It’s a portrait of a 3 week old male baby mourning dove ~ he’s really only about 7 inches tall and was perched on the fence for a while this morning so I went out to visit with him. The entire family allows me to visit within a foot of them because they’ve seen me so often and heard me talking to them. He’s looking pretty scrawny still, and I’ve posted a photo of his mom as a reminder of what he will look like when he’s grown out of this “tween” stage. He was so anxious to leave the nest and I kind of felt like he left a day or two too early. From watching birds for so long, I know they have a tough life, always needing to look out for predators. I’m hoping this little one will come back again for a bit each day so that I can see how he’s doing. I haven’t seen the little female dove at all. All anyone can do is hope for the best for these precious little lives.
Yep, sometime between last night and early morning, the bigger of the two babies flew away. I’m pretty sure he is a male dove because males are bigger than the females, although I don’t really know for sure. For the sake of telling this story, the one who has left already will be “he” and the smaller dove will be “she.” I did see the one who disappeared from the nest overnight perched on the fence for a while this morning. He looks big in the photo, but he’s really only about six inches tall. He stayed for a while and then it was really something to see him fly off into a nearby tree. The smaller dove has been trying so hard to fly from the nest, but she just can’t quite do it. I’ve watched the parents perch about 20 feet away on the fence and call to her, and even fly to the nest for about five seconds and then quickly leave…as if to say “this is how you do it.” Surely today, she will be courageous enough to leave and join the rest of her family. I’ve learned SO much from this experience and I have the utmost respect for dove parents. Their dedication throughout this whole process has been astounding. All of this will remain in my heart forever. I will still post a few photos every now and then if I still see the babies.
Can you even believe the puffed up little baby dove perched on the edge of the nesting box in the first two photos? It’s going to be any day, any minute now! Good luck little babies…and I’m so glad I was able to get some “family portraits” before this sweet story comes to a close.
…minus the camera shy little one who is hiding in the background. 🙂
About 9 days old now…and they’re supposed to be ready to fly at about 14 days, so we’ll have about 5 days more with them before they’re ready to leave the nest. 🙂
Not such a great photo because it was taken through the glass door…but it’s a baby dove and parent. The baby is about six days old. For me, the best of life is this, witnessing the purest love.