Sunday, June 27, 2010
photo by Phoebe Linnea Thompson
There are pets, like Chet Baker, and there are wild things, and when you hand-feed a wild thing for weeks and help it learn how to do what it needs to do to survive; when you become its mother, that line blurs. My style of raising birds is labor and time-intensive. It's rooted in my need to know that they're going to be able to make it on their own.
Most people think that when a baby bird "learns to fly," it's ready to be on its own. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The post-fledging period is a critical one. It's when the bird follows its parents around, watching them and learning from them. It's the time when a bird learns what's good to eat and what's inedible. It learns vigilance and wariness and it gets the lay of the land. You make darn sure that bird knows how to pick up all its own food and keep its weight up before you ever let it go. At least I do. I err on the conservative side.
It's hard to impart any of that to a bird when you're a big lumbering grounded human. The first step, for me, is to allow the bird some freedom in the comparatively safe confines of my house. This means you get doo-doo on your laptop now and then. It's all part of the scene.
Hmm. What to blog about?
Blog about meeee. People will like that. I like looking at pictures of me; why wouldn't they?
Like when I met Sara and Kelly. That was awesome. I'm not sure they'd ever held a mourning dove before.
When Phoebe's in the studio, we come up with photo ops together. This was her idea.
It was about at this point that "Olivia" went from "Libby Lou" and straight to "Pweep."
Pweep is what she says when you speak to her. So we figure that's her name. Or maybe it's her word for "people." Or the dove equivalent of "Mama."
Like when she's perched on your 2-terabyte hard drive, which you got so you won't lose all your data when a mourning dove, say, overturns a water jar on your laptop (which she didn't; I'm just giving a what-if)
and you say, "Libby Lou! What are you doing?" and she answers, "Pweep!"
Gotta go! Got dove bidness to attend to.
Ooh, I just love this lil' post, love remembering what it was like having a dove around for a few blessed weeks. Speaking of remembering, my friend Debby Kaspari is moving on with her life. She and Mike may have found a house to buy. They're still dealing with disposing of all the debris from the one the tornado flattened. Because their subdivision was unincorporated, insurance won't cover any of that cost, which could go as high as $20,000. What a drag, to have to pay to haul away the bits of what was once your house.
Dear friend Murr, she of the Baker quilt, who has never met Debby in person, created a T-shirt design so she could help. All proceeds will go to the recovery fund. It's got some nice Murr-created Oklahoma birds on it, and it says "Nest in Peace." There are a million different styles of shirt; scoops and tanks and all kinds of cool ones, so you won't be stuck with a crewneck Fruit o' the Loom. I'm thinkin' nightshirt, myself. You can get yourself a Team Kaspari shirt right here.
Thanks, Murr. You're the bomb.