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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mourning Doves

Do they mourn? I suppose so.

A few weeks ago, I was delighted to see a pair of mourning doves that regularly haunt my deck putting up a nest on the post holding up the basketball hoops.The weather was too cold yet for impromptu outside games, so I had no fear that a stray ball was going to knock them from the perch.
The parents took turns sitting on the eggs, I never saw the eggs uncovered. Until one day, when there were no birds sitting on the nest, but I could still discern a slight movement. The nestlings had hatched!
For a couple of days, the new parents came and went, as they attempted to feed the babies. But then Mother Nature struck.
After a windy day, followed by heavy rains, I peered out the window the next morning to find the nest empty. No parent pigeons, nor babies were in evidence.
I tracked the nest for the next few days, hoping against hope that the parents might have moved the babies to a less exposed location. But it was unlikely, the nestlings were too young, not anywhere near the 2 weeks or so that would have made them bigger and strong enough to attempt flying.
I still see the doves around on the deck, pecking away at the dribbles of birdseed scattered by smaller birds at the feeder. I hope that they have started to reconstitute a nest, this time in a safer location, and will eventually raise their young ones as spring has finally moved into summer.

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