Mrs. Panasonic was the name we gave the mourning dove, for obvious reasons, that has been nesting above our air conditioner for the last four years.
This appliance, that we use probably once a year during a heatwave, is located on our porch, high above in an opening in the house, carved out by the previous owners.
(Don't get me started on why someone would cut a whole in the wall at the front of their house for an air conditioner in New Hampshire!) But from a bird's point-of-view, this is prime real estate! Flat surface, great view and a nice roof protecting you at all times.
So we inherited this air conditioner sticking out of the wall along with Mr. and Mrs. Panasonic. I actually liked my summer visitors.
However, at the end of last summer Eric decided we were going to evict the free-loading Panasonic’s for doing their business all over the porch railing and on his chair that sits below their home.
So after the couple successfully added, for the 3rd time that season, to the morning dove population, he devised a plan to prevent any more bird procreation and porch poop.
Eric found a wooden box that fitted perfectly over the air conditioner that served as a practical, yet unseemly nest blocker (We're not about to win any 'curb appeal' awards).
I disliked that box. One: who puts an ugly wooden box above an even uglier air conditioner that is on the quaint front porch of your house! (Apparently, we do.)
And Two: I missed those two birds! So this spring, I removed the box and before Eric could complain and whine incessantly about it, Mrs. Panasonic was back.
The love doves must have built a nest overnight. She was settled in, with Mr. Panasonic keeping a watchful eye on the utility wires across the street.
Soon, they successfully hatched two more chicks. "Yah!" I thought, while secretly pretending to care what Eric was whining about in having birds nesting next to the front door.
We couldn’t kick her out now, we would have to wait. Besides, deep down, I don’t think Eric ever really wanted to evict Mr. and Mrs. Panasonic because he looked forward to the sounds of the two love birds as much as I did.
All seemed to be going swimmingly. We would wait for one more batch to hatch and then we would block the space above the air conditioner with screen, for good.
But last week, I noticed that Mrs. Panasonic was not there. And she never leaves her nest for anything! I would open up the door and say "hello" to her several times a day.
But now, the couple seemed to have disappeared. We didn’t think their chicks had hatched yet because every year, she taught them to fly on our front steps.
I asked Eric to investigate the situation. So he brought out the step ladder to take a peek and yes, sadly, in the middle of the empty nest were two eggs.
And even more sad was that one egg had a small hole where the little birdie was trying to get out. You can see his little beak just peaking out.
What could have happened to our summer visitors to abandon the nest?