Saturday, June 9, 2012

Birthdays ....... Hatchdays?

Today is my grandson's birthday. Gavin is 8. We have been here almost 8 years. I know this because we moved here when Gavin was barely a month old. I cried most of the way and was sure that I would be blazing a trail back to Minnesota every other month or so. After all, how hard could it be to run a kampground?

I was so very naive. While I miss my kids and their kids tremendously, there are advantages to living in the middle of nowhere. This morning I went to check on the Killdeer (her name is Hildee and his name is Henry, by the way) eggs. Hildee was sitting on the eggs and Henry was close by. Kamper Martha was with me with her faithful canine, Buddy. Hildee began screeching as we approached and Henry was was on the embankment of the pond flapping his wings and making noise. I saw only two eggs!! I got as close as I could and saw the two new birds. I came back for the camera. Look closely under Hildee's legs and you will see her babies.

She looks proud and fierce all at the same time. Do hatchlings have birthdays? Or are they called "Hatchdays"? Whatever it is, Gavin shares his birthday with Hildee's babies.

She finally stood up and walked a few steps forward so I could see the little ones. Wish I had a camera set up to see the other two as they peck their way out of the eggshell that surrounds them. Must be awfully tight in there!

She walked away and let me get a closer look, but still stayed close. All the while Henry was screeching from the pond embankment.

So tiny and perfect. Hard to believe that they were just inside those eggs!

He who hunts stray animals found one of little Martha's siblings and brought her to me. Why? I don't know. He should have left her in the place he found her so that her mother could tend to her. Little M is none too happy about this development, either.

Little M is somewhat of a princess here at the kampground. She has her territory to roam. My office area and my sewing room. She rides the golf cart with me while I water and garden. She likes her status as the only little feline. She will play with the dogs and if things get a little rough, she will use her claws to defend herself. The dogs all know to not hurt her, lest I get out the flyswatter.

The new kitty looks exactly like her, a tad bigger than her; having had the benefit of her Mom's milk longer. Little Martha knows her name and will come when I call her. She knows how to eat solid food and use the litter box. And she knows I love her.

First thing she did was to hike her back and hiss at her long lost sibling. The little kitten is scared, doesn't know how to lap milk from a bowl and the litter box is a new concept. My Martha will not allow her to eat from her bowl. She attacks her and bites her! She tried biting me, the hand that feeds her and got a good thump to her head for her efforts.

While I am glad that she will defend herself, I am not happy that she is so territorial. Or maybe I am, because, when he who brought me another cat awakens, one little kitty will go to the pound. Little Martha has won my heart, but you will note that the other kitty has not been named.


Mamma has spoken said...

So happy to see the circle of rocks around her nest! Two born two more to go. Wonder how long till they will be ready to leave the nest :o/

Brian Miller said...

awww...i am glad the little ones hatched that is awesome....hope the rest make it! and happy birthday to your own little one...

Joanne said...

How did you ever get that ring of stone built around her? Good job.

Val said...

Tough love. My mom used to get out the flyswatter. And I behaved, too! Hope Martha doesn't show too much interest in the hatchlings.

lotta joy said...

Congratulations Hildee and Henry!!! As for the new-comer kitty....sadness that the pound awaits after finding an 'almost' home. Would one of the campers be interested? I know. I know. Can't save the world. How I wish we could.

Chickadee said...

Oh my gosh you are so lucky to get a photo of those baby killdeer!! I am excited for you, yet really jealous too!!! Hopefully the remaining 2 eggs have hatched by now and I'll bet the family will be gone by tomorrow and you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Incidentally, in the bird banding world, we call chicks that fledge "Hatch year" birds and they will be considered hatch year birds until Jan1, when all birds share the same birthday in North America (paper work with aging the birds you know). After Jan1, the hatch year birds turn into "After Hatch Year" birds, or "Second Year" birds.

ellen abbott said...

The kildee chicks are so cute! I can't believe they have so much fluff. My one little cardinal baby was hatched totally naked and at 7 days is starting to get fluff.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

so cute! i've never seen chicks like that before. too funny about little m. and, happy birthday to gavin!

Lorenza said...

Happy Birthday to Gavin!
Kisses and hugs

Linda O'Connell said...

Happy birthday to Gavin. CUTE pictures. Isn't nature wonderful. Aren't guys something! How about pawning the new kitten off on a camper...a bingo prize.