Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Baby Birds

Spring is one of my favorite seasons. I love the new growth on plants, but I also love the wildlife. Hearing the birds return and chirping is such a relaxing sound. 

Mr. Pfitzer has window boxes outside his window and I have plants in pots.

(This is a picture I took to document warranty work on our foggy window! It is getting fixed!)

Some of the plants I bring in during the winter. With warmer temperatures, it was time to return plants to the window box. I was startled to see two mourning doves in one of my pots.

When they left, I saw that they were making a nest. Mourning Doves are known for not making great nests and we saw first-hand last year when an egg fell out of a flimsy nest. I was so bummed. But this year’s doves used the lip of the pot to their advantage and a crappy nest was not a problem. There were no eggs in the nest when we first discovered it, but within a couple days she had laid one egg, and then another egg a few days later. She worked hard on those eggs!

The boys have been sleeping in Mr. Pfitzer’s room, so it is part of our checklist to check in on the birds. We read up on the birds and discovered that the dad dove incubates the eggs during the day and the mom incubates the eggs during the night. I love the teamwork!

We discovered another nest by the garage. My guess is that they are Robins. However, they are a smaller version. Not as big as the Robins I’ve seen. The eggs are pale blue with no spots. 

The nest was so cute and well-made. I don’t know when the eggs were laid, but they hatched quickly. And the little birds were so fuzzy!

This nest was harder to check on, and when I finally got the courage to check, the babies had left!
Then we have ducklings at our lake! There are two sets. One momma has 13 babies! We were all in awe. When she quacked, they listened! I want her method! 

We also have swans at our lake now. The swans are a humane attempt at goose control. We love the geese at the lake, but not the poo they leave on our walking trails. 

We received the white swans first and they are just beautiful! We look for them every morning. We can see part of the lake from our house and can keep an eye out. They named the white swans Odette and Siegfried! (From Swan Lake).

We also got a mated pair of black swans. I anticipated them to be ugly, but they aren’t! They stayed in the middle of the lake for a good week or two and finally started getting closer to the edge for us to see. They are harder to see from a distance. The white ones stand out!

It hasn’t gotten old yet, and I’m sorry (not sorry) for all the pictures on Instagram about the waterfowl. 

Our Mourning Dove babies hatched around April 7th and grew fast!

You could see their feathers coming in. 

I read up that the incubation timeframe is two weeks and then the babies are in the nest for two weeks.

We watched the parents feed the babies. This momma had eyes in the back of her head. We tried not to pull the curtain back at all so she would not startle, but she knew when we were there and would stare at us.

We loved checking on the birds and watching them grow.

Just last week. Mr. Pfitzer and I were checking on the babies. I always open the window and stick my camera out there, but this time, one flew away!

I watched him fly quite well. But I was worried and mad at myself. We went down to the flowerbed he flew to and saw two doves fly away. Later that evening, we saw a parent return to the nest. But that was the last time we saw the parent. 

The remaining baby bird stayed in the nest until Friday. We were worried. I finally decided I would put some seed in the nest, but once I went upstairs and opened the curtain, the bird was gone! It was time!

Our happy ending came to an end on Sunday. We came home from church to find one of the babies had flown into our large window in the kitchen and broke its neck. I was happy to see the baby was still in our area, but sad to realize he had such a short life.

Our boys really enjoyed watching these birds and we read about them and learned new things. In my research, I discovered they could use the same nest up to five times in the same year. I am now rethinking whether to put my plants in the window box now. 

All nature seems to bespeak the works of God.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading about all of the birds! I love how you are raising your children to notice and appreciate God's creation. We are trying to do the same, even if halfway through an explanation, they are all off running again. Oh well, I keep trying! I love that you guys had a "birds-eye" view (haha) of that dove nest. So sorry to hear about the one bird that didn't make it. I ran over a robin on Balch a couple of days ago and felt so awful the whole rest of the day!


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