Friday, June 21, 2013

Klutzy Dovelet

Note: I intended to finish my series on beginning birding with a roundup of books, binoculars and apps.(The first four posts are: “How I Taught Myself About Desert Birds”“Birdwatcher—Or Birder?”“Your First Bird Walk”. and Improving Your Birding Skills.) I spent about 3 /12 hours gathering information, choosing links and illustrations, and writing. I was nearly finished when I hit the wrong button and the entire post disappeared.

I will try to recreate most of the information in a later post or posts. But for today, I will talk about frustration other than mine: that of a hapless white-winged dovelet, who recently fledged in my carport but does not yet seem to have the knack of how to fly.

White-winged family in carport 5-15-2012 5-16-002

Day before yesterday, I startled the bird, which had been standing at the edge of its flimsy nest, watching its mother and sibling in another part of the carport. The bird flew off its perch—straight up, hitting its head on the carport roof. A little dazed, it flew to the other end of the carport, and again straight up, again hitting its head. I decided to leave so the poor little thing could calm down.

White-winged siblings 5-16-2012 3-12-04 PM 1929x1331Well, they’re kind of ugly, I admit. But also kind of cute.

This morning, the fledgling was back at its post at the edge of the nest when I opened the car door to head for Tohono Chul Park. This time the bird flew out from the nest, heading across the carport rather than straight up. “Aha!” I thought. “It has learned that flying is possible in more than one direction.”

I watched as it flew to the other end of the carport, where there is a trellis with very large spaces between the crossbars—spaces easily big enough for a full-grow bird, let along a tiny fledgling, to pass through. The young bird headed straight for the trellis and smacked head-on into one of the crossbars, then fell behind some cabinets. When I came back later, there was no sign of the poor little thing.

Klutz Dove 6-21-2013 2-17-18 PM 1378x1528

PS: I’m pretty sure this is the same fledgling, now perched on some lumber in the carport. Presumably his mom is feeding him, and who knows? Maybe he will make it.



  1. I'm leaning toward ugly. Maybe it's a survival strategy so predators won't think it's tasty.