Monday, June 04, 2007

For The Birds...

For some time now, I've had birds on the brain. They seem to be coming up again and again, so the only way to rid myself if them is to share...

It all began about a month ago, when we had baby mallards in the pool at work. Ten of them, plus momma.

Last year, we moved them by putting the babies in a net, and walking Mom behind as we took the 10-15 block walk to the Washington Park Pond. This year, there was no net, and after a whole day of fruitless ideas, Momma got 6 away safely, but 4 were left.

We found a wildlife rehabilitator who would take them. When we dropped them off at her house, we were treated to a wonderful tour of her recuperating and rescued animals, mostly birds. From kestrals with defective beaks, to an overfed tom turkey, to canada geese with angel wing, to a black-capped chickadee, and a turkey vulture (who threw up her breakfast as soon as we approached - gross, but a cool defensive mechanism).

Then several days later, my friend Melissa sent me an e-mail filled with all sorts of cartoons, and I enjoyed them all, but this one made me chuckle out loud. Can't explain why, it just did.

Next, it was the gray catbird that wound up on our office steps, clearly suffering from some sort of injury, likely neurological in nature, as she was disoriented and unable to fly away, sort of off-balance like.

Unfortunately, she had a seizure and died before we could get her to the rehabilitator...I was struck by how fragile and delicate she felt as I put her in the box, compared to the hulking chickens I have become so used to on the farm.

Speaking of chickens, broody-momma-#2 is now ensconced in the maternity ward in the coop...since #1 decided on the 18th day that she had just about enough and she abandoned the nest...

(It's day 18 today, just don't tell her - it's a secret) There's maybe four fertile eggs under there...we've not been successful at chicks so far this year, keep your fingers crossed.

Then there's the resident "odd bird", our little bantam rooster who has to go for a walk every morning and every evening with me and the goats.


He hops up there when the walk is too long, or the grass too dew-ey. He prefers I carry him, but I could never get THAT picture, so you'll have to imagine it. And it was on our walk this morning that I discovered, despite my belief that I fed the local birds more than half the seed, our winter wheat is here! (And looking SO wheaty...)

3 comments:

Kathy L. said...

I absolutely LOVED the picture and description of your bantam rooster! What a hoot! I have 11 assorted hens and one true Ameraucana bantam rooster, Slick, who thinks he's a tank - BIG and loud! (And if you were a bit closer, I'd send you some fertile Ameraucana eggs for your Broody) Slsick pretty much leaves me alone but will once and a while try to attack my DH...a grave mistake for Slick, but then I believe he was distracted when brains were being given out. There are days I wonder, and other days I'm sure. :)

Lauren said...

What I would do to see one of our birds riding one of our ruminants! I just LOVE that photo and wish I could will that behavior on my own.

Thanks for the grin!

melanie said...

I can say that Cicero does not seem to mind in the least, and we have seen Speedy catch a ride so many times, it has stopped being unusual to us...

We also have an Ameraucana rooster (standard size) and he wouldn't DARE try that! But then, we keep a lot of green between the goats and the main flock.