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Monday, 07 May 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Dove

By Brenda B. Berretta

For my immense pleasure, they are back. When I got out the hanging basket, minus plants this year, I hoped my temptation would be too sweet to turn away from and it was.

It just took a few days until I spied a small white egg in the makeshift nest; then there were two. In between, I quietly opened my front door and made a special effort not to bang the iron one in order not to disturb the nesters.

When the door is open, it is only about two feet from my bird’s home; the porch is really a walkway.

In the interim of a year, I learned that doves are mostly monogamous and that they take turns sitting on the eggs. Normally, the male sits in the day, the female at night—for a longer shift.

Last year, I took numerous pictures to document the birth of the little birds but I never knew which parent I was photographing because both sexes look alike. I was sure the pictures were of Mrs. Dove; I had no idea that he was the one who sat on the nest in the daylight hours.

To my surprise this year, one of the birds flies away with noisy hoopla and fanfare every time I get within four feet of her. I say “her” because it is always early in the morning or late at night that I am rebuffed — on the shift of the female.

I even bought silk leaves to wind around the basket to give her more cover, thinking that she might feel too exposed.

Mr. Dove, on the other hand, just sits quietly when I talk to him numerous times during the day, just like last year. The only time he has flown was immediately after I took the flash picture a foot from his face.

I have done nothing to that obnoxious female bird. I am allowing her to use my porch for her little brood — and even went to extremes to provide her some cover. I practically tiptoe around her. How dare she be afraid of me? How dare she reject me? Does she have any idea how it feels to be shunned by a bird?

I have gone to great lengths to figure this out and this is my conclusion: Mr. Dove has found himself a new wife and that witch just doesn’t like me. The next time I talk to him, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind and ask him why he had to choose that hateful, hysterical, suspicious bird for a mate.


The ironic aspect of this scenario is that it makes me furious every time Mrs. Dove flies. What does that say about me? I am angry that a dove doesn’t want my company? I have sunk to new lows; now I know I really do need more in my life. Maybe it’s time to get another dog.

So that is all; you’ve heard the story of my doves. They are tremendous fun to watch even if one of them is unappreciative.

Now I must go and check the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders to see if there is personality anomaly called Bird Rejection Anxiety. There has to be a treatment for this!

(Bird mortality is great — only 30 percent survive — window strikes kill the most. Feral cats kill up to 500 million birds a year.)

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. PLEASE read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


This year a robin's nest appeared entwined in the light over the back door from our sun porch to the little brick patio.

Unfortunately the rear door from the garage - the one that the dog and cat use to go outside - also opens to the same patio, disturbing the robin parents everytime someone has to go out.

Last week we spotted two huge blackbirds flying at the nest, so we ran out and shooed them away...but the robins still don't trust us.

I don't know where you are located, but I've never spotted a dove's nest here in central New Jersey.

What fun to have the time to include observing and welcoming birds into our lives. Enjoyed your story very much.
Michigan Grandma

Brenda - Great story!

(Perhaps Mrs. Dove is simply jealous of you relationship with Mr. Dove!) - Sandy

This is Brenda, and I am in Memphis--in the direct middle of the city.

Loved your story...

I'm inclined to agree with what Sandy said (jealousy) or Mrs. Dove just happens to be one of those non-trusting, nervous types…I think we all know people with similar personalities…

Cute story. I think Mrs. Bird is the one that needs psycho- analysis.

I adored this story and way it is written - lots of humor..and, of course the photo of handsome Mr. Dove...hope you dont talk to him tooo often...DSMV might not have a category for you.

Funny, funny. Find any disorders in that book?

loved the story and the pictures...we don't see much of that in Hell's Kitchen, where I am currently working 3 days a week or E. Flatbush...get to see Cardinals late in the Sept/Oct stopovers on their way to wherever..never disappoints..maybe Mrs. Doves are like that..jealous, afraid of competition, cranky, oh no, that's me....thanks for the great read...

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