PHOTOS BY HAMLIN GRANGE
A parent dove sees everything.
Including us, spying on him as he sits on the nest.
(Dove mothers sit on the nest at night, fathers during the day. )
Hamlin set up his camera and tripod just inside the window. Timing was everything. He said, one day:
“Do you know how long I sat there, waiting for feeding time? And that bird wouldn’t do anything.
“I was precariously perched and couldn’t move, just in case I scared him off.
“We basically waited each other out, I guess: he got tired of waiting and started feeding them.”
The babies’ feathers were looking ready, but their heads still looked fuzzy and not quite ready for nest-leaving.
So we relaxed a little, thinking we had a couple more days before they left us.
But in the picture below, the father must have been giving them the crucial pep talk…
… because when we weren’t looking, parents and young ones flew away. We were all quite bereft — Hamlin perhaps most of all.
“They didn’t even say goodbye,” he joked, trying to mask his feelings, I’m sure.
We eventually had to face the fact that the bond of affection was entirely one-sided, and that doves, it seems, will nest wherever they feel safe.
For proof, Hamlin offers these two photos, taken in a local plant nursery.
But it was fun while it lasted, and we were glad to have provided safe lodging for “our” birdies.