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A Dove Grows Up

Thursday, June 24, 2010




Libby the mourning dove quickly worked her way into our hearts. Doves are gentle, mildly curious, and extremely affectionate birds. Libby wasn't the kind to crash into walls and windows, even after she started flying. She just wanted to be in the same room with whomever was around.She took up residence on my drafting board lamp

but the back of the drawing chair was always her favorite spot.

She is a dove of comfort. In this photo, taken May 22, she's still being hand-fed, so she just sits around and waits for the next syringe full of happiness to come her way. After a bad early start (falling out of her nest into a yardful of cats), life definitely improved for Libby.
She stretches a wing
and preens her ratty tail. Her tail shows evidence of a period of starvation, with fault bars where the feather growth was interrupted, leading to a weak spot on the feather. We'd soon fix that.


She does that head-bob thing doves do, where they shoot their little heads out as if they've just seen something really interesting.

It's really nice having her nearby as I work, because I'm painting mourning doves for the chapter in my book.
Being able to look out the window and see courting doves, draw their poses from life, and then to bury my nose in the warm grainy smell of a hand-raised baby--for a bird artist, it doesn't get better than that.


A little horn-toot here: NPR just released a new compilation CD called Sound Treks: Birds. Three of my pieces and one of Bill's are featured in its 25 fascinating tracks. You can purchase the CD or hear a teaser featuring both Zick and Bill here. I'm mighty pleased that they ended the CD with "Hummingbird Summer."



6 comments:

Libby is too adorable, and your drawings are just beautiful.

Can I just say - I LOVE the windows in your studio. And the view! That's the sort of room I'd love for myself when I'm finally at the point of buying a home.

I took great amusement from Libby perched on the screen of your laptop, too. Hope there were no accidents!

I'm crazy over the photo of you with your eyes on Libby and also sort of envious of the connection there. Sweet, beyond words.

I find myself distracted by the question of poop in the keyboard too, but she does seem like a fine bird.
And wow, those windows are sweet!

Seabrooke, we had to make those windows. You don't find a house fitted out like this where we live. I wish a nice studio for you. This from one who did her artwork in tiny back bedrooms for 23 years. I hear you!

Floridacracker, a properly fed mourning dove makes a very nice dry well-contained little poop, almost like a Cheerio. They love water though, and I had to discourage her from sitting on the screen top when she'd been drinking.

Mary, Libby was quite a bright spot in a fun, bright summer.

Good on you for looking after Libby. She is absolutely gorgeous and looks like she is quite at home with you. Awwww.

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