"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Coo 2

Firstly, I've been meaning to tell DFW and Leigh for some time.  Whenever you both leave a comment, your comment goes to the spam folder of my gmail account.  I have tried adding your e-mail addresses to my contacts, but it makes no difference.  So, if I seem to take a while to reply to your comments, please understand that I don't always know they are there...  ( I do find them, but not always immediately).

Do you remember I posted about a tame Cape Turtle Dove that arrived at my daughters' house in Swellendam and how she asked us to take it back to the farm with us as her dogs, and cat, prevented her from keeping it with them.

I tried to find it's owners.  I really, really tried.  Even my daughter placed a notice on the Swellendam facebook page.  But nobody came forward.

So, it looks like we are now the caretakers of a Cape Turtle Dove.  I've named it a non-gender specific "Coo" (how does one tell the sex of a dove??)

I am not 100% happy about that - I saw Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "The Bird's", back when I was a wee slip of a girl, and the memory has never totally left me  (actually I am totally freaked by a bird flying anywhere near my head...)

Anyway, Coo has some habits.  I never thought that birds could have habits. Come to that, apart from domesticated animals, I've never thought that any "wild" animal would / could have habits.
Every evening, anytime after 5.00p.m. Coo
arrives on the front patio table
"What kind of habits?" I hear you think...

Every evening Coo arrives on our front porch.  He / she toddles around the patio table, mock flies into the lounge window (to get our attention), then, if we don't open up the door for it to enter, it patiently waits for Scallywag to open the fly screen when he goes outside to relieve himself so that it can use the opportunity to walk into the lounge.  And I mean walk literally.  It does not fly into the room.
If Coo can't see us through the lounge window
he sits on the back yard fence and waits for
someone to open the kitchen door
One inside, it talks a toddles round the room, lands on the couch and also on the dining room table.

I don't do eating my diner with a bird walking passed (with the occasional peck here and there) my glass of chilled white and plate of food.  So, I had to lay down some Coo rules.

No Coo inside until we're finished eating and are settled in front of the TV and my head is safely ensconced beneath the scatter cushion for the duration of it's "visit".
The closest head is where it prefers to
perch - it's not fussy - RMan's, Mikes -
and he's even tried mine...!!!!
Why would I be concerned about my head?

Well, it loves sitting on top of heads - RMan's, grandson Mikes (when he's visiting) and has even tried to land on mine.  You had to hear the screech that resulted in - I completely lost it LOL
Perfectly happy, isn't it
So, the scatter cushion remains on top of my head until Coo settles down on his "blanket" - a scrap of fabric RMan lays on the back of the couch to catch the bird poo it deposits whilst it watches TV with us.
Happily settled on it's blanket, with RMan
close by.  It spends the evening "talking"
to him - a sort of deep throated gurgling
coo noise - probably trying to tell RMan to
change the channel...
But, it doesn't only toddle on the floor, along the back of the couch or round the dining table.  Even now and then it takes flight - flying madly round the room - crashing into the ceiling, walls, etc.  That completely freaks me out!!!

RMan is besotted with it.  He can't wait for it to arrive on the patio each evening, and, when he first goes outside in the morning to feed the alpaca's, he checks that it is still around and has survived the local barn owl visit furing the night.  And gets totally concerned if he doesn't spot it during the day - fearing that a bird of prey might have snatched it whilst he wasn't watching.

Before we go to bed, RMan slowly moves his hand towards it's feet, it hops on, and is then taken outside to bed by RMan...
Straw filled box or old towel for a bed,
with the b
ird feeder out of the wind in the
corner of the quaddie carport.
 ... to where I have tried to make it a comfy spot - complete with smorgasbord.
The lid beneath the bird feeder prevents
99.9% of the seed from landing on the floor
and thereby feeding the local fieldmice.
As you can see, the quaddies are taking
some strain - but I guess it will wash off
But - both failed.

The bird feeder is frequented more by other wild birds (how on earth do they find it beneath the quaddie roof?), who scatter the seed everywhere - especially on the ground, much to the delight of a field mouse or two, until I got clever and placed a "scatter tray" beneath the feeder.
It doesn't like the straw filled box,
nor the old towel.  Rather it perches
on the very rim of the box for the
Even the bed of straw I placed in a box, or an old torn beach towel.  Nope, it uses neither, preferring to spend the evening perched on the thin rim of the box. Weird, because in the lounge it snuggles down off its claws.

Ah well, at least it's outside for the night LOL

There have been a couple of other wild turtle doves which have been hovering in it's vicinity, and I firmly hope that it will find a mate, and loose some (if not most) of it's human habits.


Harry Flashman said...

I like your dove. I know what it's like to have a bird walking around the house though. Many years ago a tiny bantam chicken showed up here. My daughter dubbed it "Babba Kwunch" ( I have no idea why) and Babba came to live in the house. Even a tiny chicken is still a chicken, nasty things that they are. I have memories of cleaning Kwunch poop off the book shelf. Fortunately, once Babba was strong enough she joined the flock outside. Thanks to that, I have chickens of all different colors now, instead of the pure brown stock I had.

Could be worse, you could have a parrot that just jumped ship and had a vocabulary that would scorch the paint on the walls!

Dani said...

Harry - LOL so the chicken had a purpose, even if it was just to give your flock somie colour. Yeah - birds poop - everywhere...

A parrot - no thanks, Friends of our had a parrot years ago - what a messy bird that was!! Thankfully it's language wasn't too bad - all it said was the wife's name - in exactly the same voice as the husband.

DFW said...

I'm with you on the bird on a head thing, nope not for me. "The Birds" scared the bejesus out of me too. He/she is a pretty dove though. How kind of your to accomodate him/her. There has to be some sort of marking or color variation in males & females. I guess you would need one of the opposite sex to compare though.

Chickpea said...

I think I would be freaked out if a bird sat on my head, but it is very sweet.

Dani said...

DFW - I have a bird book which was given to RMan and I as a Christmas present many moons ago. The book shows, and states, no difference between males and felmales... :(

Seems like we should've called our smallholding "Waif's Inn" - first the two ducklings, and then the turtle dove. What's next...? :)

Dani said...

Chickpea - It's very sweet - as long as it doesn't come near me... LOL

Quinn said...

Wild animals have many, many habits and routines...that's why hunters have historically been successful, long before the days of high-tech weaponry.

It's nice that you are giving "Coo" a safe harbor, despite not being thrilled with a bird flyng around you. I think Hitchcock had a lot to answer for...so many people share your panic-y feelings about birds flapping around. Reminds me of the reaction to the first Jaws film. People I know who were raised by the sea here in MA decided they could no longer feel comfortable swimming in the ocean. Benchley has since done a great deal in the way of genuine education and understanding of shark behavior, but as far as I know, Hitchcock did nothing to make people feel less anxious about harmless birds.

In terms of perching on heads, I would say that usually a bird will perch on the highest available and comfortable surface, so adding a tall perch (like a coatrack with a crossbar at the top) may solve the head-perching while you are trying to enjoy a pleasant time of relaxation. On the other hand, if Coo is doing it partly for social reasons, s/he will likely keep heading for the heads! Good luck :)

Dani said...

Quinn - Yeah - Hitchcock has plenty to answer for LOL

Nope - a high perch doesn't work - it definitely wants the comfort of a head full of hair to perch on... But, mine is out of bounds ;)

1st Man said...

OK, this post had me smiling from beginning to end. Even got a little misty eyed once or twice (I'm a sucker for sweet animal love stories). I think Coo found the best home possible. Thanks for sharing!!

Dani said...

1st Man - Misty eyed - lordie, you'd be permanently bawling your eyes out if you lived here LOL

Diana Studer said...

(the spam filter? Just tell Gmail to move ... to Primary or Social or whatever.
When it asks 'always do this for Sally?' say yes please

Dani said...

Diana - Thank you - I'll try that :)