Heated Birdbaths

Lessons to Be Learned

by Joanne De Stefano
(Utica, New York)


The many nooks and crannies of our roof lines have made the perfect home for many nests, the most usual of which have been robin nests.

Their habits are pretty much predictable. As we have observed the stages of nest building, the male and female share in the building of their babies' home. As I watch, I quickly see the many ways in which we could learn from their habits.

The softest material is brought in first to make the bottom of the nest cushioned and warm and from this I learn that it is so important to create a warmth and comfort to all those who enter our home.

They then gather just the right amount of various sizes of twigs and some with mud gathered from the last nights gentle rain. This tells me to keep my home organized and uncluttered!

Our newest tenants, however, have been the mourning doves. We first observed them on the edge of the back fence contemplating the logistics of their new home. " Do you think this is the place,?" whispers the female. " Looks good to me," exclaimed the male.

For the next few days, they would return to the fence once again and look at the perfect spot tucked into the eave of the porch.

Their nest-building has been far less of an intense task than that of the robin. The soft pieces of grass encircled another on the bottom but the twigs have been loosely spread out in a free-spirited style! The female has far less visits from the male according to our observations and was alone most of the time.

Our porch ceiling fan became the 'runway' in which the male dove carried in its' mouth the finishing touches while scurrying into the nest to prepare for its' young.

The time had finally come and in a few days we saw new babies searching for their food until at last they were strong enough to fly to freedom! And we thought this was it!

But, no, two weeks later the female is still not moving from the nest. We hope it's okay because she is moving and has changed her position in this rather cramped nest. Just not quite sure, I called a friend who is always 'in the know'. "Star, ( what a perfect name for this quest) we have a mourning dove in a nest that has been there for a good two and a half weeks since hatching", I said. "Not to worry," exclaims Star. This is called ' brooding.' I had no idea but I did breath a sigh of relief!

We hadn't seen the male return...until today, about three weeks later, when I see the two of them in the nest together and was startled to hear the familiar mourning dove sound for a split second.

I continue to await on what's coming next but will end my story with a lesson learned. " Be patient, sit tight and learn the discipline of the essence of time!"

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