From my first article, I hope that now all of you know what I do as the first thing in the morning. As the second thing, I used to watch the developments of our present two laughing doves.
Well, it all began during the month of May 2015, where my hubby and I made a lantern for Vesak Festival. It is the main religious event to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Budda. Unfortunately, we did not have a hanging bulb to provide light to the particular lantern in the balcony. Instead of that, we used one of our tall vertical lamp posts which were on both the sides of our couch. So, we were able to keep the lantern on top of the lamp post by keeping it outside. After few days, we noticed that two laughing doves (Spilopelia senegalensis) were poking the lantern with their tiny beaks. It is a kind of small pigeon which is seen rarely in groups. They are one of the common and widespread bird species in Dubai. So, we removed the lantern and kept the lamp post with a hunch that this couple might build a nest.
After serious observations for about a week, the process of building the nest was begun by the bird couple. I guess it was the male who brought the twigs while the female placed them properly in the nest. The sexes are indistinguishable to me as I am not an expert on ornithology. The nest that they made was fragile and light with twigs. With the help of my hubby, time to time we started taking few photos without disturbing them as both of us have never even seen a life cycle of laughing doves. Once the nestlings were born, even both of us too kept a watchful eye from pigeons along with our daily tasks. Both of the parents took their turns in incubating and feeding. After that was the flying lesson time. The parents taught them to fly to the floor of the balcony and then to the clothes rack and finally to the balcony railing. The nestlings grew up very quickly and we used to keep grains in a plastic cup for extra nutrition. During this period we could not dry the washed clothes properly as the balcony area was totally dominated by the birds. It was on the very day when the grown up nestlings took their first official flight to the world that made us sad as we both felt like facilitating human parents to them. It took almost two months from site observation to the first flight process of laughing doves.
Then came the great surprise. After 5-6 hours of the departure of the birds, we thought to take the lamp post inside to the proper place. To our amazement and joy, there was another couple of laughing doves hanging around and doing the inspection of the previous nest. We had no idea about how did they get to know about the vacated nest. They modified the old nest and started to lay eggs. The same process began again and again for the past few months. Now we have the nestlings of the fourth couple who will fly in another week or two after flying lessons.
The reproduction trend of laughing doves actually became a hot topic among our families as our parents also got updates about the developments when we call them each day. Sometimes, I also feel that I am like a bird who flew away to build my own nest in a different country.The famous Khalil Gibran once said that,
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”
The difference among humans is that we look after our family members. Yet, we act in a similar way to migrating birds that fly in the vacation period. There, we go and see our old nest which we have been brought up. This is because we cannot forget the magnitude of love, affection, care and security that we have already got from our parents. The blood relation is a link to the past and acts as a support for the future.So far, my hubby and I have been bird facilitating parents for eight laughing doves. We are waiting anxiously to welcome the fifth bird couple hopefully in February. According to American writer Will Durant, “Family is the nucleus of civilization”. The life cycle of laughing doves continuously reminds me the power of parental love which occurs in nature for a shorter period. That is how I see it folks!