Friday, June 19, 2009

Mourning Doves

On our front porch, we have three hanging planters. The first year, I planted peonies in them, and when the plants died back at the end of summer, I put in some silk flowers, so the baskets wouldn't be bare. The next spring, when I started to remove the silk flowers, I was surprised to find a pair of mourning doves nesting in the basket. We have had at least one pair nesting every spring and early summer since then. The chosen basket varies from year to year, and I don't know that it's the same pair, but I like to think so. The parents pull out flowers from the middle of the basket, allowing the unwanted stems to fall to the ground. So I leave the poor bedraggled silk flowers, not wanting to ruin what the doves obviously think is a fine home.
We so enjoy their quiet cooing drifting through our open windows, and the whirring sound they make as they take flight. This year, I was able to take a few pictures of one of the parents and a nestling, shortly before the fledglings left the nest. These were taken through the glass storm door, using the telephoto option on my camera.
We had the pleasure of watching the parents caring for the nestlings, and witnessed their first flight. The nest is deserted at the moment, but the pair may be back to hatch another family, so I'll be leaving the baskets alone for the moment.

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