The Nest

We've had a beautiful mother Mourning dove nesting right outside our bedroom window for a little over a month. She and her husband moved in and built a straggly nest in the rafter under the awning. Then he left, and she sat and sat on her two precious eggs for weeks. We wondered if we should maybe bring her some water or a little birdseed. She was looking VERY parched, when, a week ago, we spotted a fluffy speckled baby beneath her wing! Indeed, there were two of them; and they grew like weeds. About 5 days ago, Mama dove started going out to get food, and Papa dove came back to keep an eye on the little ones. Two days ago, she left for longer, and the babies seemed almost too big for the nest. I snapped their picture as they looked down at me and warily blinked their little black eyes. Then this morning, Mama dove was in the nest, and the two babies were perched on the rafter. She watched and cooed, as they preened and stretched out their little wings. We knew today was the day, but we didn't feel ready. It came so fast. He called me to tell me that Mama was in the magnolia tree, beckoning them to fly to her from their safe little home right outside our bedroom window. I came home at dusk, and went straight to the window, as I've done everyday for the past two weeks. Their straggly nest was down to a few dangling pieces of dry grass. I felt sad and happy and relieved and empty and worried and hopeful. Our baby doves have left the nest.

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