Mourning Doves Survive A Storm
by Mia Howard
My plum tree has 2 mourning doves who had been dutifully taking turns sitting on their eggs.
Yesterday we saw the two babies appear! Still and
silent, and no sign of their parents.
Yesterday it poured, lightning flashed and thunder boomed.
I was worried about the doves in our low-hanging plum tree, which sits next to our driveway in the front yard.
The plum tree has black knot, a terrible fast-growing fungus that I have been trying to combat with trimming.
Last week while I was working on the tree I saw a bird with a white decorated tail fly away. I then
noticed the nest.
It is about 6 feet above the lawn. I had worried about the tree (yes I love nature and am a worrier, like my mother), and once I saw the nest I stopped cutting the branches with my manual clippers.
I prefer hand tools to electrical tools, being old-fashioned.
Now I realize this helped the doves to stay in their nest.
Mourning doves mate and stay together, the male watching the nest during the day and the female (mom) at night.
If they are afraid however due to predators or loud noises they may abandon their nest, and the babies will perish.
Some pairs mate for life, like people. :)
During the ferocious storm, I was very worried about the doves.
Thunder boomed like a timpani drum and it rained buckets before clearing to sunshine on the same Saturday.
Global warming is causing our mountainside home to have erratic, rainy weather.
Now we have two silent little birds alone in their nest.
I saw the daddy bird, with his long tail feathers that stuck out of the small nest and his watchful eye for days, looking back at me cautiously.
I cooed to the bird in my melodious voice (I sing), talking calmly to him so he knew, I hoped, I was safe and supportive of him.
As a social worker and former science teacher I knew how to keep my distance and observe the bird family respectfully.
Now we have the 2 darling babies sitting alone.
When we mow the lawn, which we do by hand with an electric lawn mower, I mow as far as possible from the nest so as not to disturb the doves.
So now we have 2 new grandchildren...well grandsons, Curly and Moe.
I hope I don't have to feed them with tweezers! I will keep a watchful eye on them, as their papa did.
Later in the week, the dear dove family was rained on terribly due to torrential rains in our area.
Five inches of rain fell. First, the mother dove returned and covered the babies with her body.
The nest sagged but held. Hours later we found both doves covering the babies, lying side by side on top of the sagging nest.
I do pray the newborn doves survive.
When they saw us they cooed nervously, as they are almost at eye level, so we left them to their quiet work.
The deluge is supposed to last for 4 more hours, so all I can do is pray. I will check on them in the morning.Next Day
In the morning we were relieved to see an adult bird with a baby.
Later in the morning, we saw two bigger baby birds sitting alone!
They had grown and survived a horrible deluge that caused human deaths. The birds had added to their nest as well.
No heavy rain is predicted for a while now thank goodness! Mourning Doves are tough little birds!