Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mourning My Mourning Doves

Well I suspect that this Cooper's Hawk is the cause of the paucity of Mourning Doves at my feeders. Several had visited my patio and feeders all summer and fall. Suddenly - there are none. Don't, please, try to console me with the 'Circle Of Life' stuff. Intellectually I'm on board with that, but those gentle doves (yes, anthropomorphism operating here - big time) shuffling about and pecking at the spilled seed - made me smile. This fellow - doesn't. I admire his fire and beauty, but those red eyes say it all.

13 comments:

swamp4me said...

Okay, I'll refrain from the circle of life thing...but that sure is one beautiful hawk and there are way more doves than there are hawks (whoops, I'm about to slide into that circle thing...)

Anonymous said...

I mourn your Doves as well Cathy. Circle of Life be d*mned!

Cathy said...

You made me smile swamp-e :0)

Laurie - ditto. You always make me smile.

I feel a little less mournful. Thanks.

Rurality said...

Ha! I was going to say the same thing as Swamp4me... LOTS more doves around than hawks. :) Plus doves breed like crazy, more or less.

But I know what you mean... you kind of hate to think that you're operating a hawk feeder!

Anvilcloud said...

Is he at least around? Do you see him from time to time? We had a hawk take a bird from our backyard suburban feeder a few years ago. It was exciting for all but the bird, I suppose. My BIL theorizes that such critters die in some sort of ecstatic state due to adrenalin, but I really don't think the bird was having a good time.

Patrice said...

What a cool photo! I've just started feeding our birds (keeping our cats indoors, of course). So far I've seen various chickadees and juncos, but also a northern flicker and a downy woodpecker. And I've heard an owl while doing yardwork. It would be very exciting to see a hawk! And doves, too. Now I'm off to find a poem about a hawk...or to write one.

Cathy said...

Exactly, Rurality! That's the guilt trip I've been trying 'not' to take.

Oh yeah, AC - I've had people try to run that 'ecstasy' thing past me. Like you, I don't buy it. Yes, this bird has been here intermittently for weeks - seems to have come in with the cold weaather.

Yes, Patrice - it's exciting, but the novelty didn't last long as the reality of his dietary preferences sank in. I'll be looking for your hawk poem.

LauraHinNJ said...

They always seem to take one's favored birds.

I can admire both the hawk and the dove, for both dance in that circle.

The doves will be abck, I'm sure, once the hawk finds easier meals elsewhere - maybe the flock of starlings around the corner?

Cathy said...

Laura - my gentle bunny-loving blog friend - your words lighten my spirit - in fact I've harbored the secret hope that the doves are merely 'laying low' until the hawk has gone. On the other hand - should I feel less protective of the shabby starling? Argghh.

pablo said...

Raptors have a pretty low success rate when hunting. A hawk may only get one meal a week. So it may be that your beloved doves have simply moved on for a while until the hunter hawk does the same. He may not have eaten all of them.

Cathy said...

Pablo - It is to be fervently hoped. I can't imagine Spring without my doves.

dmmgmfm said...

Glad I made you smile. I wonder why it shows anonymous on my comment? Another of those mysteries of life I suppose. ;-)

Cathy said...

dmmgmfm/Laurie aka anonymous

That is so strange. I just switched to Beta Blogger today and I'll bet somewhere in the digital transfer 'anonymous' appeared. Doo doo doo doo - (Yep, you got it -cue Twiglight Zone music :0)