I’m sad to say that our young mourning dove friends have all flown, before I could even get a good picture of them! It’s amazing how fast they grew up–I wish I had checked for babies a little more often, but I would have had to scare away the parents in order to get a good look and I just wasn’t willing to do it for now.
After all of that sitting and waiting on the nest, through rain and cold, one day I came home and one of the doves was sitting on the railing in front of the window. It flew away after I moved into the room and I ran to the other window to see if anything was sitting on the nest. Nothing! So I ran outside to the balcony and saw that all of them were gone!
I have to admit I am a little sad. I miss knowing that they are out there. The benefit of it, though, is that now when I see a mourning dove I know it could be one of “our” doves–the babies that were incubated, hatched, and fledged from a little potted plant on my balcony.
One of the most impressive things to me about the mourning doves is their extremely punctual nature! Everything they did was very textbook — the male and female changed places on the nest every day at 9:30 am and 5:30 pm, and they were on the nest for exactly 4 weeks–the amount of time every source gives for the hatching and fledging of young.
I’ll miss the doves. It was such a great experience to share my living space with them while it lasted. Every time I peeked out from behind a curtain there was that dark black eye, watching my movements, looking out–as all parents do–for anything that might try to hurt its young. Watching them stretch their wings after a long night sitting on the nest I could see that we’re really not so different.
So good luck to the next generation that is now flying off to find their own potted plants! And remember–there is an open space on my balcony for anyone who wants to give me dove grandchildren!