Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mourning a lost dove

Try as I did to protect the doves nesting in my porch from the prowling cats, I couldn't keep my eyes on them continuously. Sadly the female dove was attacked. The neighbour found the bird in their yard. She told me, the male bird was beside his mate sort of pecking her, as if to say get up, let's go.The female bird was alive but not in good shape. The neighbour then took the bird to the humane society. I imagine she died there.

What adds to the sadness of this whole situation is the male bird has spent the past two days calling for her. He comes under the porch roof, where they nested. He calls and calls. He flies two houses over, sitting on the roof's peak and very methodically calls in every direction. He faces to the east and calls. Then north, then west, then south. He then flies away, and I can hear him calling for her.

Yesterday, when he came into the porch, I went and spoke softly to him. Yes, I am a sap and I admit it. I said, I don't think she is coming back. No matter how much you call. He looked at me, I looked at him. No, I don't think he understood me, but he did stop calling.

This pair of doves had hatched 3 clutches of eggs in my porch this summer. For a total of 5 young birds. The last two birds we were able to get a pic of the eggs. Later, we tried to get a pic of the babies, but the one time we looked the female birds had them sort of half underneath her, with her breast feathers all ruffled to keep them warm. And, before you know it they are gone.
And so now, is the female bird.
I wonder what the male bird will do? Apparently these birds mate for life, so will he find a new mate? I think eventually he will. Though right now he seems more melancholy then ever.
We removed the remains of their nest, it did contain one egg. We discarded everything.

I end this post listening to the male bird calling for the third day now. I can see him sitting where the nest was. No matter how much he calls, she cannot come home.


  1. :(

    That's sad Penny. I know you were attached to these birds. Why didn't the neighbour give her to you? Taking a bird to the humane society is a death warrant. They don't even accept birds at ours here.

    But, look on the bright side, she did raise three healthy clutches and he mate will find a new love. Tis the way of nature. Still, I know you are a softy - it would make me sad too.

    When the wife of Mr. Cardinal didn't show herself for months in my yard last winter I thought for sure that my Great Hunter had had his way. But lo and behold she showed up one day and has been at his side since.

    Anyways, condolencses Pen, chin up and I imagine you'll see their offspring raising their own clutches next year.

  2. I tend to be sappy. I just can't help it. I noticed early evening the male birds call had changed, the tone become lower and softer. I hadn't heard him since the morning and I wondered is he off looking for a new mate already.

    Typical male!

    I'll keep you updated

  3. Hee,
    I am sappy too - I did save a little baby starling of all nasty things. My Great Hunter had it, but hadn't hurt it - just licked it alot and brought it too me. I put it in the dark to calm it down then let it free later that day.

    Now... squirrels on the other hand are fair game for the Hunter.

    Buffy the Beastmaster... ;)