As promised I bring to you Proof Of Birth, and I couldn't be more pleased.
On Saturday, I took photos of Ms. Dove with one visible chick, and I'll admit that I was concerned. Mourning Doves will usually produce two babies, and I didn't like to think that one didn't make it. But it's a nice picture; mother as usual is immovable, the child nestled still and close.
I felt terrible bothering them and all – I had to use a flash, too – but an opportunity like this couldn't be passed up:
On Sunday morning, we took another look. And calloo callay, there were two this day!
Now this photo is a bit hard to make out – take a close look, and on the left hand side you'll see a chickie facing you and on the right you will just make out the folded wings and the tail-io of the other chick. Two squabs – the Doves' perfect nuclear family:
Whatever their avian thought-processes might be, it's very possible that they could be wondering why they have suddenly become conscious in such a bristle-y, elevated place. Or maybe they're just wondering where the large, warm, feathery Mothership has gone.
With the parents gone for a Sunday brunch we thought it was the perfect opportunity to get in close for some more pictures. But boyfriend thought it would be even more of a ripping idea if I were to stand on a ladder for a truly sublime point of view. I said that surely this was too intrusive, but he was already on his way to the garage.
OK. So I'm perched – oh Aubrey, you kill us – on this ladder, angling my digital camera for the best range when suddenly we hear a rustling of wings, and some…aggressive cooing. Doves don't squawk or hiss or anything strident. 'Coo' is the limit to their vocabulary.
We heard the rattling of tiny feet on cement (roof), metal (landing) and wood (stairs). They were, to the best of their dove-like abilities, trying to raise a racket to divert our attention from their momentarily abandoned babies.
We think that in a week or two the kids will be starting their adventures outside the nest. Lots of fluttering, stumbling, falling, lurching into closed windows, somehow getting through partially opened doors…yes, a deliriously exciting time.