Lonesome Dove

One lonely dove hung out at the bird feeder today, feasting on the seed that had fallen to the ground.  Then it was time for a brief nap in the waning daylight before seeking a roost for the night.

One lonely dove hung out at the bird feeder today, feasting on the seed that had fallen to the ground. Then it was time for a brief nap with maximally fluffed-out feathers in the waning daylight before seeking a roost for the night.

With the temperatures barely above 0 F yesterday (for the first time in a while), I was surprised to see a dove at the bird feeder.  Is this the sole survivor of the small flock of six birds that visited my yard earlier this winter?

We are at the northern limit of the Mourning Dove’s winter range. While they might be able to tolerate the cold, they have to be able to find enough of the right kind of seed, usually at bird feeders.  Without its buddies for protection and company, it is a lonesome dove indeed.

13 thoughts on “Lonesome Dove

  1. Awwww, poor thing all alone. I had one last spring who’s mate died and he kept returning to my feeder all summer and waiting. After a while we named him LD for Lonesome Dove.

    I had a few doves in my yard throughout the recent cold spell. They often roosted right inside the tray feeder or hung out on the bird bath which, at 50 degrees, was pretty steamy.

    • I do feel sorry for the loners. Are they like swans that mate for life, or do they find another soul-mate the next year? I didn’t realize that the doves would overwinter here. So now I’ll keep more millet in the bird feeders for them.

      • I believe they mate for life but will find another once they realize their mate is gone. Their mortality rate is quite high.

        The female of the pair had an injured wing. I felt bad because I tried to catch her to take her to rehab but she would not let me get near her and kept flying off. The next day and for a weeks after a lone male was often just sitting and waiting in my yard. Eventually he stopped so I hope he found a new mate.

    • Thanks, Montucky, I think this bird lends itself to cute photos; there’s something about the small head and round body that just automatically spells cuteness.

    • That TV show was one of my favorites! Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones–what a combo! The dove had just finished ruffling its feathers into a ball of fluff when I took the shot, so it is extra poofy.

    • Thanks, Rachael. I had to remove a branch running right across the middle of the bird’s body, and cloned some of the feather replacements into the photo, so it is a tad unnatural. But I do love the colors.

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s