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An Unusual Mourning Dove Nest

James Hodges
Publication Information
1 (January-February)
From Field and Study

An Unusual Mourning Dove Nest.-On June 2, 1948, I found a nest of the Mourning Dove (Zen&f~~ macroura) at Pine Hill Cemetery, Scott County, Iowa, which consisted of a remodelled Bronzed Grackle (Qtiscalus quisc&) nest. The grackles had raised their young and left several weeks before. Their nest had been partly upset by the wind and the dove had added a few sticks to the side of the overturned structure and molded a cup with its breast. The nest was five feet from the ground in a fir tree and it contained four eggs in what I thought to be about the same stage of incubation. On June 23, 1948, I again visited the nest and found it contained two nestlings about ready to leave the nest plus two eggs in an advanced stage of incubation. This seems to indicate that two females had used the nest instead of one. On the ground directly below the nest I found a well incubated egg which evidently had been on the ground for some time, as it was stained by the grass. I can not account for this fifth egg, as it was not in the nest on June 2, unless it had been deposited after my first visit and was incubated with the others. When the first two eggs hatched and the nestlings grew and became active in the nest, the egg must have been shoved out of the already over-crowded nest. The egg that was found on the ground must have been laid by a t.hird female as it was abnormal in shape, tapering down to a distinct point on one end.-JAMES HODGES, Davenport, Iowa, July 5, 1948. 

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