Saturday, April 9, 2011

Meet … Cleopatra

Cleo the Dove
When the morning contingent of Zebra Doves comes swarming to the breakfast table, they are inevitably joined by a few larger doves – Spotted Doves (Spilopelia chinensis, aka “Spotted Turtle Doves”), so called because of the bandana of spots they sport on the neck.
These are more regal in appearance, quite unlike the cuddly Zebras.
One in particular is always the first to arrive. I call her “Cleopatra” because of what appears to be eye makeup similar to what you see in Egyptian art. Plus, she’s the queenly one of the bunch, often chastising the other Spotteds and chasing them away from her pecking grounds.
Even the Zebras have taken to staying out of her way.
Once I saw her grab hold of another Spotted’s tail, not letting go until she had pulled two feathers out and left them scooting over the asphalt with each passing breeze.
She doesn’t come too close to me, however, not like the Zebras who often surround my seat. None of the Spotteds does … they’re shyer than the Zebras.

No comments: