This is a Mourning Dove. The 'mourning' part of the name has been explained in different ways: the sad, grieving, mournful cooing sounds they make – especially nice to wake up to on an overcast morning. This moniker could also refer to their coloring, which is a seamless blend of gray, lavendar and beige…an accepted color to wear when one is in mourning. It doesn't always have to be black gowns, veils, and jet beads, you know. (I wear that to work, anyway) Another theory I've heard – a charming one – is that, since pairs are monogomous, the mourning dove will 'mourn' for its deceased mate, often until it dies itself.
This particular dove has made its nest – admittedly not the best-kept one – in boyfriend's tool shed. It's a favorite spot for some obscure reason – it seems rather uncomfortable! Other doves have chosen this as their nursery, so I'm wondering if she is a repeat nester. A quick visit to Wikipedia.org tells me that in a couple of weeks the bebehs, or 'squabs' should appear. Mom keeps them well hid, merely becoming fluffier as she tries to protect her little ones against intruders (i.e. boyfriend and myself). The only sign that her family has new additions would be a few chips of egg shell on the floor.
Dad, when he's not out drinking with the boids, keeps watch – either on a nearby telephone pole, or on top of the garage. When he senses trouble, he'd zoom in, land, and then mimic having a broken wing, dragging it behind him, hoping to lure danger away from the precious nest. But in this case 'danger' is usually boyfriend taking out the garbage, so there are really no fears for these dears.
I took this particular picture. I felt so guilty. Even when I check her progress, I feel bad. Because she Refuses To Move. I can just tell that her tiny bird body is stiff, and that she is TERRIFIED. But she doesn't budge. I keep on murmering, "I'm sorry, birdie; I'm sorry, birdie."
Both of these birds are only doing what instinct orders them to do, but I still find them terribly brave.
And these pretty creatures are also very popular gamebirds.