Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mourning Dove

A few days ago, my Greenbrae friends, Dave and Linda, alerted me to this Mourning Dove (or Turtle Dove), sitting in its nest on top of a porch light. A couple of days ago a baby was hatched. When I rushed over, the mother was doing guard duty nearby. I'll keep an eye on the nest in the hope of seeing the offspring.
Meanwhile I got educated and learned:
that males and females work together to feed their new babies something called "crop milk" or "pigeon milk" for the first few days of their life. Rich in protein and fat, it resembles cottage cheese, is secreted by the adults' crop lining, and is regurgitated to the little ones. Weaning is fast, though—by the fourth day of life, the diet starts to segue to seeds, and by two weeks, the youngsters are nearly fledged.

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