L.A. mystery: The mourning doves stopped singing. What happened to them?

Hearing the mourning dove again was a revelation, but with it came a realization: I’d not listened to one in many years.

It is the sound of do-nothing summer afternoons in the pre-internet portion of my youth. Those were untold hours spent draped across the blue couch in my parents’ bedroom, immobilized by the un-air-conditioned upstairs air.

I’d look out across Spanish tile and into the trees, searching in vain for the bird. What felt like boredom at the time was really an indulgence.

Coo-OOH, ooh, ooh, ooh.

So many of the headlines about the effects of climate change center on the more of it all. More blistering heat. More invasive mosquitos. More devastating floods.

But I have become preoccupied by the apparent absence of the mourning dove. This sort of lamentation is far from novel in a post-“Silent Spring” world. But DDT was banned nationwide 10 years before I was born. The mourning dove’s call is my loss. And it is one that unlocks in me an incandescent anger over what we’ve done to the planet, the sort that curdles into a despair that can feel bottomless.

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Source: LA Times