Monday, February 02, 2009

Almost Ready to Hatch

Pure has been sitting on the same pair of eggs for 12 days now!

She is going to make such a wonderful mother. Her commitment to those children is already so evident in the way she spends her ENTIRE DAY and NIGHT tending to keeping them warm!

Innocent has assumed the role of a very involved father. When I remove Pure from her eggs, he immediately flies in to cover them. Then he will sit on them quite contentedly, occasionally pulling the whole-night shift, giving his wife some much needed rest!

The amazing thing about these doves is that their digestive systems completely STOP when they sit on the eggs -- obviously for the purposes of keeping the nest clean! Suddenly food and water are of no interest to them. All activities completely subside, which includes flying, cooing, the preening of feathers, and the production of droppings. They take their family rearing quite seriously!

Once a day, I reach in to remove Pure from her eggs and to remind her that she ought to eat the special nesting formula I got for her. Only when I take her into another room completely does she eat, drink, poop, preen, and fly with ferocity. It is so intense to see her try to do all 5 of these activities all at once, but she certainly does appear to try! All I can do is hold the food and water dishes stable while being ready with a paper towel to catch whatever comes out of her!

Amazingly, the birds trust me with the eggs. I handle them periodically, checking for changes in texture, color, or smell. But so far they are appearing as clean and as new as the day she first laid them! When Mom is busy eating, while Dad is busy flying, and I am busy cleaning the cages, my laptop becomes an excellent surrogate mother, keeping the tiny eggs warm with them on its keypad.

I'm trying to brainstorm about what to buy and who to invite to Pure's baby shower this week, but I'm having difficulty! Do I invite those black crows that gather outside my apartment in the evenings? What else should I buy for her other than nesting food?