Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Unusual Siblings are Named & Ringed

Duck joins the pigeons on the roof!
June 6th - Blog 1 - (this blog continues - see the blog listings for June at the side to find the continuation if it's not under this one) In the photo above we have a spot the difference!!!!  

Sky and Summer, my white doves, have a new nest! They have chosen, very annoyingly, the back of the cote for it – the absolute hardest place for me to get to, if necessary, and I won’t be able to peep in and see the babies there either. I wish they hadn’t started another nest so soon, as once the babies get to a couple of weeks old, I like to get them out of the cote every day, check them over, give then some fresh air, pooper-scoop the nestbox, take photos and generally enjoy them, and this would be difficult now as they would squeak and make a fuss, maybe upsetting whichever parent was on the nest, maybe causing them to leave it. I realised S and S were going to start mating again, and one day before they did was my only chance to get the babies out and clean the smelly nestbox. They were about 10 days old, and quite big, so I ringed them and named them – Elizabeth, the white one, with a green ring, and Olympia, the dark one, with a yellow. Lizzy and Lympy for short, or LL collectively. Of course I don’t know if they are male or female yet. I was glad to do the nestbox, although the usual revolting job! I took out all the sticks the parents had brought in, to give the babies more room. There was a lot of poo, of course, and some tiny maggots. If the babies had got a scratch, and the maggots had got into the wound, they may have died, so it's important to keep the nestbox as clean as possible, but very very difficult. As the babies get older, they get better at pooing over the side, which means the box doesnt get fouled - but don't stand underneath!
Baby Olympia, about 10 days old just before ringing
Baby Elizabeth - white dove 10 days old
Mummy and me (or it could be Daddy!)

During this time I had two poorly birds - a white pigeon that I named Faith2, and a pigeon that I didn't name. I don't know why I named Faith2 and I really should not have ringed her as I knew she couldn't survive. See her turned up toes in the photo - I have never known a bird survive when that happens. I looked after both birds in the hospital during the day - giving them water by hand, and brought them into the conservatory for the night, but by morning the pidge was dead. Faith2 was still alive, but disorientated and dying - I took her out and gently gave her a sip of water, and she died an hour later. I hope the sip of water was a comfort for her.
Below is Sky at the back of the cote where he has decided the new nest will be. No other bird has ever nested in it, and I have no idea whether it is a good choice or not for the eggs. It's certainly not a convenient choice for me, as very difficult indeed to get the steps round the back, because of the hedge.
Elizabeth sits cosily in the window of the cote. I think she is the eldest as she seems to take precedence when it comes to having the window seat! Sky peeps out of the back, where he's making the new nest. I didn't see him take many sticks in but doves make scrappy nests anyway.
 Here's Lizzy and Lympy posing for their three week old portrait. When I took them out of the box, they squeaked of course, and Sky or Summer, whoever was on the eggs at the back of the cote, flew out - making me feel guilty - but they flew back in within a couple of minutes, so hopefully the eggs will be ok. They can be left uncovered for very very short periods, but if they cool of course the tiny babies inside would die.

Unusual dove siblings - one white, one black! - 3 weeks old

This blog continues......


Fennie said...

The birds look cute looking out of the cote. Are there lots of compartments inside or can a bird go in one door and out of another?

Faith said...

There's six...I think. And no each is separate. Inside they are sort of L shaped.

CAMILLA said...

Interesting Faith that Lizzy and Lympy Doves are one white and one black seeing as parents are both white, has Summer been a little cheeky with another Dove.!

The Dove Cotes are very attractive for your darling Doves Faith, wonderful they have an L-shaped room for each of them.