I like to provide my Diamond Doves with a "started nest." Diamond Doves can vary greatly in ability and inclination to build a proper nest. Often first-timers will go overboard, or build nothing at all and lay their eggs on a hard surface. As pairs mature and gain experience, they generally become good nest-builders, but I always provide a "started nest." Below are the steps I use:
1. Select your nest.
I am leaning more and more toward the canary nests that are placed in extenders. And the more experienced birds seem to prefer them (over the plastic nestboxes), so I will use those for the example of "Starting a Nest." Place the plastic canary nest inside the metal extender:
2. Prepare the nest for material.
Canary nests can be purchased with felt inserts, however I have tried them, and they really take up a LOT of room in the nest, leaving it much more shallow than I like. But smooth plastic canary nests do not provide enough roughness to hold nesting material securely, so I use Duct Tape on the bottom of the nest to provide a bit of an "anchor" if you will. I take a length of Duct Tape, and invert it so the sticky side is out, place it in the nest and tack it down with another small strip of tape:
3. Put a little Sisal in the bottom of the nest.
I take a small wad of Sisal, flatten it a bit and put it in the bottom of the nest:
4. Add Extra-Long Coco Fiber.
Take a couple full lengths of the extra-long Coco Fiber (no need to cut them) and form them around the top edge of the nest:
5. Add more Sisal to the nest and trim.
Take a good size bunch of Sisal, round it up and press it down into the nest, cupping your fingers and pressing it in well. Make sure all the duct tape is absolutely covered. Then take scissors and trip extra fibers that are sticking up over the edge of the nest.
6. Place the nest in the cage and add extra nesting material.
Hang the nest in the cage and place nesting material on the cage floor, (a little bit of each): Kaytee Orchard Grass, Sisal, Extra-Long Coco Fiber (cut in 3 - 4" lengths) and Kaytee Bermuda Grass. If the doves feel like adding to the nest, there is plenty of room to do so, however, if they do not do anything to the nest at all, it is perfectly ready for their eggs. :-)