Monday, June 12, 2006

My chicks and their chicks

My dog, Nellie, has learned to identify birds. She can actually pick out tree swallows in flight. And she runs. Fast.
They have buzzed her enough that when they are out of the nest and hunting, she literally pounds on the back door to be let in.
Sissy. She's no Chet Baker.

I wanted the girls to see what Mommy has been blathering about these last few weeks.

Geoff is the hero around here. The girls really look up to him.

(Notice Nellie running away...again.)

The girls wanted to kiss the tree swallow chicks, the way they kiss the new baby rats.

But tree-hugger that I am, I drew the line at kissing wild animals.

It's important to me to teach the girls about the birds I love, and to show them what all the fuss is about. And I don't pull out chicks just for fun. I am also checking the nests for parasites, so I can take action if necessary. And doing head counts.

The girls are being shown the changes a baby chick goes through, and how fast it is.

These little chicks were basically featherless a few days ago, and now pin feathers cover their backs and punk-rocker down crowns their heads.

Lorelei is too young to show just what she knows about birds, but ask Isabelle "what bird is that" and she will nail it every time. I hope our kids grow up to be awesome grown-ups who think before they throw things away, get involved in community clean ups, donate their time to conservation, stop if they see an injured raptor.

I think they are off to a good start.


anonymous jones said...

Hi! Nice blog! I think my favourite bird around here is the Splendid Blue Fairy Wren. It is shocking blue and is so, so pretty!

MojoMan said...

These are moments your girls will cherish for the rest of their lives.

So much for the old-wives tale that if you disturb a birds' nest, they will abandon it!

LauraHinNJ said...

Love that the swallows are chasing Nellie - what a sight that must be!

Do they give you any trouble when you check the nest?

Susan Gets Native said...

The tree swallows could care less when we are looking.
Get this: We had dinner outside tonight, and the tree swallows were divebombing Nellie who was sitting innocently by the back door with us. They totally have it out for her. Poor puppy.