Sunday, May 29, 2011
Backyard Bird Maternity Ward
For a couple weeks now, we've had a pair of mourning doves who're sitting on eggs in a nest over the front door. It's a good location. The only person who uses the front door is the Fed Ex guy, and we don't get that many deliveries. It looks like there's just a mama bird in the nest, but we Googled the nesting habits of doves and found out that the incubation duties are shared by the male and female birds. Mama bird sits on the eggs during the day and then Daddy bird takes the night duty. The Internet resource we read said the exchange can happen so fast that it looks like just one bird is sitting on the nest. I will say that whichever one is sitting on the nest when I check on things first thing in the morning has one heck of a dirty look. I'm certain it's the Mama bird. Her look says, "Who you lookin' at, house lady?" Makes me slam the curtain down and feel bad about checking on her and her little family. We think we should have babies in the nest any day now. We're all very excited.
Last Friday we discovered a hummingbird nest in the Oleander bush in the backyard. That corner of the yard is quiet and hardly used, but the branch this little hummingbird built her nest on isn't very stable. We've had a lot of strong winds here and when she's in the nest, it's like she's riding a bucking bronco. I don't know how she does it. When we first found the nest on Friday, it was empty. Yesterday, there was one egg. Today, there's two. We had to research hummingbird incubation and found out that building the nest and sitting on the eggs is the female's job -- big daddy doesn't lift a finger. We're trying hard to keep the three indoor cats who live here from figuring out that there home has become a birdie maternity ward -- but we have a feeling they know that something's up.