Thursday, 16 August 2012

Spring and Autumn, and baby Pearl grow up

Wed  8th Aug 2012 -

White dove baby squabs about 10 days old
I took babies Spring and Autumn out of the nest very briefly today when Sky and Summer were both absent. They are beginning to snap when I peep into the nest and assert their baby selves.The kitchen paper idea is working well, and the nest is cleaner, thank goodness!

Below are the photos I took of Jose, Happy and baby Pearl today. As you can see I love taking photos of this very special baby!

Approx 6 day old squab with unhatched sibling egg

The last photo is Happy, Pearl's daddy, on the roof in the early evening, just before he flew away for the night.

Thurs. 9th Aug - Baby Pearl was hatched last Thursday so she is a week old today! I can't believe the time has gone by so fast!
Happy Anniversary, male white dove, with week old squab

Jose, flightless female white dove, with week old squab

Happy and Jose still have not rejected the unhatched egg, a week after Pearl hatched. Jane Grey, one of my blog readers (see her Hope in Paris on Youtube - link on my side panel) - emailed me to say that the doves need time to mourn the egg, and will reject it at about the 10 day period (i.e. 3/4 days from now).

The huge flock of mainly grey pigeons are still coming to be fed, and I have no choice but to cut down the amount of grain I give them. I just cannot afford to feed so many birds - we are talking 100 or more a day!!! - so I just feed a certain amount and try to throw it so that my main birds get enough. I'm hoping some of the pigeons will move on!

Friday 10th - Amazing! Poorly Joseph came back today! I last saw him, I think it was Friday and Saturday last week, and I hand fed him both days - then he was gone, and I thought he'd perished. Goodness knows how he survived six days without much food as he still has paramyxo. Today when I first saw him on the roof I wasn't sure it was him, but when he came down to eat I could see the yellow ring I had put on him. He was still pecking around and missing every time, so it was easy to catch him in the net, and hand feed him with peanuts again. He is the most beautiful bird, incredibly soft plumage - most divine! He seems to understand I am trying to help him, and opens his beak for the peanuts, which I kind of then stroke down his throat. I feed him until he doesnt seem to want any more.

After the feed, he perched on the box on the garden table...

Then he flew ....

Down to the ground for a few minutes....before back to the roof

Sky and Summer are on their third set of squabs this year, but there's no stopping them....
Here we go again! thinks Summer

Pearl continues to grow rapidly - here's today's photo

and I managed to get one of Jose feeding Pearl though not very clear...

Sat. 11th August

I am not now needing to keep a note of Happy's comings and goings. He waits nearby til I am able to open the hutch for him, but at the moment he seems to want to come and feed Pearl at 10.00 ish so I try to be around for then.

Here he is, swinging on the door of the hutch after I've opened it for him. He is probably the tamest dove I've ever had - much tamer than Jose, who has always been a stroppy little madam. But as my husband says - if you can't fly away, then you have to make up for it in other ways!
And here's a much better feeding picture - this is Happy feeding Pearl - hasn't she grown!
The birds gather on the roof - you can see how many more pigeons than are now than there used to be, and this is not all the birds by any means!

I tried to get a photo of a new beautiful one relaxing on the lawn...... but he wouldnt turn round enough
Then, just as he was posing right .... another pigeon got in the way
So I tried again..... and yet another pidgie blocked the view!!!!
Ah, at last! .... meet Tricoleur - Tricky for short! Nearly as beautiful as Poorly Joseph who was here again today, and fed by hand just before 6pm, so that's two days running.

Sun 12th Aug. 12

Pearl is about 10 days old today. See in the close up photo below how her little white feathers are beginning to fluff out.

Monday 13th August

Spring and Autumn are getting bigger. It's my little treat for all my hard work to occasionally get any babies I have out of the nest so I can look at them properly, but only for a very few minutes as I wouldn't want them to get cold.

Below - Jose and Pearl - like mother, like daughter!!!

Joseph was captured again today for his feed. Here he is with his pinny on, awaiting a late lunch of yummy peanuts!

And, below, my little family again, Jose (left), Happy and baby Pearl

Tuesday 14th Aug '12

No Joseph all day - I wonder why he doesn't come? But he seems to be able to manage, so I am probably worrying unnecessarily. Did I say before that I think Joseph is a bird who has visited my garden before? I haven't had a chance yet to look up old photos and see if I can find him, and check his markings - see if he really is the same Joseph.

Pearl, fluffing up nicely, with daddy Happy

Now, who is this below? Spring and Autumn? No, it's little Pearl on the left and one of the other two on the right - to see the size difference. Spring/Autumn are about 4 days older than Pearl.

And now, triplets!!!

Pearl, in the same position, with Spring and Autumn. They are all nearly the same size and I had to be very careful not to mix them up! Especially when one of the older two tried to get adventurous, craned his neck and started thinking about clambering out...

Now, my babies, pose nicely for my blog - and they did! So sweet, I've never had three together like this before.

Wed. 15th Aug

Joseph was on the roof this morning, and came down to eat with the others. He seems to be able to manage a bit better now, and I saw him peck up and eat a few peanuts. I did try to catch him, but was unsuccessful - he's a bit wary of me and my net. Paramyxo is a strange disease - I have read that once the symptoms of neck twisting, disorientation, unable to pinpoint when pecking etc are seen then it is nearly the end of the illness. So hopefully this means Joseph is nearly better. I wish I'd been able to feed him though. I did net another bird, a grey pigeon, also with paramyxo - and fed and ringed him - naming him Herriott (as we've been watching the old re-runs of 'Creatures'). I took so many pics of him and all came out blurred...

Below, Pearl's feeding time - probably Happy doing the feeding as I rarely see Jose doing it

And as you can see, the egg still remains in the nest, not rejected by either parent or Pearl. I was hoping that it would act as some sort of contraceptive - like, we've got an egg so we don't need more!
But despite Pearl not being even two weeks old yet, Happy and Jose are cosying up again! Sky and Summer are not bringing sticks or making a new nest - which is probably just as well.

Happy, egg and Pearl

But just in case Sky and Summer do start a new nest (which means they'd be in the cote and I won't have as much access) I thought I better get the babies ringed so this evening, after the parents had left the garden, I popped the babes out of the dovecote, into a bowl and brought them into the warmth of the conservatory. Spring is now ringed with two green rings, and Autumn with one red, one yellow. I used to ring the babies at about three weeks or older, but it's so much easier to ring them at this age - they haven't the strength to resist!

Thursday 16th Aug '12

Joseph was again on the roof this morning, but as far as I'm aware didn't come down to feed. Silly thing! Pearl is two weeks old today! Here she is with mummy, Jose - and yes, still the egg!

And Daddy Happy has that twinkle in his eye!

And why have I got a DUCK in my conservatory?..... find out in my next blog!

To be cont.....


Guernsey Girl said...

Your photos couldn't fail to touch hearts and your words, too. What a beautiful lesson this blog would make for young people trying to understand the meaning of care. I look forward to the next blog, Faith.

Faith said...

Oh thank you GG. We enjoyed our recent holiday in Guernsey - perhaps next time we could meet for a cup of coffee?

Lesa said...

Absolutely love your pictures! The babies, the babies! How they've grown. Can't wait to hear the duck story!

Faith said...

Getting a blog ready to go soon, Lesa!