Building a bird’s nest within a flowerpot of bird’s nest fern, above a giant epiphytic Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus), on an open air, skylight Christmas tree? (left top)
Yes, that was precisely what a young pair of trendy Peaceful Doves (Geopelia striata) was observed to be doing- building ‘a nest within a nest above a nest’.
Join me to read and visit Avian writer’s compact home garden which my endearing neighbour calls, ‘my jungle’ and enjoy a 6 part series of many heart warming images of Stripy and his mate, Silva (below) and their two chicks- Little Jo and Lucky Dicky (left bottom).
Share the joys, pains and losses, be challenged by the fury of Mother Nature, be a part of rescue and conservative efforts, witness the powerful resilience of Peaceful Doves (Geopelia striata) and perhaps, learn an adage or two and be inspired by the birds.
It all began two days before my birding trip abroad. If my calculation served to be correct, I would be back in time to see hatchings and would be able to follow through the breeding cycle. A 16-17day incubation period seemed to be in order as well planned by the breeding pair in my absence.
To undertake the responsibility of this nesting observation, would be my first for doves and also the first by Peaceful Doves using my home base as their breeding sanctuary, as in the past, several pairs of Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) had done repeatedly before.
I am a reluctant nesting bird observer. It is a time consuming, stressful responsibility an observer undertakes onto oneself. Besides, it carries a measure of risk of breeding birds abandoning their nesting sites when unduly disturbed and the presence of the observer unknowingly, is also often under surveillance by chick predators.
Unless I am able to make time to discreetly observe a complete nesting cycle skilfully, base on rarity of species, of writing material quality or of unusual behaviour and or for scientific documentation, I would prefer nesting birds to be left alone to carry out their primary role of propagating their species peacefully.
I am not a scientist that is expected to count and document every feather of birds or how many times they poo but, simply a passionate lover of birds with respect to the environment they thrive in, and with a keen observing eye for the unusual.
If my documentation and observations in writing and images are a pertinent source of scientific material value for thesis works by graduates or scientific authors, well and good a contribution in the name of science.
It is not me to be digiscoping nesting site images of birds as a hobby to chalk up an impressive bird nesting gallery, like stamp collecting or posting them onto forums to get the attention of photographers to ‘wow’ nor providing professional paint artists the opportunity to make impressions to titillate the art market
In fact, I would love to down play supply and demand of bird nesting images that are considered chic and cool to own and of commercial potential making ownership of such art works a bane and an embarrassment to own in the homes. For this, I can never bring myself to be posting active nesting sites nor prepare bird frames to display nesting birds.
As the doves have decided to choose my ‘doorstep’ to share their world with them and under all conditions of monitoring the breeding process seemed favourable, I decided to commit my time to the observation of nesting behaviours of chicks and parental care over the duration of their breeding periods.
My first documentation began on 8 August 2008, having witnessed Stripy mounting Silva on two consecutive days. Successful insemination took place most likely on 9th Aug (above).
I left with this assuring image that Stripy and Silva have both decided to settle for this nest within a bird’s nest fern in my jungle (right).
What happened whilst I was away for 18 days?
What did I see the minute I closed the gate behind me?
Do join me for Part 2 of the series, to witness some strategic digiscopic shots from my balcony roof garden.
AVIAN WRITER DAISY O’NEILL PENANG MALAYSIA
© NESTING SAGA OF PEACEFUL DOVES (Part 1 of 6)