The soft cooing of mourning doves can bring a touch of the wild to your garden. Although doves such as mourning doves feed on insects so they can minimize garden pests, they also forage for and consume weed seeds, which can help reduce weed pressure in your lawn and garden. Doves don't nest in traditional birdhouses. Instead, they build their nests in open vegetative areas, such as trees and shrubs. Creating and installing a simple nesting cone to provide a place for doves to build a secure nest will make your yard a welcoming environment for these useful birds.
Cut a 12-inch diameter circle from a piece paper. It will be a cutting template. Tape the cutting template to a piece of 1/4-inch-hole hardware cloth or wire mesh screening. Cut around the template with wire cutters, creating a hardware cloth or wire mesh circle. Wear leather gloves and use sharp wire cutters to avoid injury.
Snip a pie-shaped wedge from one side of the hardware cloth or wire mesh circle, cutting from the circle's edge to its exact center. Make the wedge 2 ½ inches wide at its widest point.
Fold the hardware cloth or wire mesh circle into a cone shape, overlapping the edges where the wedge was removed by 1 inch. Attach those overlapping edges together with staples or by weaving a piece of wire through them.
Fold back the cut edges around the cone's opening, using your gloved fingers or pliers. Fold those edges away from the cone's interior, and flatten the folds completely so no sharp wires protrude, or else they could harm the doves and other animals.
Place the cone in an area shaded and screened by light vegetation, preferably 6 to 16 feet above ground. The fork of a tree branch or the interior of a tall shrub works well. Secure the cone to the branches with twine, nails or plastic zip-ties.