Tag Archives: Incubation

Sharing Responsibility

Mourning Dove 1

The male Mourning Dove stood next to the female dove, waiting to take over the incubation so that the female dove could take a chance to eat. He did that a few times a day. I decided to put some bird seeds close by for their feeding.

Mourning Dove 2

Mourning Dove 3

I have been calling these birds Grey Jay. One blogger Dormis Aeternitas did his research and sent me the information that these are  Mourning Doves. Thank you.                                                      The mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove family, Mourning Dove 4Columbidae. The bird is also known as the American mourning dove or the rain dove, and erroneously as the turtle dove, and was once known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove. It is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds.



Nature’s Timing

When I first came to Los Angeles from Seattle back in 1980, I was doing my counseling internship. My supervisor helped me find a job teaching preschool. I taught afternoon class and my partner taught morning class. We planned a lot of science projects for the little kids to do and learn. One of them was incubating chicks. We rented an incubating machine and bought twelve eggs.

The little kids watched the eggs, and had a designated time taking turns to rotate the eggs. It took twenty-eight days for the eggs to hatch.

When it was around the twenty-eighth day, we saw the chicks started to poke the egg shells from inside, a little bit at a time. By the time they poked a hole big enough to come out, they were ready to run around.

Within the days of chicks hatching, there were lots of “Ooohs” and “Aaahs” among the kids, even among the teachers and helpers. Yet, there was one last chick couldn’t quite come out of the shell. She poked a hole big enough to come out, but a little patch of her skin still attached to the shell. She couldn’t quite shake off the shell.

We were watching her struggle for hours. She rested a little bit when she was tired, and then struggled again.

My partner and I were talking about what to do. Should we help her to take off that piece of shell? I thought we shouldn’t meddle with it when she was not ready? My partner couldn’t stand watching the chick’s struggle, so she touched that shell a little, and a little, and eventually took that piece of shell off. We saw a tender spot on the chick after the shell came off.

Next day, when we went to school, we were sadden to find that the last chick didn’t make it. Her body was not mature enough to push off that last piece of shell. We shouldn’t have meddled with it.

Nature has its own timing!


Daily Prompt: Meddle

Mourning Dove’s Nest

In the year past, Mourning Doves built their nest in the pepper tree

Thinking it was hidden in the branches and leaves

Unseen and protected from animal predators and human

She laid her eggs then hopefully and patiently waited

The cunning squirrel didn’t have to climb tree from below

He found a way to sneak down from the wires above

Heartlessly stole the eggs to satisfy for one meal

“Don’t you know? It is lives and happiness you stole!”

Mama Dove was shocked and mourning her loss for days


They came back to my backyard after winter passed

It’s a whole year’s wait, again to play and mate

They grew wiser in choosing a place for the nest made

Between the eaves and window frame was the perfect place

Nest made and eggs paid at a cool corner where it’s safe

She was relaxed with precious eggs under the belly to incubate

I did my gardening right by the window where she stayed

She didn’t move a wing when some photos I had taken

I too hopefully and patiently wait to see her babies hatching

Three Eggs, Four Babies

In one of my Blogger Award acceptance response, I talked about my bird watching and bird feeding the last two years. I also talked about birds making nests in my front yard and backyard. Brigid P. Gallapher from watchingthedaisies.wordpress.com  asked me to post some pictures of the process from female bird laying eggs to eggs being hatched, growing, grown and gone.

Here are a few pictures during April 14 to May 12, 2016.

April 14, 2016, three eggs were laid. April 17, 2016, female robin was incubating the eggs.

May 1, 2016, four birds were hatched.  May 5, 2016, birds’ feathers were growing.

May 5, 2016, male robin watched near by. May 11, 2016 birds’ feathers were full grown.

May 12, 2016, one last feeding the grown birds. May 12, 2016, baby birds couldn’t fit into the tiny nest. One stretch, and every bird got pushed out of the nest. Woosh! They were gone!

The last feeding picture was taken behind the window. It was not as clear as the other pictures. I hope you share my joy of watching them!