Leaving the Nest

A few days ago, my wife and I realized that a morning dove made a nest near the front door to our house. We have a couple of bird feeders in the back yard which have become favorites of a number of pairs of morning doves (they even learned how to land on the feeders instead of just cleaning up the left overs that fall on the ground). So seeing them make a nest nearby is not surprising.

What was surprising is that we spend a lot around the area where they made the nest…and we never saw them. It wasn’t until I came out of the house one morning and saw the mother on the walkway to the front door. As I walked down the walkway and approached her, she didn’t fly away like most doves would…and I thought that odd. I watched her for a while and she just walked around the ground, darting in and out of the plants. That was when I look around spotted the nest…along with the two chicks that were quietly following mom’s lead and just watching me.

Here, this dove had made her nest, laid her eggs, and raised the chicks without us knowing. And after observing her for the next few days, I can understand why. She has a round about way of getting into her nest. First landing on the neighbors roof, fluttering down to a bush in their yard, and then working her way slowly across the yard using the plants as cover. Eventually, she make to a plant underneath the nest and then darts up to the nest. All this so that no predator will find her nest (which is well protected and hidden).

Yesterday, the chicks finally left the nest (or mom kicked them out). They didn’t make it far as they took refuge under a Japanese Maple tree about 10 feet from the nest. I took a break from work in order to capture this shot of the two of them huddling there…watching me intently the whole time but not moving or making a sound.

Funny thing is, some doves made a nest in the stoplight at the main entrance to our subdivision a few years ago. This picture reminded me of that and I found a few shots that I took of the doves silhouetted in the stoplight. Both of these events reminded me of how much wildlife we have just in our own backyard. Thus, I have created a new gallery on the website for Backyard Wildlife. I have a number of shots that I have taken over the past few years we have lived in our current house and I will be posting them here (along with any new ones that I’m able to capture).

What’s that saying about “right in your own back yard?”

(OK, granted, the stoplight isn’t in our backyard…but I can see it from there…)

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