Zebra Dove: Egg to Fledgling

Recently I’ve been busy sorting out my photographs and adding them into iNaturalist. I didn’t look deeply into it before, but now it’s one of my favourite sites. Highly recommended if you like to find out about all the animals and plants around you. Today, I’m writing about the Zebra Doves at home and the recent nest.

Zebra Dove courtship display on Christmas day 2021.

Leaving an assortment of seeds on our lawn, our garden is frequented by Zebra Doves. Usually, you can see a flock of 10-15 of them, the record has been around 25. The area is very small, so it is impressive as it’s more than I have recorded around big parks such as Sirikit. Although, at the Public Relations park there’s often a large population of them.

Their appearance is striking with the ‘zebra’ patterned chest, blue eye and orbital ring. 25th December 2021.

In the past month we have had a Zebra Dove nest in one of our hedges and I documented their journey from egg to flying birds. I’m familiar with the process as I have witnessed their nests before at my old house and documented their fledglings. Usually, the nests aren’t so robust. This time they used a concrete wall below the hedge.

Incubating the eggs. 15th February 2022.
Eggs were observed on the 20th of February 2022.

I hadn’t tuned into the routine of the mother to be able to photograph the eggs earlier, eventually I discovered she often left for food mid to late-morning. 4 days after the egg picture they had hatched.

Hatchlings observed on the 24th February 2022.
Growing fast. 1st March 2022.
With parent on the 3rd of March 2022.
Looking strong by the 6th of March 2022.

On the 8th I watched them being fed, they were definitely ready to leave, as they were standing up. I thought they’d fledge earlier but I think the ledge in the hedge was a comfortable place for them.

Food time. 8th March 2022.
Big and strong. 8th March 2022.
Family photo. 8th March 2022.

They fledged the day after the previous photos, on the 9th of March. I observed one of the fledglings alongside the parent in the tree above the nesting location. The mystery was what happened to the 2nd chick. It was nowhere to be found.

Taken in the morning, first time perched in the tree. 9th March 2022.
Together in the tree but missing a sibling. 9th March 2022.
Before I headed out for the day. 9th March 2022.

I checked back in the late afternoon and it was a similar scene, but this time both parents were present. It was the first time I saw them both alongside the chick. Sadly, I don’t know what happened to the 2nd chick.

In the evening with both parents. 9th March 2022.

The next day, the chick had been venturing and exploring further. I first found it as it was making a flight onto the neighbour’s roof! It seemed to be a brave flier.

On the roof. 10th March 2022.
It was watching the other Doves feeding below. 10th March 2022.

That ends the documentation from egg to flying, the missing fledgling is an example of difficulties in life. It is still a mystery how to just disappeared. It was sad thinking about what happened but you can’t change anything, you just have to accept it and move forwards.

All images © 2022 hamsambly

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