I’m highly allergic to birds and feathers. My mom kept careful records in my baby book of my near-fatal asthma attacks when I was two. After many middle-of-the-night rushing me to the hospital and numerous doctor visits, it was determined our little parakeets caused my misery. Once the birds were gone, my asthma attacks disappeared.
Even though I still must avoid close contact with birds, I enjoy birdwatching. Hanging hummingbird liquid feeders and seed feeders outside, I love watching the antics of my winged visitors.
Last year we moved into our house in late summer. Although there is an abundant population of Mourning Doves, we never saw any signs of nests. Just the soft cooing from early morning until the evening. And the distinctive whistling sound of their wings when taking flight.
About two months ago I spotted a nest built on the outside of the front porch. I kept close watch, knowing little ones were about to make their appearance into the world. Sure enough a few weeks later, there were two little fuzzy heads barely visible under the adult. Soon after, I noticed the empty nest, and saw the two little ones high atop the roof peak ready to take their first flights. The next time I checked, there were no birds at all. My feathered family had flown away.
About two weeks later when leaving the house, I noticed a new nest appeared practically overnight, this time on the inside of the front porch. Both parents were on the nest, getting it ready for a new family.
They’ve been there about two weeks now. I’m expecting to see activity soon. This time I’ll have a better view since they won’t be hidden among the leaves. As I sit on the porch watching, they keep an eye on me too. Sometimes I’ve heard gentle cooing, other times just quiet observation as I water my plants or stand at the front door and watch the nest.
In retrospect, my allergies have actually brought me closer to the birds. Watching a hummingbird flit around, dive bombing and displaying its colorful feathers. Observing the male and female Mourning Doves nesting and raising their young. I realize I’ve been given the gift of enjoying the marvels of nature, in their own environment in more ways than I ever imagined.