Mourning Dove Commits Suicide on my Picture Window

I doubt that he was really trying to commit suicide but he might have. He was being chased by the nesting red shouldered hawk and he might have thought to himself : which would I rather have happen-be eaten by a hawk or smash myself into Joanharvest’s picture window. He chose the latter.

My computer is next to the window so I heard the very loud thump and as I turned my head I saw tiny little feathers floating in the air. I managed to stand up and look out the window and saw him just underneath the window in the talons of the hawk. The hawk looked straight at me and dropped him and flew away. The mourning dove was laying there and sort of crawled a few feet and stopped moving. He was either unconscious or dead. I decided to wait awhile to see if he might wake up and just fly away so we could have a happy ending to this story. I also didn’t want to put his system into more shock.  If he was alive there probably wasn’t much I could do for him. It never occurred to me the hawk might come back for him.

I actually took a picture of him as he was laying there but it’s too sad to post. I  turned back to the computer for just a minute and when I looked back at the dove he was gone. I’d like to think that he woke up and flew away. I don’t want to think that the hawk came back for him, but on the hand the hawk has to eat too, you know, the cycle of life and the food chain and all that.

I sort of feel guilty that I didn’t go out and save him. If Barry were home he would have.

When I was about 12 years old I found a baby starling on the ground by a tree. He must have fallen out of the nest. I picked him up and brought him home. He hardly had any feathers yet.

I put him in a box with a soft towel and called the vet to see what to feed him. I gave him sugar water with an eyedropper on the tip of his beak and fed him raw hamburg.  I had to feed him  every 30 minutes for the first week.  It was awful because he would wake me up in the night but I did it. He certainly let me know when he was hungry.  I called him Grapenut. I will never forget Grapenut. As he grew he thought I was his Mama.

I would let him out of his box and he would follow me everywhere. We had this little screened in building in our backyard and I would take him in there when he started to learn to fly.

Then I went on vacation with my parents and left him in the care of my older sister and brother. When I came back home he was dead. They swear they fed him and it wasn’t their fault. I didn’t believe them at the time but I know my sister wouldn’t lie to me so I know now it was the truth. I cried a lot at the time over Grapenut’s death. I had become so attached to him. My sister and brother had a big party while we were gone. Of course, they weren’t supposed to. My parents never did find out and I didn’t find out until years later. I always wondered if someone at the party might have gotten Grapenut drunk. He wasn’t a drinker and I doubt that he could handle his liquor very well. But I’ll never know.