In April, I helped a Robin who seemed a little shy of being the sharpest tool in the shed build her nest on my back porch. She kept trying to get her materials to stick on the top of the support post, but nothing was working. She brought endless bits of last year’s flower stems to that spot, sat on them, watched them fall, and looked around seeming dumbfounded at the fact it wasn’t working. She kept trying. For two days she did this to no avail. So, I stuck a branch up there for support, wove some of her stems in to give her a foundation, and she went to town. She built a fine nest for her future family in a day or two and sat proudly in it each day. When she was away worming, I snapped photos inside the nest to watch her family’s progress. First one egg, then another. She never reached the usual number of four, but she diligently sat on and turned over her two prized eggs each day. I was mostly proud of her and how I’d helped, though a little concerned I’d helped further a gene pool that nature was trying to stop.
One day, she stopped sitting on the nest. I snapped a photo of the inside and it was empty. Turns out squirrels love Robin eggs. I put a bird feeder nearby, which probably alerted those squirrels to this tasty little egg shop. Why I put that feeder nearby eludes me, since Robins don’t even eat birdseed! Squirrels, however, LOVE it! Again, me trying to help became a nuisance!
We left the nest there and watched nature interact with it. Several other birds and bird couples came to check it out. There appeared to be a vacancy in our rental unit and word got out. The couple that seemed most interested was a pair of Mourning Doves. One would sit on the branch while the other sat in it testing it out. They came back several times. One day those doves had clearly taken up residence and were doing their thing taking turns sitting endlessly on those eggs. They were much calmer than the Robin and didn’t need us to close the shades, turn out the lights, or give them any special treatment. I scared the sitting mate away once, but only because I got too close with my camera! That’s when I snapped a shot of two white eggs in the nest.
Today, after a little while on that nest with her best beloved nearby at all times, she (or he) started sitting differently, like s/he needed to allow more room for what was happening under her belly. I studied the dove while eating my lunch and lo and behold, s/he bent her head down and a wee little head poked up towards her and she put her beak down its throat!
In this mad, mad world, with things that don’t make sense, and heart breaking tragedies hitting too close to home of late, it thrills me beyond measure that a little good has come from my needless meddling and that the Mourning Dove community has new life in it today.
Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to share a miracle or two from your world. I always love your comments!