For the past several days, whenever I go into the barn at night, there was a mourning dove who would flap wildly and fly back and forth in the rafters of the barn when I turned the lights on! The first time this happened, it scared me, because I don’t expect to hear anything when I walk in there! Altho, the thought always crosses my mind, that if I leave the barn doors open after dark, I am inviting unwanted guests, that will probably scare me, more than I scare them!!
As far as I could tell, this mourning dove was just roosting in the barn at night, which was fine with me. I have seen several pairs who hang around the barn, as well as ones who hang around the house, for the free meals I offer!
Two days ago, as I approached the barn at daylight, I could hear a racket, and looked up toward the 3 little windows near the top of the barn. There in one of the windows, was a mourning dove, struggling to get thru the screen, and flapping against it. I went in to check, and she was sitting inside the window, not knowing how to climb out and fly. The windows tilt back, so she was sitting in the space between the window and screen. There was plenty of room to climb or fly out- but she didn’t quite get it!
By evening, she was still there, and had lost a few feathers, and left little spots of blood on the window.
Time to call in the husband!!! He climbed on the roof (in his slippers!!), and tried to take out a screen in one of the other windows from the outside- which didn’t work. He wanted to try another window first, so he didn’t totally freak out the bird!
Since that didn’t work, he had to approach from the inside. He went inside the closest stall, and climbed up the wall (good thing he made this barn with footholds!) He hung from the wall above the next stall, right next to the bird’s window, and was able to grab her. As I am cautioning him not to hold too tight – and don’t fall, you’ll hurt the bird(!), I climbed up on the hay bales to take the bird from him.
I love mourning doves, they are the most placid of birds. You can approach their nests, while they are sitting on the eggs, and they won’t move. Not that I recommend you do that!!! They invariably make their nests in the hanging plants on porches, so you can’t water your plant til the babies have left the nest! Mourning dove wings have a distinctive whistle when they fly, and their cooing is a soothing sound of the country that I just love!
Anyway, this little dove appeared to be a young one, who just couldn’t quite figure out the intricacy of getting out of a barn. Wings were intact, except for a little bruise from beating on the window, and she hadn’t lost any weight. Her huge round eyes just stared at me. It was dusk, but still light enough for her to see, so I walked away from the barn and pointed her to the hay fields, straightened out her wings, and opened my hands. She hesitated for a second, and then without so much as a backward glance, or a thank you, shot into the sky straight for the safe haven of the trees bordering the field. I love a happy ending!!!
I will check the barn this morning, and hopefully, she won’t return!!!
Yesterday, before I saw the little dove in the barn, I noticed that the doves and other birds, who usually alert me early every morning that the seed needs to be refilled, were unusually absent.
I went out to put out seed, and noticed a shadow on the ground below. Flying above, was one of the two hawks I came across in the woods a few days before. A pair of beautiful large hawks, had become very vocal when I walked my dog right under “their” trees. They are hanging around now, and that would explain why my “resident” birds have made themselves scarce! Maybe the young dove took refuge in barn to hide from the hawks. We will never really know.
All is well , and cloudy, at Mountain Meadows this morning…………………………………………………………..