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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Our Zebra Doves

There was a Papa Bird and a Mama Bird. Two zebra doves had staked out my 2nd floor balcony as their territory. They foraged for food in my garden and then, they built a nest (the size of my palm). Then, they laid eggs (the size of my thumb's first phalange). 

Shortly after the chicks hatched, one of the parents died. It had flown into one of our large glass doors and knocked itself out. Milo picked it up and tried to revive it. His way of doing so was to hold the poor bird in his mouth and shake it. Not surprisingly, it died. I came home to a living room littered with feathers and a puzzled Milo.

We were all devastated. I even cried. Seeing me in tears, The Husband googled material for me to read and learn about how to feed nestlings and squabs. That is his way of comforting me. You know, not take me in his arms and wipe away the tears gently with a soft silk handkerchief... like in the movies. The Hub points to the computer screen and says, "Nah! Here, read this pdf file and watch this youtube. You will feel better when you know how to help the birds."

I guess it worked because I wiped away my tears, got in touch with a bird expert friend and figured out how to keep the birds alive. Fortunately, one of the parents is still alive and so all I had to do was to rig up a bird feeder next to the nest. The parent did the rest.

We are not sure if it is a Mama or a Papa bird. The literature says that the males are more likely to incubate in the day and the females incubate at night. Now that one is dead, there is no parent at the nest at night. So the one left must be a Papa bird? I can't tell because I can't see any ahems dangling anywhere.

2 eggs.

Papa and Mama Bird.

Dead Mama bird.

We took out the babies to clean the nest.

Nice clean nest.


Anonymous said...

Dr Pet
Thank you for helping the birds!
Wonderful of you!
Hope they grow up strong =)

Malar said...

Oh Dear! What a sad ending to the parent bird! Hope the baby birds grow well under your care Petunia! I bet you can do it! You are super woman!