Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mourning dove calls

This lovely mourning dove called and called the other afternoon - much to my surprise. Usually I find three or four of them underneath the weeping birch, nibbling at the black oil sunflower seeds that I put out on a plate and a table for the jays, grackles and finches who don't want to attempt the tube feeder at my kitchen window. I don't often find them on the wire above my driveway, nor do I see a single bird. There was something more plaintive than usual about its call which prompted my finding my camera and seeing if I could get a shot.

These birds are not the brightest lights in bird-dom. A dear friend of mine had one that one spring made a nest in her basket of pansies right beside her front door, bothered not at all by the family comings and goings. My friend called her Norma Jean - quite beautiful and quite breathlessly wide-eyed about everything. That mum raised two young that hung around the driveway for the longest time. Many of us in my pottery group call all mourning doves Norma Jeans. Their soft colours and gentle calls make them a favourite, year round.

An update on yesterday's post about two owl babies I thought were screech owls. I was advised by a bird expert who is involved with the Ontario Nest Registry Survey - (think I've got that right) - that the owlets were saw-whets. He was so surprised to see them and said the nest registry doesn't have very many listings for these owls and asked me to get the details. Even though these images were a couple of years old, I'm sure the information will be helpful since so many of our native birds are declining in numbers as their habitat disappears, they are predated or non-native species take over.

Since I write for organizations that are involved with recovery efforts for our disappearing natural world, I feel its important to spread the word - for all of us to do what we can wherever we can and when we can. A tiny bit goes a long long way - awareness is the first step....and that's the end of my seriousness for today - have a great day!

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