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This winter a number of MOURNING Doves have come to my garden. They are fairly regular visitors. After most of the other birds have had their feeding, one, or two of the DOVES sit on the leeward side of the large feeder. Lately, I have seen them tucked into my large pine tree near my living room window--sheltered from the heavy snowfalls. I don't often look out there since I mostly 'live' in my den. Besides, lately frost has covered the lowest part of the panes.

To my surprise, when I watered my plants the other day, my head came down near the pane, and I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. A DOVE head swivelled about as she sat on a (functionless) window box. We both stared each other down. So as not to frighten her, I moved away. I watched her covertly further along the window, and saw her mate with her. He had not seen me. She still looked about. The MOURNING DOVES usually come to the garden in pairs. They mostly vie with the squirrels as ground feeders. Birds attract other birds, so that when the smaller birds, CHICADEES, NUTHATCHES, JUNCOS, as well as CARDINALS and JAYS feed, the gentle doves go to ground. This ground is littered with seeds scattered by these other birds.

I am reminded of DOROTHY PARKER'S comment when she was asked why she called her parrot, ONAN. "Because 'It spilled its seed on the ground.'" She was a marvellous wit, and writer. Onan is Biblical, and you will have to look the story up. (Genesis 38) It is rather indecorous of me to mention it, but it is humorous. Whenever I see scattered seed I think of her comment, and smile. ( Look under Birds. How my mind wanders.

The birds have had a rather strange winter, with lots of snow, now rain, but endless wind. Somehow the birds adjust. My DOVES always seem to find a place out of the wind, and I admire them for it.

Winter is gradually fading, but still here, so we, and the birds must make the best of it.

This post first appeared on Floras Fauna, please read the originial post: here

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