Monday 22nd July 2013 - Here are Lucky and Charm's babies - now approximately 7/6 days old. One squab will always be about 24 hours younger than the other. From my observations I should think the blondie one is the elder of the two. I decided that if these new babies were 'odd' twins, like Fennie and Dolly, then I would name them Harlequin and Columbine, though I don't normally officially name my babies til I ring them. Harlequin is of course the darker one.
Later in the day, when Lucky and Charm were out and about, I took the babies out of the nest for the first time. I always kid myself that it is to 'check them over' but really it's because I am dying to have a little cuddle!
I wondered how much Harlequin is like Fennie as a baby.....so I found a photo. Fennie is on the left in the photo below - aged about 9 days, - and seems to me darker in the body than Harlequin, above, - so far anyway! But they both have a pale tip to their dark beak.
I popped this photo in out of sequence so we can compare Fennie above and Harlequin below at roughly the same age
An exceptionally pretty young racer has been visiting my garden for a few days and seems in no hurry to move on!
|Autumn, beautiful white female dove, one year old|
They have similar markings, just different colours, but the one on the right is an ordinary feral.
Afternoons in my garden!
I haven't named this bird - any suggestions?
Another of my most beautiful birds, my graceful Grace
|Beautiful white dove, preening, aged 5 months|
Harlequin's bottom! and Columbine, both looking very spiky
Wednesday 24th July 13 -
Alert chirpy little squabs
Thursday 25th July 2013
Today when Cloud had her little half hour of freedom on the lawn, she chose to go and sit in the shallow water dish. I like it when she does things like this because it shows that she has a mind of her own and can make decisions.
Friday 26.7.13 - I am still getting up early to unblock the babies before Lucky and Charm arrive back in the garden - I get up at 5.15am and they arrive on the dot fifteen minutes later. This morning, before them, Eve and Tiny were there, and when Lucky and Charm arrived they brought two white friends, the first time they haven't arrived alone. Hmmm please don't bring all your mates for early breakfast! In a hurry to get back to bed, and having already changed the babies night nappy paper, I wanted to throw down some grain and peanuts, but Lucky and Charm were taking their time on the roof mating! I've seen them mating before in the last few days so imagine they will be starting a new nest soon. I will have to check out the back nest, that Fennie and Dolly were raised in, and see what it's like. For those of you who may be interested, I have noted in the last few days when I take out the night paper, that there are exactly 16 poops - 8 for each of them!
The birds used to fly off after the morning feed and start straggling back from midday on - now some of them hang hopefully around, peering from the low roof into the kitchen window, making me feel guilty that I can't afford to feed them all!
I left them in the box in the shade under the cote, while I pulled out all the damp hay, sticks, and faecal matter. There were very many m*ggots in different sizes - absolutely revolting! I am doing this against the clock remember, as I didn't want Lucky or Charm to come back to the cote and find me meddling! I wiped round the nestbox and then filled it with a nice clean pad of hay. I also extracted some sticks from the nest I'd pulled out, made sure they were clean and then put them in too. Squabs need this sort of bedding for their feet to develop properly. I checked the babies over and replaced them, then put in the nappy paper. Job done! and I felt much better. My special babies deserve a nice clean dry nest, don't they? I felt they were a bit too young to ring yet, but I hope I get the chance in a week or so.
Later - the ginger twins rest on the lawn and peck whatever they can find around themselves.
I read about a pigeon fancier who put lavender in his birds' travelling boxes to keep them calm, so I have been putting lavender in the hutch, and in the crate - Cloud's night quarters. Aromatherapy for doves!
Who walked into my lounge!
The end of the day, I have put some secret peanuts near the edge of the patio, so Charlie who finds it difficult to pick up grain at the first go, can eat in peace.
Saturday 27.7.13 - Charity, the pigeon who was (probably) chased by a hawk and was dazed and confused by banging into the conservatory window a while ago, chose to keep Cloud company today by standing on her wire box.
Here's Cloud peering up at him (I called him Charity before I knew!)
Cloud preens, while Charity sits down, making himself comfortable
Lucky and Charm devoting themselves to choosing which nestbox for their new nest maybe
Now even Charlie, a very mild-mannered pigeon has started standing on the kitchen window ledge to encourage me to come out and feed him (note to self - must clean windows!)
In the late afternoon, I saw two tiny little faces appear at the nest box entrance - for the first time Columbine and Harlequin were looking out...
Harlequin, left, and Columbine, right
As I watched, Harlequin kept trying to kiss Columbine!
If you go back to the beginning of this blog, you will see how much they have feathered up in only a few days. They are very cotton woolly now.
Sunday 28.7.13 - Two tasks for you here -1. Spot the odd one out ... and 2. Spot the returning hero
Well, how did you do? Did you spot the young jackdaw in amongst the pigeons? That was fairly easy! But did you see the grey banded pigeon on the far left? That's my Patience come back, and I am so pleased to see him (he was named before I knew he was a he) - it's now 5 months since Patience was badly attacked by the hawk and he is thriving. New blog readers might like to read the story so find the blog dated 21st Feb '13 and it's all there, but does contain distressing photos or try this link - hopefully it will work! Patience's story
Monday 29th July 13 - Harlequin and Columbine are two weeks old today - or 14/13 days, with Harlequin being the younger. I took them out of the nest again. Pure white Columbine is so sweet, of course, but I think Harlequin might be the prettier one - it looks like he might be spotted!
Tuesday 30th July 13 - This morning, even before Lucky and Charm arrived at 5.30am, there were about 5 pigeons on the roof. My parent birds brought their eldest daughter (if she is a female!) with them - Dolly - which was good as it meant she got fed well too. Charlie was an early bird too, as was Cassidy - and it is so much easier to make sure Charlie gets his rations if there are no hungry hordes. By 7am the huge flock was there and the feeding nightmare starts again. I did try your idea of cat kibble, Hopeinparis, and after one shocked glance, the pigeons who are more adaptable or more hungry did start to eat it, but so far I haven't found it for sale in large quantities/cheap prices that would make it worth doing (but I am still looking into this!). I am trying to be firmer with the birds, and with myself. After the early morning feed, the new summer rule is that NO free-flying bird will be fed until noon earliest! Then I hope not to feed til 3pm earliest. I'll let you know how it goes. I have worked out a new (old) way to feed Charlie though - a long time ago I used to give him his own pot on the top of Cloud's hutch and stand close enough to keep the other birds at bay. Today when I was near the hutch he flew to the top, as if he remembered we used to do this, so I went to get a potful of grains, and he waited while I did so! Then he jolly well stuffed himself! Poor Charlie, it is so difficult for him to eat in the normal way, and for the first time in ages, he wasn't there hanging about in the early evening, so he must've had his fill for once. If only it was so easy to find a solution to feed all my other special birds. Mind you, today I got Grace to eat from my hand .... if any bird should be tame it should be her, as she or her sibling Valentine was hatched on my aga, and I had to do quite a lot of hand-feeding as my previous parent doves, Sky and Summer, weren't doing their duty.
To be cont..........