Much anticipation has filled my life this month.
It all started – if I remember correctly – Aug. 1. My boyfriend and I were outside, preparing to have a barbecue, when a bird flew out of the flower basket I had hung on a hook at the town home where I live.
I went over to inspect the flowers, checking to see whether they needed watering, and – wow! – there was an egg in the basket.
Thus began daily viewings of the flower basket/nest from the inside of my town home.
Turns out, a pair of what I believe to be mourning doves had laid not one, but two eggs among the flowers I had so dutifully cared for all summer.
Grabbing my cheap pair of binoculars, I began checking out the nest multiple times each day. Sometimes there would be one bird sitting on the eggs, alone. Other times, a second bird would be nearby. The birds, of course, always seemed very aware and watchful. Never was there a time that I did not see one of the two birds on the eggs.
Which led to a problem.
Around the middle of the month, a gathering of people was scheduled to come over to the place for a barbecue. I was worried any action on the balcony near the flower basket would disturb the birds, forcing them to leave their eggs. (At this point, I really had come to care for the little bird family!)
I consulted the only nature columnist I know – the great Pam Otto – and asked her what she thought of the situation.
She told me that since the birds already were so invested in their eggs, that a minor disturbance probably wouldn’t cause them to flee.
So, the grill was moved the furthest it could be from the nest, and – sure enough – those birds stayed put.
Day after day after day passed. And earlier this week came the best binocular sighting of them all – the baby birds had hatched!
It’s been great to watch them feed, kind of awkward and gross, but still really cool.
And then came a rare moment Thursday evening. No adult bird was with the babies.
Which led to an opportunity.
I rushed out on the balcony and took a photo of the chicks up close, and then I scurried back inside.
The photo I took is the one you see with this column.
I’m looking forward to seeing these two little guys get some flight lessons and grow up.
Just another example of the great wildlife we have here in Kane County.
• Kathy Gresey is editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-845-5368.