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."