Sunday, June 5, 2011

More Fowl News

When we're not watching quail or rabbits in my parents' backyard, we're generally watching doves.  Two types of doves frequent this area: the standard mourning dove and the white-winged dove, which is larger and a key player in the reproduction of saguaro cacti.  Until recently a few of each stopped by on a regular basis to see what scraps my mother had thrown out and fight over the items they deemed edible.  Then one of the white-winged doves decided to take up residence and built a nest on the air conditioner that cools the laundry room addition.

My father is a little steamed about this because he had just had the innards of the air conditioner professionally cleaned, and he's sure it's now full of nest-making fallout.  My mother also won't let him run the air conditioner while the dove family (parents and two chicks) are still in residence.  In fact, she made him take their camera out and photograph the mama dove and her two now-adolescent offspring crowded together in their happy home.  None of this went over well.

The photo shoot had one interesting result, though; apparently it made the mother bird paranoid enough so that she's been frantically building a new nest in the nearby lemon tree.  Since she's been flying back and forth with twigs almost non-stop for the last few days we're assuming she must be done or close to it; we haven't seen her on the old nest for quite a while.  The young doves, on the other hand, are still hanging out there and almost completely filling it.

On second thought, maybe their mother wasn't upset by the picture-taking; maybe she's just tired of their crowded living conditions and decided that she wants a room of her own.

"I hope you love birds too.   It is economical.  It saves going to heaven."
~Emily Dickinson

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