Friday, February 5, 2010

Dove Ghost- Mystery Solved

On January 24, I did a blog post about a dove that had hit my window while try to escape from a Cooper's hawk. The dove hit the window pretty hard and left this incredible impression on the glass. I wasn't sure if the white substance on the glass was dander or dust.

Today my neighbor, who home schools her children, was reading a story about the American Bittern bird. The Bittern is considered a Powder Down Bird. My neighbor had read my blog post about the dove and called me to tell me about the American Bittern.

I did some Internet research today and sure enough, that is the explanation for the impression on the glass. The dove is also a Powder Down Bird! Mystery solved!





Here is a great explanation I found for this interesting phenomenon:

Doves don’t have an oil or “preen” gland to help with waterproofing their feathers. Instead, they have “powder down” feathers—extremely fine feathers that disintegrate into a dust-like substance. Through preening, the bird coats its feathers with this dust to provide some waterproofing. If you’ve ever seen a window strike by a dove, you may have seen a “ghost bird” on the glass—a tracing of the bird left on the glass by this powder down. If you and the bird are both lucky, that’s the only remnant of the strike you’ll find…
http://sipapu.wordpress.com/birds/wildlife-rehabilitation/suboscine-and-non-passeriformes-species/ Tina Mitchell


27 comments:

Tattered-Spinner said...

Once a robin bumped into our windshieild, and it left the same white smear, so they must be powder down too. I'm glad both the robin and the dove were alright.

Garden Lily said...

That's really neat, to solve a mystery and learn something new. Thanks for sharing it.

Rosemary said...

What interesting facts rather spooky imprint on your glass.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Thank you for answering that question Robin. I have seen this mark on the patio doors from time to time.

Love your new header.

Melody said...

How interesting! There is always something new to learn about nature, isn't there? Thanks for sharing this information with us.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Fascinating, absolutely fascinating. I'd no idea. Thanks, Robin! You are fortunate to see this phenomena - as fortunate as the dove was to escape!

sweet bay said...

Very interesting post. I had heard that parrots are "dusty", which is why some people are allergic, but didn't realize Mourning Doves were among birds with powder down.

Janet said...

That is pretty interesting. Oh the things you learn through blogging!

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

That happened at our house too, but I never knew the reason why. Thanks!
Penny

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Thanks for this fascinating information.I did not know that. I guess this blogging is educational as we. :)
Blessings,Ruth

Kerri said...

How neat! I never knew that!!

Not sure if the header collage sis new - but it is GORGEOUS!!! LOVE It!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Robin, thank you. That is the most impressive thing I've learned for a long time. The dust is beautiful on the window.~~Dee

Noelle said...

Hi Robin,

That is so interesting. Imagine the fine feathers dissolving into dust?

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Well, that's gotta be the coolest factoid I've learned this week! SOOOO cool! Thank you for posting this. I never would have known otherwise.

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Very cool photo !!
Shame they can't see glass.
Good info...learned something new.

Jayne said...

That's very interesting Robin. Thanks for sharing it.

Msrobin said...

That impression is so cool, I don't think I would have washed it off the glass for awhile!

Sherri said...

Robin, that is really amazing! Last year I posted a "dove print" on my blog too! The poor dove flew into my back storm door and left a perfect print on the glass. What a coincidence that happened to you too!

Blossom said...

Interesting! We do learn new things daily!
BTW, please support me in the Dare to Fail contest. Come and leave a comment at Tell me how to make Hydrangea blooms. Thanks a million.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

I did not know! Great info!

Cameron

Hilary said...

Interesting. I do have that mark on my back window right now and have seen it in the past too. Originally, I thought it was a dirty tennis ball mark but this sure looks like what I have there now. Thanks for the info. :)

Baba Doodlius said...

Good thing it wasn't a cockatoo that hit the window or you wouldn't have been able to see through it for allthe dust those darned things poof off.

Gail said...

fascinating and thanks for the explanation gail

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

How funny... very interesting.

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

I did read this post a couple of days ago, just hadn't left a comment. I found this info fascinating! I hope I don't get to 'experience' it but if so, I'd like it to have an outcome like yours!

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

How cool! I love learning things like this!

Ilona said...

That is a fascinating bit of information that I had never heard of. Thanks for sharing it. I love your bird photos, they really capture their personality.