Good morning Kim,
I saw your post on Good Morning Gloucester today and thought you might enjoy these shots.
Last spring, late March into April, I was lucky enough to have a pair of mourning doves nest in a shrub about two feet from my front door. Each day I was able to watch on my way out and into the house. i called them my “grandbirds”. Some of my coworkers thought I was a bit crazy. I wondered how this bird could stay so long, but after some research and observation, I saw that that male and female took turns on the nest. Two eggs hatched, but I think only one survived to leave the nest. On the first day I realized the bird was gone I missed it, and wondered how it was then, when I arrived from work that evening, I spotted it in a ground cover next to my house. I was able to follow it’s growth to “teenage” size with its parent. I am hearing the doves again this spring. I can’t help but wonder if they are the same birds I watched last year. It would be wonderful to see such a thing again this year. I don’t know if they ever nest in the same place again. Thanks so much Jackie for sharing this story!
I’ve been keeping my eye on this pair of Mourning Doves and early this morning I found their nest! They saw me filming and photographing them and flew away. I hope they don’t abandon the nest as it would be wonderful to film the babies (squabs).
The male approaches the female with bobbing head and puffed chest, inviting her to a nesting site.
Female Mourning Doves build the nest.
The male dove carries the nest building material to the female.
A loose collection of twigs, pine cone needles, and grass, the nest is usually sited in a tree.
I hope I can find the nest again! Keeping my fingers crossed the pair will still be there when the rain lets up.
Mourning Dove morning song
I love that you can see a nearby tree reflected in the dove’s eye. This is the above photo of the female Mourning Dove, super cropped.
WELCOME SWEET HARBINGERS OF SPRING
A sure sign spring is on the way with these three singing their way onto the scene!
While the trees have yet to leaf out, late winter is a terrific time of year to observe songbirds. Singing their love songs and courting, establishing and defending territories, and nest building endeavors are more easily seen in the leafless trees.
Mourning Dove with air-puffed feathers to keep warm.
American Robin cocking his head while looking for worms.
Male Red-winged Blackbird perched on a cattail. Red-winged Blackbirds use the fluff of cattails as nesting material.
Male Red-winged Blackbird Love Song (turn up your volume)
During this snowiest of winters, I’ve been refilling the bird feeders several times a day. We usually only purchase safflower seeds because squirrels do not much care for the hard shelled seeds. Recently though I thought that with all the snow cover, our bird friends would benefit from some variety and decided to add black oil sunflower seeds to the mix. What a colossal error! This morning at the feeder a fight broke out over the sunflower seeds, with no less than five squirrels defending their new found cache. The sunflower seeds also drew two fat black rats to the feeders last night. We’re back to strictly safflower seeds!
The following are eight common birds that we see at feeders at this time of year and these eight species are content with the safflower seeds provided.
Safflowers seeds are available in bulk at the Essex Bird Shop.
From earlier today, while the storm was still blowing ~
Benjamin Duckworth Building an Awesome Fort
Super High Tide
Don’t forget our feathered friends. I filled the bird feeders three times today!
The sun started to break through mid-afternoon. I headed to Smith’s Cove and then drove (precariously) to Eastern Point to catch the setting sun. Happy Snow Days!
North Shore Art Association
Our Lady of Good Voyage
Eastern Point Lighthouse