Yesterday (Tuesday the 6th of November) at about a quarter to two in the afternoon I was having trouble with slow Internet displays, so while I was waiting I chopped up some cheese. When I went outside I found a few doves near the porch, including BigFeet2, Smudge and a couple of others. The group of birds included another of the first three chicks to appear this spring, the one with the slightly feathered feet, a sibling of BigFeet1. The blackbird chick being fed by its father was also there.
So I started tossing bits of cheese to them from the porch. The blackbird chick, which is still pretending to its father that it needs to be fed, when its father is there, by going through its pleading routine, proved that it can look after itself perfectly well by eating all the cheese I threw to it. It no longer flees at the sudden movements of my hand, so is starting to be reasonably tame. Then its mother came along and she also did not flee when I tossed cheese her way. I hope both of them will end up eating from my hand.
I tried to get one or two of the doves to fly up to my hand by bending down but holding it so high that they could not reach the cheese I was holding. LightlyFeathered Feet finally got the message and jumped up. When she had eaten all the cheese in my hand I went inside and fetched more, but this time held it much higher not bending down on the ground, and it did at last fly up to it. And when it had eaten all the cheese it stayed there, perfectly relaxed, attending to its feathers, then it walked up my forearm and roosted in the crook of my elbow.
Then F1 flew up to the same hand, which happened to be my left, so LightlyFeathered Feet retreated up my arm to my shoulder. F1 kept coming and going to and from that hand, as always ever hopeful of finding food there, while LFF stayed on my shoulder. I wondered how long she was going to perch there. She was quite happy, taking a close look at me and sometimes nuzzling my collar. After five minutes or so she made her way across my upper back to my right shoulder and roosted there for several minutes until she lost her grip and fluttered down to the floor of the porch.
That friendly trust from a beautiful wild bird, a bird that was an egg up in the trees only a few weeks ago, made a wonderful five to ten minutes.