Thursday, May 5, 2011

Collared Doves

One of the Collared Doves which live in our neighbourhood flew onto the bird bath to take a drink of water. Did you know that Collared Doves (and other pigeons) do not raise their heads when they drink as most birds do, they are able to suck the water up in a continuous stream.

The Collared Doves, Wood Pigeons, Starlings, House Sparrows and Blackbirds all love our bird bath, for them it is a constant source of clean and healthy water.

But back to the Collared Dove I was telling you about. After enjoying a drink, it flew onto the wooden trellis which is at a right angle to the kitchen window. A second one then appeared from above, presumably it had been waiting on our roof, had a drink from the bird bath then joined its mate on the trellis.

I stood for a while watching them, observing their simple beauty, the black band bordered by white that looks as if it has been painted on their neck and after which they are named.

Suddenly out of nowhere a third bird flew onto the trellis to join them, causing much fluttering and flapping of wings. A rival for the affections of the female was my initial thought until the situation calmed down sufficiently for me to realise that it was in fact a youngster that had joined the couple, anxious to be fed.

One of the adult birds (how many of you think this is the male) flew off, leaving its mate to tend to the young bird by itself. I was able to watch for a while the characteristic joining of beaks and the up and down motions of mum (or indeed dad) and offspring as the little chap enjoyed the meal of pigeon milk.

A sudden gust of wind blew something over on the drive next door and the Collared Doves, old and young, were gone.

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