Background Switcher (Hidden)

Flight Tent Bonding

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Once Libby started flying, which happened when her wing feathers fully emerged from their sheaths, it was time to put up the flight tent. This 17 x 19' screen tent, which I bought from for $100, has seen a lot of young birds through the vulnerable fledgling period. It would be Libby's home for the next couple of weeks. In its safe confines, she'd get used to the sights and sounds of the outside. If you're in the market, you can see a similar one here
which is being advertised at for $79. Not suitable for raptors, or anything that can peck or tear its way out of fine nylon mesh, but great for most songbirds. I wouldn't trust a woodpecker, chickadee or nuthatch in it.

She'd learn to come to a little table for seed and water. She'd fed herself entirely from Day 32 of age, which happens to have been May 10, our Big Day when Bill, Shila, Steve and I ran all around the county racking up birds. I told Libby it was sink or swim; I wasn't going to be around to feed her. Technically, she probably could have fed herself at a younger age, but I don't like to rush the birds I raise. Or kids, either.

By May 14, she was eating reliably and ready for the flight tent.
She seemed very happy to be outside, and to have new perches and even a hibiscus tree to explore.
Helping herself to white millet, her favorite seed.

She found a spot of sun for her first sunbath. Photo by Phoebe Linnea Thompson
Liam came to share the moment. Photo by Phoebe Linnea ThompsonPhoto by Phoebe Linnea Thompson

Mourning doves smell wonderful, a warm, dry, seedy scent. They don't mind being smelled if you've hand-raised them. In fact they prefer kisses to caresses. Which makes sense, since they don't reach out to each other with their wings--they reach out with their bills.
Photo by Phoebe Linnea Thompson

Sometimes a single finger is OK, especially if you're knocked out by the sun.

Photo by Phoebe Linnea Thompson

Is it any wonder my boy is so gentle and tender? He's had the best teachers--the birds themselves.

Photo by Phoebe Linnea Thompson

That goes for the female, too.
Photo by Phoebe Linnea Thompson


I've really been enjoying your dove posts. Baby birds are the best. I had no idea that baby Mourning Doves look so different from adults. I saw a baby in our neighborhood a few months ago and decided it must be a different type of dove - a Scruffy Dove, perhaps.

as usual the mind boggles.

Linnea. How appropriate.

Beautiful, just beautiful. The bird, the kids, and how you raised them.


Posted by Anonymous July 1, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Hi, I am the owner of the blog of photography

I have added in the favorite, I would like an exchange links with you.

In my photography blog articles on photographic techniques, Photoshop tutorials, digital cameras and photomontage.

Tell me what do you think.

I don't know what I have enjoyed the most--the Libby Lou stories, the brief glimpses into your parenting skills with birds and children, your two children growing up gentle and kind. ALL OF THE ABOVE.
Throw in a most winning handsome Chet Baker and I am all done in!

Post full of gentleness, kindness, sweetness. Mmmmm good.

What a gorgeous, gorgeous post. It says so much in pictures that can't always be said in words. It blurs that no go zone between the wild and the tame. It is a celebration of that fleeting, rare moment when the human animal and the wild animal transcend that imaginary line we are not supposed to cross. It is full of magic. And that last photo of Phoebe should be enlarged and framed and gracing the hall of portraits. It's phenomenal.

[Back to Top]