Bad Parenting

Two days ago I went out in the backyard with the dogs and while scooping leaves out of the pool I noticed Scrappy had something in her mouth. I told her to drop it and, whoa! (If you are sensitive you may want to skip this post)

She dropped a baby bird. Mireille had one in her mouth too. I made her drop it. I couldn’t understand how those ducklings were hatching so early or how they got so far from the nest. I’d been watching over that duck and they did not raid the nest. They found those baby birds on my patio which is across the pool and about 25 feet from the nest.

I was clueless as to what to do. The house was full of Spanky and her friends, about six of them and i didn’t want them to know what was going on. I called Blane outside and he said those were ducklings.

What to do? They were alive and seemed well.

Blane thought we should put them back in the duck’s nest. So we did. A few minutes later that duck came out with the baby bird in her mouth. She was trying to eat it. When she spotted me she flew off with the bird in her mouth.

The other bird was still in the nest. An hour passes, no mom duck. I knew the baby bird did not have enough feathers to retain body heat, so I held it in my hand. It died about fifteen minutes later.

All the duck eggs in the nest seemed fine. But the mom wasn’t coming back, it seemed. I kept watching out the windows for her and then noticed two doves looking all over the patio for something. Come to think of it, those baby bird beaks were sharp. Not flat like duck beaks.

Oh no!

I’d seen those doves hanging around a lot lately. Even took a photo of them last week. I suspected they had a nest around somewhere but couldn’t find it.

Doves: Bad Parents

The mother duck returned, was a little confused by the barriers we put up to block the dogs from getting to that side of the pool (the patio table and chairs turned over sideways, bags of mulch). She swam across the pool, climbed onto the side and went back to her nest.

The doves have not returned. I wonder how their babies got on the patio?


7 thoughts on “Bad Parenting

  1. My favorite part of the whole post? The caption “Doves: Bad Parents”. Those doves need to get some better PR people. (Plus, I wonder how long it’s gonna be till I open the paper and see my own picture above that caption…)

  2. I’ve caught my dog eating baby rabbits on a few occasions. Each time, she’s managed to kill off 2 or 3 before I could save the rest. My wife is always horrified, but it’s not like I can train my dog to not eat small animals.

  3. This is the first year I’ve had any nests in the yard. Before that, the plants and trees were too small. I guess we’ll have a farm here soon. Sounds good to me.

    We were panicked about the duck being gone for so long. We’d never seen her leave the eggs before and it didn’t take long before we had imagined some other animal catching that duck before she could return home. We were certain a coyote had gotten her.

    Ginny, that’s hilarious.

    Chuval, all the baby rabbits come out in the evening and drive my dogs crazy. Which drives us nuts because they bark at them.

  4. …i had tears i my eyes. this post took me back to a time when i had adopted new born kittens abandoned by their mum on our terrace and they led me to one of their brothers who had perished from lack of food…

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