Jocelyn arrived in Tucson for her annual “Get Out of the Winter Pre-Race Training” on March 16th this year. Within a few days of her arrival, Momma Mourning Dove had built a nest in the hanging Boston fern on my patio.
We were amazed at the precise timing Momma and Poppa changed the guard of the eggs – it occurred at 6 pm and then again at 6 am. Shortly before the changing, the egg-sitter would call out “coo coo, cookoo” and the other parent would arrive to sit guard for the next 12 hours.
Jocelyn left Tucson on Sunday, March 27th to return to the ice and snow in New
Jersey with a third place win at the Foray at the Fort Woman’s Marathon Mountain Bike Race held in Fort Huachuca here in Southern Arizona.
The baby bird was born the following weekend. I could catch a glimpse of the guard preening the chick every once in a while. I was even lucky enough to be able to snap a picture.
Midweek I noticed the nest being un-guarded for a while and was able to stand on a stool and see inside the nest – there were two little doves sitting in the nest. Luckily I got a picture before Momma returned to feed the babes.
Sometime between the night of April 11th and 8:30 am the morning of April 12th, the offspring flew the nest……sure wish I had seen them taking flight. I had seen the chicks spreading their wings for the past couple of days. Hopefully I will get a chance to see the next brood take wing.
The very next morning while sitting on the patio having my morning coffee, I saw the two youngsters walking on the ground foraging for seeds. One flew up onto a bird bath and the other managed to fly up onto the back wall. All the while, Momma sat in the Boston fern with a watchful eye; Poppa was also nearby perched on the rooftop. Since then the family of four seems to always be close to my yard, I never knew birds reared their young after they took flight.
So this is what retirement from Corporate America is about – time to smell the flowers and experience the wonders of nature and gather inspiration for my artwork!