Saturday, January 14, 2017

dove love

Are they starting to look at each other a little too soon? Dove love can start early and we have another week of warm weather forecast for the valley. The doves may be singing a different tune.

 "I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, The love that's all around me, And so the feeling grows," originally sang by the Troggs in the 1960s. 

And, it's nice that we are having a reprieve from cold weather for a couple of weeks but I am a bit worried about the amorous mourning doves.

How so?

Oddly, I have encountered several people over the years that do not like these birds. Some folks even shoot them in the fall during dove season. But I just love the chunky, puffy ground-feeders. I provide food for them on my back deck and they will eat the cheapest seeds. They are about the only bird that touches milo and they are fun to watch waddling about. Pigeons and doves are like stuffed animals, you just want to pick them up and cuddle them.

But, you see, mourning doves are the most family-oriented birds that live in the valley. They can have six broods a year, but only two per clutch and both Mom and Dad are supportive parents. The papa dove even handles the tutorial after the nestlings fledge.

And because they can raise six families per year they like to get an early start on the production line and I'm a bit worried that the warmer weather may lure them into clutch number one too soon, in January, and that seems a bit early especially when cold weather returns. 

I may have caught a pair of doves looking longingly at each other on my deck with loving on their minds. Dare I discourage them? Speak to them about climate change and how it is affecting all kinds of natural patterns and rhythms.

But then again, mourning doves just love making babies. Maybe I should just let nature take its course.

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