Tuesday, June 11, 2013

On The Wings of A Dove

Every spring, we have robins nesting under our deck ( see blog Rambling Robins 6/8/12). They were there again this year, but sadly, I missed seeing them. That's probably because the weather has been too miserable for me to want to venture out into the backyard much. Good for the birds though. I didn't scare them either.

Today, I was outside and noticed some yellow leaves and wilted flowers in a hanging planter. I deadheaded and then climbed back up the deck stairs where I picked up a watering can and began to pour. Just then I heard hysterical chirping and fluttering as a now damp dove flew away from what I realized was a nest inside my hanging basket. There it was with two little eggs right in the pot amidst my plants.
I panicked fearing the effect my oversight might have caused. Since I knew little about doves other than "symbol of peace" and "bringing the olive branch after the flood", I did a bit of research. I soon learned the basics. Doves mate for life and both parents sit on the eggs in turn. They rarely leave the nest and eggs incubate for two weeks.

I returned later to check on my new discovery. I walked gingerly and as I did, I had the feeling I was being watched. I was. Good news. Mom was back.
Now that I've made the discovery, I'll keep watching, photographing and posting updates.
Birds-eye view
 Hopefully, the eggs will hatch and the squabs won't take too long to leave the nest. After all, I need to water my planter again before my flowers die.

June 20 - Update

It's been more than ten days. I see no progress in the nest. The bird is seated patiently. I believe it may have been too cold for the eggs to hatch even with the parent doves keeping them warm. I may be wrong. I'm not as hopeful as the mother bird.

June 25 - It's A Miracle

Well, it appears the dove parents had more faith and patience than I. Despite the google claim that the eggs would take from ten to fourteen days to hatch, it's been longer. I'm uncertain how much longer since I don't know when the eggs first appeared in my planter. Perhaps they thought they were 21 day chicken eggs. Maybe, as I mentioned earlier, they were awaiting the warmer climate. So now there's fuzz. One egg and one item of fuzz which may or may not be a live bird. It's hard to tell at the point although the proud parent did stand back to let me have a look.
 Further updates on egg #2, when I find out what's happening.

June 28 - Squab Sighting

I saw the second hatched baby. The doves are still sitting on them, protecting them from the elements AND eating my leaves. I wonder whether it's some way of feeding the young...grind up the leaves and pass on the liquid.
Today, another element caught a first glimpse of the bird. We have since set up a protective barrier.
Hoping to see the youngin's spreading their wings soon too.
July 1

The babies are getting big and have sprouted their pin feathers.

Mommmmmmmmmmm....you're squishing me

I expect they'll be flying away soon. Perhaps they'll even disappear during the night. Who knew the whole process would take so long...over a month?

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