wings and things

How Queenie puts her peachicks to bed

on February 9, 2014

This evening I sat outside from around 5 – 7pm as Queenie began the ritual of taking her kids to bed up in the avocado tree. First, she wandered around with them following her, digging into the ground with her big feet to give the chicks insects, showing them how to drink from a shallow bowl I’d put near the avocado tree, finding the wheat always there for all of the birds. At first I was a bit alarmed to find the little family out of the pen as early as 5pm but I guess they are now a bit beyond the pen and like to wander around the yard and back paddock freely. King (obviously the dad) stayed with them for ages, protectively.

I have maintained a respectful distance but they all come close to me anyway; they trust me and seem to rather like the flash of the camera. The photos I have put here show their long, but enjoyable, journey to bed but this is the first time I have seen the finale. I was amazed to see how the two peachicks can actually fly quite high now from branch to branch, up and up, and until they reach their mother. Queenie clucks until they get to her.

Of course the two peachicks are still extremely vulnerable; they might be taken by crows, they might drown in the pond (now that they are out of the yards), but I am hopeful that wise Queenie will prevent these possible catastrophes and King is right by her side for much of the time.

In watching this beautiful bedtime ritual, I remembered how much the birds helped me cope with the misery of Anthony’s illness, the nursing home process, Ming’s spinal operation and so many other things. Now the birds are helping me to cope with a whole new set of miseries which I blogged about yesterday, then trashed because it was all too sad. In trashing the post, I guess I also trashed the comments and I apologize for this and am grateful for those comments. Now I think the best thing is to get back to these beautiful birds for awhile.


As usual Gutsy9 became really jealous and insisted that I took her photo too.

Tonight, I would love to be one of Queenie’s peachicks, up high in the avocado tree, under her gentle wings.

But I am a bit too big!

55 responses to “How Queenie puts her peachicks to bed

  1. You must constantly have to fight the urge to follow the little peachicks around in order that they always be protected…. but of course you must leave it to their mother…. I so hope they make it… What a ritual to watch… Diane

  2. As you take comfort from your dear birds, we take great pleasure from your photos and descriptions of their antics. Thank you for sharing.

  3. mimijk says:

    I love these pictures…

  4. Judy says:

    At some point, you can dig your deleted post out from the WordPress trash (unless you emptied it) and all the comments will be there. Then you can revise your post to remove anything you aren’t comfortable with – and update it. 🙂
    Love you, Julie. I think you are doing a wonderful job of coping with unbearable stress. Those birds represent hopefulness, freedom and courage. All of those traits are within you. The beautiful part of seeing all the parental love in the face of danger – that is another parallel. It makes courage even remarkable, because the birds are hardly aware of it. We humans are the worriers!

  5. I am so glad that you have Gutsy-9 and the whole gang to help you and give you solace. It is amazing how animals can give us so much comfort.

    • jmgoyder says:

      There is something definitely special about birds and to think I never even noticed any sort of bird until a couple of years ago. Ah, the kookaburras are laughing now!

  6. Colline says:

    Never thought before of where they sleep. So interesting to know.

  7. cecilia says:

    Oh I am sure they would not mind if you perched up there for a bit, you may have trouble balancing your wine glass on a branch though!c

  8. What a beautiful story Julie. And… btw…. I’ve never seen an avocado tree!

  9. janechese says:

    You have told and photographed a lovely life story here. But please don’t climb that tree-I want you in one piece.Can relate to that longing for the comfort.That is when I cuddle in one of those soft thick blankets or bath robe.

  10. janeslog says:

    How did they get up into the tree? Can they fly? Baby birds always look cute.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Yes they can already fly! It’s a combination of climbing and flying but they eventually get right to the top and sleep under their mother’s wings.

      • janeslog says:

        Our birds are starting to sing about 4.30am so they must be getting ready to breed.

        I have to get up at this time to let my Maine Coon cat out or else the jumps about on top of the bed. He likes being out early.

        Looking forward to seeing the young birds again. My nesting box is up and ready.

  11. I LOVE your interludes with the stories of your farm. They always brighten my day. Thanks.

  12. Nature is a great restorer. And there’s something quite amazing about observing birds’s lives. I can’t explain it, but it always works for me to reduce anxiety. I suppose it has to do with the beauty of wings and feathers, and and the way birds seem to be able to live, despite their vulnerability, with bird-like confidence that they’re doing what they need to be doing right now.

  13. Lovely pics and story, Julie. You sound as though you need a hug. *hugs*

  14. Lynda says:

    I’m so glad you have your lovely birds, Julie, and what a wonderful thought to sit and be comforted under her wings!

  15. Terry says:

    A very interesting read Julie. Love the photos!!

  16. Lisa Rest says:

    Beautiful post, Julie. Great pictures too. I’m afraid I haven’t been keeping up enough to entirely miss yesterday’s post… I am glad the birds give you respite and a sense of purpose, in their own focus. At least that’s what keeping track of my birds’ behavior does for me. In her own way, Queenie has taken you in too. 🙂

  17. tootlepedal says:

    Gutsy is getting finer by the day.

  18. I love reading your bird updates. Life always seems more peaceful when I read these posts. I have been reading all of your posts, by the way, and I apologize for being so bad about commenting lately. Please know that I regularly send positive wishes your way.

  19. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Communing with Nature is a great Healer.

    I don’t know what I’d do without it. So saying, it’s a cool day today and I must get outdoors sooner (rather than later).

    Bird life is so fascinating to observe. It can be a real time filler (when life gets a little ragged around the edges).

  20. Yeah Gutsy 9 would think you belong to her, the little chicks are so cute and I would never had thought they would sleep in a tree, I have learnt something new

  21. shoreacres says:

    There is something restorative about nature. We’re nearly to the season now when I’ll start fussing about baby ducklings. It’s still cold, but the mallards are beginning to fuss and court and all that. One of the things I finally realized is that the ducks know better how to be ducks than I do, so I let them be, and the “lost” babies always get back to mama, and all is well.

    It will be for you, too – I’m sure of it.

  22. batgurrl says:

    Love those fuzzy chicks.

  23. Awww, so sweet. Stay safe little ones. Stay safe bigger ones. 🙂

  24. FlaHam says:

    Julie, The circle goes unbroken. I remember similar photo’s and posts about Gutsy growing up, and i wasn’t the least bit surprised when Gutsy wanted her 2 cents and picuture taken. It is so cute. I have no real time experience in this situation, but I think it would be cool if they waddled up to me because they trust me. Take care, Bill

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