stood stock still, blending into the maple branch. Note the blue eye shadow worn by each bird.

Mourning dove blinking

The parent returned to chase away a bluejay that had landed in the tree. Bluejays will attack and kill fledgling mourning doves. The bluejay was successfully scared away.

The babies were able to jump and flap their wings to get from one branch to the next.

Baby mourning dove

With the bluejay gone, the babies probably breathed a sigh of relief, although they had their suspicions about the human pair eyeing them. A good twenty minutes later, the parent returned. Note the cleaner coat and red legs of the parent. There was a lot of wing-flapping and then the parent started to feed each baby in turn.

Mourning dove feeding its babies

Mourning dove feeding its babies

The parent noticed us watching and looked at us disapprovingly.

Mourning doves on alert

Then she encouraged her young to move on to a branch further away to continue the feeding.

Parent and young mourning dove

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