I’m Not Ready

A few weeks ago a couple of mourning doves were shopping for nest sites in our backyard. I know this because as I sat in our breezeway I could hear them cooing at each other and scrabbling around in our gutters. At first, I wasn’t sure what the noise was and I’d pop my head out the back door to take a peek only to frighten them off, their wings beating furiously and making that weird high pitched noise as they flew off.

They seemed particularly drawn to one stretch of gutter, just above the breezeway which connects to a bit of gutter off the back of the house. There used to be a wiggly bit of pipe connecting the two but it got filled with leaves a couple of years ago and when Derek was cleaning the gutter he ripped it up and let it rest in the pachysandra. It makes for an ok place to put a twiggy, poorly constructed nest I guess because that’s where they decided to do it.

They’re pretty used to us now, but at one point last weekend as I climbed up onto our patio table to get a closer look at the situation, Derek came out of the garage door which sticks and made enough of a ruckus that the one sitting on the nest flew off. We got up on a ladder and saw one tiny little egg in the nest and were equal parts delighted and horrified.

After a bit of online research it turns out this egg is going to crack open, a little bird will emerge and then, about 12 days later it will hop out of the nest onto the ground below. The ground below is filled with sharp stones and a spindly forsythia bush. This little bird will sit on the ground until it figures out how to fly which could take a few days. I am not confident this will go well. We’ve got a fair number of cats that skulk around the yard not to mention a peregrine falcon family which lives nearby.

I was initially flattered this little bird family decided to hang out near us but now I am terrified of witnessing the untimely death of their offspring. When I go out the backdoor I have long and involved conversation with whomever is sitting on the nest (apparently it’s the dad during the day) about life choices and whether or not they’ve thought this whole thing through and can I get them something, a scoop of seed perhaps? I’m going to continue to monitor the situation, but I am not feeling good about their chances.

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