Our bird numbers have been fluctuating all spring and summer….let me get you up to speed!
*Our Mallard ducklings that hatched out this spring have gone on to find a new home, along with their mother and father. In years past, we’ve ended back up with a few come cool weather….we shall see.
*We still have quail, although not so many as before. The raccoons have taken to pulling them right through the fencing, leaving only a puff of feathers.
*We had a broody hen epidemic! 3 hens went broody (wanting to sit on eggs) at the same time! Two of the hens even ‘teamed up’ and sat about 20 eggs together! We have ended up with 14 gorgeous barnyard-bred chickies!
*Eli’s pigeons are gone. All gone. We moved the coop and all up the hill a few weeks back. There were about a dozen pigeons, including a freshly hatched chick. After one unfortunate night of forgetting to lock down the bobs, raccoons (again!) demolished them. Homing pigeons are a bit time consuming to raise up….you usually start with a pair of adults who aren’t allowed out to fly (they won’t “home” to our home. The first place they fly from is ingrained in their mind and it’s the only place they’ll return to.) The need to hatch out chicks, one or two at a time, then have the chicks grow up until they can finally fly from our house. Like I said, quite a long process. Eli uses them for dog training….the pigeons don’t get hurt, and they fly back home….not as much cost as losing other birds is. So anyway, Eli has to start all over.
*We had a pair of beautifully speckled (and obnoxiously loud!) guinea hens. Now only the female remains. (Damn raccoons! Haven’t you had your fill??)
*And it seems we’ve become a rescue of sorts! A friend found this cuuuute little duckling in the creek all alone. She naturally thought of us and called to arrange a drop off. I felt reluctant, as we had just gotten rid of our ducks. But it was decided and she dropped him off while we were out. Oh. my. goodness. So adorable! We think he/she’s a little Wood Duck who may have hopped out of the nest too late! And he gets plenty of attention. We kind of assume he’s never seen his family and since Summer spends every moment that she can with him, he’s imprinted himself on her. When she runs around the yard, he’s right there at her heels. He nuzzles up on her neck and nibbles her hair. And when it’s time to say goodnight and leave him in the coop you can hear him out there, peeping and crying “Come back!”
*Lastly, it’s not bird related, but we’ve had a cat-boom. Rest assured, our kitties are neutered. But we have a feral cat around who delivered a litter in the last 2 weeks. Eli scolds me daily for handling them, saying we should just let them be. It just can’t be helped. I have to hold them. So if anyone is looking for a good outdoor kitty, we’ve got what you need!