Monday, April 23, 2007

The birds in my life

On a trip to the dog park today (which was such a waste...I hate it when there are only one or two dogs there. I want Dog-O-Rama!) I got a picture of this female red-winged blackbird. It's funny, but I don't remember ever seeing one. Before I was a birder, I guess I assumed that the males and females looked alike.

Female RWBB
Our baby Carolina wrens have arrived.
Yes, it's a bad picture...but they choose a nesting box that really isn't functional: No doors, no way to open it and see down into it. All I did to it was drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage.
Fuzzy, cute little wrenlets!
Baby wrens

And now, an introduction.
A new family member...
My sister-in-law, Anne, called today and asked if I would take one of her animals. She is having some back trouble and finding it hard to care for some of her critters. So I agreed to take one.
Her ring-necked dove.

Ring necked dove
She isn't sure if this is the male or female. She had both at one time, and they were very successful at breeding. Then one of them died, and she just isn't sure which one this is.
Hey Science Chimp! Have any ideas on how to sex a ring-necked dove? My Internet searches aren't coming up with anything. My luck is that ring-necked doves aren't sexually dimorphic.
We also need to rename this bird.
I've never seen such a sweet, calm bird in my life. He/she perches on our hands, likes to be stroked and kissed, and makes the most beautiful, eerie cooing you could imagine.
Geoff and Dove
Geoff didn't even care. My brother and his family have always helped us when we needed it.
Ow!  Ow!
Lorelei kept saying "Ow! Ow!" while the dove was perched on her hand. She has been leery of getting hurt ever since one of Kevin and Rachel's rats bit her.
I must preen now

Isabelle and the Dove
But Isabelle is in love.
She's never held a bird before. Our parakeets are not interested in any human interaction. Anyone want a pair of parakeets?
I just loved watching Isabelle hold and pet and kiss this dove. She was so proud of herself.
So, a new critter in Critterville.


Mary said...

Oh my goodness! I am so damned jealous! I have never held a bird before and do you know how often I want to reach out and grab a dove or a mocker, or a chickadee?????!!!! To hold it and let it peck me to death?

And...I've never seen a female RW blackbird, either (unless I didn't notice one). And I don't have Carolina Wrens nesting here, either!

So, I am damned mad.

But I love you Susan :o)

(Yeah, crazy Mary hits again...)

Liza Lee Miller said...

Totally cool. What a beautiful bird. I love doves! So beautiful.

That picture of Isabelle and the dove is fantastic! What a happy girl!

I love Isabelle and her "ow!"s -- kind of pre-emptive! :)

Lynne said...

Oooh what a pretty dove!! How about "Lovey" for a name? Call me nuts (but not as nuts as Mary!!) but I call all the doves in my yard "Lovey". Why do I feel the need to name everything? We have a wild bunny under the shed and I've named her Jelly Bean. Art and the kids just shake their heads...
I've got female red-wings here too. They're really kind of pretty when you lokk at them don't you think?

Jayne said...

Awww... how very sweet! I can imagine doves would make wonderful companions.

mon@rch said...

Once your girls get a little older, you should take them to a bird bander! Birds are amazing and you can see her excitement holding your dove! Without a doubt they will be great birders once they get older! I agree, took me a while to grasp the difference of the males and females redwings once I started birding! Females still fool me from time to time!

LauraHinNJ said...

My mother-in-law keeps doves like that. Don't get another unless you want lots!

Julie Zickefoose said...

That's the same Eurasian collared-dove (birdwatcher parlance) that's taking over the U.S. I saw Ohio's first state record of this species right from our tower. Did a painting of it, even. But the rare records committee didn't count it as an official Ohio bird until a mourning dove hunter blasted one that same fall. Jim McCormac kept the painting, however...

So should he get loose, he'll probably find a mate and start making many more doves. He's lovely and how nice that he can be handled like that.
I'm thinking that if he coos a lot, or at all, he's probably a male. Males may have redder eyes and slightly more colorful orbital rings than females, but you'd almost have to have them side by side to make the comparison.
Euro might be a nice name.

Wicked said...

A Euro Dove found me a few months ago... I had to hand feed it since it was a fledging. I haven't decided wheather to keep it or rehabiliate it and free it. They both have their pro's and con's. I havent been able to name mine since I cannot sex it. Although it eats seeds, it still DEMANDS I hand feed it. I fall more and more inlove with it every day. Its interesting to see its personality emerge. Any feedback?