Bird Visit Extravaganza!

Today, my friend brought his Junglefowl over to visit. I present scenes from this visit, with captions and commentary. These birds are Amelia’s (my Junglefowl, who I thought was a Red, but turns out to be a cross between a Red and a Grey!) half-brother, Charlie and half-sister, Henrietta.

When John arrived, we put his birds in the tub Amelia stays in when I’m not around so they could say hello while we ate breakfast.

Unleashed outside, Amelia (red and grey in the foreground), Charlie (red, back right) and Henrietta (grey, back left) immediately confused my Dominiques:

The feathered trio perched on the box for some time, examining their new surroundings.

Eventually, Amelia flapped out on my arm, followed by Charlie:

Amelia hopped off and Henrietta came to visit.

Everyone flapped and pecked around for awhile, the Dominiques still unsure what to make of the scene.

Sometimes, a bird flew up to visit:

Charlie apparently didn’t wish to be photographed.

Amelia, on the other hand, is a bit of an extrovert.

This next photograph in particular is noteworthy as it preceded the biggest event of the whole visit and, as a result, was the last one I was able to take:

Here, you can see Josephine, the larger of my two Dominques, investigating the flock of little ones. I’m not sure what prompted this visit, but she came running over like the Junglefowl were on fire. Then she stopped, puffed her feathers out as big as she could and stood there, staring. Suddenly, she pecked at Charlie, who in turn jumped up and pecked back. Josephine recoiled, clearly not expecting this, but regrouped, kicking Charlie to the ground, planting her other foot down on him in the same motion, amidst a flurry of flaps, pecks and some sounds I’d never heard. Before we found out what grisly thing was coming next, I grabbed her up and threw her in the coop. She complained, loudly, for the duration of the visit.

Charlie was ultimately uninjured, although ruffled from the encounter. Nothing else of note occurred, as John had to take off shortly thereafter.

And there ends the tale of the bird visit.

Amelia and I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the read! Thanks again for stopping by!

Tales of Birds

As you may have noticed, I have a baby chick. I have not written about them or shown them until now, but I have two fully grown hens in the yard as well.

I live in an old line suburb of Detroit. The neighborhood, affectionately nicknamed the “cabbage patch,” is predominantly made up of two-story flat rentals, small apartment buildings and long, skinny “shotgun” style single-family homes. It is, effectively, early 20th century inner city Detroit living. We have a diverse array of neighbors and see each other a lot due to the tightness of our homes and yards. This may seem like unnecessary information, but I feel it is good background, as I believe the closeness of the community has helped greatly in answering the most common question: “How the heck do you have those birds in the city?” Simply put, everyone in the neighborhood loves them and I have never had a complaint.

Anyhow, one day last year, my friend, the totally deranged bird breeder, dropped these two off. No, really, he calls me and says “I have these birds and I’m on my way, see you soon!” (I wrote a short narrative on the whole incident and will post it someday.)

They are of a breed named Dominique. Also known as Pilgrim Fowl, this breed is considered the oldest American chicken, likely descending from fowl brought to this continent by, you guessed it, the Pilgrims. At one time, they were uncommon enough to be listed as “endangered” but have recently enjoyed a surge in popularity and numbers.

Josephine and Alberta weigh about six pounds each and lay delicious brown eggs with dark yellow yolks:

This morning, I am working toward acclimation, that is, getting the adult birds to accept Amelia, the young RedJunglefowl, in “their” yard. The Red Junglefowl is a different breed (and arguably a different species) from both the Dominique and modern chickens.

So far so good, they are mostly ignoring her, which is preferable to the first time I tried introducing them, where Alberta pecked at her. This is not an easy process, taking loads of time and patience. I am confident, though, the result will be a beautiful, healthy mixed flock.

Thanks for reading! More bird updates are on the way!

Amelia!

34345892_1895569160494524_4163318722947186688_n I submit for your interest my youngest bird.

Her name is Amelia and she is a Red Junglefowl, which is an ancestor of modern chickens. She is 12 weeks old and about the size of a Robin, if not slightly larger. I named her Amelia shortly after my friend, the breeder, dropped her (a tiny baby chick) off, as she was already trying to fly, even with no feathers!

Amelia enjoys sitting on my hand, flapping, pooping on everything (if you look closely, she’s made one specially for this photo!) and making weird noises. She has had limited contact with my fully grown Dominique hens, as they are much larger and bird acclimation is a difficult, often dangerous process. So, for the time being, she lives in a plastic tub in my home office, the only place in the house safe from the cat.

I will chronicle her growth, life and times here, on this very blog!