I am not an hysteric, I just don’t like the dentist. At all. I died. I’m sure. And have had my face, skull and jaw completely reshaped courtesy of some wrestling moves by the dentist guy, that’s why they make you wear those safety goggles you know, so that they can spend an hour leaning all their body weight on your eye socket. Oh and wisdom teeth are absolutely massive with two long pointy down things at the end. Did you know that? I spent four hours sleeping off the local anaesthetic (dude felt the need to wave a foot-long stabbing device around and stab me three times with it) and six trying to stop the bleeding. It took me another hour to manage a slice of cake. Still feeling quite sorry for myself.
More Importantly, the Blue Tits
I reread that article about hand rearing passerines. I have to admit that the first time my eyes just stopped at the hand feeding which was such a priority then and the reason we were searching for information. Can we feed them? What do we feed them? How do we feed them? There is a lovely big section on fledging too so I think we may have enough information to guide us forward again. The babies seem to know what to do themselves, which is so remarkable.
It was reading down through the article that I noticed something very useful. How to identify your babies! Two words: nail varnish. Thankfully my mature tastes in nail varnish mean that I do not have a discreet monotone rainbow of pinks and reds, I have colours. We painted some legs up! Have you ever painted a blue tit’s toes before?! I wish we had known sooner but as the first one was named Birdie, we clearly didn’t expect to end up with an entire brood on our hands.
If you’re skimming through the photos that I’m about to share, you may want to consult this handy guide!
Birdie – blue (metallic, oooh)
Feisty – red
Manky – yellow (but Feisty obviously kicked him whilst his varnish was still wet because Manky has a red foot too, just to confuse matters!)
Sneaky – orange
Rocky – green
Yesterday morning we had two fliers. Then three. Finally Birdie wanted in so we balanced him on the edge of the tank and got the hang of it straight away. He hasn’t looked back since then, he’s into everything and is even starting to self-feed. He took a shine to our cake earlier. Ssh. Four birds flying around keeps you on your toes! There’s nothing quite like two birds flying, at speed, towards your head from opposite directions. Or walking around with a bird on your head.
Our sitting room has become their aviary, they’ve been out most of today. Just be careful where you sit because these guys seriously aren’t potty trained. They don’t wear nappies either. We’re spending a lot of time taking roll call, chasing, feeding and cleaning. Great stuff.
Husband in particular walks in, casting his eye about:
“One, two … three … four … … … five!”
Manky is behind the others. That’s for sure. We don’t know what the future holds for him but we’ve had him out of the tank with the others and sometimes, when you’re not looking especially, he’s suddenly on a completely different surface! This evening it’s clear that he has a hop, climb, flap combo which is working for him. There’s even been a few short glides, we’re very proud of him! There may be hope.
Rocky prefers to hide in corners. Birdie has a predilection for perching in odd places. Sneaky has taken a shine to the electric fan that we’re having to use because all our doors and windows are having to be kept closed at the moment, for obvious reasons. Feisty is sporting quite a hairdo.
Aren’t their colours amazing? (No, I don’t mean the nail varnish).
- Famous Five
- A Visit to the Dentist
- And Then There Were Four
- In Other News
- Hand Rearing Small Passerines (external link)
- Blue Tit Factsheet (PDF, external link)
- Blue Tit Facts (external link)