We are having fun now.
On mother’s day, David bought me a couple of lovebirds sitting on eggs (I saw them on Craigslist while looking for a bigger “outdoor” cage for my parrot). My heart felt drawn to a little animal adventure, missing the exploratory nature of my life on 50 acres in Georgia, and the moment I shared my longing, David said, “Get in the car…. Let’s just go get them.” So we did.
I was excited those first few weeks the lovebirds were on the porch, but after 5 weeks it was clear the eggs were not going to hatch, so I removed them. I assumed when I purchased and moved the mother and her clutch from one house to another, the anxiety and the jostling of a new environment and being shaken while carried in and out of a car was responsible. I figured, since lovebirds only lay in the spring, I’d just have to wait another year, but only days after I took the eggs away, the mother began laying again. I harbored hope this batch would hatch, at the same time, not putting too much stake in it (so as not to be disappointed.)
But this week, I started checking periodically, hoping I might find something in the nest. And yesterday, before going to the movies – nothing… but we we came home, low an behold, a little bird had just hatched. I was thrilled. I eagerly watched the other 6 eggs, hoping to see little birds spring into the world, but 24 hours went by and nothing. I wondered if perhaps that one little baby was going to be the bulk of my lovebird windfall. I worried that the baby would be lonely – that makes it hard to separate the chick from the mother later.
Then, suddenly bird number two was there. Yippee….
I know enough about birds and how they lay, sit and brood from my Georgia days to understand that the mother had laid an egg a day, and because she was already broody, she began sitting immediately rather than waiting for the clutch to gather (which would assure the eggs all incubated on a similar schedule). So I suspect now an egg a day will hatch. Kinda like the 12 days of Christmas – a gift each day. This means my anticipation of how many eggs survive and thrive will be a long drawn out experience. A very good test of my patience (which I have far less of than I should.)
The pictures make these birds look not unlike a baby chicken or something, but the nesting box is only 8 inches square, and these babies are only the size of a lima bean. They are remarkably small, naked and looking surprisingly “unfinished” when you consider what a self sustaining bird looks like. I am awed by their delicate venerability and how weak and helpless they are (unlike a baby chick that is running around all fluffy 6 hours after hatching.) But today I see these baby lovebirds are starting to fluff a bit already, so I’m guessing that it won’t take long for them to become more independent and strong enough to move around more than what they are doing now, which is simply to shift slowly when I disturb them and mother moves from keeping the warm. (I really have to have some self control and not disturb them very hour…..shame on me for wanting to look ever chance I get.)
I will let the mother feed them for a month or two, and when they are strongenough, I’ll remove them from the nest and hand feed them so they grow up extremely tame. You can teach lovebirds tricks like any parrot. Of course, I gotta try that! I’ve spent more than a few nights looking at Youtube lovebird videos, marveling at how trainable and entertaining these smallest parrots can be.
Neva and I were talking names last night…. if all seven eggs hatch and survive I could name them after the Chakra’s – only the babies will all be similarly rainbow colored, so that doesn’t really fit or make it possible to tell them apart (the way it would if they each were a different color) and most people would have trouble remembering or even pronouncing the Chakras…… (Muladhara, Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Visuddha, Ajna, Sahasrara… kinda like talking with marbles in your mouth….) I also don’t intend to keep all these birds, and no one wants to break up a chakra set… might cause bad karma.
I could name them after the seven dwarfs, and considering how tiny they are, that makes sense. But who wants a lovebird named Grumpy or Sneezy?
I think I’ll just name them after famous authors…. Neva will enjoy helping with that…. or pick names that represent positive affirmations or something. Maybe I’ll name them Thing 1 & Thing 2. And Thing 3 – 7 as the case may be.
Anyway, I’ll post more pictures as they hatch and grow to share the miracle. All I can say is watching the process of life unfold and witnessing new creatures find their place in the world is the most inspirational and thought provoking thing ever, at least to me – be it a baby horse or llama, little chicks or peacocks, or (most especially) having gone through the experience of being pregnant and bringing beautiful, unique people into the world 3 times – life is fascinating. I am deeply grateful I’ve had the opportunity to be witness to the process again and again – that Iwas blessed to feel life inside me, and I’ve been an appreciative observer of other births. Life feels more poignant when you pause and honor the beauty in life’s cycle and recognize you are a part of it.