Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ugly baby growing up

The doves in the window nest hatched one little baby. I first caught a glimpse of it ten days ago. I intervened in the course of nature and chased away a crow that had scared off the parent bird and was about to make the chick into lunch. I then used the opportunity of the briefly abandoned nest to take a peek inside. It was one UGLY baby: little stubbly wet-looking not-yet-feathers failing to truly cover its little lumps of fowl-y flesh, eyes that bulged out of any discernible sockets and looked like they were about to fall right off its head, and a beak that looked like a large, badly pasted-on piece of plastic.

I am happy to report that the ugly baby is indeed growing up!!! It changes every day and is now starting to look very much like a dove. Though completely predictable, I still find the transformation miraculous. Its parents leave it alone most of the day, seemingly returning only for feedings. Consequently, I get to watch it a lot (and try to show it off to visitors with mixed success). Once an inert lump, it now frequently stands up to stretch its legs, flap its tiny wings, and preen. It eyes are now solidly IN its head and it has even started to grow into its beak.

I would love to show you a picture, but this only child gets camera shy.

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