"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

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Rearing babies

Thank goodness that time in my life is well passed.  But, for the rest of the inhabitants of this planet, life carries on.
18 October 2014 - we
noticed a nest had
been built on a
wall shelf above (and
to the left of) the
roll of porous pipe
In this instance, new life involved some Rock Pigeons.  In late October RMan went into our LP gas storage area  to change out the tank which provides our hot water.   He noticed that a nest had been built on a shelf up on the wall - and that it contained a couple of eggs.

Unfortunately, I can't find the pic I took of the eggs.
19 October 2014 - taken when Mama slipped off
the nest to seek some refreshment
But here is a pic of the pigeons when they were only a couple of  hours old. They are really scrawny, almost alien looking creatures :)
26 October 2014 - Mama on the nest
Mama Pigeon arrived shortly thereafter and plonked herself back on the nest.   I beat a hasty retreat - I remember what it was like with a newborn (never mind two) and didn't want to disturb her at this vital time.

29 October 2014 - not a pretty sight
Three days later and they are now pretty ugly looking chicks.
1 November 2014
November arrived, and, intially, there wasn't that much progress...
1 November 2014 - legs are definitely operational
...except when you walked near the nest to get a close-up they reared up on their legs - almost menacing!
5 November 2014 - feathers developing
What a difference 4 days make. They now only have a small amount of their downy fur left peeking out from within their developing feathers.
Day 24 - 11 November 2014
Day 24 and I reckon they are about to spread their wings and flee the nest. They don't seem that perturbed by either RMan or I, so hopefully they will remain in the area and be friendly to Coo.

The weird thing is apart from when the chicks were really small and Mama seemed to spend all day every day on the nest, once they got to day 12 - 13 we never saw Mama visiting the nest.  How, and when, they got fed we have no idea.

But, in the case of these chicks, the ugly chicks certainly developed into beautiful baby Rock Pigeons.  Nice :)  I'm so glad that Mama trusted us enough to lay her eggs, and rear her young, so close to us.


Leigh said...

What a great post Dani! We've had wrens try to make nests in all manner of places (including inside boots) but they aren't always so successful in the outcome. The sad reason is our cats, but at least they're usually discouraged well before we get to the egg stage. Still, I'd love to be able to observe the entire thing like you did.

Dani said...

Leigh - I can imagine that a cat would negatively affect that :)

Years ago, when we were still living and working in Johannesburg, I once saw a pigeon make a next out of scraps of metal in Johannesburg CBD. I found that incredibly sad.

Chickpea said...

How fantastic that you could observe them from egg to beautiful young birds. Thank you so much for posting this, made my day :)

Dani said...

Chickpea - You're very welcome. I enjoyed the experience too :)

One other thing I observedand didn't clearly document in my posting, was that mama didn't seem to leave the nest much for food during the first weeks.. But, once she did, (round about 1 November) I / we didn't ever seen her return to feed her young. So I have no idea what they eat / have eaten.

Shrimpton and Perfect said...

It always feels like such a privilege when creatures trust us near their young.


DFW said...

As long as they aren't swallows that make such a godawful mess. Those pigeons are quite lovely.

Dani said...

S & P - You hit it spot on! :)

Dani said...

DFW - Swallows or starlings - messy bloody creatures!! In comparison the pigeons were quite tidy, with just a bit of mess being shoved onto the floor. Starlings and Swallows - they can't help but mess all the way down the wall...!

Harry Flashman said...

My dad used to raise pigeons. He had a friend who worked at a lumber yard. The pigeons would make nests in the stacks of lumber. When the lumber had to be moved, the man would bring my dad the baby pigeons instead of just squashing them with the loading.

My dad raised them. He would develop a big flock. They lived in a pigeon house on the side of his barn. But then every dove season the city people would come up to shoot dove and they would shoot his pigeons because they were too ignorant to know the difference.

Dani said...

Harry - Ouch, that must've been hectic for your dad to handle! I'm sure he thought of those birds as his pets?