Spotted Turtledoves nesting

Spotted Turtledove

The Spotted Turtledove is an introduced bird species in Australia. They are very common in many cities and towns in much of Australia. We usually have a few resident in our garden and near the house. On many occasions they have made nests and raised little ones.

Two weeks ago we had a near disaster in our garden. We had a very large 15 metre gum tree come down in our driveway in a violent storm. You can see pictures of some of it on my writing site here.

A few days after the storm I noticed a Spotted Turtledove gathering small sticks on the ground just outside my office. It was carrying the sticks into the thickest part of the canopy of the fallen tree. Little did it know that I was about to cut up that part of the tree the next day. Our movement nearby and the noise of the chain saw just metres away obviously frightened it away.

Two days later my wife saw the bird carrying sticks to another tree nearby. This time it had chosen a tree which was not on my demolition plans. The next day it had changed its mind and was building a nest in a thick bush on the other side of the house, a site they had used successfully in previous breeding attempts. I will keep an eye on it.


14 Responses to “Spotted Turtledoves nesting”

  1. Joan Rafferty says:

    We live in the city. We have turtle doves nesting in a hanging basket within a meter of our back door. The eggs have hatched and two big strong chicks are almost ready to fly the coop. We are a noisey bunch – very small backgarden and my husband was drilling and hammering on the verandah where the hanging basket is – did not bother them. We are very proud grandparents.

  2. Trevor says:

    Thank for visiting my site and for leaving your comments Joan. Turtle doves can be quite friendly and confiding birds and I love hearing their soft, soothing calls in the garden.

    How did the chicks get on?

  3. Hi, I found a chick on our drive way, must have fallen from its nest. I rescued and took pity on it as it was almost covered with ants. Managed to dust off all the ants and brought it inside for my 11 yr old daughter to see. I thought it may not last over night. Feed it some pureed porridge through an old spice bottle and later on attached a babt feeding teat but had to make a bigger hole on the teat enough to fit the tip of its beak. The youtube video attached here… taken a week and a half after we found him. Now he is able to fly around but my daughter finds it heart breaking to let it out free. We have a little middle screen-covered garden in the house and that’s where it lives now. It’s been named Chip-Chip, because of the sound it makes when asking for a feed. He likes company. There’s a window looking out to his little garden. He always try fly to it when he sees anyone sitting at the computer in that room. So we open the window when we are in that room and he can’t wait to fly in. He responds well when you tap your finger nails together to call him to fly up to you. Will try make a newer video of him now all covered with feathers.

  4. And by the way… the chick turned out to be a Spotted Turtle Dove.

  5. Trevor says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Ferolyn.

  6. Vicky says:

    Hello…right now i’m taking care of a lil spotted Tdove as well..the parents come once every 2-3 hours to feed it..I just keep him warm in my room and take him out for them to feed..they seem ok with the arrangement..I’m keeping him indoors simply because there is a nest of crows nearby and they constantly harass the parent doves. he seems to know when to run and when to hide. But the parents dont see me as a threat and hang around and feed the chick…when they fly of i pick him up and take him indoors..they now have a habit of sitting on the roof and calling out when they arrive…so i can take him out to feed..Brilliant bad that around here people use them for target practice..the chick always has a crop full of food and because the parents feed him well he wadles rather than walks..its amazingly cute to see a topheavy chick trying to chase a parent for more food.

  7. Jeannie Jansen says:

    Hi Trevor, I live in VA and have many turtle doves in my yard. I want to put out an old hanging flower basket in hopes of getting them to nest in it. A friend did this and has several pairs every year. Where should it be placed to attract these birds. It seems as though like hummingbirds they will come back year after year once they are happy with the location.

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Jeannie,

      In my experience turtle doves tend to stay in one location, especially as you say, if they like the spot. I think it might be an idea to locate the hanging basket where they can escape any danger (eg hawks). Near a thick bush or tree if they are available would be ideal, or even a covered area such as a pergola or veranda. It can be fairly close to your house because they don’t seem too fussed about humans moving around nearby. Once they nest, however, they can get rather nervous when on the nest so it’s best to stay a few metres away during nesting.

      • Jeannie Jansen says:

        Hi Trevor, I have not attracted any turtle doves yet but both baskets have had families with babies. My question is should I remove the old next once the family has left or will another family want to use the same nest.

  8. Kate says:

    Hi i live in south Australia and have many spotted turtle doves in my yard. They are very annoying and cause alot of problems for us especially my dog. I love birds have a large native garden specifically planted to encourage native birds. I dont leave food or seed out yet i cannot keep the doves away. I dont want to be cruel or inhumane but desperately want these birds out of my yard . Any ideas thanks.

  9. Jodie G says:

    We have a new Spotted TDove nest on top of an electrical box, near our water tank. We have never had a nest in any yard before that we’ve seen. We have checked and there is one egg there. My question is: Does the father and mother take turns sitting on their eggs? We have heard that doves mate for life? Also, if the egg is left without the warmth of Mum/Dad on it, does this cause the chick to die inside? There seems to be periods where the egg is not being sat on. Thanks for anyone who can answer our questions. Jodie 🙂

  10. Valerie Evans says:

    Hi Trevor, For the past couple of years a spotted turtle dove pair have been nesting in my pergola. The nest is very scrappy and their eggs gradually all fall out. I’m thinking of attaching a small wooden sheet to the pergola under their nest to support it and stop the eggs falling out – do you think this will work. And could you confirm that its likely to be the same couple returning each year and what is their life expectancy? I live in Melbourne.
    Thank you.

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Valerie,
      Sorry about the delay in replying. I have been travelling interstate. The nests of pigeons and doves are usually very flimsy items and eggs easily fall out. You could try a support underneath and see if that helps. It is also probably the same pair returning each year to nest in the same area. I don’t have my reference books with me, but an online search indicates that they probably live from 5 to 12 years, depending on the availability of food and safe roosting areas.

  11. Danielle says:

    We had a couple of turlte doves make a nest about a month ago in our teee fern a metre from our house and two weeks ago it hatched. Thursday afternoon I noticed it was quite lively and ventured out on one of the branches. Friday night I noticed no parent came back for the afternoon or night and Melbourne weather went quite cold and wet. Saturday early afternoon a parent came back and covered the baby bird like warming it up and after an hour it left. The baby bird seemed a little more lively than earlier but still not quite like Thursday. I just had a look and the baby bird was on the ground, I couldn’t feel a heart beat. I put it back in the nest but I don’t know if I could have done anything different or whether the parents will nest there again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *