May 22, 2012

Mourning Doves Nesting

A few weeks ago I came home from work to find a pair of mourning doves resting on the fence that separates our yard from the neighbors'.

They cooed and ruffled their feathers a little as I came nearer, but they didn't fly away.

When, several hours later, they still hadn't moved, I worried that something might be wrong. That maybe they were sick. I guess I don't really know how it is with birds.

The next day they were gone - but not far, perched this time on some wires strung just above the neighborhood rooftops.

And a few days after that, we found their nest in our apricot tree.

A good spot, I'd say. Fairly secluded. Plenty of food.

It is the female bird that builds the nest, stitching it loosely together out of twigs and grass that the male brings her.

They take turns incubating their clutch.

"A mama bird," we told Alice, pointing into the branches. "What do you think she is sitting on?"

Sits on eggs.

"What's inside the eggs?"

Baby birds.

And, silly as it sounds, it's reassuring, in a way, to know that creatures guided by instinct - driven by something stronger and steadier than will or whimsy - chose to land here.
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