Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Mother's Love

Earlier this spring, we noted that a pair of doves had made a nest in the big blue spruce outside my south window. They worked diligently to string together twigs and strands of grass to make a nice tight nest. Well hidden deep in the tree (you had to know where to look) the nest survived all the weather a Midwest spring could throw at it. When mamma was away, we could spy the two nice firm eggs. A few weeks ago, a flurry of wings and lots of cooing heralded the arrival of the two chicks. We would peek in occasionally to see if all was well.

That sometimes bothered mamma when we got too close. She would spring from the nest and perform the most remarkable ritual to guard her nestlings. She would flutter to the ground and flop and spin around as if she were injured, drawing our attention to her instead of the nest. If the invader were a cat or other predator, they would be tempted to pounce upon the injured prey and thus leave her nest to be. Of course the dove was not injured and would fly to safety after distracting the invader.

What an incredible display of a mother's love of her babies.

Fitting that on this Mother's Day, the fledglings have left the nest. God speed babies...and be sure to thank your mother.

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