The birds that reside near our office complex are enjoying a picnic today.
A large scoop of bird seed and a couple of crumbled biscuits, enticed them to fly down to feast as soon as I got back inside the office.
Protected from the spring rain showers by a pine tree, they seem to have enjoyed pecking at the seeds and crumbs all morning.
The bird in the center of the picnic guests, is a "Morning Dove' -- Zenaida macroura. The Mourning Dove lives from southern Canada, throughout the United States, and south to Panama and are are found year-round throughout most of their range -- northern populations migrate south during the winter.
The above description is all very scientific but it doesn't say anything about going out a little after sunrise or just at dusk and hearing the doves call to each other -- such a soft, low sound that vibrates in the air. It's a lonely and at the same time lovely sound. One I can remember hearing as a child -- and whenever I hear it today it can still make me pause and listen with a smile on my face and memories in my heart.
The doves are such soft shades of grey -- from the lightest grey on their breast, to the dark grey tail feathers and the darkest grey spots on their backs. I have always thought that they looked like little 'Civil War Widows'; women who are moving from their first year of morning, wearing all those heavy black dresses -- to their second year of widowhood, all clothed in various shades of matte grey.
This evening, if the rain lets up, maybe I'll hear the call of the doves at my home.