Monday, February 13, 2012

Doorstep Dove and Friend Do Winter

2:16pm  It's snowing and after most of another day without feeder birds, possibly because of Culprit the Cooper's Hawk, I look outside and there are the Mourning Dove pair of long standing in this territory, Doorstep Dove and Friend.  Friend gives me the eye.

After identifying me he goes back to eating.  It's been awhile since they've availed themselves of the feeding floor bounty and they are making up for lost time. 

Have you ever noticed that in cold weather doves appear to at times eat with their eyes closed.  As they keep pecking and hitting their mark when it comes to seed, I'm supposing that they're shutting their eyes to a slit to keep them from getting too cold.  The next time I look out everyone is gone.
3:36pm  Doorstep Dove is back along with the braver Juncos.  She's raised her left foot out the snow to warm it for awhile.  It appears to be cold enough that the snow isn't doing a quick melt even though it's snugged up to her body.
Doorstep now has her eyes slitted.  The Juncos who have been busily doing their double footed scratching in the snow to uncover seed suddenly go on alert.  Whatever got their attention doesn't seem to have caught Doorstep's.
Eyes still slitted, Doorstep Dove continues to eat though the Juncos have made a beeline for the Spruce tree, where the rest of their flock is already sheltered.  If there were danger to Doorstep, Friend would take off to distract the predator, Doorstep would hear his wings, (Ever wonder why Mourning Dove wings make a sound?  I have and this is my theory.), and flee.
5:27pm   Doorstep is warming herself before going to roost while Friend watches over her from a wire above.  She gives me a bob of her head, takes to the air, with Friend following close behind.  They make their way to their roost of this evening.  Friend  is always very protective of Doorstep, particularly since her injury from a suspected accipter two years ago.
Donegal Browne

No comments: