Final Chapter of "My Mourning Doves"
August 29 (Sunday)...continued from Part III
9:15 AM Returning to “my family”, I 'm enjoying delicious peach flapjacks with syrup, sausages and hot coffee, anxiously awaiting today's activity.
A little action from Henry as he extends his wings upward,
performing a little grooming.
Now, standing tall...Heather becomes alert and Papa remains still.
He flexes his wings again...grooms a little more...flexes his wings.
Perhaps he has a burst of energy!
Heather begins her preening...then Henry returns to grooming.
Heather squats comfortably...Henry walks behind Papa and her.
She now flexes her wings upward, then again.
Henry is most anxious to do something!...but grooms a bit more,
then steps forward proudly displaying his 2 inch tail
of brown and white feathers.
of brown and white feathers.
Papa remains as still as a statue...and now Heather contemplates.
9:25 AM The moon is now lowered...visible between the wide-spaced
2nd and 3rd wires from the top.
2nd and 3rd wires from the top.
Heather re-squats while Henry continues to groom...Heather further preens.
Papa is totally unmoved by these proceedings...except for rapid eye-blinking.
She extends her wings upward and flexes them...Henry does likewise.
Then each continues with personal preening and grooming!
Heather earnestly flaps and flutters her wings with rises of 2 inches off the chair.
Henry does the same...showing her how He can now Spring to the Chair Arm!!!
Both are re-fed by Papa briefly.
They shove and push each other for position beside Papa.
They now settle...crouched into the nest.
Now 9:45 AM These little birds! When ~ are they going to attempt further little jumps and flight? So much preening and grooming! I need to prepare for my 10 AM Bridge game online.
10:45 AM As “dummy”, I check on my little birds' progress. Papa is on the nest with the two; then at 10:50 they are alone; at 11:08, H and H quiet with one parent who has joined them.
12 Noon....same scenario...on this pale blue cloudless sky day. Heather is very restless...Papa stands and Mama observes patiently from a wire. At 12:25 family is calm. Rosie then soars away on swift wings like an eagle.
12:45 PM Exchange of Parent (hearing the Twitters from my kitchen).
2:00 PM From my computer, the twitters invite me to find Papa with one fledgling in the nest. the other on the chair.
2:15 PM Henry jumps to the chair arm and waits;
Rosie flutters her return and gives each some “energy food”
then stands atop the nest's edge;
Henry and Heather nestle side by side like twins.
2:20 PM Henry is determined to try again...EASILY he reaches the chair arm
and surveys the situation...”What's next?”, he asks...returns to the chair base.
Heather gets her wings in motion...her attempt, a little improved.
Henry is so confident he flies again to the arm...and struts his stuff!
Now it's back to Mama...Heather needs a little rest, crouched in the nest.
Henry is undecided...in the interim, he tends to some grooming;
then nestles beside his sister.
4:45 PM I observe Henry and Heather in this fast deteriorating nest. It's a hot sun and cloudless day. I view only one dove on a far wire. Family is quiet...I wonder if the day's flying lessons have ended.
7:00 PM Fledglings are crouched together; 3 doves, high-wired, from here scan the neighbourhood.
For Henry, jumping to the chair arm is now a cinch!
Rosie swoops from a nearby roof to the corner rail.
Heather flutters her wings, yearning so much to jump as Henry.
Mama advances to the chair base.
Henry, noticing this, jumps from the arm to get a quick feeding.
Heather waits...pondering her progress.
Henry, proud of his flying achievement,
jumps to the arm once more to savour his new skill.
When he descends, he lands on Mama's back...she is Not Amused!!!
...so quickly twitters away to her high wire.
Seems that Heather, one day younger than Henry
will accomplish tomorrow what he did today!
9:00 PM Now dark outside, except for the city lights and those of vehicles. Yes, a parent is nestled with the fledglings.
11:30 PM All peaceful and silently still; the night air is cool and refreshing.
August 30 (Monday) HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEATHER!
6:30 AM The darkness of night is waning and the air cool; Rosie and two are cuddly warm.
7:20 AM The musical twitters announce Papa's arrival.
7:30 AM Lovely for a Photo...Papa facing backward, with the 2 horizontal to him, each facing opposite directions. The sky predicts a wonderful-weather-day...pale blue sky with softly floating clouds...the 1/2 moon is unseen. Bird chatter from the trees ensues with tweet, tweet, tweets to ch, ch, ch, ch, ch's to see-ya, see-ya, see-ya and chirpedly, chirpedly, chirpedly...and a chorus of repeats.
7:40 AM Rosie flew the nest with her melodic rapid twitters, wing and tail feathers spread, sweeping over the railing to a new wire, momentarily only, then back in my direction and over the roof tops... I sight her on a hydro wire in the next section of poles...followed with a wide sweep westward over the street...perhaps she is checking the flight paths for safety!
Heather begins her morning beautification ritual.
Rosie settles at last on a high wire near me...then remains poised
...her rosy tinted beige breast, warmed by this early cast of sun
as Papa joins her.
as Papa joins her.
Henry flutters to the chair arm pressed against the balcony uprights
(a new location), then with his trusted skill, flutters across to the other arm.
Heather stands center of chair, flaps her wings
and with a big thrust and with a clumsy-like struggle,
she lands on the arm beside Henry!...Great Success for Her!
Henry hops down to the chair seat, then does a “repeat performance”.
Heather hops down to the chair seat...considering a 2nd attempt.
With wing and tail energy, she reaches the arm
with feet sliding to a stop on its smooth surface!
SURPRISE: Henry leaps from this arm to the top of the long railing!!!
Heather remains on her "flight achievement"!
(The parents leave the wire...satisfied with their offsprings' Success.)
7:58 AM Papa flies in...to the back railing which triangle-forms.
He at the apex, Henry on the balcony railing, Heather still positioned
on her Arm of Accomplishment!
Papa flutters down to the chair and feeds Henry with great thrusts;
then all is quiet...both H and H crouch into a cosy position...
their tails prominently displaying dark browns and white feathers.
Seems their tails are at least 2 1/2 inches in length now...
I fathom at their growth in these 2 weeks.
8:05 AM Another “practice jump" to the chair arm (Henry).
Both fledglings are anxious.
Heather tests her skill with jump to the Arm and succeeds.
(They return to Papa...it is apparent that Henry plans to attempt something!)
He puffs and ruffles these wing tips (sort of pine-cone shaped).
Papa and Heather are very quiet and calm.
Henry crouches on this Arm forever, it seems.
8:25 AM I must tend to a few household tasks.
(Henry has held this Arm position for 20 minutes without a move.)
8:50 AM It is Papa plus the 2 who”Preen and Groom”.
(I occasionally check the scene...no change.)
10:05 AM From inside I hear the usual Twitter, Twitters...
realizing that Papa has left...perhaps Rosie returned...
I go to have a look...only Henry and Heather are present.
10:30 AM I hear, Twitter, Twitters again...unable to check at the moment.
11:45 AM ONLY HEATHER...SITTING ON THE ARM...
LOOKING SO DESOLATE AND LONELY!
“Oh, Where, Oh Where have they Gone?”
12:10 PM SHE'S GONE...EMPTY NEST!
I check at 12:45 PM and again at 1 PM...I glance everywhere...on the driveway below...(no bodies)...to the wires that Papa and Rosie so frequented...I listened for “Twitters”. I conclude that They Must Be Safe...Somewhere! I feel saddened...yet so pleased to have observed these babies when hatched...then matured within two weeks to these adorable FLEDGLINGS!
Research tells me that they may return to the nest from time to time...up to 30 days of age...until they master the Art of Flying!
August 31 (Tuesday) 5:15 AM 2 Doves on the wires...then 3
5:30 AM Only 1 remains
5:45 AM 3 appear...2 smaller ones...is this My Family?
5:50 AM An adult “twitters off” then one small one gone; the remaining dove remains 5 minutes more.
6:00 AM From the roof line above, came a Dove to my front rail; looks smaller than adult size...is it Henry or Heather? At 6:15 AM flew off to join others.
6:18 AM A visiting Dove to the back railing sat perched for several minutes...perhaps a young male searching for a “mate-nest”. Still observing him, as time indicates 6:30...he appears to be decision making! He steps forward to the nest to investigate(?) His habits are not those of My Doves. He flutters back to the chair arm, then a short flight to the railing. Sitting on small pink feet, he nervously looks around ...then side-steps along the black railing to the corner. His head jerkingly moves from side to side.. spreading his wings and tail, flies off to the lower tree branches.
September 1 (Wednesday) 6:30 AM Just wondered if any of my Mourning Dove Family overnight-ed in their raggedly, almost dilapidated nest. Two doves were perched about 30 feet apart on the lower telephone wires across from my balcony. They remain for about 15 minutes before swooshing away over the treetops. There are several neighbouring twitters as they soar with spread wing and tail feathers. The numerous trees, the residential homes, the telephone and hydro wires along the bike-path...all are welcome invitations to “home-nest” here!
The day is calm; the sky of grayish-blue, this early morn;
the small soft white clouds delicately pink-fringed float ever so lazily
...all deliver a morning message ~
This is a New Day! A New Life!
Another Day to Experience! Another Day to Enjoy!
September 22 (Wednesday) 8:45 AM I open my patio door...wondering if I had any balcony visitors during my vacation in Tennessee. Three doves are perched on nearby telephone and hydro wires...then another three-group on lower wires. Are these Mine? I photo them as they are spaced 7-8 inches apart...no twitters, no “bird talk”. One preens/grooms its feathers. At 9:05 one flies to the East and at 9:15, another swooshes eastward; a couple others arrive . A few sparrows do a fly-by...three or four perch on wires for a brief morning chat.....C'est la Vie!
Throughout this Odyssey, I have experienced and learned much
about the Relationship between Humans and Mourning Doves.
THE HUMAN TOUCH
During “pregnancy” the Parents share the Time and Effort
to bring the Babies into fruition.
They feed their young with “milk” to nourish them for their start in Life.
They provide Shelter (from the Storm) and Care for their Family
with whatever means they have.
They care and Protect their Young to help them prepare
for a Life Beyond the Nest...
often “pushing them out” to Fly on their Own.
It is a Story of Affection, of Peace in a harsh Landscape.
It is a Story of Violence in often a World of troubled people.
It is a Story of Love and Devotion to One's Partner.
It is a Story of Love for one's Offspring.
It is a Story of Love and Life Lost.
It is a Story of Grief, Sadness and Sorrow.
YET, One of a New Life, Rebirth
and a Story of Gentleness...
(as told by Papa and Rosie Dove, Henry and Heather Dove).
“The Mourning of the Dove
reflects the hidden emotions stored within...
how you perceive its sound...
often reflects the experiences
we are playing out in Life!”
written September 22, 2010