Mourning Doves

(click any picture to view full size in reduced resolution)

(or click here to view full size pictures in high resolution)

(or click here for smaller index pictures)  (or click here for both)

These mourning doves nested in a holly tree
just outside a front door in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The pictures are in order from April 7 to April 25, 2008.

Mama has been incubating two eggs for several days.

The first baby appears April 10.

The baby's eyes are closed at first.

Two young babies are completely hidden under mama.

One young baby is just visible under mama.

Mama sits with two young babies.

The second baby becomes more aware.

Mama's chest is wet after two days of rain.

The feathers take a whole day to dry.

The babies keep growing.

The youngsters start to show personality.

The family fills the whole nest.

Mama and kids pose for a portrait.

Kids take up more of the picture.

Mama and kids still keep close together.

The kids get time in the nest without mama.

The kids rule the roost for a few days.

The kids don't know yet that the nest is temporary.

Mama still returns to the nest.

The kids practice looking big.

You can tell this is papa because he's on a "guy" wire.

Papa is elusive but always close.

It's springtime in a red maple tree.

The kids pose for one more formal portrait.

Now the kids fill the nest without mama.

The kids check out the camera below.

The kids are still a little scrawny under their feathers.

Papa poses with mama and kids. Eight hours later they all leave.