Baby Doves

I live in the Midwest aka a place where the gardening season is a scant five month long blink-and-you-miss-it deal; so when the warmth arrives there is a mad rush to buy vegetables and annuals and all things green and pretty. The crowds at the local specialty garden store, the carts piled high with green goodness, the sight of hundreds of plants all begging to be bought, all this makes me super glad to be alive. It’s corny and repeats itself every year, but I love everything about the start of gardening season.

A couple years ago, my mom was visiting us at this time. I took her to Prairie Gardens and told her she could treat herself to anything she wanted in the store. She picked a hanging basket of purple petunias, and a picture of her pushing the cart with that massive basket is of my favorite memories from that trip.

Last year I decided to make my own hanging basket, and while it was not half as lush as the one above — it was all mine and I enjoyed watching the assorted flowers and ferns I had planted grow. Little did I know that this basket would be attractive not only to me, but also to a pair of nesting mourning doves.

After noticing a dove perching on my flowers almost incessantly, a peek was in order. Lo and behold:

L and I would peek every day, checking on the eggs and no doubt freaking the poor adults. Later I learned that this was not a solitary mom but a pair. Now we could tell who was who, as there was one skinnier bird and one bird more generously endowed. Finally the eggs hatched, and we got to watch the the babies grow as well.

Looking back now, I am certain the parents were nervous tortured things, what with the two giants who would creep in on their home with a black flat device that hovered over their babies for a few seconds every couple of days. We thought we were being careful and calming, but surely we weren’t. Who could resist watching these, though?

We were most excited to watch the doves as they would learn to fly, but this coincided with a week-long trip. When we returned, the nest was empty save for a couple feathers on the water bowl I had placed nearby.

Apparently, mourning doves return to nest at the same spot if their earlier experience there was successful. Waiting to see what happens come May-June this year 🙂


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