First Fluff: Well, it didn't take me long before making a completely off-topic post. ...Or perhaps not so off-topic if this will get more people to check out the site. (Actually, I'd intended to have this blog up sooner, but projects and deadlines got in the way).
In the final days of June, I was awakened in the early hours by clatter near the bedroom window and the squeaky wings of mourning doves. I figured they'd found the finch feeder and were trying their best balancing act. ...But they had other designs in mind.
While the nest was still under construction, I took a piece of cardboard big enough to fit in the window and cut a hole in it, just big enough to fit a camera lens through. (These pictures were taken with a Nikon D70 digital camera using a Sigma 18-50mm lens.)
The second picture was taken yesterday (Sunday). I don't know how long it takes for dove eggs to incubate, but this is the first glimpse of the baby chicks that I saw. There are at least two that I can see.
What appears to be a warm scene of maternal devotion is in all probability paternal devotion; according to this site, the male bird sits on the nest during the day. Since baby birds do not nurse, parental care among birds can be more interchangeable. More on this later... (Update: this morning the nest was momentarily sans a sitter, and it seems there are three chicks total. Unfortunately my camera was not at hand!)