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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Morning Doves

Someone who came before us attached a birdhouse to a post supporting the roof over our back porch.

This photo is oddly framed because Ms. Mourning Dove doesn't want me near her. She'd fly out of the nest if she could, but she's got eggs and doesn't dare leave them. I took the picture from several feet away, then cropped it.

As far as I can tell, Ms. and her Mr. are on their second brood this summer. The first was a successful pair of little ones, both of whom still gallivant around our back yard gorging themselves. We have a vast selection of bugs and they're welcome to 'em.

I like to sit on the back porch and write in the mornings before it gets too hot. The female tolerates me because she has to, but the male has just about had it. He flies to and from the nest but won't stay there if I'm around. Sometimes he brings sprigs of dried grass for the nest. When he flies he makes a noise like a wildly upset dolphin after too much caffeine. It wasn't until I read Wikipedia's article about mourning doves that I realized it wasn't a vocalization but his wings making all that noise.

I'll always be grateful to the person who put up that birdhouse. I wonder what I'll add to bring joy to the people who'll live here after I'm gone? (Maybe replace those gutters?)

12 comments:

Ted Thompson said...

On the flight noise, I always thought it was a vocalization too (and never bothered to look) I always wondered if it was deliberate, or the result of air being pushed out as they furiously beat their wings.... Now I know.

Killdeer are fun too, we have some at work, and if they nest near the driveway or parking lot, they will actually charge my pickup truck as I drive in.

They also do the "wounded bird" routine and run about with their wings spread, sometimes charging you, if you get too close to their nest. To close can be quite far away too.

Shell Sherree said...

Oh gosh, how sweet, Petrea!! It looks like such a cosy little spot for her and her little ones. I like the free bug removal you're getting in exchange - maybe I should talk to some of our birds about that...

Petrea said...

I thought they were being silly, Ted, and just freaking out when they flew. But then that male had his mouth full of twigs and he was still making the noise and it made me wonder. The killdeer sound a little foolhardy.

Shell, if these two continue to reproduce we may be able to forgo the exterminator.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Dove looking out is so beautiful !! I completely enjoyed the shot..Thanks for sharing the beauty.Unseen Rajasthan

Italo said...

A little italian ciao to Ms and MR and to you Petrea! Nice pic. I begin to love Pasadena :)

Petrea said...

Thanks, Unseen Rajasthan. That's especially nice coming from you. You always have such great shots on your site--and so many! I don't know how you do it.

Ciao, Italo! I sat outside and wrote today and she didn't even notice me. Next time I'll have a cup of espresso like the Italians do.

altadenahiker said...

But not that "ooo--ooo---ooo." That's from the dove's mouth, surely.

J. said...

Petrea's always right—take it from the horse's.

middl

Petrea said...

Always right? May I quote you?

Wait. Horse?

The "ooo-ooo-ooo" is vocal. I looked it up in two places. It's a sweet sound.

Dina said...

But that ooo-ooo-ooo for tooo long can drive me crazy.
Mourning doves do have such a sweet head, though, somehow very calming to look at.
The only reason I don't like pigeons nesting on my little house is that I heard they carry little fleas that go for walks into the house.

Jean Spitzer said...

Thanks for this post. I was able to hold forth on the mourning dove, its habitat, etc., when I spotted a pair on a wire on yesterday's walk.

Petrea said...

Ha ha, Jean, I think that's great. I hope you mentioned the fleas.