To continue the story of the mother dove, I was out on the patio and I noticed that she, the one in her little stick nest in the nearby orange tree, was up and sort of giving the two little (now rather large) children a tidying up. I thought maybe this would be the day they’d take off and I wanted to see it. I went in the house to get the paper and went back out on the patio. I’d only been gone a few minutes, and the babies were already gone. I missed it. I wanted to see how Mom acted when she shoved the babies out of the nest. Would she stay with them, sort of watch over them for a while? Would they be able to fly right off the bat? I know baby quail can fly right out of the egg but I wasn’t sure about doves. Did she give them pecks on the cheeks and say goodbye? Some birds have babies that are recognizably babies trailing along after the parent—quail, robins, blackbirds, to name only a few. But some seem to be as big as adults when they leave home. Have you ever seen a baby sparrow? I think not. And the doves seem to be the same. I’ve never seen a dove that looked like a baby or adolescent having to be fed by a mother or father. One of life’s mysteries.
Several weeks later, I noticed a dove sitting in the stick nest. And a male also flew up there next to her. Was it the same female going to give it another go? Or was it a new couple out looking for a place to rent? I could almost hear her saying to him, “I dunno, Harry, it just doesn’t feel right. And I just hate the drapes. I think we should keep looking.” So they did, both flying off to look at other properties.