Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mourning Dove Momma

I just love this photo and have been using it as my desktop wallpaper for sometime now.  Momma Mourning Dove remained stalwart at her post protectively hunching over her young.  The nest was heavily shaded so I used the camera flash which gave the eyes a nice glint which always gives more life to birds when shown in photographs. How many dove chicks do you see in the photo above? 
My birding patch along the Jordan River has been mostly flooded all summer.  This forced me to focus on the areas I could watch birds and I discovered all kinds of cool things and learned to appreciate a smaller study site.  I found several nests for a variety of species.  The Mourning Dove nest shown in this post was just below eye level in a tree as seen from a foot bridge.  It has been fun checking in on it regularly and watching the chicks grow.

A week after the above photo, this is all that was left in the nest...a solitary egg...a dud.  The fly was already taking advantage.  I'm actually surprised the egg stayed in the nest unbroken while the other chicks hatched, grew, and fledged.


  1. I can see why it's been your wallpaper! Beautiful photo.

  2. @Mike B (Slugyard) - Thx! Did you see my lovely snail in the previous post. I always think of you when I am seeing yard critters.

  3. Personally I don't like photos that show the glint in the eye from camera flash. Not only does it look artificial but most often multiple photos are taken meaning that the bird had to endure multiple flashes--I find flashes annoying when they are directed at me and some birds are so sensitive to them that they flush. I prefer truly natural photos in which the birds are engaged in activities of daily living and not focused on people intruding into their space. Otherwise it is a nice photo

  4. @Anonymous - I appreciate your concern for the welfare of birds most of all. You bring up a good point for does flash affect birds? I don't use flash very often. In my limited and non-scientific experience, I have not seen the birds react to flash in any way. It is natural and easy for us to assign human emotion to birds and other animals, especially things like annoying flashes which bug the heck out of me, but I don't think that is the in fact reality for the birds. I'm gonna throw this out there on the interwebs and see if bird photographers have any negative experiences related to flash.