How did I become the resident feathered friend expert?
Mini-me calls from the local saturday night auction to ask "Can I get ONE hen chick to raise up for Mama Jan [my mom] ?". After 10 minutes of wrangling I agree to ONE chick ( knowing it's true odds, i was willing to gamble). She came home with this:
Clearly not one chicken in the bunch. She had purchased not 1 but 5 ducklings. I ranted for 30 minutes but was drowned out by their incessant squeaking. We spent the balance of Saturday night cramming on duck care ( as 2 passed into the night) and I watched her eyes grow bigger with each new discovery, such as " They need water ALL the time??!!!". To which i wondered aloud if they would survive in the hawks and coyote to live in the cow pond below the house........ NOT, she said. These are HOUSE DUCKS! So she proceeded to prove her point by finding stories of ducks as family pets with proper care exlained. While she did this I reached deep into my cabinet to find some powdered bird mash that we had used to raise up a baby pigeon ( displaced by some bridge rehab) several years ago. Another experience I should document sometime. The ducks were not interested in this at all. They survived a day on tomatoes, boiled eggs and apples until she found their pellets at the local feed & seed.
I am off to buy the smallest kiddie pool I can find.
I guess it was my grandmother who instilled this love for birds as we sat and watched them through her picture window with binoculars and the books close at hand to identify them quickly. It is not something I have ever professed or even thought to list in my portfolio of things I know something about, but nevertheless it has happened. I have had birds in the house for most of my adult life. Currently house a lonely male cockatiel who lost his mate over a year ago, and I don't think he's over it it yet.
My husband took up this affinity when we moved to the country. We spend hours in the summer and spring watching/identifying the birds in our yard.
My brother is a fountain of information with his wildlife degree, he has studied them throughout Georgia. Luckily he will know what where these ducks might want to live when they become too much for the house!