Hatching another family

I was delighted this morning to find that our resident Collared Doves have been busy raising another brood of chicks outside my window.  They nest in a small box that has been fixed to the arm of the satellite dish, which seems to be a good position for them – they’ve used it to raise their chicks several times since I’ve lived here.  I had had my suspicions about the existence of some babies for some time, but only today got round to actually looking properly.  Two little chicks!

I was prompted to take a closer look while I was out in the garden feeding the fish, and heard the parent bird take to flight and leave the nest.  I then took the opportunity to look out of my bedroom window and peer into the nest, without fear of frightening the parent and disturbing the chicks.  I would have taken some pictures, but unfortunately the view isn’t particularly easy, and the angle of the window would have generated a lot of reflections.

I have to say, I am somewhat surprised at the frequency of these broods.  I had expected one a year, in time for spring, but these birds seem to be at it all year round.  They seem to be averaging about 3 clutches a year, producing 2 chicks each time.  Anyway, it’s so nice to have them, it’s good to know that we are providing a good nesting site for this generation of birds.

The starlings haven’t been quite so blessed in our garden, unfortunately.  I’ve run out of fat balls and haven’t got round to buying any more, so our bird table is somewhat empty at present.  I shall have to get my act together at some point and get some more food out there for the birds – fat balls, peanuts, meal worms, generic bird seed, maybe even a suet block (the starlings really liked the last one of those I put out).

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