We have so many critters,
This place is a zoo,
If you had this many,
What would you do?
Rocky the squirrel is doing really well. He's accepted us as his surrogate family. Like any baby, he is either eating or sleeping. Here my mom is pictured holding Rocky in one hand and a Black Australorp chick in the other. She made the cute curtains for the chicken coop which can be seen behind her.
The chicks are growing in leaps and bounds. They are one week old today. The girls have almost all of their wing feathers and are currently sprouting cute little tail feathers while the boys are still working on their wing feathers. I learned that this is one way to tell the difference between the two in some of the heavy breeds. As near as I can tell, I have at least five roosters out of 27 birds. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that they all turn out to be nice boys so I don't have to turn them into soup!
Oscar the owl continues to guard his nest box faithfully. Starlings can be spotted in the mornings at the entrance hole trying to scare him off. But he holds his ground and they give up quickly. He must scare the bejeebers out of them because I can see them flap their wings as if they're startled before they fly off. Hurray for Oscar! I love having a bad-ass owl nesting here!
I went out to check on the chicks this afternoon just as the sun was beginning to set. I interrupted a Sharp-Shinned hawk that had just caught its evening meal. As the hawk flew off, I saw a female Ring-Neck Pheasant run into the field, limping. It seems I came outside just at the moment that the hawk pinned the pheasant. If I had come out a few seconds earlier I might have gotten to see the hawk catch the pheasant. Seeing the pheasant was injured, I followed her into the field. She let me get very close and at one point I had my hand one inch over her back. Something stopped me from dropping my hand to catch her though. I decided to let things be and not interfere. I'm sure the pheasant has been finished off by one of our many resident raptors. Sometimes it's better to let nature take its course. It's hard not knowing the outcome, but at least I know that the pheasant will not go to waste out here.