Let me lay this flat out: I hate Mourning Doves. I know some sensitive types do not like to hear (or read) anyone exclaiming, “I hate” this, that or the other thing. But I can’t help it any more. I’m over the edge with these birds.
I always thought Doves were signs of peace. I mean I have seen paintings of Jesus with a dove flying over his head. But evidently that only reflects the white doves, of which I know almost nothing since I have never seen them outdoors.
I kid you not; the Mourning Doves are anything but peaceful. They are closer to warrior birds than harbingers of love and peace. If one were hovering over Jesus’ head, well, his hair would not survive it.
My wife the Beautiful AP and I enjoy sitting on our deck whenever the weather and our schedules permit. It’s our pandemic oasis.
We put our parrots’ leftover seed in small clumps spread along the 20-foot railing to feed the birds and squirrels, creating individual portions for our feathered and furry guests. We set the conditions for a peaceful activity for all concerned.
We sit about five feet from the railing and enjoy nature. We talk to the birds and the squirrels—and each other—and everyone seems happy. Except when those darned Mourning Doves arrive. Then our little visiting Sparrows, Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, and Catbirds, get edgy. Our infrequent Blue Jays will take off too.
The first Mourning Dove will appear in the tree overlooking the deck. He will then land on the railing and start feeding. He doesn’t bother any of the other birds—yet. Once the Mourning Doves appear, the squirrels tend to head into the bushes that line the deck. I never knew that squirrels were so skittish.
Then you hear the others overhead, a flock of Mourning Doves. Their wings make a signature sound, a squeak that calls for some WD-40, a sound I have come to despise. They plant themselves in the trees and stare at the deck. Now a second Mourning Dove lands on the railing. The small birds take to the air and land in various bushes and trees on our property to witness the descent of the doves and the abrupt end of their feast.
When the second Mourning Dove alights on the railing and although yards away from that first one—the battle begins. The first bird launches himself at the second bird. He does not want any other Mourning Dove to have any of that 20-foot smorgasbord. So, they open their wings and do battle. They flap like crazy against each other, bullying and battling until one loses and flies off.
While that battle rages, more Mourning Doves alight on the railing. The all-out wars begin. Usually the ones on the rail can chase the new arrivals away but some of the newcomers are pretty tough and they flap, flap, flap their wings at the early-bird diners.
These battles scatter the seeds and peanuts (peanuts are for the squirrels) all over the place. Into the yard, onto the deck. Our carefully-laid buffet for the birds is flung hither and yon. Essentially, the Mourning Doves fight until the food is no longer on the railing.
Some time later, the Mourning Doves flock to the roof of our house and then they fly off to war at some other place.
I propose that we officially change the name from Mourning Dove to Annoying Dove. Will you sign my petition?
Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.