It was Coucal, not Goshawk, who killed nestlings of Spotted Dove.

There is a nest on tree visible from our rear balcony(we live on first floor). We (my family) are observing it for over a month now. Around second week of March 2021, spotted dove laid two eggs in this nest and was sitting their through day and night, through hot sunny afternoons and occasional untimely rain that occurred. It would just go away for few minutes couple of times a day. When she laid eggs, some of the leaves of the tree were still intact.

Spotted dove sitting on eggs to them warm

Sometime around end of March, I observed Banded Goshawk(Shikra) with its kill, on adjacent tree. It was mostly a lizard (I am not sure). But I had read about Shikra being a bird of prey and also feeds on cheeks of many birds. This is where I felt a little worry for the little ones of dove who were about to arrive.

Shikra with its kill

And one fine day, the eggs hatched and I could observe two chicks. Mother going away from nest for some time was still happening. Also, I would observe Shikra around. So I started to think a lot. Is there any way to keep these two nestlings safe, at least till they learn to fly?

I even thought who am I to interfere with nature? So, if Shikra attacks the chicks, should I intervene to save them or should I just be observer and let nature be in charge? Hypocritical ethical dilemma. I decided to not think much and follow my instincts whenever situation occurs.

Spotted Dove and its chick

Around 8-9th of April, I observed Greater Coucal on another nearby tree. I have observed Coucal foraging on ground and eating food leftover too. I had skipped many lines while reading about this bird on Wikipedia. So I was under the impression that the only threats to little nestlings are shikra and gravity.

Greater Coucal

Finally, on 16th April, my wife called me to tell that some bird is killing the chicks. I rushed to rear balcony. I could just observe Coucal lifting the nestlings with its beak and flying away. As wifey had observed the event a bit longer, she said, it killed the nestlings in the nest itself by poking with beak again and again. Greater Coucal feeds on nestlings of other birds. I read it from various sources, having already witnessed it.

Empty nest after nestlings were killed and taken away

Not being the expert of bird behavior or emotions if any, I am not sure how exactly it impacts. But I have observed the spotted dove visiting the nest multiple times and flying away, as if she is visiting to check.

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