Breeding Ringneck Doves

How to Breed Ringneck Doves

breed ring neck doves

If your looking for a dynamite first pet bird. Look no further than the Ringneck Dove. Ringnecks are naturally calm and gentle. They are easy to feed and water and don’t require a lot of space.

Mature Pair of Ringneck Doves

You need to start with a mature healthy male and female dove. Ringneck doves are physically mature at 6 months of age but I like to wait until they are at least 9 months old.

 pair of ring necked doves

Sexing ringneck doves can be a difficult task and the key is to observe the doves behavior.Males and females look very similar in appearence. I had what I thought was a pair for 6 months. They would lay eggs but nothing would hatch. I thought maybe one of them was sterile until one day I noticed four eggs in the nest.

I had two females the whole time. What is interesting is the female will make the cooing and laughing sound the male makes if no male is around.I have since aquired a male and can see the differences in behavior now that I have been observing them more closely.

Proper Nesting Material

Ringneck doves nest off the ground so would I do is provide them with a shelf that is approximately a foot and a half by a foot and a half. I use a dog food bowl as the nest and it works great.
The dog bowls are just the right size for the parents and the babies and are very easily cleaned. The male dove will gather sticks and plant material and make a very crude nest. Once he has completed the nest he will sit in the nest and coo and flap his wings to get the females attention. He is trying to convince her that he has a suitable nest to offer her.

If all goes well she will begin laying eggs between 6-8 days after mating.

Outdoor Ringneck Dove Setup

Eggs and Incubation

Ringneck doves lay two eggs. The eggs are generally laid 6-10 days after mating. The female lays her first egg and then 24-48 hours later she lays her second egg. Once the second egg is laid the parents begin to incubate the eggs.

The eggs will hatch in 14 days and both parents share the duty of sitting on the eggs. The female generally sits on the eggs from 5 pm to 9 am and the male takes over during the day.

Caring for Chicks

Once the eggs hatch both parents will feed the chicks ?crop milk? which is rich in vitamins and proteins. After the first week the parents will begin to incorporate seeds into their diet. Then just 3 weeks later then babies are fledged and are capable of being on there own at 4 weeks of age.

Ringneck Dove Breeding Season

Ring neck doves are very prolific and will breed all year long if given the opportunity. I recommend that you only breed 2 or 3 rounds of young a year. Raising babies is a lot of work for both parents so I take away all the nesting material and dog bowl after the second round of young. I keep my doves outside during the summer months and this is the time I encourage them to breed. It certainly makes clean up easier when they are outside.

Doodle Bug Mini Bike Review

  Baja Doodle Bug Mini Bike

baja doodle bug mini bike

I  bought a Baja doodle bug mini bike of Craigslist for $100 less the motor. I had a 7 hp snow blower engine with a heavy duty clutch I was planning on putting on a go cart but decided to place it in the mini bike.

The doodle bug mini bike comes from the factory with a 2.8 hp 97cc engine and reaches top speeds of 15-18 mph from the reviews I’ve read. Which is great for a 10-14 year old but I was looking for a little more power and top speed and I weigh 170 pounds. Mounting the 7 horse was a pain because the engine mounting holes did not line up. My brother had to expand the holes it had to make it work.

The Baja doodle bug mini bike has a 24 inch seat height and weighs about a hundred pounds. There is no suspension so the ride is bumpy and there is a lot of vibration in the hand grips. Being that low to the ground makes it feel like your just flying even if your only going 15 mph.

As you can see from the video above we still need to do some tinkering with the chain and motor alignment. If you plan on buying a mini bike frame and installing a motor expect some hangups. My brother has about 40 hours into this project and is still working on it. We had to rebuild the carb and replace the rope on the recoil starter. Then we had to tune the motor so the bike didn’t take off when you started it.

If your child is interested in motors or mechanical things a mini bike would be an ultimate winter project. It’s so much easier these days to get the information you need to fix something. When my brother was fixing the carb he looked it up on YouTube and just followed along. When it comes to mini bikes and customizing the sky is the limit.


If your not mechanically inclined or don’t have the time to spend repairing an old bike I would recommend buying new. The Baja doodle bug mini bike retails for around $400 and is a decent first bike for somebody small.

What I don’t like about these types of mini bikes is the recoil starting. Most 10 year old’s are not going to be able to pull start a 2.8 or 5 hp engine and if the kid stalls 2 blocks away, you know who has to run down there and start it for the child.

The lack of suspension makes the ride bumpy and the vibration is pretty strong. I would imagine the 2.8 hp engine would have a lot less vibration then my 7 hp. One final thing regarding safety. These engines get extremely hot. The muffler and clutch can give nasty burns if your leg brushes up against it. Also make sure you have a safe chain guard installed  because if the chain brakes and they do or even comes off it can rip your leg apart if you don’t have a guard.

Mini bikes are a great way to get your kids outdoors and away from the video games and cell phones. They can learn basic engine repair and learn how to use basic tools. This can come in handy down the road when your lawnmower or snow blower breaks down. You may have yourself a junior mechanic to work on it.

Always wear a helmet and make sure the kid knows where the kill switch and brakes are. When starting out I would recommend setting the govenor on the throttle to limit the speed to 10 mph while  the kid gets comfortable with the controls on the doodle bug mini bike.

kids on mini bike


Top 3 Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds

My Top 3 Plants For Hummingbirds in Minnesota

If you are interested in planting flowers to attract hummingbirds and butterflies here in Minnesota you have a lot of great choices. I’m going to share my top 3 plants and go over the reasons why I like them.

My top 3 plants include a perennial which is a plant that grows for at least two years. A annual which is a plant that only lives for one year and a hanging basket. I want everybody to enjoying hummingbirds. You don’t need to live in the country and own a few acres to attract ruby-throated hummingbirds. You can have them coming to your apartment balcony.


1. My Favorite Bee Balm

Bee Balm is favorite perennial for attracting hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. It is super easy to grow and does great in northern climates like Minnesota. Bee Balm comes in a variety of colors I have a purple bee balm plant and it’s the birds favorite.

purple bee balmYou can buy a bee balm plant for about $5 at any home garden center. I would recommend buying a purple plant and a red one as well. They grow fast and bloom late. This is a great plant because the birds can enjoy the nectar all summer and into the fall. I cut mine right to the ground every fall and start fresh in the spring. The bees and butterflies love it as well.


2. Salvia

Salvia is a annual so you will need to plant them every year. Although it does come in perennial as well. They come in red, purple, pink, yellow and can be grown in the garden or in window boxes or containers. Depending on the variety they generally grow from 12″ to 18″ tall.

red salviaSalvia will bloom all summer long and provide great color to the garden.


3. Fuchsia

A Fuchsia hanging basket is a great way to attract hummingbirds to a small space. If you have a balcony hang a few fuchsia plants and put up a feeder next to it. I usually throw the basket away at the end of the season but I would imagine you could bring the basket indoors and save the plant.

Planting a garden to attract hummingbirds is such an enjoyable hobby and really benefits nature. Right now our bees are in trouble and colonies are dying out all over the world. By planting these little gardens you are helping the bees and the butterflies as well.

It may take a couple of years before you get hummingbirds but don’t be discouraged. Once they come and you can provide a comfortable environment they will come back every year. Our pair just came back for their 3rd year on May 11 2014 it was a nice Mothers Day gift. Ours breed and raise young right in the backyard and I’m able to enjoy them until around the end of September.

The purpose of my blog is to encourage people to get outside and do something new. There is so much joy to be found learning and experiencing nature. So get outside get your hands dirty and start planting a hummingbird garden and make sure you read my post on feeding hummingbirds.

My hummingbird garden on May 14th

attract hummingbirds



Cox Sky Ranger Review

cox sky ranger review

Looking for an inexpensive and easy to fly plane ?

The Cox Sky Ranger remote controlled airplane comes flight ready in a box for around $100. I am a total newbie in the hobby of r/c electric planes and wanted to buy one set up that I didn’t have to assemble.

Here’s what you get

  • The Sky Ranger electric airplane
  • 2.4GHz radio system with dual rates and 4 “AA” batteries
  • Spare SafeProp
  • 7.4V 180mAh LiPo batteryCox Sky Ranger Kit
  • Balancing LiPo charger and AC power supply
  • Instructions & screwdriver




My first flight with the Cox Sky Ranger was a total blast. I have never flown a r/c airplane of any sorts. I don’t play any video games so the whole controller in hand felt foreign. I went to a local park on a calm day and had my friend give it a throw while I had the throttle at about 3/4. It took off and climbed like a dream. I was getting nervous as my plane was flying over a patch of woods and a swamp.

What I learned right away is that it does not take much movement on the control sticks to send the plane into trouble. I crashed my Sky Ranger three times and my last crash I bent the propeller shaft on the motor and had to order a new motor for $10. The key is to remain calm and don’t overcompensate on the controller and fly in a area without any obstacles.

Attracting Hummingbirds In Minnesota

Attracting Hummingbirds In Minnesota

attracting ruby-throated hummingbirds in Minnesota

Its April 12th and I’m so excited to see if our family of Ruby -throated hummingbirds come back this year. For the last two years we have had a pair of Ruby -throated hummingbirds living in our backyard. These two birds have become so tame around us that they almost seem like pets.

We have had such a horrible winter this year and it seems like spring is never going to arrive. If your interested to see where the Ruby -throated hummingbirds are in their migration check out this great Map.  As of today’s date the hummingbirds are still in Missouri and heading their way towards Iowa.

 Tips on attracting hummingbirds in Minnesota

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

4 parts water to 1 part granulated sugar it’s as simple as that. No need to spend money on pre-made nectar. Just take a 1 cup measuring cup and put four cups of water and one cup of sugar into a pan and then you want to bring this to a boil and then take it off the heat. You want the sugar to dissolve in the water. Now let it cool and your ready to feed.

Feeding Tips

• Change sugar water or nectar at least every three days. Clean feeders at least once a week with hot water and a bottle brush. I run mine threw the dishwasher
without soap. Also don’t fill up your feeder just fill them a quarter of the way. The nectar will go bad in the hot sun and a pair of birds are not going to
drink a whole feeder in 3 days. Avoid waste.

• Ruby-throated hummingbirds are migrants and can’t handle freezing temperatures. Most ruby-throats leave Minnesota and other northern states by mid October and don’t
return until April.

• Bees, yellow jackets, and wasps are a problem at hummingbird feeders. Avoid feeders with yellow in them (insects are attracted to the color yellow). Make sure you use
bee guards on your feeders. These are little plugs that keep bees from getting into the nectar and drowning but allows the beak to enter.

• Avoid using red food coloring it’s not needed.

• If ants are a problem you will need to create a moat filled with water so they can’t reach the nectar.

This video is from 2013 in our hummingbird garden.


The garden on June 5th 2014

hummingbird flowers 004

This is the garden on July 26th. Gotta love perennials. So easy to maintain and keeps coming back year after year.

chameleon 004