Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I love this time of year! We have a bushy sassafras tree in the fence line of our back yard, and now some young doves have left a nest that was in it. They're not quite able to fly yet, and the parents are trying to protect them.

Yesterday, one of the parent doves showed me the best broken-wing decoy act I've ever seen. The bird fluttered on the ground for a good thirty yards, and it even flopped over on its back a couple of times. Now one of the young doves has made it to the top of my vegetable garden gate, right above the latch, and one of the parent birds has joined it. That seems like a pretty safe place to spend the night - at least it's up off the ground, and hopefully the young bird (the one on the left) will be able to fly away in the morning.

Needless to say, I didn't get any work done in the garden before dark. I couldn't break that up. :>)

Thumbnail by Ozark
(Zone 5a)

What a neat experience for you. We so enjoy our Mourning Doves and I cannot keep track how many pairs we have. I have never seen a dove do a broken wing display like that. Seems like it really did not want you anywhere close. :) When we see the young out, we try to avoid bothering them. They really like to perch on the swing set/fort. Sometimes we do not see them or the parents and usually get quite a scare with the noise they make at take off.

Have you ever seen a parent feed the young? It is different than other birds; the young puts its bill in the parents mouth to get the crop milk. And it is so sweet to watch them beg.

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