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Mar 15 2010

God’s Little Creatures – A Goodbye

Mommy Dove Nesting

This post will be a little bit different than my normal posts.  I am going to share a personal experience I had with a couple of morning doves on Thursday, March 11.  This post will be about a couple of God’s little creatures where I had a small and brief interaction that touched my heart.   A friend was packing up the last of his belongings for his move.  Outside his house, he has outdoor shelving that is in an open type of overhang.  A dove has been nesting there every year and raises her young.  This year was no different.  Unbeknownst to mommy dove, this was a bad year to raise her young in the same place she’s been raising her young for years.  The shelves were to come down – the very shelf that she had built her nest.

I was able to talk my friend into rigging up something right next to the metal shelving and move the nest to that.  I did not see what he rigged up but when he moved the nest, the two baby doves were fine and healthy.  The mother kept coming around looking for her babies but did not approach them.  Turns out she could not see the nest because of the way he had rigged it.  It was not his fault for he did not know how.  I wish I went over to his house to see how he had made the new nest area.

Last night when the mother dove did not return, I asked that he bring me the babies as I knew they would not survive the night.  They had not had any food all day and it was getting really cold, even here on the west coast.  They were not yet feathered and needed the warmth of their mother’s body  to keep them warm.  He stopped by my house to drop off the two baby doves and I rushed them inside.  I had already prepared a warm box and had prepared the baby bird formula so I could immediately feed them.

Couple of Baby Doves

Alas, it was too late.  When I picked them up, their bodies were cold.  They were not able to maintain a warm body temperature without their mother.  I thought both were dead but I held them in my hands trying to warm them – just in case.  I stood next to the heater warming their little bodies in my hands.  They were tiny little things – no more than 2 inches at most.  They had a tiny bit of down on their bodies but mostly they were naked.  Their crops were empty and they needed food.  I saw the smaller one move it’s mouth and I had hopes that maybe at least one would survive.  A few minutes later, that little one made no more movements.  She died as I was holding her.  She too was gone.

I thought about the mother dove fluttering around looking for her babies.  I was saddened more than I expected thinking about her.  She had no concept that her babies were right there.  She did not abandon her babies, she could not find them.

  • “If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.  You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long. Deuteronomy 22:6-7 (ESV)

It was not my intent to take the babies away from their mother.  In fact, I waited too long to take the babies.  Had I taken possession of the babies just a few hours earlier than I did, they would have lived.  Sadly they died of starvation and cold.

God cares for all of His creatures.  Deuteronomy 22:6-7 clearly demonstrates that God detests cruelty to any of His sentient creatures.

  • Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
    but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.  Proverbs 12:10 (ESV)

Most times, God’s little critters come and go and we do not have any interaction with the wild animals.  They are born, some live and some do not and when they step into eternity, they are gone but they are not forgotten for they belong to God.  Mommy dove and her two little ones had a brief interaction with a couple of humans that tried to provide a new nest area but with disastrous results.

The little baby doves are now with their Creator.  I pray that  Mommy dove is comforted by our  Creator for she was fluttering about looking for her little babies.  Her many years of nesting at the same place is now over and she must find a new place for the next season.  This season she lost her young.

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Mommy Dove Nesting Photo Credit

Couple of Baby Doves Photo Credit

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8 comments

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  1. Marisa

    So sad but inspiring as well. Iv had my good out comes with rescue missions and my bad. They all leave their mark on us as people who try to make a difference.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Marisa,

      Thanks for reading this post. These two little baby doves really touched me and I so wanted them to live. I was too late. But what really saddened me is the mommy dove looking for her babies. She just could not find them. I was not there to see how my friend rigged up the site for the nest. Had it been turned around facing out, she would have seen her babies. I don’t blame him, he just didn’t know. He did tell me she kept coming around looking for them, he could hear her fluttering around. That is what really saddened me.

      I too have been involved in animal rescue and sometimes things turn out great and sometimes, it’s just so sad how things end up.

  2. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    It is always sad to lose a little critter that we hold dear….. I remember the many bum lambs I worked so hard to save when we were ranching….. Sometimes their mother abandoned them or even tried to kill them because she had had a multiple litter and realized which one was the weakest….. She knew she didn’t have enough milk for all of them….. It was always a happy time to see them learn to suckle on a bottle and become strong, joyfully bouncing around.

    God gives us much to enjoy in this life.

    Margaret

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Margaret,

      That would be soooo cool to raise a baby lamb from babyhood. I would fall in love with it and keep it for myself.

      YES — God gives us so much joy in our animals. What a blessing they are — that I can attest to.

      1. Margaret

        Tishrei,
        :) That would be so cute — you with a house full of lambs….. They grow up so fast….. You would soon have a bunch of 160 pound sheep you could not bear to part with because each has a special personality….. Then you would have to buy a ranch so you could keep them all….. But, we can dream — I do.

        Margaret

        1. Tishrei

          OY — 160 pounds. That’s almost as much as Tulip weighed. I really am not a city girl but I live right smack in the middle of one, LOL.

          The only problem with me having a ranch is that I could not part with any of the critters.

  3. newcovenantofgrace

    This just broke my heart. The image of the mother dove frantically trying to find her babies made me cry. I know how you feel about losing the little ones, I’ve lost kittens and puppies because I simply had no idea what to do for them. But, for the most part, I do now; however, if they aren’t meant to live, there’s nothing one can do, but accept it.

    That doesn’t make it any easier, though. :(

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Newcovenantofgrace,

      I, too, had a very hard time with that image. I also feel guilty for not taking the babies sooner for if I had, they may have had a chance at life. My thoughts were that I wanted to give the mother dove as much time as possible to find her babies. They were right there — less than 2 feet away from where she had built her nest.

      I try and not think about it now because it’s over and there’s nothing I can do. One thing I initially thought about was capturing the mom and babies so she could finish taking care of her babies. But doves mate for life and I did not want to take her away from her mate. It really was a hard decision on what to do.

      Thanks for reading this post. I was very sad as I wrote it — well, actually, I was tearful and choked up as I wrote it.

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