The weather has warmed enormously and all of the birds are out busy making new birds, including the mourning doves. In fact, my window is open and I hear one right next to my window, with that sad, soft, mournful cry.
This afternoon I opened the curtain out on to the deck, just in time to see two doves finishing their reproductive duties. The male dove flew down next to the female on the deck guardrail, and they both started preening their feathers.
Then an odd thing happened. The female started gently pecking at the male’s neck, rubbing her head underneath his beak. The male started to rub back, but then stopped and fluffed it’s feathers out and moved away from the female a step.
The female started again in a rather touching, intimate display of postcoital grooming. The male just looked at her, and again moved away.
The female moved towards the male and again started grooming him. This time the male ruffled its feathers a last time and took off, leaving the female alone on the guard rail.
I am not going to anthropomorphize this behavior. I am not going to anthropomorphize this behavior. I am biting my tongue, hard, with what I’m not going to say. I am not going to anthropomorphize this behavior.