You’re in the army now

I’ve designated the White-winged dove as Active Avian Military, taking frequent R and R at our affordable, all-you-can-eat resort. Their uniform is dull brown, water-repellent and camouflage-worthy. The wing bears a thin crescent of white, distinguishing it from the civilian Mourning Dove.
Accustomed to military regulations, and as directed in queue-obsessed bases everywhere, the White-wing knows: STAND BEHIND THE LINE. In this case, the line is an edge of spouting above our dangling bird feeder. Several White-wings might gather, stand at ease on the spouting and wait for a free table. Each goes forward as space allows, has his fill and heads for the nearest libation. That would be our freshly-filled-birdbath, a unique glass dish emblazoned with hummingbird motif.
The blue jay lacks the dove’s discipline and takes random cuts in the chow line. These doves, being trained in military tactics, displace the feistiest jay with threatening wing flutters.
One early morning, I found a mortally wounded White-wing. A diligent comrade kept vigil for many hours, standing as still as a windless day. I swear it looked sad.
Overall, various sized resident birds and high-strung squirrel families rate A plus in gets-along-well-with-others. As for the rebellious blue jay, we welcome vacationing MPs.

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