Now 17 days old. The mourning dove babies, also called turtle doves, are out of the nest and on their own. You have journeyed with me and the mourning doves, Jack and Jill, from the egg until today. Since the day the doves hatched, one was bigger and more alert. This wide eyed dove is named Jack. He is a bold, tenacious male mourning dove that was out of the nest in only 11 days, see the photo below.
Male mourning doves are bigger than the females. Jack took his first practice flight to settle on the Mandevilla Trellis.
Jill the female baby dove was smaller and took another 3 days to become strong enough to fly from the nest. She would perch and at times peek over the nest to watch the activity in the Arizona garden below.
Mom and Dad mourning doves were watchful and on guard in the garden. Dad did the day shift for the feedings of his baby girl. Most of the time this little chick was left alone in the nest. Mom would arrive for the evening to stay in the nest and keep Jill safe through the night.
Males are bigger than females but their color is very similar. To tell the difference between male and female mourning doves – look at the father in the photo above. Males have a bluish-grey crown; along with a rose color on the breast. Male mourning doves can have an iridescent patch on the neck area also. Females have a grayish brown crown and a brownish tan breast area.
Jill was sitting on the fence by herself and daddy flew over to greet her with a kiss. This little mourning dove was having a harder time with flying and was so happy to have her dad nearby.
Jill is sharing thistle seed with a Gambel’s Quail. This 17 day old female mourning dove had a harder time getting out of the nest but she is assertive and makes friends easily!
Jack in the photo above is 17 days old and a king around the neighborhood. We live in the middle of the southern Arizona desert and I wanted to make sure these young mourning doves had plenty of seed to continually grow strong; therefore I put feeders and seed all over our property! Jack and Jill share visits with us from sunrise to sunset.
At night the mourning doves find a safe place to roost like a mesquite tree or rooftop and go to sleep.
Mom and dad (who is the one standing tall), are in the photo above. This is a perfect picture to see the bluish color on the adult male mourning dove’s head.
I have observed mourning doves everyday for almost 2 months; the more I learn, it is clear that these not-so common mourning doves have their own unique personalities and a true caring for one another.