Saturday, February 5, 2011

& so he/she sits

The big birds had a clutch of eggs & CleoPatton started sitting on them two-three days before we left last December.  Because V** needed to get thru there every day & because Antonelle's hormones amp her up when he goes into his brooding coma, we took the eggs away.  We knew they were not viable; they were left exposed overnight during several freezes & no matter how diligent the birds: these eggs were never going to hatch.

Then we left, had a happy vacation (pictures to appear here ...whenever I get around to it).  We got back to snow on Christmas Day.  Okay, flurries but still Snow?  in Fladidah?  The birds seemed kind of sluggish, but in that cold we weren't all that surprised.  I started  leaving extra apples for them (they are stoopid-crazy for apples, if you ever need to lead an emu, I recommend a feed scoop full of cut apples), checked them where they chose to hunker down (I assumed they were conserving heat) & did not think much about it.  Until I realized they seemed to stay hunkered in the same general area.

It took a while, but I finally clued in that SHE was sitting on a new, smaller clutch of eggs.  & he was sitting nearby, what we call nest-adjacent. & this has been how it has been.  We thought at first maybe he had moved the eggs & sat on them, or maybe had split away some of them but no...she is definitely sitting on all of the eggs & he is sitting with her.  Sometimes they switch, but most of the time when she gets up, he gets up & follows her where ever she goes.  Yes, he's a dead-beat dad but he is devoted to her.

We decided against removing the eggs this time.  I worry about her going thru the whole lay eggs/lose weight thing for a third time in one season.  & so she sits.  & he sits with her.  & so we wait...until they just don't sit anymore.

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