5 August 2011
Spring in mid-winter
Some folk think it's spring here in mid-Winter. My budgie pair hatched out four chicks a couple of weeks ago and she's been the most incredible mother any helpless, wretched-looking, featherless chick could hope for. The chicks are in fact very cute, and three out of four have now opened their eyes and have scrappy little feathers. All I've done so far is watch from afar, and catch a sneaky photo when the mother was out of the nest box. But yesterday, mother bird did not look well. And I, too, have been a bit off-colour so the thought of taking over the feeding and raising of four tiny chicks as well as two preschoolers was filling me with dread.
After putting her chicks on a waterbottle swathed in merino offcuts (I just knew they'd come in handy one day) she and I took a long return drive to the vet last night (hoping like anything she would survive the journey let alone the treatment). After two injections (shudder) and a feed and prodding, and a night indoors with her chicks, she seems to be doing okay this morning (well, she's alive and that is a very good thing). The father, still in the aviary, looked rather lost this morning so I brought him in to join his family and he seems to have taken the extra responsibility in his feathered stride. I'm so proud of him, elated in fact! Right now, the entire family is snuggled in the next box, all feathers and feet overlapping one another. I read that budgies rally together when one needs help, which is really rather endearing.
And on another birdy note, have you seen the webcam of the penguin rescued here a few months back? I love that it's getting looked after and planned for release, but I have to admit I feel a bit voyeuristic watching him hang out in that little snowy enclosure. It's surprising how a wing flutter or head shake makes me smile as much as it does!