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Posts Tagged ‘white-winged dove’

“Lavender clouds sail like a fleet of ships across the pale green dawn.” – Edward Abbey. The Opposite of Bird Watching

White-winged doves to the left, mourning doves to the right. -- Photo by Pat Bean

White-winged doves on the ends, mourning doves in the middle. — Photo by Pat Bean

It is a dawn like what Abbey describes that makes me often wake before the sun rises. After watching the gray turn the landscape into a fleeting moment of golden glow, I began looking around for birds, knowing that when I return to my apartment I will note in my journal the first species of the day. More often than not it will be a dove, either a white-winged or a mourning dove.

White-winged dove on top of a blooming saguaro.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

White-winged dove on top of a blooming saguaro. — Photo by Pat Bean

Both these species are as common here in the Sonoran Desert as are the saguaro, which normally can only be found in Southern Arizona or just across the border into Mexico.

You can see a mourning dove anyway in the mainland 48 states, but white-winged doves can only be found in the more southern states. Here where I live, I often see them sitting atop a saguaro, especially when it is in bloom (like the photo on the left). Mourning doves more commonly tend to flock on the ground in bunches of two to six.

If I listen, as my canine companion Pepper and I make our morning circuit, I can hear the doves murmuring to one another. It’s an interesting chatter. The mourning doves have a mellow, cooing song, which sounds like a lament, but which also is close to the sound of our resident great horned owls. White-winged doves, named for just that, also coo, but there is more variation and cheeriness to their songs. It sounds to me like they’re happy to be up and moving, while the mourning doves are bemoaning having to get up.

Recently I added a bird feeder to the nectar feeder that hangs on my third-floor apartment balcony. Both the mourning and white-winged doves have been feeding from it. They empty it way too quickly, which is why I only partially fill it each morning. There is only so much bird seed my budget can afford.

The doves, having become familiar with my custom of putting out seeds after my morning walk, often gather on the tile roof across from my apartment in anxious anticipation. I think you can call that people watching.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: With Less Weight in my Back Pack http://tinyurl.com/z5kco7l Sedona area landscape — and the way I feel these days.

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“Earth Laughs in Flowers. ” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

And the Birds Take Notice

This saguaro, which sits in the front yard of my daughter's home, is only about 20 feet tall. That was tall enough, however, for this white-winged dove to feel safe while I took its photo. -- Photo by Pat Bean

This saguaro, which sits in the front yard of my daughter’s home, is only about 20 feet tall. That was tall enough, however, for this white-winged dove to feel safe while I took its photo. — Photo by Pat Bean

The saguaro cactus are blooming here in Tucson. I see them everywhere I look these days.

I photographed this gila woodpecter on a nearby saguaro. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I photographed this gila woodpecter on a nearby saguaro. — Photo by Pat Bean

This  slow-growing cactus can reach heights of 40 or more feet, but it takes a long time  to gain that height. If you see a saguaro that’s over five-feet tall, you can pretty much count on it being at least 50 years old.

This plant is often not much taller than 2 inches at age 10.

Saguaro cacti have one tap root that reaches down through the soil 5 feet or so to find water, but most of this plant’s roots sit barely three inches below he ground.

It’s an amazing plant, and one of the many things I’m coming to like about living in the Sonoran Desert — especially when they attract the birds I love to watch.

Birds, by the way like this plant, too.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Enchantment http://tinyurl.com/ka2bxnw But then I love the magnolia trees, too, which don’t grow in the dry desert. They prefer the humid South.

 

 

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Dove on a Wire

            “How come the doe gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feather than the dove, and it doesn’t have that dangerous beak.” – Jack Handy

A white-winged dove that watched Pepper and I take a walk this morning. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A white-winged dove that watched Pepper and I take a walk this morning. — Photo by Pat Bean

Just Pondering?

Even John James Audubon depicted a crow as looking a little wicked. Don't you agree.

Even John James Audubon depicted a crow as looking a little wicked. Don’t you agree.

Why is a crow seen as evil and a dove seen as pure? Who made this decision? As a passionate bird-watcher, I enjoy watching crows as much as doves. Maybe even more, because crows are smarter.

And why is a group of doves called a flight and a group of crows a murder?

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         “Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” — George Eliot

Think all doves do are coo. This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. -- Photo y Pat Bean

Think all doves do are coo? This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. — Photo y Pat Bean

Letting my Mind Wonder as My Legs Wander

            I’m recovering nicely from my broken ankle, but still not up to the adventure of a trail hike. Instead I have to get my kicks from walking on level ground. Mostly, on the four daily 15-20 minute walks I take with Pepper around the apartment complex, she and I retrace the same territory over and over.

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. — Photo by Pat Bean

But each walk is different because of the people we meet along the way, a suddenly blooming plant, an old sight seen in a new way, the variety and activity of birds at the time, and always the varying thoughts in my head.

My best and brightest or most absurd and ridiculous ideas bounce through my brain like a ball in a pinball machine when I’m walking.

Pepper, who sniffs every twig, every new flower and urine bulletin board messages left behind by her doggie colleagues, always adds a layer of fun to the walks.

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

So far she’s never met another canine or human whom she didn’t like, although thankfully she’s come to know which four-footed and two-footed beings don’t want anything to do with her, and has learned to sit quietly by my side while they pass.

Dogs, I’ve come to believe, have much better instincts than we humans

But a smile or a tail wag from any of our apartment neighbors is enough to make her deliriously happy and playful. She is forever bringing smiles to my face.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Like a moment from Midsomer Murders: http://tinyurl.com/d2rrved  A First of May sunrise. I suspect the reference to Midsomer Murders is because there is always one village celebration or another taking place in the English TV mystery series, which is one of my favorite shows. The blog’s title is what caught my attention, but the photo is awesome.

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