Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What do you call a baby dove?

I don't have a green thumb. Really. I once managed to kill a jade plant. So when my mother gave me an herb basket at Easter, I felt guilty in advance for killing the basil and banana peppers. But when a mama bird made a nest in the basket, I shed the shame and cooed over her babies like a doting auntie. They're so ugly, but their raw-skinned, hollow-boned, big-eyed helplessness makes my heart overflow with a desire to nurture them. Of course, I can't touch them, and I don't want to upset their mother, so I took these pictures while standing on a chair in the dining room (thank you, zoom lens). But I've been feeding their mother and listening for trouble on the balcony. I'm ready to chase off any nasty bluejays that dare to mess with my mama bird and her babies!

Last week I kept talking about my dovelings and my dovelets. It all sounded too much like duckling and cutlet. Ducking cutlet?! Noooooo! So I looked up the proper term. A baby dove is called a squab! The word is about as ugly as they are, so it fits. Behold my precious squabs!

To see how they've grown in just a week, do the clicky thing.

April 30: I realize there is a dove in my herb basket.
May 3: BABIES!!! DOVELETS!!! DOVELINGS!!! I fall in love with their prickly fuzziness.
May 4: The basil is dead. Long live the basil.
May 9: My squabs are pubert-doves! How much longer will they be in the nest? I want to see flying lessons.
They grow up so fast. Pretty soon they'll be flying around alone at night and bringing cardinals with dubious intentions back to the nest. *sigh*


  1. My favorite blog ever!

    1. Thank you! Yesterday I stepped on the balcony, and the nest was empty. A moment later, there was a flurry from below. One of the babies had been sitting on a chair, and she took off and flew away. And the chair was covered in bird crap. :-/ Yep, it's time the babies grew up!

  2. Cool blog man.

    I found a baby dove yesterday under a tree. She's younger than the ones in your second photo. I read this, and tomorrow I'm going to nail a big clear plastic bowl to the tree, put some uhhh idk like dry material(from in the house(without bugs)) in it and nail it to the tree with the doves nest(it is too high up to put the dove back). Wish me luck. [btw: you can touch them and parents will still care for them(they can't smell good.)]

    Oh... BTW, obviously I will put the baby dove in the tree and see if the parents will care for it. I will put it out in the morning and watch it for an hour or two and if the parents don't come around I'll call an expert(I already have several contacts.) Wish me luck.

    I'm Blake W on youtube, or blakesmyname.

  3. Oh, good luck! I hope it goes well. Poor little thing. It's lucky you're trying to help reunite it with its mother.

  4. My wife and I have had 16 different pair of dove squab's nest in a hanging basket on our patio the last 3 or 4 years. The parents get so used to us being nearby, we can walk up to the basket within inches,one pair even allowed us to pet them, wild doves!Amazing. We have cherished watching all those dove parents prepare for their babies to hatch,raise them to leave the nest, teach them to fly, and patiently wait on the ground to ward off predators as the babies got enough nerve to leave the nest.Sadly, today we had a tragedy. A hawk swooped onto our patio, killed the mother, and took her and the babies.We are devastated. After 3 or 4 years and countless hours of joy these beautiful creatures have brought us,we now fear they will never return.

    1. Oh no, that's terrible! I hope they come back.


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