'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 12 January 2009

In which the Thrush Babies leave home and Come Back Again.

Well! What a busy day yesterday turned out to be. Lots of lovely human visitors, and lots of action on the bird front, as it was the Day I Took The Lid Off.

I didn't intend it to be Thrushes Soft Release Day, but after checking with my friend Google, I reckoned on these being just old enough.  And given I need to travel up to Auckland towards the end of the week, I really wanted them fending for themselves soon...

Victoria bumbled out almost immediately, landing with a nose-dive under the palm 5 metres away and was soon back under the porch peeping pathetically as if to ask me to crawl under and feed her.  

Alexander practicing listening skills in his dirt-box

Alexander decided to hone his survival skills at home a little longer and played with twigs and in the dirt box, looking for worms for about an hour before flying very competently up into the oak where he sat all afternoon calling to me.  

On dusk Vicky reappeared up in the porch wisteria begging, and ate a whole day's food in one sitting, whereupon she promptly fell asleep for the night.

Victoria in the wisteria

Alexander meanwhile had made three attempts to get inside the house by crashing into the lounge window and was seen as the last light was in the sky, being chased by a kingfisher - a tourquoise dart with a mean beak - three roofs away.  I thought that would be the last I'd see of him ever.

Alexander doing an imitation of The Robin in 'The Secret Garden'.

This morning however, I was woken by a peeping up in the tree outside my 'van window, and a hungry Alexander had a full English Breakfast (five helpings of cat's meat) then followed me around the garden eating bugs and worms, and landing on anything suitable including my head and hands when I was trying to weed.

Alexander and Victoria together again.

This afternoon we had a couple of hours of thunder and lightning and torrential rain, and when it was over, two very hungry and soaking thrushes appeared back on the porch and were very happy to be blow-dried with the hair-drier, fed to the gills, and popped back in their cage for the night.  Never a dull moment here! But now we are back to square one.  My son says they will stay here forever as long as I let them and keep feeding them, but he may be projecting...


  1. Well at least I know where to stay if I ever get to NZ.

    Full English, personal grooming and lots of TLC. Sounds like my sort of B&B.

    Surprised your kids ever left home, Katherine. You DO know you'll have 2 extra travelling companions going to Auckland ???

  2. Aww... how sweet!

    As long as they're picking up food for themselves, they're doing well, I think. The hard part will be knowing when they're able to survive the night on their own, without falling victim to predators. ... but you can only do your best - and keep your fingers crossed.

    I think you've done incredibly well to get them this far!

  3. Just wait till they hit puberty.

    Then they'll be bringing their friends round and soon it'll be boyfriends and girlfriends and wild parties till all hours and then they'll be in their 20's and you won't be able to get rid of them for love nor money.

    Hope, show them the door now and save a lot of heartache later.

  4. Your son may be on to something, Katherine!

  5. Hope you have a babysitter lined up ... just in case. You will miss them once they've gotten the confidence to fly away. Though I'm sure they'll come back for visits and maybe bring the grandkids to show off and reminisce about the old days and have another fond look at their baby spoons...

  6. Silverback, Sam - yep, I'm a pushover. I am Hospitality Personified.

    Jay - three nights now, and they are fine!

    Violetsky - I *love* your idea that they'll come back to look at their baby spoons!

  7. Same thing I had to do to my sons. Quit feeding them so they'd leave home!

  8. Shoot...one of my sons came back though. So much for that idea!

  9. Cute pictures of the bird.