Over the last three weeks, I’ve been watching a mourning dove nest as its fate unfolds on a roof support beam along the building across from mine. I have a perfect, straight-across view through the spotting scope I set up in my living room. The whole affair started with a flurry of nest-building activity. In mourning doves, the female builds the nest as the male brings materials. This male was so industrious in bringing sticks, his mate appeared agitated trying to handle the growing stockpile as she shaped the nest beneath and around her. The rudimentary nest was completed in a day. After two weeks of incubating, with the female sitting at night and the male during the day (according to one of my bird natural history books), the eggs hatched. Now the parents continue to sit, but more gingerly. Suddenly from under the protective breast, a head atop stringy neck reaches up to be fed.
Each of the dozens of times I have peered through the spotting scope, I’ve been struck by the force of the proceedings. The persistence of the male bringing stick after stick after stick. Parent dove tight on the nest, eyes blinking, long tail extending out the side like the fletching of an arrow, day after day after day.
The dove’s nesting cycle can be nearly invisible when seen just for a moment. However, there is a fierce energy in the connecting of nests through the millennia of a species. Perhaps it offers a way to consider faith — trusting what came before and translating that to current conditions, not over-thinking things, and being true to one’s nature.