We have collected a lot of doves. Doves breed frequently, but usually they also die fast. The article I read about them the other day described their lives as “short and brutal.” They are plump and make great dinners for the hawks. But living as they do right around our deck, only certain hawks can fly well in such tight spaces as our woods. Cooper’s Hawk and the Shinbone are both fast woodland flyers but flying fast turns in our woods is as likely as not going to get them bonked on the head.
It turns out that while they are brilliant pilots, they still manage to fly into trees and brain themselves. Yet even these two fast flying bird-eating hawks have trouble maneuvering in our tightly packed woods.
So, instead of being lunch, our doves are thriving. They aren’t the brightest birds you’ll ever meet, but they are sweet. No other bird, no matter how small and fragile, fears the doves.
Our doves like to stand around near the feeders and “guard it.” But against whom? Maybe it’s more like “standing guard,” their version of honoring the feeders because it is where dinner originates.
And maybe they will live a little bit longer as a result.