Mourning Doves for a Difficult Moment

Mourning Doves on Fire Escape

Hey Internet, it’s been a moment, but I felt like I needed to reawaken this outlet and share some of what’s been going on in my neck of the woods.

The last time I posted something here was in October and it’s just bizarre how much everything – the whole world – has changed since then. Being in NYC, we are grappling with how the Coronavirus has affected our city, our community, and our neighbors. It has been overwhelming and sad, and I, like everyone else, am so grateful to all the brave medical professionals who continue to go out every day and help those affected by this terrible virus. There isn’t really anything I can write that comes close to expressing everything I am thinking, feeling, wishing… I guess all I can say is that I hope you and your loved ones are safe. This is a strange time and one we need to work through together, even though we have to do our best to stay apart.

While hunkered down in our Brooklyn apartment for the past three weeks, I decided to try to bring a little nature to our daily, indoor life by putting some bird seed out on our back window sill (our bird feeder is sadly no longer in use due to it creating too much of a mess for our neighbors.) With Spring starting to sweep in, the birds in our neighborhood have been singing up a storm, and many are returning to the area to mate and nest, so I figured I may as well give them a little encouragement!

Mourning Dove on fire escape

Sure enough, within an hour we had a few little feathered customers coming up to get some seed, including the usual house finches and sparrows, but the birds who have frequented our offering most is a group of mourning doves.

Mourning doves, sometimes referred to as turtle doves, do make that soft, cooing call that sounds rather like a lament, but these birds are not symbols of sadness. Rather these common doves are often used as a symbol of peace and hope. Their muted colors are accented with splatters of dark chocolate-colored spots on their wings, and iridescent gold patches on their necks. They have long tail feathers, etched with white tips and when taking off, their wings make a sharp whistling or whinnying noise. They seem to have a somewhat calm demeanor, and I’ve found it tremendously comforting and relaxing to watch them out our window.

Their nesting season is about to start, so while I generally see them in pairs, there have been a couple occasions where a trio has appeared on our sill. In doing some reading, I found that this is common around this time of year, as the birds do usually travel in a trio – a mating pair and another male who is trying to steal away the female as his mate!

So, in this strange moment, I just wanted to share my mourning doves with all of you. I’m viewing them as a sign of hope.

In that same spirit, and since I am currently working from home and in need of new WFH mixes, I made a Spotify playlist of chill tunes inspired by my mourning doves. Enjoy!

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