Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15: Nesting Dove

One of my co-workers said he had a surprise to show me on our Beech Hill Preserve, and I asked if it was something related to birds. Of course, he said. So today when we were all up at Beech Nut to celebrate the Land Trust's 25th anniversary, I got to see what it was:
Mourning Dove
The stewardship team had been repainting some trim on the restored old stone hut, and this dove on her nest was tucked away under the eaves at the back of the building, nestled into the stones. She's very well camouflaged. Even the nest resembles bits of the hut's sod roof. 

Apparently she flew off when they first started working near the nest (which contains four eggs), but quickly returned and then just hunkered down and endured their presence. They got within a few feet of her--and at one point, her mate--but she didn't budge. She must have realized they meant no harm. Around the corner, up near the roof beams, is a phoebe nest full of nestlings. This hut which was never a home to any human--it was built as a day-use tea hut in 1914--is at least providing a safe place for birds to nest. Which is really what the preserve is all about.

Still as a field stone,
dove makes her nest on the rocks.
Her black eyes watch me.

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