Monday, April 13, 2009

They're Ba-a-c-c-k

Remember last year when I found a mourning dove nest in the arbor vitae tree next to our front door?

Well, the nesting pair is back. Having read that mourning doves, while they build incredibly flimsy nests, will sometimes return, I did not take down the nest over the winter. I just allowed it to sit on its precarious perch--in all its twiggy glory.

We have had several pair of mourning doves hanging around this late winter and early spring. They have patrolled the ground under our bird feeders, pecking away garnering whatever seeds may have fallen.
Even though they are rather common birds, I enjoy watching them. Their lovely pastel grey feathers that occasionally flash a spot of pink fascinate me.

A week ago, we had some workers here cleaning up the yard in readiness for spring. I was sort of patrolling the yard, watching the crew of men raking, edging, cutting grass--when I spotted a white blob in the middle of our street. It looked like a child's stuffed toy. I walked out to investigate only to discover it was a now-deceased mourning dove.

A neighbor was close by, and he said he had seen a red-tail hawk fly over about ten minutes earlier. Perhaps he startled the hawk, but for whatever reason, the hawk dropped the dove right smack in the middle of the street. Whether the hawk snatching, or the precipitous drop, the dove was most certainly dead.

All this occurred before I spotted the nesting dove in the arbor vitae. I have seen another dove nearby the nest, so I assume the dead dove was not part of the nesting pair.

I kept monitoring the nest, from a respectful distance, all week. I decided to postpone trimming the arbor vitae until the babies hatch and depart. And I sneaked my camera in from time to time to grab a quick photo.

On Easter Sunday morning, I took another peek into the nest--suddenly a startled parent dove flew out, and then the other! (Well, the red-tail didn't get half of this pair.) And, then I saw them--the chicks, two balls of grey fluff with tightly shut eyes. I grabbed a quick portrait then retreated. By the time we returned from church, a dove parent was back nesting on them.

Completely unrelated to the doves, here's the Easter present my daughter-in-law brought along. I will have to rush over to Julie Z's blog and read all about caring for orchids.


troutbirder said...

What an interesting blog. I'm into the nature stuff but really found your book and history comments well done. Thanks

Appalachian Lady said...

We had a big flock of mourning doves this winter. There's a few now but I wonder where they are nesting. Thanks for your post--now I have some ideas!

NCmountainwoman said...

Baby birds are always special, even baby doves. Love the orchid.

Anvilcloud said...

Hey, that's great. Happy somewhat belated Easter.

Jayne said...

Awww... so neat that they came back, and you already have babies. Good luck on the orchid!

Beverly said...

When I read about your doves, I can only think of the ones who would build nests, yes flimsy ones, in plain sight of first graders and any others who happened to pass by. Their nexts did not always remain very long.

The orchids are lovely. We had a retired educator do a program on orchids at our last meeting. I'll send you some of his pointers when I get back to Florida. I am sure the care is different in PA than it is in FL.

JeanMac said...

The two babies are like an Easter gift!

Mary said...

I hope you keep an eye on their progress, Donna. Mourning Doves seem to be low-watt bulbs but I do enjoy watching them interact with each other.

Julie Z will have good tips for you! I've never had the nerve to try an orchid. Nice gift!

Ginnie said...

They are adorable...look almost like two furry ducks.