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March 2011
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June 2011

There were Two Little Birds--And They Have Flown

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This is a photo from the first day we knew there were two little mourning doves in the hanging basket. Seems they stayed on different sides of the parent bird until this day, when we looked and saw two little eyes and two little beaks. So there have been two all along!

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Things moved really fast after that. This is the next day. Momma and Papa are not in the nest, and babies have grown quite a lot of feathers in preparation for flight.

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The following day, Momma and Papa are sitting together on our back fence. Babies are stil in the nest. Change is a-wing!

The next day, the nest was empty. Only one month from egg to fledging! Fun to watch, but David ran out immediately to water the fern! We didn't fertilize. The birds have been doing that--hopefully not too much!

A Birth in the Nest on Our Porch

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We have had a blessed event in the hanging basket on our back porch. We were hoping for two, since there were two eggs (see recent post) but we only see one mourning dove chick. References say that often only one chick survives, and that seems to be the case here. Still, it sure is cute.Here it is a bit closer.

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Go little bird! We are rooting for you. (And glad cats can't access your hanging nursery.)


A Film Opening (I think I'm In It)

The San Francisco premier of Antonio Roman-Alcala's film Search of Good Food will be this week at the Recology Company Headquarters, 900 7th Street, near Townsend and Berry Streets. It's an exporation of where our food comes from. Antonio interviewed me for the film, about the history of food movements in the Bay Area, and assures me that he left some of the interview in the final cut.

The film will be part of a double feature, with The Greenhorns, which is about organic farmers who are just starting to farm.

The event is free, though donations are gladly accepted. On both Thursday, May 19th and Friday, May 20, the event begins at 6, with "food and hanging out." In Search of Good Food will be shown at 7, followed by filmmaker discussion, and then The Greenhorns at 8. 

Food, beverages, and popcorn courtesy of Bi-Rite Market.

You can read more about Roman-Alcala's film at


Mourning Doves Take up Residence

When my husband began to water his large hanging staghorn fern, a bird flew up, protesting loudly! I don't know who was more startled, the human or the bird. It flew to the back fence, where we could see it was a mourning dove.

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Investigation showed the nest, with its two white eggs. The pair lays only 2, maybe 2 more later in the summer. The sphagnum moss was practically enough as is, nestwise, but they did bring in a few wisps of dry grass.

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We went upstairs and saw that it took the bird about 15 minutes to work its way back to the nest, flying across the garden to the other fence first, then making the leap, or flight, back. So we have been watching. The basket is wide enough that there is room for the nest and some watering can action without sogging up the nest, if we can do it without scaring the birds too much. They take turns on the nest. My husband noticed them changing today. It took a very long time for the partner to decide it was safe to go to the nest, and then the exchange was very fast. My husband found himself anthropomorphically thinking "Don't they want to get acquainted a bit when changing the guard?"

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I'm afraid we can't tell Mom bird from Dad bird, but bird it is. The eggs hatch in about 2 weeks, and it has been over a week since our discovery, so...  (I'll let you know when it happens.)