Damn! I Didn’t Notice The Egg!
How could I have been so careless? For years, many, many years, I pulled eggs from beneath nesting birds. My fingers searched under warm bellies, then tossed the small ovals into the trash.
Because I felt horrible doing this, I chanted, “No babies. You are too old and they could outlive you.”
I am fast approaching the time when I may not be capable of caring for my aging flock. Baby birds, barring health or genetic issues, have the potential to live 15–21 years. The birds who survive me will move to our excellent local MSPCA. Of course, my goal is to outlive all or most of the smaller birds: the doves, parakeets, and cockatiels. The larger parrots, the two amazons, and the Macaw will need a new home, a traumatic event for them. These creatures have lived with us for over twenty years. They will be frightened.
Now let’s talk about baby birds. Years ago, I allowed my birds to breed. Friends were eager to take the babies, keeping the flock population in control. Bird birds were born to the doves and cockatiels; the parental care lasts about a month and a half for both species. The two Amazons did not mate being of different species within the larger Amazon family.
It is thrilling to watch a newborn’s baby fluff become pin feathers, then develop into the first-year silky feathers within weeks. By week four, the baby starts to prepare his wings for flight.
The babies start bouts of furious wing-flapping, building strength. Even so, first attempts to fly result in a glide to the floor, hovering parents offering encouragement. It takes weeks of practice before the baby can lift his body into the air from the ground. Gliding downward is easy, rising up and landing on perches are skills that take weeks to perfect.