Project Chekov: Zenaida Macroura

With a slight tear in my eye I must declare we’ve made it to the end of Project Chekov.  It’s been an incredible ride but time to make the final post and declare victory.  It isn’t often that I’m able to close out a new resolution so early in the year, but as mentioned at the beginning of this project there was a sense of urgency.  This little project literally allowed me to jump about a year ahead in the posting queue which I would never had been able to do at the standard pace.  Admittedly there were a few jumps even further than that due to some unforeseen circumstances but worth it to keep my commitment to the project (I generally hate failing at something unless I’ve given it all I had).  There will probably be a summary post to put a bow on the project, so for now let’s get to the star of the post.

For those in the States, this should be a pretty common bird – the Zenaida Macroura.  You would think that such a common bird would have a more common name .. well it does.  Their non-scientific name is Mourning Dove and to my utter surprise, they are also called Turtle Doves!  That brings a completely new understanding of the 12 Days of Christmas song… okay, maybe not but now at least know what they are referring to.  By the way, from a composition and execution perspective, the shot above is one of my favorites.  Similar to the one below, but the foreground branch is a little more invasive there.  If you are curious, this one was “rainbathing” – Wikipedia claims they can keep this outstretched wing position for up to twenty minutes.

According to our friends over at Wikipedia, these birds are monogamous and form strong pair bonds.  In alignment with that, these birds are usually seen around the feeder in pairs and are often found sitting in a tree next to what I assume is their mate.  They are prolific breeders having up to 6 broods a year with an average of 2 eggs per brood.

Hit the jump to read more interesting facts and view a few more shots of the Mourning Dove!

Continue reading Project Chekov: Zenaida Macroura