Close Encounter with Doves!
by Lisa B.
I always sit outside on my back porch (in a suburban neighborhood) and watch the birds while I have my coffee in the morning, and I'll coo back to the mourning doves that nest all around my house. They'll fly up onto the peak of the rooftops across the alley and coo to me, usually, as soon as I get outside. Well, today I had one cooing to me from the far right where I couldn't see but I "joined in the conversation" anyways for awhile. Then a pair of doves topped the roof directly behind me and the male was looking at me and bowing and making signals with his head, so I did so back - signaling to my yard, so he flew in to the back fence and his mate followed. Then, they dropped down to feed a little across the swimming pool (directly in front on me), and the male looked at me then took off flying directly for me over the pool - AWESOME. Just imagine holding its gaze while it flies straight towards you and lands not 4-5 feet in front of you and just stops and looks at you. The next thing I know, from the right comes that young male I was cooing to earlier and swoops down to chase him off! So, it was fighting over me! So, the first one goes back to its mate, then they both start to wind slowly around the left side lengthwise of the yard and pool pecking at the pavement til they're again directly in front of me, but very nervous. I didn't know what to do, and neither did they. I never try to start cooing or make their different sounds, cause I really don't know "bird language" and have found that I can say the wrong things inadvertently! I find it better just to respond. But, they were getting more nervous and not saying anything, so I starting talking very softly to them as myself telling them how pretty they were, and THAT scared them and made them fly off, the female first. Wish I had just stayed quiet and maybe they would have come up to me. When I was a little girl my mother read me a cool book called Play With Me about a girl that went into the forest to get the animals to be her friends and learned to be still and quiet to get them to come to her - was one of my favorites! Felt like the little girl in the book today, til I ruined it... :(