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#28412 - 04/29/22 03:37 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
FLSH ETR Online   content
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Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1147
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
In this dove thread, we talked about feathers. Here's what I found this afternoon in my back yard. Pretty sure this is/was a dove. Have quite a few in the neighborhood. Also have hawks, and falcons, and them damn feral cats. I've seen falcons knock a bird out of the air, then work it over on the ground before flying off up into a tree with it. I believe this was the scenario.

Frank.
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#28413 - 04/30/22 04:49 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2259
Loc: Qc.
There seems to be a steep learning curve for young doves.

I didn't see this coming!

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#28414 - 04/30/22 02:15 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
Hal Online   content
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10165
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Hawks kill doves at my bird feeders regularly. I got to see one do it last year.
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#28415 - 05/01/22 07:00 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2768
Loc: WV
Well, the dove nest is still empty.

No, I didn't see it coming either. I'll tell you the last 2 days that she was in her nest, she'd take off and be absent for a while. I'm not sure how long she would be gone?

Before that the mommy dove was pretty much on that nest fulltime.

I can only think of 2 things that could have caused the chicks to die. Their food, and I really don't think that's what happened. The mother dove had already eaten it once. Sometimes chicken peeps will die if their starter food isn't ground fine enough for their system.

Otherwise it was the temperature.

At night the female dove would fluff up and have the chicks competely covered, heads and all. Sometimes you could see their tails sticking out.

The other morning when it was down to freezing and windy, the blanket flew away, and there they sit in the wind. Figure a combined weight of less than 1/4 of a pound, they didn't have much body heat to start with.

They say that once a bird's core temperature drops, there is just no way for them to warm up.

Above where I said that their feathers looked almost like fur, it's the way the feathers were growing. They were shaped more like a little tiny tube, compared to a full grown feather. You've got the main shaft of the feather, with the little fuzzy stuff growing out both sides of the shaft.

The feathers on their backs, the fuzzy part was all growing inward or toward it's body. I guess as the feather matures and gets bigger, that first little curl part of the feather makes them overlap. Like fish scales.

It's been fun watching. I'm not sure how a female dove's system works, but I'll guess that if she does lay eggs again, it'll be within the next 2 weeks or so. Otherwise I don't expect it back this summer. We'll see.

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#28416 - 05/06/22 08:32 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2768
Loc: WV
May 6, 2022. The dove nest is still empty. I've been checking the nest everyday, as far as I know there hasn't been a bird in it since the chicks died.

Above we were talking about "dove milk", and where it comes from and all. The bird food that I've been using it just says: Wild bird food, on the front of the bag.

Looking at the feed, I recognize the cracked corn, sunflower seeds. Reading the fine print on the bag, alos contains wheat, maybe peanuts? and millet. Millet is new to me, I've heard of it and all, but it's just not grown in this area. I guess those are the little round seeds?

I've been reading about millet, will post a link in a minute. It is grown and harvested here in the USA. I'm just not familiar with millet.

Here is one thing that I read about millet:

Americans might think of millet as a main ingredient in birdseed. But in a third of the world, from Africa to Asia to Eastern Europe, people eat millet as a staple part of their diet. It's one of the earliest cultivated grains and more than 6,000 varieties grow around the world. It's a primary ingredient in flatbreads, beer and other fermented beverages, and porridges. In the United States, many commercially produced gluten-free breads use millet flour, either solely or in conjunction with flour milled from other gluten-free grains. Though technically a seed, millet functions like a whole grain, and you can cook with it like you would other whole grains, such as rice or quinoa.

Link to the rest of the article. https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-millet-3376839

Another link: https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g4164

Talking about dove milk. I don't want anyone to get sick on their stomach, remember we're talking about animals, so it's no big deal.

You've all watched a dog get sick and barf. Throu-up, puke, toss it's cookies, etc. Doves are about the same.

A dog will stand there, stiff legged, head down and start to slober and drool, and then start to heave. Almost like having convulsions, on a short haired dog, it's easy to see what's going on.

After a heave or 2, the old dog will spit up a clump of wet, slimey and foamy glob of grass or whatever it was that made it "sick as a dog" in the first place.

Watching the female dove feeding her chicks, it's about the same. She will force the contents of her stomach into her mouth and the chicks will eat it out of her mouth. To understand how small the dove chicks were, both of them would feed at the same time. Both of the chicks would have their beaks inside the adults mouth.

I assume after the seeds soak in the juices of the adult's stomach for a while, that would soften them up and make it easier for the chicks to digest, and I guess that would be "dove milk".

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#28417 - 05/06/22 04:10 PM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2259
Loc: Qc.
Just like a wolf feeding her cubs.

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#28418 - 05/07/22 10:38 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2768
Loc: WV
I've never really thought about it before, but there are quite a few animals that feed their young the same way.

Not positive, but I'd guess that for an animal like a coon, once their kittens are weaned, they should be out looking for food with the sow coon.

I've been out before, you see a coon run across the road and there might be 5 or 6 little ones right on her tail.

A bird like a grouse or a turkey, once those chicks hatch, they'll trail the hen. They don't go back to their nest each night.

It'd be interesting to know how many weeks old, something like a wild turkey chick needed to be before it could fly. I mean to fly to roost. But for a while the chicks would a ground nesting bird.

I'm thinking. Years ago I flushed a bunch in the summer, they weren't very big and could fly. And run very good too.

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#28419 - 05/08/22 05:09 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
musher Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2259
Loc: Qc.
We had two grouse hang around the house yesterday. One in the back yard and another up the driveway. I did not hear any drumming. However, with the river flowing as it is, drumming would be drowned out.

Grouse chicks certainly fly up in trees at a young age. They also disappear under leaves once they are mobile.

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#28420 - 05/08/22 08:16 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2768
Loc: WV
I remember one time in recent years watching grouse chicks hide in the leaves. And that's been probably 15 years ago.

I was driving out this old 2-track and watched a female grouse and 3 or 4, maybe 5 chicks cross the road. I stopped where they crossed the road, the hen was out there 30 feet or so just walking around, I'm sure the chicks were between her and I, but I didn't see any. I watched for a minute and got out of the way.

Talking about feral cats, if a cat would have watched it just like I did, it would have stayed there and probably killed at least one of the chicks. And it's very likely that it would have stayed there and killed all of them.

A cat has a lot of patience and that's one thing that makes them such good hunters. Plus their eyes and ears. One little sound in the leaves and it would have pounced. It's not likely that a cat would have killed the adult grouse, not in the daylight with the ground bare and as open as it is in that area, she would have flown up in the trees. But the chicks are helpless when they can't fly and darned sure can't out run a cat.

It's the same way with baby rabbits, they are helpless.

The way our laws are set up, feral cats can be controlled by the landowner and/or his "agent".

Talking about our bird chicks, our turkeys should be nesting now. We've had a pile of rain here in the last 3 days or so. Cold rain too. One day folks had anywhere from 1.7 to 2.5 inches of rain. It rained here about all day yesterday, with the temperature in the low 50's, I'm sure we've had over 4 inches now. I had 44* at daylight this morning, we're up to 48* here at 9am.

Figure these little ground nesting birds, out in a pounding rain for 8 or 10 hours at a time, with the temperature in the 50's or less. That's going to be pretty tough for them to survive.

A guy told me last evening about the big river, it must be up 15 feet or so above normal. Where I live our water levels drop fast.

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#28425 - 05/19/22 08:15 AM Re: Mourning dove chicks. 2021 [Re: redsnow]
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2768
Loc: WV
It's been more than 2 weeks since I made my guess about a dove nesting in my nest. The nest is still empty.

I see doves everyday, but as far as I know the nothing has returned to the nest.

Above we were talking about their success rate. It's not the best for sure!

Very small test sample and all. In my window nest, doves have nested 4 times, twice last year and two time this year. So far.

They've layed a total of 8 eggs, 2 each nesting. Six of the 8 eggs hatched, 2 chicks died at a week old. Six, eight maybe 9 days old? 2 eggs were kicked out or rolled out of the nest before they hatched.

To the best of my knowledge, they have raised 4 chicks, that were up and flying. Two chicks last summer and 2 so far this year. We've still got a lot of summer left, maybe they will nest again?

Above we were talking about millet, the plant or seed. I've got a little test plot going now, it's just in a small pan, like a dog food bowl. Dirt is only 2 inches deep.

I'm working on another little project up on the mountain, so I've got a row of red clover, alfalfa and a row of millet, in the pot on the porch.

I just planted it 4 or 5 days ago, clover and alfalfa are looking good, not much from the millet yet. But if a man would have a 6-foot row in the back corner of the garden, and plant an ounce of bird seed and get 2 pounds of seed back later, that would be a pretty good deal.

I'm not sure how that works? I'm sure all grains are different, but if you'd take one grain of wheat, and it grows good, you'd get 30 or 40 or 50 grains when it matures.

I'm not up to date on grain harvests, but farmers out in the mid-west might harvest 2 or 300 bushel of corn per acre, folks around here are lucky to get 1/3 of that harvest.

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