My dove squabs, Victory and the little un-named one (see Naming Competition in blog below) are very reluctant indeed to come out of the nest. Hope has spent time on the hedge or on top of the dovecote encouraging them to join her. Even if she is on top of the cote and they can't see her, they can obviously sense her as they immediately start their high pitched 'peeping'. She is slackening off the feeds no doubt in an effort to force them out of the nest.
I have taken them out every day since the first time - see previous blog - and have ringed them. I have made them a box to go in if they tumble out of the nest when I'm not around, and put Spirit's branch for them to sit on too. (Spirit was my beautiful dove that couldn't fly - see last late summer blogs). The first time I took these babies out I was afraid they would scramble away from me and get under the hedge so I arranged all sorts of boxes and stuff around to make a pen.
The nursery box to hide in and Spirit's branch.
This is Victory, with his pink ring, he jumped into the water but jumped out again pretty quickly. You have to have shallow water trays for the young squabs or they could drown.
This is the little one, with the purple ring, looking around and assessing the situation.
They ignored the food, because they prefer Mummy to feed them, thank you very much!
The little one crouches and jumps up onto the low branch easy peasy!
Since I started taking them out of the nest three days ago, they have learnt to fly quite well. They just don't want to let on to Mummy Hope!They quickly learn to fly up onto the step ladder from the ground. There was me worrying they would be scrambling into the bottom of the hedge, and they could actually almost fly onto it!
This is a close up of Spirit, an adult dove, so you can see the difference particularly in their beaks. It's the little one again in the photo, 33 days old.
More close ups of the little one. He seems slightly more tame than Victory, though I give them equal amounts of attention.
Here he is again on my finger. Bob Friar from Everlasting Doves told me to handle them as much as possible and I would love it if they were tame when they are adult, but I don't count on it.
Here you see how un-feathered they still are under their wings, and how delicate their wings are. Victory flew up to the wooden rung on his own from the ground. See the yellow down on his head blowing in the breeze.
Now I put the babies on my hand and raise it to the dovecote and they fly to the entrance and scramble in.
That's all for now. The Naming Competition close this coming Saturday 10pm, so please have a go naming my Little One if you haven't already, and you can choose up to 10 names each.
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