I’m still obsessed with my new birdfeeder but I’m also DIStressed at an unexpected outcome that’s occurred. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that during this pandemic I’ve become a birdwatcher as my broken fountain (now birdbath) draws a variety of local birds. The thing is, with the arrival of the new feeder, the five sparrow sized birds, some with red markings on their head and beneath their wings, have multiplied into an obnoxious, territorial gang of twelve.

The tiniest yellow-green birds are nowhere to be seen nor are the various medium sized birds that were previously regulars. Just days before hanging the new bird feeder I had counted seventeen mourning doves all chilling in the large acacia tree. They too have disappeared. What on earth? All I wanted was to create a peaceful garden sanctuary but these little redheads have become thugs in the community and chased the others away.

Determined to see the dove population return I did some research then made a custom, dove-specific feeder using twine, an S hook, and a leftover wooden sign from my days as a volunteer barista. The youngest of the dove clan came by to check it out but was chased off, mid-snack, by several of the territorial gangsters. In a matter of three days not only had their numbers grown but they’d claimed my garden as their turf.

Then something truly magical happened. I FINALLY replaced the old pump in the fountain and repaired some of its broken pieces. It’s been years since the water actually flowed but now that pleasant water sound is back and I, for one, am happy. In only a couple of hours six doves appeared out of nowhere to reclaim the fountain. A young one boldly flew up onto the home-crafted feeder and simply wasn’t having it when three tiny redheads tried to intimidate it away. Success! The doves are beginning to return. The ancient ruins of the broken fountain have been restored and the former inhabitants are making a comeback!

And, of course, these gentle mourning doves are the one bird associated with peace. In just moments after some long overdue restoration takes place . . . BAM, there’s peace in the valley once again. Coincidence? I think not.

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