Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Empty Nest

Guess what? There were two eggs in that precarious little nest on my patio. Little Mama hatched both about three weeks ago, and for the first two weeks I was quite worried. They never moved, never peeped, and she never seemed to be off getting food for them. Were they dead, I fretted? Would she sit atop dead babies hoping they'd revive? She looked, after all, very young, and she must not have had much nest-building experience to pick a flimsy rosebush twig on a patio where three big dogs and one ornery cat live.

Then last week, a growth spurt happened and suddenly Little Mama was half hanging off the nest, half sitting on baby backs. Over the course of three or four days, I watched their gnarly baby feathers get replaced by sleek adult feathers with their characteristic mourning dove stripe. Saturday morning, one fraternal twin tested the feathers by flapping around the rosebush. Five minutes later, both took off and no one, neither baby nor Little Mama, has returned. I sincerely hope they made it and are flying free. And I am relieved nobody got eaten by a dog or cat I own.

This morning's backyard birding:
unknown hummingbird
lesser goldfinch
a different mourning dove

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