The weather is so beautiful I can't resist writing about the joys of spring. One of my favorite joys is all the new life--flowers, green grass, blossoms on the fruit trees and the new babies. Our birds have been busy for weeks, setting up nests and laying eggs. We had nine of our domestic Pilgrim geese on nests, but we are down to eight. Something got the eggs in one. It is probably just as well because the nest was a panopoly of eggs--goose, duck, and guinea. I don't know how the mother would have managed if she had managed to hatch the eggs. She is busy setting up a new nest. We had two duck nests, but both have suffered complete destruction--one appears to have frozen, the other was attacked by crows. We found broken eggs all over the place. The crows pick up the eggs in their beaks, fly up into the air, drop the eggs when they reach a certain height and then swoop down to eat the contents. I have tried hard to counteract this by craftily getting the birds to nest in covered spots. The crows are not stupid and they still get in when the mothers go for food or drink.
Two nights ago, I heard peeping when I went into the chicken house to check on one of my setting hens (there are two of those). There propped up on a corner of the nest box was a delightfully cute little peep, pumping his little wings (I think he is a baby rooster--he is the light colored one with a dark spot on his head) and getting ready to jump off and hob nob with the big birds. He and his mom and the two other little chicks, along with the other eggs were quickly moved into a brooding box I have which is warm and safe from predators. The little family is settled in and gives me great pleasure. I love watching them. I could watch them all day. Momma is busy showing them how to drink and scratch to find good things to eat and they think they know everything. When she makes a certain low perk sound, they jump back into her feathers and are gone from view in an instant. She is a wonderful mother, especially considering this is her first brood.
The peacock, Morgan, is strutting around like he owns the place. He has been fanning his tail desperately and shaking his wings trying to attract the female's attention. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem too interested and there are no eggs-yet.