Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Love and Loathing

The box held four chicks: two yellow ones, one buff one, and one the color of crackerjacks.  I got permission to handle the latter.
I scooped him up and cupped him securely in my hand. It snuggled down without fear.
 I'm  not sentimental, but the chick had powers.  Suddenly it was the most  adorable creature: So sweet.  So innocent.  How could I put it down?  Could I smuggle it home?
The thought of explaining the "live chicken running loose in my apartment" situation to my landlord gave me second thoughts.  Then there was the threat of having "chicken trafficker" on my permanent record.  I put it back in the box.
I thought about the chick all afternoon.  The soft down, the unconditional  trust....
Then this occurred to me:

10 comments:

sal said...

There have been a couple of little baby birds who fell out of the nest near our house this week.

Namowal said...

Hi sal,
Did the parents still keep an eye one them? At my birdfeeder I've noticed that even babies old enough to fly and feed themselves still shake their parents down for food.

Linda said...

Oh I'm sure that wasn't it. (Playing dead.)

stray said...

Don't know! They looked scared and lost. We were afraid if the parents smelled human on them, they would disown them; however, web searches suggest that might be incorrect.

Namowal said...

Linda,
It's possible it was incubator-hatched and imprinted on humans.
The vibe I get when I handle most birds is either "put me down or I'll bite you" or "Okay, I'll stay here, but any funny business and you're getting beaked." It was unusually to handle one who seemed content!

Hi Stray,
Most songbirds can't smell, so you don't need to worry about contaminating the nestlings. As long as you put them back and don't loiter too close (which potentially could spook the parents) they'll be fine.

Namowal said...

Stray-
I hit the "publish" button too soon. How are they doing?

stray said...

Only saw each one time and not again. Hope they're OK!

Namowal said...

Stray,
I hope they're okay too. From what I've seen, parent birds do a pretty good job of keeping an eye on the kids after they leave the nest, so they certainly have a chance.

Jonathan said...

I laugh out loud when I read your blog. This one really got me going. That's hilarious!

Namowal said...

Thanks John!
I didn't think any of my coworkers read this thing. I'm glad to hear I'm wrong.