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For The Love of Dove

For The Love of Dove, originally uploaded by pictureinfocus.

For The Love of Dove
Christ Church, Barbados
Series: For The Love of Dove

These lovely birds are absolutely beautiful creatures. I really do not believe many folks in Barbados even pay any attention to these fascinating birds even though you see them flying all over the place. And the fact that they are so plentiful may have something to do with the reality that they have no natural predators.

Some may only notice this brown dove only when they have nested in the gutter of their homes. Folks seem to find them a nuisance then. But all it requires is for the nest to be moved. Or they may become problematic when you hang your wash on the line and they leave a deposit on the clothing.

But for me I find them fascinating. I have had this interest in them since I was a kid. As kids, we would catch them for food. We had many ways of capturing them, the easiest of them being the DOWNFALL. The DOWNFALL was simply an open box or crate propped up by a stick of a foot or so with a string (cord) attached to it. When the bird walked under box the string would then be pulled and the dove would be captured. We also had a more elaborate contraption called a FLYSTICK. The FYLSTICK consisted of sticks placed closely together in a circle and which were hammered into the earth. Three stick would be removed for the dove to pass through. Then a bendable stick (like that from a Tamarind Tree) would be pushed in the earth behind the circle of sticks. On the other end of this stick a noose would be tied and placed where the three sticks were removed. The noose was opened across the path and the stick was held in place by a nail shaped into a U and hammered into the ground. When a dove stepped on the noose the stick would fly capturing the bird by the leg. But none had the thrill of the slingshot, better known to the kids of Barbados as a gutterperk. You just had to be darn accurate to use a gutterperk. I got so good at it I used marbles instead of rocks, and would often call what part of the dove I would hit. Using the gutterperk gave you a sense of being a hunter. You had to be stealthy to down a dove. It was not easy.

Now I capture doves with my camera. I love to watch them. Who can deny the lovely cooing sounds they make. They are fast, agile, and move very swiftly. And if you listen closely you can hear sounds their wings make while cutting through the air. So, listen for the brown mourning dove and you would hear, oo-wah-hoo-oo-oo, oo-waoh, oo-waoh.

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  1. Anonymous6:59 PM

    You are an excellent photographer. I love your photos and Barbados seems to be pretty.
    Greetings from Portugal.

  2. Thank you, thank you, I appreciate your lovely comment. Enjoy the photography and drop by the blog often.

    And yes Barbados is beautiful, but I sure would love to visit Portugal.

  3. Anonymous2:50 PM

    Nice pictures of what I personally think are ugly looking birds, the cats in Barbados are obviously not doing there job properly if there is an abundance of them!

    The Barbados Blog

  4. Garry, you are making me laugh. I am going to send a few by your house to start building some nest. They are lovely birds, really.

  5. Keith,

    The doves may not be as beautiful as the other gorgeous birds we have in Barbados and Panama, but they do have their own loveliness and charm. I see their beauty as well. BTW Keith congrats on your book "Old Barbados Through Photography." The book is splendid.

    The Silver People Chronicle

  6. Roberto,

    Thanks for your kinds words on my book. And what can I say, I love doves, they are beautiful to me.