I wish our adventure with the Mourning Dove and her two newborn doves had a happy ending, but I must report otherwise. When I got home from work this is what I found -- the mother sitting on the fence post, standing sentinel to a empty nest. The father sitting behind her could just watch and feel her pain. Evey once in a while she would fly down to the ground below the nest and sit on a board and look around slowly -- searching, hoping that somehow they had just fallen.
What had happened? There are few clues. Had the mother left the nest to find food? Not likely -- that is the father's job. Some animal of prey must have scared the mother from her maternal nest. Maybe it was a pair like the two blue birds that had come looking the day before -- though I don't suspect them. One of a pair might have distracted her while the other did the deed It's hard to imagine she would have given up without a fight.
Nature is beautiful, but often cruel.
Here she sits and mourns. In the morning she had flown away. There is a Mourning Dove on the power line by the street. Perhaps she has just expanded her search.
The one thing that is sure-- she won't return to this nest. She now knows it is not safe. She'll find another spot for her next brood.