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Tyburn
10-13-2010, 01:59 PM
:) I have been compiling small snipits from Bonnie and Pettis and their children. We have just passed four weeks since the first egg was laid, five weeks since the nest was built, and six weeks since I introduced Pettis and Bonnie.

After a week of getting settled, Bonnie and Pettis began to build their nest. Now Pettis is an expert nest builder, His Brother, Levon is absolutely shyte at nest building...but Pettis takes his time and weaves individual strandsof hay around the inside of the nesting shell. Then he lines the base of the nest with feathers and with loo roll (:laugh: a nice touch I provided, he let me roll scraps up and pass them too him in the nest, he would reach out and take the scraps in his beak from my hand!)

A week later Bonnie laid her eggs, two on the first day, one on the second, and one on the third. A full clutch of four, fertilized eggs. When the third was laid, she began full time incubation of the chicks, she and Pettis shared this task and for fourteen solid days one of them was sat warming the eggs. I was very impressed, that after the birth of the first two chicks, Bonnie remained at the back incubating the last eggs, whilst Pettis would sit infront of her warming the newborn.

In this manner all four chicks hatched (its not uncommon for one or two eggs to never hatch because the parents often focus on the born and cant also focus on the rest of the eggs...but these outstanding Parents hatched them all.) Although feeding doesnt need to begin for the first three days as the chicks have the yolk stuck in their crop, at the end of the first day Pettis was complimentarily feeding. Bonnie took time to learn how to master the regurgitation process...I dont think she found it easy to do.

All four chicks were kept warm for the first week, evn when the parents got bearly any sleep in the nest because the chicks kept moving. By the end of the first Eight days incubaton stopped as the chicks had held temperiture, and the parents couldnt physically cover all four chicks, at night both parents would be inside the nest to make sure all were warm.

Here is the first video of the chicks at seven days old.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HeAule8gck

after about ten days the parents were taking it in terns to be in the nest at night. Pettis would perch outside sometimes, and Bonnie would occasionally sleep on the cage floor. The parents were getting quite tiered. The chicks were making calls for food by now also.

By two weeks, the eyes had been opened, and the birds looked like cute fluffy little birds, the parents allow me to remove the nest and check on the babies once or twice a day. They adopted the premature Baby Benjamin from the clutch of Neezar and Levon, but he was too late in arriving and froze to death later that night. The Step Parents left him in the nest for me to remove, rather then expelling him and throwing him onto the cage floor.

Here is the second video of them at fourteen days

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGNJQIsJ23o

Now two and a half weeks old, the babies have learned not only to call for food, but to communicate through different calls. They are begining to show signs of perching, signs of flying, and signs that they are ready to venture out of the nest for the first time inside the cage of their own accord.

We will see in the next week, the final test of the parents. They have shown stickability, they have mastered feeding, and care, now they must proove they can teach the children to fly, and to feed for themselves. Two are within a day or so of wanting out of the nest. They already copy their Father in trying to nest build. They lean out of the nest and try to pull in wayward strands of hay. The others are learning by watching their older brothers, who are now preening feathers. The runt of the litter has very little feathers on his rump...and yet makes preening actions across his back (:laugh:trying to clean feathers he doesnt have yet :laugh:)

By the time I get back from London, I will expect three out of four babies to be in and out of the nest. a week from now it will be time to remove the nest completely