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Fishica » STEPS » Flying the Coop…Literally!

Flying the Coop

This is the follow up to  Raising Keets

Our guinea babies, Stripe & Overnight have flown the coop (or more appropriately roost) – literally!

Two thirds on the way to adult size they now roost in a fairly frail looking eucalypt close to our house. Not confident to go further, still within sight of the box they have spent most of their life in to date…they balance precariously together on a spindly looking branch and settle in each night.

After a bit of a shaky start they will now mingle a little with our older flock of 7 adult birds during the day, gaining a bit more confidence in how far they roam each day. I’m so glad that two of the babies survived as they do seem to take comfort in each other and I definitely have some pride in the fact that as a family we have cared for them well enough to release them happy and healthy into ‘the wilds’ of our wider property…

The older birds were funny at first…more confident in strutting into the guinea babies’ territory than the other way around. Completely startling the guinea babies with their presence in a place which had been exclusively theirs up until that point. The babies were tentative and very cute during their first explorative days, adventuring into ‘the big wide world’, scuttling back to their box/cage at the first sign of any disturbance, panicking if separated for any length of time. Like we do when unexpectedly separated from our own family.

I felt very nervous the first night they spent outside…or more correctly the first night Stripe spent outside. Larger and more confident than her smaller sibling Overnight, Stripe decided to roost on top of the box while Overnight still sought our his perch inside…What a dilemma…we couldn’t leave the box open as any predator (cat or fox) would have easy access to Overnight leaving him no scope for escape…but what if Stripe wanted in? She would have to brave it and she did, never looking back…or into her box again…Two night later and Overnight not only joined his bigger sister but they decided the box top roost was not good enough and only a tree would do…I couldn’t help creeping out to peer up at them out of the gloom of very early morning to check they were okay…they were absolutely fine, their balance is incredible and regardless of the bad weather we are now getting they hang in there!

Watching them grow has been almost like time lapse for me…a small fragment of motion picture…not unlike a child growing up, becoming more independent, going through the feelings, emotions & actions of exploration and discovery…relying less on their initial provider and more on themselves. Unlike the birds who will not let us handle them anymore and sadly now seem naturally wary of us I have high hopes that Tienne will always need me in some way and seek out my company for pleasure, out of a desire to include me in her life regardless of her age and stage. I hope for this but don’t want to dwell on it too much as I am so enjoying the ‘now’ of her development, her presence in my life today. There is plenty of time for the future in the future…

And I marvel again at how good life can be, even wrapped up and around terrible tragedy and despair. How we can live side by side with such varying emotions washing over and through us day after day…and this thought leads me to another thoughts post which you can read about here…

And as I write I peer out into the gloom again as it is not yet sunrise and can almost make out the shapes of Stripe and Overnight in the tree just outside my window…who will no doubt entertain me with their antics and continued progress today…and may even get brave enough to roost with the rest of the flock tonight… in a much sturdier tree just a bit further from our house…