Have had 3 silly stupid days in a row, both starting at 6am.
Monday was drama in the aviary, again, I am now finished with Budgie breeding, cannot take the hurt anymore, my heart is broken in a thousand pieces and I have cried endless tears, blaming myself here too.
Let me try start from the beginning..........Monday morning, out with the birds, checking at 6am as per usual, all quiet, took the rescue cages out, cleaned and fed, went to the veggie patch, where I put in the vegetable peels in the compost dump, turned it over and heard terrible screaming from the breeding aviary. Ran down and there is my young white female on the floor, not dead , but barely there, inside I go and realise new blue female is missing, noise is coming from white female's breeding box. Open up, I do know 5 young in there, so gently lift out one by one, they are bleeding and hurt, at the back is the new blue. I chase her out, she bites me on the way, the silly bitch ......sorry......but........
I now take stock, all else is fine in here, thinking blue attacked white, takes female and 5 babies out with me, put into a rescue cage and ponder the situation. She is very bad, cannot find a mark on her, though, maybe shock............. decide to try catch the mate , knows he is one of the green, so stand for a bit to ascertain which one. Am sure the older one, we call Captain as he seems to be in charge of the aviary. He is about 5 years old and has produced lovely babies with various females over the years. Yes, it is him the other green male is snuggling up to the other white/blue female and he is looking lost. Gets carrot tops, he comes to me, but I cannot catch him. Darned............. go get the net, but first secure the babies and go wake the man, very early, so quickly finish chores, make coffee and tray and wake up the darling. Now 45 min later...........he comes with me to aviary to help me after hearing the story.............horrors........... Captain is dead on the floor............?What?...........I am sobbing.........into the aviary and checking the others, all seem fine, where is the last female. white/blue in second box, 3 eggs and dead !
I am still stumped as to what has happened. To top it , white female eventually dies, after 15 hours of me fighting for her life with antibiotic drip to hydrate her.
Melissa is convinced that the bloddy blue bitch, new female's new name apparently, killed them all, I am not so certain. For sure she was in the breeding box and tried to kill the babies, as she wanted that specific box, figure it out as 2 other empty ones available. ...........but the white/blue seemed egg-bound number one, number two not a single sign of a bite or peck or blood on any of them. Not Captain, not white mother not white/blue either. Melissa has names, but get lost at times, lately with it. With all the new females we got and the moving around of pairs, gave up naming them.
I think , same thing that killed 3 while I was away in Zimbabwe and the box was empty except for babies, Captein was also feeling ill and could not defend the box, so Bitch just decided, okay out you go, you have no parents, I am not feeding you, I have my own eggs to lay and breed and this is the best box ????? The long and short of that story is that we are now feeding (yet again) with syringes and hand rearing food. Now that is the bad news, good news here is that a client of mine has offered a princely sum for 4 of the hand reared babies if delivered hand tame and sound to her for Christmas presents for her nieces and nephews who all want a baby budgie for a gift. ......they are soooo cute, one don't even have feathers on,
so ugly it is cute.
Melissa took 3 with her and I have 2 here, so we are sharing the chore. Russell is feeding.............. I am so not interested *sniff* *I lie*
Calamity number 2 happened Tuesday , again at 6 am .........
we have been following a pair of sparrows building a nest in the small palm between pool and fish pond, originally commenting on stupidity of site, with the water and knowing how clumsy the babies are when fledglings...............anyway, food source was near as close to the budgies, rescue cages and aviaries, soo............... I put up a bowl in the palm tree as the poor parents were frantically flying to and fro feeding the 2 that hatched after about 3 weeks , when they finished building this untidy mess in the middle of palm...................
( I know ...... am a silly old sob, don't tell me, am aware of why our garden seem to house more birds per square than other gardens in neighbourhood also aware that I am probably feeding hundreds of birds that don't live here, but knows I am a silly old sob, 'kay)
we peep through the window and see tiny mouths begging and marvel at nature, how fast they grow........ I digress again......
went outside as per usual, see sparrow parents, by the way, this is a House Sparrow pair,
not the same as the Cape Sparrows which are nesting here at the back in a nest box build by my uncle..........oh gosh, digress again, trying to prevent the inevitable, but ..........parents are frantically flying around chirping and chipping and calling .................aha, must be a baby on the ground, not an alarm call, so not a snake or a Indian Mina, more "where are you?"
I start looking with them under bushes, by the pond is very overgrown with ferns and huge Delicious Monster plants.....see a tail move, Mousie !
Picks her up, she is cross
"was just helping"............ and put her inside,
see baby and gets it out and show to parents it is safe. Now what ??
No way I can reach the nest without a ladder, that would be best. First option is always !!! Locate nest and try to put baby back in.......... option 2, safe place where parents can reach it and feed ............ mmmhhmm, the seed bowl ? Put baby in the bowl and go inside ..........parents happy and start feeding out the bowl ............ oooooooops , baby wants to try wings and flops out again.............darned, off I go again, find the little one, ponders safe options, cannot carry ladder, Russell had a bad night, cannot wake him ( big mistake) , put baby into a cage put cage on top of Mousebird cage and leave door open, so parents can feed................... shit.........sorry.......... baby frantic, flapping around , is going to hurt itself, parents cannot figure out cage and is flapping around screaming too, a Cape Robin has now joined the melee, as I am late with her bone meal, she flaps around my ears and shouts, a Olive Trush is also shouting in the tree , I am at a loss " guys, I am only human, someone help me out here" now this is where I should have taken baby inside with me, nincompoop, silly old bitch , that I am , admitting............ and waited till I could wake up the darling man and get his help or waited for Beatrice to help me carry the ladder. I have now got the baby "safely" in a branch , parents are happy, I lock up dogs and cats for further safety and carry on with my chores, checking now and again, little one still okay.
Get my darling up and we get the ladder and out we go, after I have explained my hectic morning to him and why there is only coffee on tray.................. cannot find the little one...... parents are flying around frantic, shouting again..........looks all over and then look at where mother seems to keep coming back and then looks in pool..................shit, shit and double shit and the F-word, I am a silly idiot and guilty of murder and simply cannot understand how at my age, with my experience with birds not did it differently. For crying out loud, how stupid can you get ???
Still deeply upset and depressed all day today, keep blaming myself, sorry had to bother you all with this shit when we are facing such serous difficulties all of us on different levels with tornadoes damage, illness, friends dividing, our blog site closing, children being difficult............. sure you have more than enough to care about without my silly birds .............well, birds not silly, it is me.......