Apr 21, 2018

Dove nest reconstruction

By Deanna Barth

Thursday evening I received a call from a woman who found a dove on her front lawn. It was dark when I arrived and by flashlight I could see the parent bird up above on the nest. I picked up the nestling with the intent to put it back the next day as long as wildlife center staff deemed it healthy. 

The following afternoon I returned to the site and cringed when I saw the second nestling teetering on the edge of the poorly created nest. 

I’ve renested many doves by attaching a basket to a branch. But this bird had chosen to nest on the side of a palm, in a small space created by the rough trunk. Placing a basket would not be easy. Adding to my frustration- it was 25’ high. It was a matter of time before the second nestling tumbled to the ground, but it would have to wait until my husband could help me set up his tallest ladder. 

Today I called the wildlife center for an update on the first nestling and was informed it had a laceration that had been sutured so it needed to remain in care. I focused my attention on preventing the bird currently in the nest from suffering the same fate. 

I drilled several holes in the bottom of a plastic basket and two more on the side to attach twine. Once at the top of the ladder, I picked up the nestling and placed both it and the nesting material in the basket. It was placed in the same location and tied to the trunk. 

The goal is to always keep wild families together and it often takes a lot of time and patience to make that happen. 

I couldn’t call it a happy ending until I knew the bird was being cared for. I went back shortly after sunset to confirm parent bird is back on the nest. Success!

Deanna Barth runs WES' San Benito chapter. Keep up with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wildlifeemergencyservicessanbenito