Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dove dove dove

Just now, I counted five white-winged doves at the bird bath (when I should be working). A few days ago, I counted AT LEAST 21, either sitting on the chain-link fence or scavaging on the ground under a bird feeder. Too many! When one had the audacity to land on a nearby hummingbird feeder, I knocked on my window and scared EVERYONE off.

I recently researched a magazine article on white wings (Zenaida asiatica), which historically occur in the Rio Grande Valley. They really shouldn't be in the Hill Country, but loss of their natural habitat over the years has pushed them further and further north. Thanks to an abundance of bird baths and feeders (like in our Wildscape), they now flourish in cities.

Last summer, we found a nestling in the back yard. I knew I couldn't keep it alive so I drove it to Lynn Cuny's Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Inc. near Kendalia. A young staff member took the little bird, identified it as a white wing, and then carried it to a rehab room. He said I could check back later on its health status, but I never did. I just assumed it grew up fine and was released back into the wild. Lynn and her organization do amazing work with wildlife. I've written about her in years past and am so glad we have someone like her in our area. Periodically, we contribute to her center, which it needs to keep operating.

At any rate, we could do with a few less white-winged dove around here, but that's OK. They gotta make a living, too.

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