Wednesday, March 19, 2008
My daughter was doing some yard work the other day and had started to clean out some old plant material and debris from her hanging planters when she discovered the "debris" in one planter was actually a messy nest that contained a little white egg. . . she left that planter alone, and lo and behold, a mourning dove appeared later that afternoon and settled herself atop the nest, claiming the planter for her own. Of course, my obsessive need to find out everything I possibly can about any minute subject or situation that crosses my path, sent me right to the Internet to do some checking around. I found out that mourning doves usually lay one egg, then sometime later, maybe in a day or two, a second one. Sure enough, there was a second egg the next day. (I know because I carefully snooped when the bird had left the nest that afternoon.) It seemed as though the mother bird was on the nest most of the time after that, but I learned that both parents take turns sitting on the nest; the male taking the mid-morning until late-afternoon shift, and the female taking the night shift. They are monogamous birds and are very faithful about nurturing the eggs and taking care of their babies. They are certainly sweet, gentle birds. I remember hearing their soft, sad-sounding cooing outside my 2nd-story bedroom window every morning when I was growing up. I hear them every day now, as well. We are anxious to see this little couple welcoming their new "children" when the 14-day incubation period is over!