Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Widowed Dove

Feeding and watching the birds is a favorite past time of mine.  We have feeders all around the house.  It's fun to see the different personalities of the birds.  The finches are very social and will feed in large groups.  The mockingbird chases away the other birds when he comes to feed.  And then there's the doves.  Doves are not the smartest birds in the yard.  We've watched them become confused at the feeders with clear tops.  They can see the food but they can't seem to get to it when they are perched on the clear top.  One made it to the feeding deck on another clear feeder only to become stuck for a short time while trying to figure out why he couldn't fly through the clear plastic.  But doves are sort of endearing in their own way.  And they are one bird species that mate for life.  So it was a bit heart wrenching yesterday when we spotted a dead dove on the patio and his "spouse" staying nearby waiting for him to wake up.  (I'm not sure which gender died and which remained to tell the truth.)  She stayed by his side for HOURS and would occasionally poke and nudge him trying to get him to wake up and fly away with her.  She looked so lost and confused.  So sad.


  1. I didn't know doves mated for life. That makes it all the sadder when one dies. At our old home a house wren built a nest under the roof of our porch and laid her eggs. The edge wasn't really wide enough for a nest and it fell, spilling all the eggs on the porch, broken of course. My heart broke for her when she came swooping back to the nest and it wasn't there. She looked confused and kept checking the spot where the nest had been. She just didn't understand. I wish I could have helped. In retrospect, the best help would have been to prevent her building the nest there.

  2. How sad. We have a pair of doves who visit each day, but their easily satisfied with the seed that we sprinkle on the ground for the birds who don't like the feeders, the blackbirds, wrens, chaffinches, robins and sparrows. Really it's only the tits who like the feeders - we get all four varieties - and the occasional woodpecker or nuthatch.