A pair of fledgling Mourning Doves have taken up residence in our backyard!
A week ago we found them huddled together, tip toeing around the courtyard together, pecking the ground together, preening and flapping their wings together. At first, these two were practically inseperable. And they are so darn cute and interesting to watch.
I'm constantly looking out the windows searching for them. They take flight to the iron table and chairs. The horse skull is a favorite perch, a "stepping stone" to the fence.
Their nest was built on the eaves of the house next door. You can see it in one of the pictures I've shared.
Mama Dove comes around to check on them. She's the one peering down from the tree.
I see them nap under the shade of the deck to avoid the hot sun in the middle of the day.
One evening Chad played a soft melody on his guitar. We watched one of the doves, perched on the fence above him, doze off.
Yesterday, the doves discovered the Crab Apple tree on the north side of our house where they have plenty of bugs and seeds on the ground to peck, nice branches to cling to and rest, dewy leaves from all the rain we've been getting and a fence for privacy.
Oh, our doves are delightful!
I never thought too much about this common bird before. I mean, they have just always been here, you know? They're everywhere. I can't imagine my mornings without hearing the sound of their cooing lament. For me, sometimes it's sad, or it can be uplifting. Mostly it's comforting. It depends on what kind of mood your're in, I suppose.
*Did you know it is only the males who coo?
*Doves make a pretty whistling sound with their wings when they take flight, to warn others of danger. I always thought it was vocal!
*That their wingspan is 17 inches.
* It is the most hunted game bird in North America. More than 20 million Mourning Doves are shot each year.
*They also face death from lead poisoning. Mourning Doves forage on the ground, and in heavily hunted areas they may wind up eating fallen lead shot (records show some doves have eaten up to 43 pellets). 1 in 20 doves wind up eating lead.
*The oldest known Mourning Dove was a male, and at least 30 years old when he was shot in Florida in 1998. He had been banded in Georgia in 1968.
To listen to their song and whistling wings go here Dove/sounds
Thanks to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Exploring and Conserving Nature