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The Mama Dove

One of the best gifts I received this mother’s day was not from the hubs or even Princess Cupcake. It was from Mother Nature.

All day long we watched a mourning dove fly from the yard to the porch, porch to the yard, yard to the porch, over and over and over again. Turns out he was bringing treasures to waiting female dove that would eventually build a nest.

The male – weirdly – would stand on her back to give her the branches.

She accepted each carefully chosen scrap and shoved it underneath her, into a neat little circular nest.

This went on all day.

mama dove

But that night, the doves left. I began to worry that the puggies may have scared them off. I can’t say that I thought our back porch is ideal with two snorting, barking maniacs running back and forth. The hubs thought it might be for the best.

To my surprise, she returned on Monday – but only for a while.

I was relieved. I even put out bird seed to persuade her not to leave again.

But she did leave. I was crushed! Don’t tease me like that!

On Tuesday, she came back for a bit and by Wednesday, she was staying for good. Never leaving the nest now, we’ve watched her sit on top of her simple gathering of twigs and grass. I can’t believe she’s not bored.

I call her “Mama Dove” but as it turns out, it might not be the mama dove during the day that I’m so attentive to. Apparently the male dove sits on the nest in the daytime and mama comes and changes spots with him at night. Their colorings are so similar that most can’t tell the difference between the males and females.

I’ve learned a lot about doves during our recent adoption. The mourning doves mate for life, and can lay eggs up to 6 times per year. Mourning doves lay 2 eggs at a time, called their “clutch” and they’ll incubate the eggs for 2 weeks. After the baby birds are born, it takes them about 2 weeks before the fledglings are sent off into the world.

The way I estimate it, we’ve got a real live discovery channel series unfolding on our patio for the next month. I’m so happy this little dove family chose our home considering it was perfect for their growing family, and that we get to watch nature’s miracle right from our kitchen.

A great mother’s day gift indeed.

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