In my "A Mother's Love" post I shared photos of a family of doves that have nested repeatedly in a wall floral container on my front porch. Over the past few weeks, the baby had hatched and was about to leave the nest when yesterday I nearly killed the mother bird.
Since the baby bird's birth, I've added annuals to several flower pots I have on my porch, and I always buy a hanging pot of annuals to hang from the porch ceiling. Knowing my annual flower purchasing habits, my daughter actually bought me a hanging pot of petunias for Mother's Day so it hangs proudly on the porch.
As I was watering the porch flowers yesterday morning, I noticed the mommy bird wasn't with her baby, but that wasn't terribly unusual. She has left it alone recently for several hours as it has begun to prepare for flight. I was guessing yesterday that the mommy bird was out gathering food. Boy, was I wrong!
Apparently, she had moved to the hanging pot to keep an eye on her baby. Well, it would have been nice if I had gotten that memo!
Since I had no idea she was sitting in my hanging pot, I reached up with the garden hose to give the plant a drink. She totally freaked out...flying at my head and then into the front door before finally escaping to the yard. I'm sure if anyone saw our antics...me screaming and her fluttering around...they would be chuckling, but the comedy soon turned to a possible tragedy. She limped along, obviously hurt or dazed, across the street. Her mate came to her side as if to say, "Are you ok?" She obviously was NOT!
I watched her for awhile trying to regroup. She finally sought shelter under my neighbor's bush.
The baby bird remained in the porch pot - the mommy bird didn't return. I left the house shortly thereafter and returned about 7 hours later. The baby bird hadn't appeared to have moved an inch, but was stretching its wings. I was hoping it would take flight, but I didn't see the mommy bird anywhere. I was worried.
This morning as I went outside to get the newspaper, I noticed the baby bird was gone. "Hurray!" I thought. But after careful inspection, I saw the baby bird on the floor of the porch, and mommy bird was back in the hanging pot.
A few hours have now passed. Mommy bird has left the hanging pot and baby bird is still sitting in the same spot on the porch floor.
I fear the worst! The neighbor has a cat that routinely visits my yard, and we have a cute chipmunk-looking animal (we've named Chip) that has made himself a home in our front yard landscape. Either would find the baby bird a delicious meal I'm sure. I know this is just the "Circle of Life" acting out on my front porch, but it's heart wrenching to watch.