I was right. As the chick grew bigger (now 5 days old), the parent doves spent less time in the nest. The night dove (on duty since last evening) fed the chicks before leaving the nest but the day dove flew in about two hours later. At the evening shift change, the day dove (on duty since morning) left about two hours earlier while the night dove flew in at its usual time. This meant that the day dove took on about four hours less duty while the night dove did its normal hours. With Pink-necked Pigeons the male takes on the day shift while the female the night shift. Does this mean that the male dove spent less time with the chicks than the female? As it is not possible to distinguish the sexes of these doves from their features, this can only be a conjecture.
I suspect the incoming dove spent time around the tree while the outgoing bird flew off to forage for food. To keep an eye on the chicks, no doubt. This morning I found the day dove resting along my driveway before it flew in for its day duty.
More to come…
2nd August 2005