Masters of Camouflage! How many Mourning Doves in this picture?


Having got a mixed bag of weather this past week, I was left wondering how I was going to get anything to say about our faithful remaining garden birds. But, waking up to an early morning sunny day, the problem was solved. There, out in the back garden, our little flock of Mourning Doves was not about to disappoint me. One of these beautifully shy and colourful birds gave themselves away by moving ever‑so slightly among the rocks and Autumn leaves on our now frozen back garden water feature.

I had to use the magnification lens of my camera to check that I had seen something there at all. I was not wrong, in that I was seeing not just one bird, but a number of them. Yes, there they were, hunkered down, either on a rock or very near to one, out of my natural eye‑sight!

I am tempted to tell you all how many there were, but I thought that, just like them, I would tease you by not telling you, and letting you count them or guess for yourselves! I think that you might be surprised at what you finally discover about how well birds can camouflage themselves, right in front of your eyes. These Mourning Doves proved to be the “Masters of Camouflage”, but I hope that from now on, you will look a lot more carefully at what you might think is your empty garden! Enjoy, and, above all else, stay safe and well.

John Baldwin
PS I shall try to remember to tell you the answer when my next article is published.


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