Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Monday, 27 April 2009
I sneak up on the babies to see if they are actually feeding, and to take a photo.
Not a very good photo, but shows the feeding tussle in the hedge. The babies try to get to Hope's beak - sometimes she refuses, sometimes she gives in.
One baby, probably Victory, with Hope. There is not much size difference now - the baby is on the right. When you see them in reality, though, the babies are much more delicate and still have yellow down on their heads.This photo was taken at 40 days old.
Here he is, top right - you can just see the pink ring.
And again, with mummy Hope. Her pink food colouring mark has entirely gone now, and I only recognise her by her feathered legs and attention to the squabs.
Purity hasn't caught up yet, but of course she is a day behind in development. Today is Tuesday and we go away for one night tomorrow. Back again on Thursday, but for one night only before going away for three full days. I must leave the babies to Hope!
The end (you may have to scroll down a bit for the comments section).
Saturday, 25 April 2009
Thank you to everyone who entered my Name the Baby Dove competition. Just a little update before I discuss all the entries and announce the winner.
The babies are now 39 and 38 days old. Victory is the largest and therefore I assume the oldest. They are making slow but sure progress. On Friday I had to be out the whole day, much as I hate to leave them. I got them out of the nest box before I went for a while, and again when I came home at 6pm. I assume,the rest of the day they spent in the nest box. They are both capable of flying short distances and Victory has even got up onto the cardboard box and then flown to the nest box. so they could come out on their own, but they don't.
Hope still tries about twice a day to get them out and I did see one come out to the hedge with her for a short while, but then popped himself straight back in. I managed to get a quick photo - it's not very good but you can see the size difference between mother and offspring.
These show Hope fluttering on the hedge trying to encourage the babies out.
When I get them out they peck at the seeds I put on the ground and in little dishes for them and have sips of water, but they do not move far from the immediate area underneath the dovecote.
Hope has caught me with them out a couple of times but she doesn't seem to mind. She and Pascoe spend time on our roof or on the island and if they fly away them come back frequently to be near the babies. I'm hoping when these babies have grown-up that they will have another brood in the dovecote but that will be up to Pascoe as the male chooses the nesting site.
Grace was suggested twice, by Camilla and Jane Grey. I do like this name very much. My mother had a very elegant friend called Grace, and my friend has a pretty daughter with this name. Pearl was also suggested twice, by Puffin and Pondside, and I think that's a very pretty and appropriate name for a dove, as is Peace, suggested by Puffin and Jude.
My online name, Faith, was suggested by Tiggywinkle and Jude. Very flattering but I didn't want to choose that.
Glory was suggested by Billie Jane who probably didn't realise that the squabs' daddy (killed by a hawk) had been Glory and Jane Grey suggested Gloria in honour of him - that was a lovely thought, Jane!
Some of the names suggested by children were sweet - Snowdrop, Pretty Dove (just Pretty in it's own is nice) and Fluffy - doves ARE fluffy when they have been bathing. See!
Fennie, much as we empathise with each other usually, surely you didn't expect me to call my delicate baby dove Vic Labour to go with Vic Tory? You are being too witty or off the wall for me! Coo is a cute little name and I liked your clever explanation. Puffin suggested Little Coo first though.
I did say that I wanted a name to 'go' with Victory and interesting attempts were made:
Nelson by ArtSparker (and my husband suggested that too).
Endeavour by Lee. I liked your connections with this one, Lee.
Victoria by Celtic Heart. I liked this as I had some doves from the feral flock last summer called Octavius and Octavia, and Victory and Victoria would've been similar.
Parade and March - suggested by Fennie and Billie Jane's husband. Well I agree they do go with Victory!
Other names that weren't quite right were:
Majesty suggested by Crystal Jigsaw - too grand! Your own name Crystal would be lovely now I come to think about it.
Endurance suggested by Pondside - no, sorry, it's not a pretty enough word for a dove.
Abrax suggested by Zoe - I like the meaning, but not the word.
Yrotciv (reversal of Victory) suggested by Calico Kate - I'd never be able to say it!
Verity suggested by Jane Grey. It's lovely but my niece is called Verity, and Valory (spelt Valerie) is my sister's name!
Some names didn't appeal very much including Jaws, Captain Beaky, Defeat (I know it was a joke EJ!), Alba and Dorothy (the name of my first Mother in Law).
Names that very much appealed were:
Fortune by Arosebyanyothername - I was very taken with that one.
Serenity by Camilla - a very suitable name for a white dove.
Charity by Jane Grey - very good for Hope's baby
Lucia by ChrisH- I just love the way that name sounds and ditto to Excelsis suggested by Calico Kate.
Cailean by Calico Kate (pronounced Kaylin and Gaelic for dove) - I've never heard that word before, it's lovely CH.
Constance by Zoe - one of my favourite names of all time.
So what name did I eventually choose for Victory's brother or sister?
When I said I wanted a name to 'go' with Victory, I actually meant I wanted a name that went with the word Victory, rather than the meaning of victory, or the ship Victory.
The names for my doves tend to pop into my head. I chose Hope as I was hoping so much that the pair of feral white doves interested in my dove cote at the beginning of the year would set up home and the name Glory of course followed on naturally. It has been a victory for me to rear these babies. The last babies hatched in the dovecote were the Ugly Dovelings, born at the end of July 07 who died aged two weeks and before them the tiny babies who died aged a few days old at the end of May 07. I haven't had any babies successfully reared for two years - the last being Francis and Iona - March 07.
So Victory it was for my first new baby in two years, and I suppose a Triumph for me (as suggested by Pipany, but no I didn't choose that one).
Although I wanted to have the naming competition I couldn't help names coming into my head as to what I would call the other baby if I was to name it myself, and one particular word came into my mind.
When I saw this name suggested on my blog I was very surprised and pleased. The very name I would've chosen. The perfect name!
I love this name, and, for me, it works perfectly with Victory. Three syllables and both ending with 'y'.
I will contact you through Purplecoo private messages to ask what prize you would prefer - a bouquet, some lovely chocolates or a surprise!
If Purity hadn't been suggested then I may well have chosen Fortune or Serenity.
Thank you very much everyone for reading my dove blogs and taking part in my little competition. Please come back soon as I want to add Jane Grey's YouTube photos (set to music)
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
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!
More close ups of the little one. He seems slightly more tame than Victory, though I give them equal amounts of attention.
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.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
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.
These are the actual shells that these squabs hatched from.
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Hope and Glory's babies (squabs) are four weeks old today. The oldest, and I assume that is the largest one, is 28 days and the smallest, 27. As you know, poor Glory died at the claws of a hawk when they were only days old, and Hope has done a magnificent job rearing them on her own. According to various studies, when one parent dies and the babies are very young, the remaining pigeon parent will chuck one baby out of the nest as it can usually only rear one. Hope has had unlimited access to food of course and that has made it easier for her. On Tuesday 14.4.09 the day's feeding schedule went like this - mind you this is just the feeds I saw, there may have been more: 7.30 am, 7.45 am, 8.20 am, 10.00 am, 4.15 pm and 6.50 pm. Some days there are less feeds and then I get worried that they might not be getting enough food. Mind you feeding does slacken off eventually so that hunger drives the babies out of the nest to fledge.
A little face at the window
And sometimes two!
Big enough to peep out of the box, but not climb out!
Won't stand still on the scales!
Posing nicely now! - This is the smaller one of the two.
According to 'the book'*at 28 days feral pigeon squabs should be between 300 - 350g (i.e. 10 - 12 ounces) so my biggest one is just hitting the target and the other is underweight.
Monday, 13 April 2009
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
They are much bigger than when I first took them into the kitchen overnight, last Thursday. I need to find them a bigger box to sit in, and a taller box to contain that in. This morning one of them tried to scramble out in an ungainly but determined fashion!
Their heads still retain a little yellow fluffiness, but all in all they look much more like an adult dove, with strong, quite big wings.
As you can see from the above photo, they foul the overnight box considerably. I am pleased to see this because obviously it means they are getting enough food. It also means that the nest in the dovecote is rather less dirty than it would normally be - and that is VERY dirty and disgusting indeed by the time they leave the nest at about four weeks old.I think this one is looking quite intelligent now!
I have named Hope's new mate Pascoe. I believe this is the Cornish version of Pascal, which is a name given to those born at or around Easter. It means 'suffering' though (i.e. the suffering of Christ) so I hope that's not a bad omen.
Another parent dove was feeding with Hope this morning. I could tell as it had a dirty breast - this often happens when they go in and out of the nest area. There is a white dove on a nest in the big barn on the farm so maybe it's that one.