Common Resentment

I’m a bit of a bird snob.

I love watching birds, just not all birds. I have a large picture window in my office. Just outside this window, I have strategically placed two bird feeders and a bird bath so that I can look outside and watch the array of birds native to this part of Texas.

There are cardinals (my personal favorite)

finches and sparrows

the loud and proud Blue Jay

The State bird of Texas, the mockingbird

But mostly there are doves…

Lots and lots of doves.

So many in fact, that frankly they’ve become a nuisance for me.

There are dozens of them. While some weigh down the feeders, others peck on the ground for seed. More await on the roof. They're everywhere.

They’re like rodents with wings. Hungry rodents. The city pigeon’s country cousins. I bought three 5 pound bags of bird seed over the weekend. As of Thursday afternoon, those bags are empty. I don’t want to look at these doves. They’re common, they’re dull, and they are eating up the bird seed I would much rather be eaten by the birds I actually like. Then something occurred to me while I was watching them gobble up all that bird seed and repeatedly fly into the window. (Yeah, they’re dumb, too.) I have turned this pleasant experience into something less than that because I’ve lost my ability to see them as anything special. But they are special.

and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: β€œYou are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” ~ Luke 3:22

Dove image courtesy of

How could I have disdain for a bird whose descent is compared to that of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus?

But familiarity really does breed contempt. The images I conjure up in my mind when I think of the American bald eagle are similar to this one. Majestic, independent, powerful and graceful.

Bald eagle image courtesy of

And frankly, that’s the image I want in my mind. But how would your image change of the National bird of the USA if you saw hundreds of them every day scouring a landfill in search of food?

Image courtesy of the Vancouver Time. In February, 2011, 1400 bald eagles were spotted at a Vancouver landfill.

I can’t pick and choose which birds come into my yard, and I can allow my disdain for the commonness of these doves to spoil my enjoyment of bird watching.

Instead, I think I’ll choose to embrace the fact that just because things are common doesn’t mean they aren’t of value.

Unless, of course, any of you know of a way to get rid of the doves without getting rid of the other birds. Not that I would entertain that notion, of course. Being all enlightened now and whatnot…

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17 Responses to “Common Resentment”

  1. kelybreez June 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    The doves should disappear at the beginning of dove season in early September!

    And speaking of birds, Uganda has more species of bird than any other country on earth. Last week, while floating down the Nile, I saw the Malekite Kingfisher about 10 different times.

    And the mockingbird, for your bird knowledge consumption, is also the state bird of Tennessee. That’s why I had to move from Texas to Tennessee. Because we share Davy Crockett and Sam Houston and The Mockingbird.

  2. Louise June 10, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    Love your enlightenment and whatnot… let it give wing to common resentment flying away! πŸ™‚

  3. Cassandra Frear June 10, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    I’m an avid birdwatcher. I enjoyed this post!

    Our worst pests on birdfeeders have been squirrels and starlings.

  4. Candy June 10, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    I think it’s because they come in flocks that birds terrify (and yes, annoy) me at times. I want to watch them on MY terms (like the infamous Iowa eagle cam rather than on theirs. How selfish.

    And me thinks your windows are too clean.

  5. Michelle DeRusha June 10, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    My son Noah loves morning doves — I for one could live without them. But I never thought about their relation to the Holy Spirit before. You make a good point!

  6. Helen June 10, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    When I was little, my Godfather raised doves. I loved the sound they made. It is throatier than the sound of a mere city pigeon. I don’t know why, but when I was little, I call them “cookaroos”. That is not the correct word for them in either Hungarian or Croation. I guess I imitated the sound they make and the adults in my life thought that was so adorable, they went along with it and referred to it by the same name. My parents even bought me this toy dove on a perch. When you touched the perch, you’d hear a dove call.
    I still love the throaty sound of a dove.

  7. Simply Darlene June 10, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Wanna borrow my wily three-legged barn cat? She catches squirrels and pounces on big ole quail. She’s a little-bitty thing, but her eyes do glimmer at the site of a bird. Oh wait a minute, she fancies the bright colored ones best.

    Never mind.

    Just love
    the doves
    they’re better
    than belly button



  8. Marni June 10, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    We used to see a parakeet at our feeder. It’s not like you see them in the wild here, so I assume he was a jailbreak. What I enjoyed was watching him land and seeing the other birds look at him like “WTFrick are YOU?” I’m easily entertained.

    • katdish June 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

      The easily entertained are my bread and butter. Thanks for being a founding member.

  9. tyler June 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    “like rodents with wings” great line.

    humans remind me of opinions with legs.

    good stuff, we should build a birdhouse together sometime with 2 stories.

  10. Hazel Moon June 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    All birds are special but in mass they do become a nuisance. Interesting photo of the eagles at the land fill. Probably they were looking for mice. May I see the special traits in people even those who seem to be at times a nuisance.

  11. Hazel Moon June 11, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    Now you stirred memories and I posted an awful post about my Dad and the pigeons in his garden. This will take you direct to the post if you are curious. You may need to copy and paste! πŸ™‚

  12. Jonathan B June 11, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    I admit to enjoying mourning doves. They’re some of the biggest birds at the feeder, yet they are so skittish that many of the smaller birds can run them off easily. The head bobbing motion they use when walking is fun, and the sound their wings make when they take off all in a flurry is amusing as well. The head bob just gets more hilarious when they spot you through a window and start trying to figure you out. πŸ™‚

    Their ability to wedge those fat bodies onto precarious little ledges can also be fascinating.

  13. Jake June 11, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    We have mourning doves everywhere here. They sound nice enough, but they’re not attractive. And honestly, what’s the difference between a dove and a pigeon? Not much. I love your point though, the bald eagles weren’t incredibly majestic at the dump, the They’re like rodents with wings look better in the Bible, too. Great post, friend!!

  14. floyd June 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    My favorites are hummingbirds, I love to watch them race across the sky for food and sometimes I think just to show off. I had a family of pigeons living on the roof outside my office with the smallest one being bigger than our dog, with wings of course. They don’t instinctively know not to go the bathroom where they eat or live. That left me with a mess and fight trying to get rid of them for years. I finally paid the next door neighbor kid 20 bucks a head…

    • katdish June 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      I love hummingbirds, too. My mom gets tons of them at her house. They battle for position at the feeders and they’re really quite impressively violent sometimes.


  1. The sweetest song | - July 13, 2011

    […] share with you that I have two bird feeders outside my office window. Although we have an array of bird species native to this area, most of the bird seed is eaten up […]

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