Stephen and Gwen now officially have an empty nest (and another bout of capillaria. Shoot me. Shoot me now). Their offspring have headed out into the world to do great things.
Bismarck has moved to Richmond to be an education bird. She [sic] has already educated me about my heteronormative assumptions since I proclaimed her to be a male because she was large and adventurous. Not so said the DNA test. I should have known that Gwen would produce badass daughters. But Gwen herself weighs 100 grams less than Stephen, so I feel less sheepish about the hefty size throwing me off. Not-Bismarck (she does not have a new name yet) will appear in these annals going forward, however, as I will be working with her to get her ready for programs starting in mid-August under the guidance of a gifted (and I trust patient) professional animal trainer. I’m excited about finally getting some real knowledge about corvid behavior rather than just learning from my myriad mistakes.
Caledonia was whisked off to Ohio last week by a zookeeper with 30 years experience. Although he has worked with sea lions, his passion is birds. He is certainly a bird-whisperer. He showed up with an eagle owl chick because who wouldn’t travel with a bird who ends up with a wingspan of 5-6 feet? In spite of his dubious judgment in companions, Caledonia hopped on his arm, tugged at his beard for a while, and then dozed off–an amazing sign of trust considering they had just met. Caledonia will be part of the original cast of an animal education company he is starting.
Which brings us to Leftover Bird—the chick that Gwen and Stephen raised. He (the bird dwarfs his mother, so work with me here) left for Florida last night to be a stud muffin–a role for which he is admirably suited given his good looks. I trust the lady crows will find him to their liking.
Breeding season 2017 has now been brought to a successful close. Molting season has begun. Gwen has gone from being out of sorts because I’m in the same zip code as her babies to being cranky because she’s losing feathers. But she’s yelling at me so all is as it should be.