Thursday, April 24, 2008

breaking news

"I'll miss their voices when they leave us."

Two of the baby barn swallows fell out of the next earlier today, into the stall where Keil Bay had been only minutes earlier. Luckily, this was the one day none of the cats were sitting out there waiting for just such an event.

I suspected the nest was crowded - there were so many voices up there. We have them in a small box with warm cloths and are feeding them every 20 minutes. Water with Rescue Remedy and diluted cat food. When husband gets home we will try to put this "secondary nest" up beside the other one to see if the mother will resume the feeding.

One is doing well, the other one seems to be getting weaker.

They are huge but have only a few wing feathers and wispy tufts on top of their heads.

You cannot imagine the looks on the faces of our four cats when we brought that box with squawking birds inside. We have them in their little nest box inside a cat carrier so we can move it as needed to warm spots of the porch.

Update, 7 p.m.:

They're both doing really well right now. My dedicated daughter has fed those baby birds every 20 minutes since we brought them in, and while there was a touch and go hour, they are now very warm and eating like mad every feeding time. When you open the front door they go nuts. Their eyes are now open and clear, and they're shaking their heads and stretching their wings. We're figuring out what the situation with their nest is before we decide what to do next.

And finally, 9 p.m.:

The babies have been successfully returned to the nest, well before dark so we could make sure their mama had time to re-group before the sun set. She was in and out many times after they reunited with their siblings, and the chorus of what we think is 5 was restored!


Heidi the Hick said...

You've been busy!

Just catching up... I've got the annual vet check coming up to, incl. teeth floating, which believe it or not, in a life of horse ownership, I've never gotten done. OOhh boy...

And happy birthday, Pony! I love ponies. One of the mares I ride is a 13 h pinto, and she has enough personality for a work horse! Your guy is gorgeous, definitely a keeper. We too plan to harness train our mare, knowing that some day our kids will outgrow her. She's only 14h. Their daddy is 6' tall. Both kids are hovering around 5' now, at 13 and 11. I plan to ride the mare for years, since I'm not getting any bigger, but it'll be a nice way for the rest of the family to enjoy her.

I hope your birds pull through. We had barn swallows in Dad's barn for the last two summers, and they are a lovely presence in the barn.

billie said...

Hey, Heidi,

The equine dental thing is probably the most stressful for me of any routine maintenance. I'm sure my own issues with dentists come into play!

It's great to hear that you're riding your 13h pony! I hope my daughter can ride hers for a long time, but it will be fun to learn to drive - I've been looking at some of the CT driving stuff and also at the driving apparel for women - wow! Could be a whole new phase of horsemanship!

Thanks re: the birds. I've gotten really attached to hearing them chirp from the nest. I hope they all make it.

Grey Horse Matters said...

It seems as if you and your daughter are very good bird vets, and that the little chirpers will pull through. I can't tell you how many "rescues" my girls have done over the years, some went on to fly away and some not. I think your little family will be alright from the sound of things. Have a song-filled day.

billie said...

Arlene, I think this time it will work out - they are still chirping away up in the nest this morning and mama bird is still working hard to feed all her hungry babes. (and I now know how much it takes to feed just 2 of them, so I admire her energy even more!)

Victoria Cummings said...

Congratulations - you and your daughter have halos over your heads! Patron saints of barn swallows- It is just a stressful time of year, even with the wonders of Spring - rescuing baby birds, being vigilant about horses eating too much grass, fighting off insects - and teeth floating is a real cause of anxiety for me too. It's not easy being the ultimate mother!

billie said...

Thanks, Victoria... I just read that you had a fretful night, so I hope things settle down today with the girls and your weekend gets very calm.