Crow update and other matters

The good news is that we’ve not seen much of the killer crow these past few weeks, ironically coinciding with the arrival of the crow trap! We did actually manage to catch the culprit but it managed to escape! Kevin thinks that maybe he didn’t set it quite right. Maybe the tape/bag-on-a-stick security system has done the trick, or the fact that the better weather sees us out and about in the garden more often, or perhaps the bird has just got fed up with the ’fly-by take-away’ menu at Garybuie but either way, we’re not into killing for killing’s sake, so the feathered fiend lives to crow another day. At least we’re prepared for next year should we have the same problem.

Big new world!

All our young birds are growing well and some have recently moved into new homes, including our second group of chicks, hatched almost six weeks ago. It didn’t take them long to thoroughly explore their new surroundings, as well as meet other residents of the garden.

Broody Brenda’s lone chick also has a new home. Unfortunately Brenda spends her life living up a tree with her sister when she’s not rearing a family. This doesn’t usually pose a problem when it comes time to part company with her brood. This year however, thanks to several deaths by crow or other means, only the one chick remained and was in no mood to be left alone. On the first night of separation, continuous cheeping at the base of the tree by the abandoned youngster eventually appealed to Brenda’s better nature and she came back down from her perch and encouraged the wee mite to follow her vertically. After much effort, the chick was perched happily next to mum, making those contented warbling sounds that chicks do! Unbelievably, the following evening Brenda decided to move into the coop and leave her offspring to its arboreal dwelling! After a couple of unsure nightly tree climbs, the chick now seems more that happy and is usually waiting near the kitchen door when I get up in a morning for a mixed grain treat!

Muscovy youngsters

The Muscovy ducklings meanwhile, are doing well at eight weeks old and are quite inquisitive characters. We’ve only managed to see single Muscovy ducklings reach maturity over the last couple of years, but having four this time around has revealed different social behaviour, with the youngsters keeping their own company from about five weeks old, just getting together with the adults for an occasional snooze! Huff seems to like keeping an eye on them however, particularly when MacRae takes it into his head to play at ‘scatter the ducklings’, currently his favourite pastime if he can’t get his webbed feet on Biggles, the love of his life! It was this game which got MacRae confined to ducky compound for a couple of weeks, to prevent injury to the ducklings.

With the kids almost grown, one thing that’s making one very happy Huff is that sex is back on the menu! Both Puff and Biggles are receptive to him once more and he can’t believe his luck! Of course after a lengthy period of abstinence, his somewhat over-enthusiastic approach can be a bit startling to the girls, particularly when the potential loss of an eye or drowning becomes part of the proceedings….

Dangerous liaisons!

….or his newly developed mid-flight interception on the shed roof isn’t quite as impressive as he thought!

Rooftop romance?

Poor Huff, not only is he kept busy redeveloping his romancing skills, but is back to fending off unwanted suitors, A.K.A. MacRae, recently released from confinement!

Love triangle?

Puff and Biggles have both come into lay again and a new nest has been developed so who knows, Huff might be reverting to a quieter life sooner than he realizes!


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