Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bella and Carlo's Family

 (Continued from Mourning Dove Family II)

APRIL 16 (Monday)  I was home from Connecticut by 7:00 pm.  Most anxious 
I was to visit my family.  Carlo's feathers were highly and totally ruffled in the 
strong winds.  He was sitting high...possibly standing over “his charges”,
 protecting them as best he could!

APRIL 17 (Tuesday 4:30 to 5 pm)  Chilly air, sunny.  Sat at table with novel
to read. Bella, lovingly on her nest.  I was startled at the size of Frieda and Felix 
who sat each side of her.  How big they were!  How developed they were! 
Born only 8 days ago! “How could they grow so quickly and be so healthy?”
I ask myself.
(5:15 pm)  Heard the Twitters...believed it shift-time.  My two “Fat Fledglings”
sat side-by-side like beautiful twins...filling and crowding their nest home.
How cute and adorable they were...certainly wished my camera was operating.
Card was full and spare small-pic-card was also full...will go to Duncan and 
Wright tomorrow to rectify my problem.

APRIL 18 (Wednesday 9:00 am)  Before noon, left for Hamilton to meet my 
grandson, Jonathan, to install the repaired computer for my continued use.   
He was impressed with my Dove Family!  When we left here at 4:30 pm, 
Felix and Frieda alone.

APRIL 19 (Thursday 7:00 am)  No parent around...nor at 8:30 am.
(10:30 am)  Bella arrives to protect and feed them.  Carlo arrives on the railing
behind their nest.  Throughout the day both parents are constantly present...
preparing for Flight Day...I am sure!!! 
(1:30 pm) Carlo on the nest...then at 4:30 pm Bella arrives.  Felix (or is it Frieda?)
who actually spreads and flutters his wings and jumps about 5 inches off the nest
landing on the chair seat!  He looks “so mature” and almost like an “adult”! 
Frieda (?) flutters her wings...no attempt to jump! 
(5:30 to 6 pm) at my table chair and took photo.
(6:10 pm)  Carlo took off flying over the hydro wires. Took a close-up of F and F. 
The offspring are restless, anxious, knowing they must soon accomplish something.
They flap their wings with whole body in motion...such perfectly formed wings!
Preparation for Flight Day tomorrow...is a certainty!

April 20 (Friday 7 am)  They are ALONE!  Is this “Flight Day”?  It was
14 days ago they were born!  Incredible is the growth spurt in this time frame!

(8:00 am)  Bella swoops in with her Twitters...to oversee today's events.
(11:30 am)  Sitting at my table chair to observe “proceedings of the day”.
Very chilly!  The young ones are fluttering their wings...very anxious they are
on this possibly significant day!  They look very sizeable when spreading their
wings 5 to 6 inches.  One parent flies to the railing...then the other to urge, to
encourage, to demonstrate and to invite them to fly...today!  Parents wait together
for about 10 minutes before “swooshing” to the hydro wires for another 15 minute
...waiting.  I then moved from the table area to my near chair by the door...
not wanting to disturb their “instruction day”.  The young ones are again anxious
and fidgety and obviously nervous about the expectations of this day!
Bella flew to the railing behind nest...waited a few minutes before retreating to 
the wires with Carlos.  Felix and Frieda flex their wings many times into widespread
position...then settle into the nest for a rest.  Carlos flew to the rail...again waited...
retreating to the hydro wires. 
(12:10 pm)  I came inside to prepare lunch..contemplating about this Flight Day,
realizing that they will soon be leaving this 3rd floor balcony abode.
(12:15 pm)  Checking again...both parents there.  I opened the door about 2 inches;
Carlo flew away...leaving Bella “in charge”.She feeds Felix with mighty thrusts
such that their bodies tremble and shake with each pumping action to deliver
“lunch” ...which I believe energizes the fledgling. 
(2:30 to 3 pm)  Only Felix and Frieda occupying “the home”.
(4:00 pm)  Took novel with me to observe again.  Felix and Frieda stand for a few
minutes...then flex their wings many times to full width...nervously they preen
their feathers in between these efforts. 
(5:00 pm) Bella swooped in from the east... air-sailing with full feathered formation
and her 7 Twitter message...landing on the back railing.  She WAITS!  From there
she flies over the balcony, swooping downward (first time I've seen this direction)
to the concrete walkway below.
(5:16 pm)  I come inside; 2 minutes later hear her message; checking, I note she is
feeding F or F; she stays around; at 5:55 she's gone again!
(6:30 pm) Bella returns to feed other fledgling...hopefully strength for flight.
She retreats to the high wires. 
(7:30 pm)  Carlo appears briefly... at 8:00 pm I note F and F are alone for the night.

APRIL 21 (Saturday 8 am)  15th day following birth.  Alone! Overcast sky and 
may rain. Extremely chilly and breezy! 
(12:40 pm)  Bella on the chair...F and F flutter wings several times...practising!
Both parents continue to fly in and out...during my 90 minute bridge game with
Renda (from Oregon) on BBO...and wonder if she has had experiences with
Mourning Doves. Carlo and Bella twittering with their constant visits between
railing and high wire positions.  Of interest to note that....both parents are
“together” on these exercises to promote messages to these “babes” they must fly
...giving them instruction and direction how to do so! 
(1:00 pm)  Bella arrives to “chat”(?) about today's challenge and expectations.
Bella flies to the chair arm....Felix does likewise!  (Good Boy...I say).  She
swoops downward to the ground...he observes...yet nervously and with his
determination, he takes off to follow her.  (Frieda remains on the nest).
Looking over the balcony to the paved path below...do not see him or her.
A second glance tells me he landed on a  main floor patio wooden fence.
There he sits!  Made it!!! 
Now, Frieda realizes she is ALONE on the nest...very nervous and edgy and
frustrated...she walks around the chair seat...flutters her wings and jumps to
the chair arm...(Hurray...I say)...she flaps her wings a bit looking at the
railing that is about 13 inches higher than the chair arm.  Sadly she retreats
to the nest.  Repeating this exercise...flies easily to chair arm...she seriously
contemplates and hesitates...makes a 3rd attempt and fails to go further.
(3:35 pm) Due to cold...my hands an feet are almost numb...I come inside.
During this 2 ½ hour time period Bella returns again and again with her
constant Twitters each time. Returning to balcony, I see Carlo on the paved
walkway below...Felix leaves the patio fence...and with “Dad” struts along
the walkway to the grassy area.  Carlo flies up to the fence...Felix flutters
up there, too.Next, Carlo flies into a low leafy tree branch...and guess what?
Felix followed him. Over the next hour or so, “Dad” and “son” playfully strut
around from ground to fence to trees. Once I saw a black squirrel in their vicinity
and wondered about his intent …Carlo would then fly them to the fence and into
the trees...then I lost track of  them.

It is suffise for me to summarize the next few hours.  Frieda tried desperately
to make that flight...since she was now ALONE.  She made 40 to 50 attempts
jumping easily to the chair arm...walking its length a few times...looking at the
railing...flapping her wings...hesitating each time...viewing Bella through the
balcony bar uprights. Every 10 minutes or so, Bella would swoop up to the railing...
or to the neighbour's railing...or to the roof overhang...each time swooping
down to the ground.This repetition I conclude is to show Frieda “how easy it is”
(but as I say to my son frequently...'it's easy...when you know how'). 
With brief feedings for her, Bella again jumped to the chair arm...then to the railing
and waited...before swooping again to the ground below.  I estimate that Bella must
have made at least 25 visits to Frieda with her fly-ups to these three locations and
swoop downs to urge her babe.  Frieda, after several attempts, returned to nest for
preening and rest.  I sympathized with her...wanting to gently hold and place her
on the railing...but THIS I WOULD NOT DO...she needed  her mama or papa
to fly down with her to join the family.  ALONE, she was nervous and frustrated!

The parents spent 4 ½ hours prodding their fledglings to fly!
(5:30 pm)  Nothing occurring! 
(7:30 pm)   Frieda is ALONE!  I told her, “You tried your best, my little friend.
Have a good rest tonight. Tomorrow is another day!”

APRIL 21 (Saturday 8 am)  THE NEST IS EMPTY … SHE FLEW!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

This second experience of observing and following the lives
of these two mating pairs of Mourning Doves
has impressed me with the given opportunities
(both unexpected)
to value...what is so rare!

Grateful thanks I give to
Rosie, Papa...Henry and Heather
and to Bella, Carlo...Frieda and Felix
for sharing their families with me.

“Pearl of Wisdom”
Your enjoyment of something doubles
if you realize how lucky you are to have it!
If everyone had huge diamonds on their fingers,
or if sunsets  were universally scarlet and gold,
then we wouldn't Value them at all!
(Gerry Spence)

Merle Baird-Kerr … written April 24, 2012
Comments welcome … scroll down (may sign in as “anonymous”)
or e-mail...inezkate@gmail.com

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