Sunday, October 20, 2013

Plovers in Diamond Creek, Vic.

We were visiting friends in Diamond Creek last week, and heard a commotion outside. Our friends said their cat must have disturbed the Plovers, who have built their nest on the flat roof. They said there are babies somewhere because they can hear them cheeping, but haven't been able to find them. I went outside with my camera to take some photos and the Plovers became very agitated, so I figured their babies must be fairly close.

I moved around the yard until I could hear cheeping on the other side of a fence. When I leaned over the fence, one of the adult plovers flew up at me, so I ducked back, and when it was back on the roof I had another peep over the fence and saw one chick. Staying very still but still visible.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

More quails!

The last time I posted here, I said that Ken had trouble breeding these little birds in the past.  Well, he must have got a winner with this little hen - she is the same one who had the chickens back in March this year.  She has been sitting on 9 eggs, and two weeks ago, five of them hatched and are still alive and healthy.   She is such a good little mother - even though they are twice the size they were when they hatched, she can still fit them all under her wings when they run to her for warmth and protection.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Newly hatched Quail chicks and other photos.

Ken hasn't had much luck with breeding quails in the past, but he is fond of these miniature hens, so he's been buying a few pairs in the hope that they will produce babies.  One pair has finally come good!  The hen laid about ten eggs! but only two hatched, which is probably just as well because with the onset of winter, she would never be able to feed and keep them all warm.  They are SOOOO tiny and cute!  If you think they look small in these photos, you should have seen them a week ago - they were about half the size!

We let the Rhode Island bantams out for a bit of free ranging in the yard today.

Only one of our hens is anywhere near tame and will let us pick her up for a cuddle.  This black and white Sussex hen who is the mother of the one bantam chicken we have at the moment.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A new chicken, now two week old.

Our friend Matt gave us three eggs from his Rhode Island hens, to vary the bloodlines in our chooks. Our white hen was clucky so we put them under her to hatch. Only one hatched out, and he is doing very well. Such a busy little chicken, running around after his Mum while she teaches him how to feed and drink. For the first week we could hardly go near them; she is a very good mother and she flew at us every time we entered the aviary. I had difficulty getting the photos, because she kept trying to shield her baby from me!
In the second photo you can see his little legs behind her head.  The last photo was taken when Ken was able to catch the chicken for a closer look.  He cheeped long and loud, and the mother hen was very anxious until Ken put the chick back with her!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Chooks

We've had many changes in the Chook family since I last posted about them here! Ken sold nearly all the bantams we had since they were chickens, and invested in some pure stock Rhode Island Red bantams. While they aren't as big as the ordinary hens, they are bigger than our previous bantams. We've got one Rooster named Ralph, two hens, and three chickens who have grown so fast I barely had time to snap them as babies!
 Here they are at a week or so old.  So cute!
I love this one peeping out from under Mum's wing!  She was not happy with me hanging around for her babies to show themselves!

A few months later....they grow so fast!  This photo shows them with their Dad. One of the chickens is a lighter colour and we suspect it may be a New Hampshire that must be in it's family tree somewhere.

Gouldian and Emblema Finches

I haven't been posting any updates of our Gouldian flock lately, but they are still breeding well. We lose some now and then; one or two have escaped from the aviary as Ken or I have been going in and out of the doors. And a few have been killed by Butcher birds who mesmerise the young ones to the front of the aviary where they cling to the wire, enabling the predator to stab the little ones. Ugh...not nice to find little bodies on the floor. Now we have put an artificial owl up on the roof of the aviaries and so far it seems to scare the bigger birds away. Here are three Emblemas (also known as Firetail Finches) at the waterbowl.

 Some photos of the young birds that have just coloured up this year. We have been doing well with the white breasted Gouldians - aren't they pretty?

Kookaburra visitor.

We hear Kookaburras around our area most days, but they don't always land in the trees in our back yard. There are thousands of trees and fences for them to choose from! But last week we had a flock in a tree next door, and one of them came over to say hello to me!