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Baby Dove's Adventure

Baby mourning dove

Ever since a pair of doves built a nest in the branches of my neighbor's evergreen tree, I have been following their progress. The neighbor's evergreen hangs over the fence in my side yard. It is in this hanging section that the doves built their nest.


A few weeks ago I began to see small pieces of tiny egg shells on the ground, quite a distance from the nest. The wind may have blown them along. I never saw any baby doves – until over a week ago I accidentally found one.


I was using a garden hose to water the juniper tree in my front yard when all of sudden something hopped up and disappeared. I walked around the tree and found a baby mourning dove huddled next to the base of the juniper. Its coloring was so much like the tree that it was hard to spot.


The bird pushed itself as far into the base of the tree as possible. I knew I was scaring it, so I went inside and hurried to my kitchen window that looks out onto the juniper. I spotted two doves fly into the tree. They began to send trilling sounds through the air. They must be the parents, I thought, letting their baby know they were close by. Those doves must be the ones that built a nest in my neighbor's evergreen tree!


Why was the baby dove at the base of my juniper tree? Did it have trouble learning to fly? I found a tiny bowl, filled it with water, and took it to the base of the tree. The baby dove was there, but it hopped to the other side of the tree when it saw me. I put the bowl close to the spot where I hoped the bird would return. It was in a shaded, somewhat protected space. Sure enough, the bird eventually did return there. I stayed as far away as I could to keep from scaring it.


I hoped the baby dove would be safe there until it learned to fly. I don't see cats wondering around my area of the neighborhood, and I hoped no larger predator birds would try to make a meal out of the little one.


This went on for several days until one day when I went to check on the bird, it was gone. There were no feathers to indicate an attack, nothing but the slight indentation the baby had made in the soil at the base of the tree. The bowl of water was empty. I kept checking every day, but the dove never returned. I stopped hearing its parents trill support to their little one.


I hope the baby mourning dove learned to fly and that it will live a long, productive life. I will never know, but I choose to believe the story of the baby mourning dove had a happy ending.

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