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.