Healing Process:The Mourning Doves

by Ashley Durham
(Wilmore, KY, USA)

Dad & Mom Exchanging Places

Dad & Mom Exchanging Places

This year, 2020 has been especially difficult for my family. I lost both my father and younger brother within two moths of each other.


Following that tragedy, the pandemic hit. This was a difficult time for millions across the world and for me I was still mourning the loss of my family.

During this time I became especially interested in birds. Living in Kentucky the Cardinal, our state bird, took on a new symbolic meaning to me.

Maybe it was my loved ones visiting. With each spotting I became hopeful, even if it was a fleeting moment: which made me more observant/submersed into the world of birds.

This is when I had my first encounter with Mourning Doves.

The quiet beauty and loving nature of the bird grew my attention once we noticed a nest built strategically on top of our arbor, sheltered by the edge of a roof from the building attached.

Being amateur animal enthusiast anyways and with little to do since confined to our homes, we took an interest in this mama and daddy bird who worked together to successfully raise FOUR sets of broods/fledglings (the fourth is underway currently).

Your website was very informative and helped feed our curiosity for what we call our new “neighbors”, whom we joined each afternoon as we relaxed underneath the arbor.

Each day and night it was amazing to watch and learn about their patterns. From the meet up and exchange between the father and mother to watching the fledglings feeding deep inside their mother's mouth.

My husband who took an special liking to our friends, restored an antique bird bath left on the property by my late father who loved watching the birds each morning.

So he added a drip irrigation head and timer to refill clean and fresh water throughout the day.

We also purchased a bird feeder filled with their favorites and positioned it in a close tree.

However we found that more Cardinals and Blue Jays enjoyed this more and of course we had to device a few systems to keep squirrels from ransacking it; that was a challenge.

I didn’t know what joy could come from watching these birds.

It felt peaceful watching each of their fledglings grow and still stay around, as if to stay with their family.

Watching even the dad Dove play such an important role was healing. Even in winged creatures the intricacies of family are vital.

I don’t know what I'll do once this mother bird decides she's done for this season.

But I do know that the Mourning Dove has helped me mourn my loved ones who've made me into the person I am today and for that...I'm grateful.

Comments for [Healing Process:The Mourning Doves]

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Jul 25, 2020
Lovely Post
by: Susan

We also have a pair of Mourning Doves who have chosen a planter box hanging in our arbor to nest in.
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Actually, they, or their offspring, are back for their second year. They are also on their fourth pair of chicks and we have loved learning all of their habits.

I am a photographer and they have provided me many opportunities to chronicle their daily comings and going.

It's lovely to read of the pleasure that they have brought to you in such difficult times.

Jul 24, 2020
Mourning dove story
by: Gene

Your story touches me as we lost a loved one way to soon at 57 years. So much energy and life. Nature and our birds help us heal our hearts.

Thank you for your submission.

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