Watching the nesting Mourning Doves on my patio this past week has been such fun. Their nest is visible from my kitchen table so I keep an eye on it. I can open my patio door and take two steps outside and and I get a closeup view through my Nikon D6 and 500mmPF lens. It is nice to be able to photograph these moments. I love this shot, the chick resting its head against Mama Dove’s breast. Once again I’m anthropomorphizing because I see a sweet family moment here and not the actual biology of a chick resting momentarily before returning to gorge voraciously from the parent’s crop.
And all too soon, it’s over. Late Friday afternoon, I looked out the window and one chick was perched on the edge of the basket looking down. Then, suddenly it launched and landed on a patio chair beneath it, its first move toward independence. Now both chicks have fledged. Earlier Friday morning, the Mama Dove and the other chick flew out of the nest when Papa Dove, on the fountain nearby, was startled by me checking feeders. I’m guessing the chick was already out of the nest earlier Friday and his nest-mate took a few hours to follow. How fun to see the entire cycle. Now the two chicks with Mama Dove are resting on the patio underneath one of the chairs. It will be interesting to see how quickly they grow and how soon I won’t be able to distinguish them from their parents. Mourning Doves usually have several broods in a season. I’ll be keeping an eye out for another nest, hopefully in the same spot.