Still here, hanging in there. The number of photos I get on the booth have gone down from up to 10.000 a day to a mere 1.300. But everything seems ok in the yard. I hear and see Bluebirds, I hear the Redbellied Woodpeckers, the Cardinals, the Nuthatches. They are just not coming to the yard in big numbers right now. But I know they will be back. A Downy Woodpecker has taken residence in the Bluebird house, just like last year. It goes to bed at seven and gets up at seven. This blog might slow down a bit after the summer bonanza, but I am determined :) I hope everybody is having a good week so far despite so many issues to be upset about. Birds and the nature around me are a soothing reminder of my own mortality. And the miracle and joy of being alive. Sleep tight.

I found a lamenting pigeon standing in the grass.

Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) tend to feed busily on the ground, swallowing seeds and storing them in an enlargement of the esophagus called the crop. Once they’ve filled it (the record is 17,200 bluegrass seeds in a single crop!), they can fly to a safe perch to digest the meal (All About Birds, Cornell).


Pet mourning dove


Mourning Dove Name Suggestion Time!!

Look at these birbos. Aren’t they cute? I love them. This is the best picture I can get because I don’t want to scare them and I don’t have a nice camera with fancy zoom.

Anyway, I want to give them some cute names and I thought I’d ask you all for suggestions! Please leave a comment on this post with your name ideas!

speaking of being a massive ecology nerd, guess what season it is, folks! That’s right, it’s FLEDGLING BIRD SEASON here in North America, which means it’s time for an annual reminder that most species of birds have almost no sense of smell. Someone probably told you that if you touch a baby bird, the mother will smell you on it and reject her baby. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. 

Pictured: a young Mourning Dove, after being rescued from the tender mercies of my dog, circa spring 2005. It’s a fledgling! Note how it has most of its feathers, but still looks a bit awkward and scruffy, and, being unable to properly fly, can be caught by an elderly husky or a child. 

  • Hatchlings: IF it is covered in fluffy down (or partly naked) and cannot flutter successfully, it’s a hatchling, and has fallen from its nest prematurely. Look for the nest- if you find it and can reach it, return baby and then gtfo and let the parents return. If you can’t find the nest, or if you find it in pieces on the ground, use a small box lined with dryer lint or dog hair or similar fluff and attach as close as possible to where you found the bird or where you think the nest was. Return baby!!!! 
  • Fledglings: If you spot a young bird covered with feathers on the ground, chances are it’s a fledgling (bird tween, can flutter) who is not doing well in flying 101, but it is probably NOT injured or sick. Hanging out on the ground is part of the learning to fly process! If it looks like it’s in immediate danger (i.e. of being run over, stepped on, or eaten by a cat or dog), the best thing you can do for it is to gently scoop it up and place it in the branches of a nearby tree or shrub, and then LEAVE. The parents are likely nearby, and will return once the coast is clear of humans/predators. If it flutter-hops away from you and you can’t catch it, then don’t worry! It just successfully avoided a predator (you), and therefore can probably continue to do so. 
  • DON’T DON’T DON’T: Try to feed it, bring it into your house or car, or take it to your local vet or animal shelter. 
  • IF it IS actually for-real injured, you can catch it and contact a local wildlife rehabilitation professional (and then listen to whatever they tell you), but keep in mind that they get a LOT of fledgling birds, and those birds have a pretty high mortality rate. They may tell you that there is nothing you or they can do but allow nature to take its course, and that’s hard, but important to hear and respect.
Bird Asks for Spring~
  • Owl: What is something that fascinates you?
  • Bird of Paradise: If you could go on a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  • Mourning Dove: What do you do to cheer you up when you're said?
  • Crane: Where is the farthest you have been from home?
  • Pigeon: What's your favorite city?
  • Penguin: What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
  • Parrot: Do you consider yourself introverted or extroverted?
  • Flamingo: What is your favorite outfit?
  • Hawk: What is your favorite meal?
  • Eagle: Do you consider yourself patriotic?
  • Ibis: What is your preferred creative outlet?
  • Swan: What is your favorite song?
  • Cardinal: Are you religious?
  • Sparrow: If you were given the opportunity, would you go on an adventure?
  • Hummingbird: Have you ever had a recurring dream? If so, what was it?
  • Heron: If you could travel to a different year (future or past), which would it be and why?
  • Egret: What do you consider the epitome of elegance?

And… A Mourning Dove. I do love these guys, but they are seriously dominating the yard right now. This set of photos I loved, nice posing :).

Good night, sleep tight, and I hope everybody in the Florida area has found shelter and is as safe as can be. My thoughts are with you!

Old Married Spirk is literally the most clean, pure and beautiful thing that ever existed. Spock and Jim are all old and happy and lazy and live peacefully in their flat in rainy San Fransisco where they drink tea and read books in bed and play chess together and snuggle like mourning doves and whisper sweet good mornings and good nights and go out to Italian restaurants and operas every week it’s just so perfect I love OMS they love and need each other so much and retirement is so wonderful for them because they’re finally settled down and can each simply enjoy life together with their soulmate wow I love OMS oh my god