SURVIVAL of the COOING DOVES

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Where do you think we see and hear many, many beautiful cooing doves?

Yes in Florida, it's hard to miss them while walking or biking as they startled us.

They seem to like to be on the road  where we bike or walk to surprise us.

There color blends in very well so their preditors  don't really see them.

The doves must feel safe on the road because they frighten us frequently when they scuddle by when they are learning to fly.

One year when we arrived in Florida there was a nest with eggs in it in our window box. I kind of wanted to move it because it was very close to our outdoor table where we gathered for meals or a neighborhood coffee. I thought we might have bird dung all over our special eating area. A friend announced that the birds seldom do their business close to their nest.

We left the nest in place on the window box and don't recall any bird droppings close by, I thought it was a miracle to have no poop by the nest.

It was miraculous to watch the little blue eggs crack slowly and the new baby cooing doves emerge when their time was right. They were bald like flesh or skin with no feathers. The delighted mom and dad together guarded the nest and lovingly brought food to the 3 babies very frequently as they were obsessed with protecting their very special loved ones to guarantee their survival.

Our two grand daughters were able to sit on the kitchen counter top and watch the adorable busy birds feed their babies. This was an excellent experience of a lifetime for the excited girls.

After about 4 days of feeding and chirping and moving around the one strange baby bird got its wing caught in a piece of straw in the crammed nest and couldn't move as well as the other two. A few days later we noticed the Mother and Father bird had stopped feeding the one who was stuck with the one wing in the straw. It was sad to watch as it slowly died.

The 2 stronger new babies continued to grow and the poor little one without food was definitly dead. We easily removed it from the nest to make room for the two strong healthy babies that were getting ready to spread their wings and fly away.

The children thought the missing one must have flown out of the nest and we let them believe that. We missed an excellent opportunity to teach them "Darwins Theory" of survival of the fittest.

There are many squirrels in the area that would have loved to have got the little doves in the nest. The squirrels had no way to get to the window boxes even if they wanted to.

The Mother and Father birds sat on the roof tops near by guarding the nest. When the little ones flew out of the nest the Mother and Father still perched themselves up high to watch and oversee the well being of their babies.

Too quickly they grew up and flew away and we could not tell the difference between the babies and the parents. Eagles and Hawks surround the same territory soaring above looking for food in the form of a dove.

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