The doves have returned. They have been nesting in a hanging flower pot outside our back door for several years now. It’s not every year that they return but when they do I’m thrilled, my husband no so much as he would prefer to grow a lush fern in the pot and forgo the little adjustments I make when the birds arrive such as turning off the patio light at night so they can get their rest and being careful not to let the patio gate slam. He teases me each year that it’s time to plant a new fern in the dove nest pot, but I notice that he drags his feet and doesn’t.
The doves have arrived early this year, very early. It was in early January when I first saw them both sitting in the blue glazed pot which surprised me greatly, it’s usually late spring when they arrive. But we’ve been having an exceptionally warm and dry winter and so their nesting instincts must be telling them that it’s time to get cracking and build that nest up again.
Their nest from last year was still mostly in tact and only needed a little tidying up by adding a few fresh twigs. The pair flew in for a couple of days and then took off again so at first I thought they were just visiting their old place because in January birds don’t start families, at least that’s what I had assumed. But then they returned, sitting side by side in the ceramic pot. Richard gave me that look. I gave him a wicked grin back.
I knew there would be an egg soon. I keep my camera next to the door and when they fly off for a few moments I quickly snap a photo or too. Yes, an egg. Then predictably there were two.
Now one bird at a time sits in the pot, they take turns, day shift and night shift. I try not to stare too often at the bird in its vulnerable spot but it’s tough to ignore them altogether. It’s sweet, the new family only a few feet away from where I wash the dishes. I feel happy that they feel that our patio pot is a safe enough place to raise a family.
In 14 days the chicks will hatch.