Writers of Equestrian Fiction
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Monday, June 4, 2012
Horses and Birds
Ever notice that wherever horses thrive, so do birds. Well I have always loved and been fascinated by birds and every barn I have had, has had an abundance of happily chirping and reproducing bird life. It just seems that barns and swallows, wrens, crows, pigeons and starlings just go hand in hand.
We have all of these birds at my farm plus a healthy population of Kildeer, ducks, hawks and owls. The Kildeer are silly little birds that lay their grey speckled eggs in my arena and on my gravel driveway to the point were my place is often dotted with orange highway cones so no one accidentally runs over the nests. Yes I know I am a little nuts. On top of it, I often have to keep out a watchful eye for tiny baby Kildeer darting around my arena as I am trying to work a horse. I justify it all by saying that it is good distraction training for the horses.
This year has been particularly filled with a plethora of bird species. My farm sees a number of migrating ducks in the winter but this year we had an unusually high number and it seems that 3 have decided to become permanent residents. 2 mallards and a hen, we have named them Huey, Dewey (the hen) and Louie. The hen is now sitting on eggs (who knows who the dad is since she has 2 hubbies, none of my business) so I assume we will soon have little ducklings as well. They are smart ducks too, because they hang out with the horses and pick up the grain that drops out of their mouths. I think they are adorable and get a huge kick out of watching them waddle around my property and bathe themselves in my sprinklers.
Uiver and the ducks
The other latest addition to my animal menagerie is 2 baby starlings who, last Tuesday, fell over 15 feet, out of a nest in the raised center aisle of my barn. At the time I gave them little to no chance of survival, not only because of the fall they took but also because they barely had the beginnings of pin feathers. I have nursed baby birds before so I brought them into the house and got some baby food and meal worms and started the process. The lady at the feed store told me that I should put them in my freezer to euthanize them and not to waste my time. I just smiled, bought the crickets and meal worms and went home to feed the babies. I believe that every being deserves a chance at life and if they we willing to fight, well so was I.
Thump & Thud on Day 3
Thump & Thud Today
Well it will be a week tomorrow and Thump and Thud (what the kids named them) are doing just fine. They are eating a fortune in meal worms and driving my cats crazy with their incessant chirping. I am not sure how or even if, it possible to reintroduce them into the wild. Anybody have any experience with this???? Either way, I will either figure it out or I will build them a flight and have 2 resident Starlings as well. What else can I do??