When I went out into the forest this morning I was as usual soon surrounded by many doves wanting to be fed, but to my surprise from somewhere in the midst of the flight I could hear the plaintive sounds of a chick. In winter!? But after a time I managed to look at it closely enough for long enough to see that its ceres were pink, so it is definitely a chick (ceres are the bulges at the top of the beak, and in doves they are pink in chicks then turn whitish when when the birds mature)
A chick in July! How did its parents keep the egg then the new-hatched unfledged youngster warm enough for it to survive!?
Later when I went into my office the adult female that I have named Placida because she has such placid nature came in too, and after pecking about for a while flew up to the fax-machine for a snooze as is her habit.
After about twenty minutes she started looking about, which usually means she wants to go outside, so I opened the outside door for her. She ignored it, but another dove took the opportunity to come in. When I closed the door that one took off and flew round my office, beautifully fluttering with tail spread, but not like any other dove had ever done when inside. This one was flying high up near the ceiling, and the way she was her flying was different. When she landed on something high up I saw to my surprise that it was the chick. So already she is tame enough to come inside. (I presume she is a female)
When she came down, she busied herself with studying her new environment, but she was not very nervous, and when I opened the door she calmly made her way out.
Placida is still here as I write this two hours later, dividing her time between snoozing and attending to her feathers and exploring the floor to try to find something to eat.
So there must now be twenty-one doves in my part of this great forest, because there have been twenty adults many times recently in the mornings and today there were nineteen plus the chick, so there was an adult missing.
If this flight of doves have begun breeding and multiplying this early I can expect to be overwhelmed by them by the end of the summer. Twenty-one could easily become twice or thrice as many. What a delightful fate--to be overwhelmed by doves!