Saturday 18th April '09
Hope and Glory's squabs are now 30 and 29 days old and I think it's time to name them. If you want to skip my updating waffle then just scroll down to the Naming Competition part!
Hope has been leaving them since they were two weeks old and I have taken them into the house every night, partly to keep them warm and partly to keep them safe from predators in the very early morning. In the past my parent doves have slept in the dovecote and would have been 'on guard' but Hope is entirely feral and only here because Glory (now dead) chose it as a suitable nesting site, and as she now has a new mate, Pascoe, she has been leaving them and no doubt spending the night with him! I have no idea where the doves all go at night, but there are lots of barns on the farm and nearby farms.
In the beginning I kept the squabs in the kitchen near the aga to keep them warm, but the last few nights have been putting their nursery box in the conservatory to harden them off a little!
Hope has been spending some time each day on the hedge, looking up at the nestbox, maybe in an attempt to encourage them out. I believe pigeon (dove) squabs fledge at about 30-40 days so shouldn't be long. We are going away in 11 days time so I hope they hurry up and do it before we go! This is important as they will need help to get back up into the dovecote at night until they can fly.
When the doves were away this afternoon, I took each baby out of the dovecote and put it on the grass (for no longer than a minute) to let them see the world beyond their little dark and smelly space! After four weeks in the nest the nestbox is rather unpleasant - although I do do a bit of pooper-scooping, and as they spend the night in the nursery box that does help reduce the mess in the dovecote. The smallest one came out first and seemed quite at home, looking around calmly. The doves came back to the roof just after I'd taken photos of the largest one, so I quickly tried to catch him to put him back before Hope noticed but he fluttered and flapped about the grass so fast that I could hardly catch him!
Smallest one looks around and then hops up onto the stepladder - I am impressed!
This is the largest one - see the yellow down, punk style, still on his head.
I have decided on a name for the largest, and I presume the oldest, of the two squabs. He (or she - it is extremely difficult to sex pigeons until they are old enough to display characteristic male or female behaviour) is going to be called Victory. He is the one with pink colouring on his tail, on the right in the photo.
So your task is to name the other one! You can choose a male or female name, or just a lovely or suitable word, but it has to go well with Victory.
These are the actual shells that these squabs hatched from.
This baby will be ringed with a purple ring (of course, as it is a Purplecoo baby) and Victory will have a pink one.
You can choose up to 10 names each, and the competition is open to anyone who reads my blog, including children.
No favouritism, I will just choose the name I like best.
The prize will be your choice of a bouquet of flowers, or some lovely chocolates, or a surprise! So you will have to be prepared to give me your address so that I can send it to you. You have a week to think about it as the Closing date is Saturday 25th April '09 at 10pm.
I am looking forward to seeing your suggestions, and thank you in advance.
(You may have to scroll down a bit for the comments section)