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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Fledgling Theory


It all started a few weeks ago when a Mourning Dove refurbished an old robin's nest on the side of the house. It has always been ill-placed but for some reason both doves and robins like it and use it.

I atlased the occupants and checked them out now and then, but thought little of it until...

One afternoon about a week ago as we pulled into our parking spot behind the house a dove shot up from the ground and flew straight toward the mulberry trees.

I was watching idly when WHAM!! a hawk hit it so hard there was a cloud of feathers lingering in the air as it passed. I was unable to identify the predator, but I think it might have been a Merlin.

A couple of days later we noticed the little guy above hanging around. He seemed to be kinda close to the right age to fledge, but not quite right somehow. Really tame, begging all the doves that landed to eat on the tray feeder to feed him, and only able to fly a few feet.

We quickly became enamored and more diligent than ever at chasing away the stray or dropped cats that pass through regularly...although I have yet to see that big Siamese take anything but rodents, so I don't chase him too hard.

Then I found a matching birdling drowned in the garden pond.

Aha! I'll bet they came from that nest, which is much torn up with dangling twigs and grass now.

However, I didn't connect the events until yesterday. Then the penny dropped. I'll bet the dove we saw killed was brooding the two little ones and left them not quite ready to fend for themselves.

They probably struggled out of the nest in hungry desperation, one landed in an unfortunate spot and other other right at the feeder.

Anyhow, we are cheering the little guy on, and making sure there is food where he can easily find it. I think I will make sure the rhubarb leaf bird bath is full too, although there is so much water everywhere I am sure he is getting plenty to drink.

I know the odds aren't good, but I hope he makes it.


Terry and Linda said...

OH! ME! TOO! Please make it little one!

threecollie said...

Linda, he is still here this morning and is becoming a bit better at flying and finding safe places to roost. If only those darned stray cats don't get him!

Shirley said...

I too hope he makes it!

threecollie said...

Shirley, thanks, we do too. He was still around yesterday and becoming a much better flier. So maybe....