“This is the third update on the nesting Peaceful (Zebra) Doves (Geopelia striata), the current observation period = 20-25/02/2012.
“We continued to watches these doves in our garden, frequently throughout the day. Both adult and juvenile birds have become very comfortable with us and allow watching from below without any signs of fear. We are allowed to watch feeding comfortably. Photography is tough from below as impaired by lots of leaves/branches.
“Disclosure: Only 6 visits have been made to the roof to photograph the birds since eggs laid (past 25 days). All have been made when parents are out of the nest and each lasted less than 60 seconds. Images were taken from above.
“The chicks in nest are shown at Day 7 (above left), 9 (above right) and 11 (below left). One chick is older than the other and days are calculated for the younger one.
“Parent breaks from nest have increased in frequency and duration this past week. We found many occasions in a day when the chicks would be left alone for 15-25 minutes while parents forage in our garden. This may be because the chicks are older (more able) as well as nutritional needs have increased, so parents have to forage more often. This behaviour may also be to encourage young to leave the nest and we are sure that fledgling is imminent.
“Parent change overs have now been definitely observed. Occasionally both parents present – one in nest feeding and the other 0.5 to 0.9 meters away (on the roof) watching intently (above right).
“The nest continues to get more loaded with droppings, with minimal waste on our patio floor below. There is no obvious strong smell from the droppings and, as my wife says, it is “clean dung”. Perhaps it may serve a function to ward of irritants, like ants (we have numerous black ants in the garden and on the roof but none near the nest).
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Datin Dr Lim Swee-Im
Canning Garden Home, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia