'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.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Thrushworld Update

We are still doing fine here at Thrush Cottage. Visitors have come and gone. Each of the Friday movie night guests had a turn at feeding the little rascals. Young Ted fed them this morning but Wayne the washing machine repair man said he would have loved to but had another rush job on. 
People seem to get a real buzz out of these delightful creatures. 

They can fly very fast and are very dexterous at holding on and moving around on branches now. And they are clearly able to groom themselves well, coating their feathers with oil from their special gland on their backs, as they hardly got wet at all during yesterday's showers. 

I'm still sleeping out in the compactavan, and in the morning they sit up in the magnolia nearby where they can spot me moving or hear me yawn through the window which sets them off peeping away like babies again until I get up and feed them.  At some ungodly hour when the sun has just risen.

Once I was working in the kitchen and there was a whoosh of wings and Alexander was suddenly perching on the bench top in front of me asking when was I coming out with their lunch.

But most of the time they are very patient and sit on the wisteria around the verandah or in the scarlet oak, swooping down if I appear in the doorway, often landing on my shoulder or head. It's all very endearing and rewarding!

They often turn up with mouths dirty with soil, and anyway I know they are getting grubs and worms because I see them down in the garden fossicking around.

So,  is it time for third breakfast yet, Mum?

Although they much prefer to be fed by hand, if a bit of cat's meat drops off the spoon, they are quite capable of picking it up, and I've watched them jiggle and juggle a long meat fibre until it is oriented to go down their beak the right way. They can manage surprisingly huge mouthfuls!
They also eat straight from the can, as I found out yesterday, but if I'm around they will stand around it looking helpless and peeping 'Help us! Help us! mouths agape, waiting for me to feed them, the little monkeys.

Victoria has tried pieces of tomato I cut up for her, and I suspect it was her that helped herself to the first red ripe one out in the vegetable garden! So, all is well, and they're becoming more and more independent.  

Oh, and as you can see, their tails are still growing too:


  1. I never thought about their tails having to grow. How do you tell them apart?

  2. Adorable! What a wonderful (and demanding) experience you are having! Thank you for sharing it with us. :-)

  3. Thanks for the update on my godchildren.

  4. What a beautiful site and blog. Love your pics. How did you get the bird to land on the finger? I can't even get my kids to sit by me.

  5. Violet: Victoria has a deeper voice and a minute patch of bare skin to the right of her beak. (She was the one that I found cold and lifeless under the palm next to the tumbled-down nest.) She used to be smaller but has caught up to Alex now!
    Alexander is more adventurous and a better flyer, having been chased three houses away by a kingfisher on his first day out of the cage. He goes around to the back garden sometimes now, whereas Victoria stays in the front.

    Juliet: My pleasure. I'm glad you're enjoying The Story.

    YP: So, can we expect at least one visit from you to give them guidance in spiritual matters?

    Coachdad: Welcome! And thank you for the compliment. You made me smile with your kid comment. This is a continuing story, but to cut a long story short, they fell out of a nest before they were fledged, and I've been raising them by hand for about three weeks now.
    My kids have left home, mostly. I find that when they come back, they start sitting by me again.

  6. PS. Oh, congratulations on your Big Decision, Coachdad! You can do it! Keep thinking of your daughter's face.

  7. It's somehow reassuring to know that even thrushes act like babies when they're old enough to fend for themselves.

    You're a nice Mamathrush, Katherine. May V & A care for your grandthrushchildren as well as you've cared for them.

  8. I am loving your thrush family stories and admire your patience and committment. As an ex kiwi I can clearly visualize the settings you describe. I miss the wisteria and magnolia but am lucky to have frangipani at my window.

  9. I've just caught up with the post's I missed Katherine, yes, I loved A.Wyeths work, and I will make my own superhero...someday!!
    and so glad to see your "babies" are doing so well!
    xx lori

  10. I'm just so impressed with the way you've raised those little babies! They're doing so well!

    And isn't it amazing how instinct fills in the gaps? They knew how to groom themselves, and they know how to fly, and perch, and hide, and find their own food. I've really enjoyed reading about them. :)

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  12. Hi Khaterine. I enjoy your thdrush. They remind me of the last week I spend in NZ. My hosbond and I have been driving around for 2 weeks in an motorhome when my hosbond get an eye disease with follwing surgery in Christchurch. We vere resting the last week in a holiday park where there was a thrush who was singing for us the hole week. It was a great comfort. We are comming back to NZ 8. february and shall bee driving around for 30 day which we are looking forward. Kind regards Kirsten (Danmark)

  13. Thank you Dan. Yep, just like human kids/ people...

    Delwyn, Mmmm, frangipani! I loved your walk with the dog btw.

    Lori - I'm so amazed at your ability to keep up the 'comments on the comments' over at your place despite being a Blog of Note! Well done that woman! For both! I bet it kept you busy until hubby came back :-) I'm looking forward to seeing your superheroine.

    Jay, thanks. Yes, they certainly have a lot more innate behaviour than I realised. Alex has started 'singing' now! It is just the coolest thing to hear! See post soon.

    Cindarella - welcome to my blog - and the BlogWorld!
    Thanks for your comment. The reason you don't see the comment immediately is because I have a delay/ 'look at comments first' thing set up on my blog.
    Have a super holiday here in New Zealand!
    I do hope you have no injuries or operations of any type this time! But I'm glad you have fond memories of thrush song.

  14. It's great to see the babies doing so well - they look so much more like adult thrushes now. But I think they'll always think that you're their mother!