A couple of months back I noticed one of those blasted mourning doves in the tree outside my window.
I chased him off but he/she returned to drink from the bird bath.
The weather was very hot and I figured he/she needed a drink as well as all the other birds so I stopped disturbing him/her.
A few days later I went out to refill the bath/fountain and the dove exploded out of the tree over my head.
When I had finished cursing him/her I glanced up into the tree and discovered a rudimentary nest.
Just what I need.
A mourning dove nesting right outside my window.
I considered tearing it down but the soft-
A week or so later, having watched the damnable dove return time after time, I espied a small egg in the nest.
Now I HAD to leave the nest and the dove alone.
Mother dove was there most of the time, sitting on her egg, and finally one day I saw a tiny bit of fluff where the egg had been.
Over the weeks I watched as the new baby or dovelet as I called it, grew slowly until it was nearing the size of its mother.
Both parents took turns coming to the nest, presumably feeding the dovelet, though I never witnessed that.
As I came out to fill the bath on a daily basis I would carefully peek up at the nest and soon the dovelet was staring back at me.
Unlike mother or father he showed no fear.
As I had been there for all of his life so far I guess he thought (if doves think) that I was just a friendly co-inhabitant of his space.
I put that to the test with my trusty camera but he/she still just treated me with curiousity.
And then, a couple of days ago, as SWMBO and I were sitting in our living room watching television, my wife suddenly got up and went to the door.
I heard her say "Oh, dear" and I got up to see what had alarmed her.
She pointed to the wall at the back of our yard and said "Is that a hawk?"
Just then it flew off, pursued by one of the adult doves.
She told me she had seen a large bird fly into the tree, then into the yard, up to the wall and away.
The hawk had taken the dovelet.
There were a few feathers scattered in the yard.
And that was the last we saw of my friend.
As both SWMBO and I agreed, it was sad but it is, after all, the way of life in the animal and bird kingdom.
I tore the nest down the same night and discarded it.