Garden Notes: I fear for one of my mourning doves…

I’m in the garden yesterday, getting some of my five-gallon tomato containers –that were so successful last year– ready for use in the new season.

I had fed the birds, and now was intent on weeding and loosening up the earth in the containers when –all within a split second– first, hurtling past me barely 3 or 4 feet above my head, flew a mourning dove, followed by…another dove?…no, that’s a peregrine falcon, hard on the heels of the dove.
They both rose over the studio roof, swerved out of the way of the house across the way, and swiftly disappeared behind it.

I had not been paying attention. I remembered there had been one dove in the bird feeder; the others had eaten and flown off. The one in the feeder was –I think; I’m still not sure– the one that is most often around, the one that is “friendliest”, that is most comfortable with my approaching it.
I looked over at the feeder. No sign of it now. Oh no, I thought. Oh dear!
I had no idea if the falcon had caught it’s prey, but with the extraordinary speed and power of its attack, and how close it had been, I could not imagine the dove escaping. I moved over a bit to see if I could catch sight of the chase now obscured behind the house. No.

That’s when I saw the little grey-brown head, with rose sheen, pop up above the level of the feeder.
My friend. It had ducked and lived to tell the tale. And by all appearances now, quite oblivious of any falcon drama.

She gave me that surprised “what’s up” look.

(But I think we must have lost a dove yesterday.)


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