Dove makes nest - on a traffic light!

SOME might say there's nothing as daft as a dove - a bird who picks the oddest places to nest.

SOME might say there's nothing as daft as a dove - a bird who picks the oddest places to nest.

Houses under construction, on top of prickly hedges, satellite dishes and even down a rabbit hole are some of the unusual locations our feathered friends have built their homes.

In Felixstowe, one cooing collared dove has picked a very public place to precariously perch - on top of one of the town centre traffic lights.

Motorists and shoppers are keeping a close eye on its activities as it sits on its eggs watching the world go by below.

Evening Star photographer Andy Abbott was determined to get a shot of the dove - resorting to standing on a stepladder in the road at the busy lights to get his picture.

Ian Barthorpe, RSPB marketing and publicity officer for the Suffolk Coast, said collared doves were notorious for nesting in odd spots.

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“They nest at any time of the year and their nests can be very flimsy - just a few sticks,” he said.

“Unlike a lot of other birds, they don't necessarily head for the trees and we have had reports of them on lights, satellite dishes and similar places.

“They are safer in some ways on something like a traffic light because it gives them a platform on which to start building a nest and it's also a warm base for them, too.”

Mr Barthorpe said doves and pigeons nest virtually all year round, producing several broods a year.

“Setting up home on a set of traffic lights is unusual in that most people wouldn't see it, but it's not unknown,” he added.

One Ipswich family was amused to find a dove nesting on their satellite dish, and earlier this year during a cold snap one made a nest on a hedge in the town centre.

FASTFACTS: Collared dove

- The birds are usually seen singly or in pairs, although flocks may form where food is plentiful.

- They feed on the ground but readily perch on roofs and wires.

- After rapidly spreading across Europe in the early half of the 20th century, the collared dove is now one of our most common birds and its monotonous cooing is a familiar sound

- Collared doves are found largely around farms, in gardens and parks, and most of the countryside except the highest regions.