|The Beginning of Our Aviary|
When I first met Tim in 1988, I would drive up for visits to his home in the mountains. In his living room, he had a small birdcage with little, flitting Finches. There were several in one cage, and there was a little rattan nest fastened to the side of the cage. Inside were the tiniest little eggs! And before long, he had so many Finches, he had to give some away! Tim would arrange a twig across the width of that cage and the little Finches would sit along its length, preening and cleaning their feathers. We really enjoyed these small birds, although they did make quite a mess with their birdseed!
Tim had other fowl too, lovely, white Silkies; small chickens with soft, white feathers, smaller tufts of feathers just above their feet, like anklets--fluffy and beautiful. Ducks ran around his yard, eating bugs, laying eggs here and there, and gobbling up the stale bread he would throw out the back door. In the evenings, geese would glide across the sky honking loudly, their V-formation always an amazing sight as they were silhouetted against the fiery, evening sunsets.
we were married and bought Dunn Farm in 1992, Tim raised chickens of all kinds, turkeys, and
ducks. I absolutely loved the ducks!! We had one Peking duck and one
Fawn Indian runner. They produced the most darling babies! We took
tons of pictures of them, babies following mama, dipping into the pond
looking for food, sunning in the sun near mama, and running away from dad
who kept trying to peck at them! Then the wonderful day came when
Lancelot, a gorgeous peacock, adopted us and he grew into a magnificent creature
with brilliant azure colors!! Strutting across the lawns and down the
walkways, spreading his tail feathers for the chickens, he was certainly
of his favorite places to roost was, of course, on top of the dove aviary
when Tim's daughter called and asked if we wanted some doves, as she
had too many, we answered YES YES YES!! I was excited, doves were so
pretty and gentle, and I loved their
cooing sounds. So
Tim set about building an aviary before their arrival. With
the cold winters we have, he attached the back side to the house for added
warmth and protection.
Now it was time for the doves! Tim brought them home in one large, wire cage. As they were put in their new habitat, they flew to different perches, and nests, staking their claim. Within five minutes all were settled, and cooing in unison, peering out at the landscape. Some of the doves were white with rings around their necks, some were gray. The 12 cats and kittens were very curious, and sat in straight lines on the other side of the lattice, staring--welcoming them, I think. They looked very funny sitting like that! They were intent on watching them, perhaps planning how they could get in! Maybe wondering how they would taste! Some even jumped onto the roof and hung over, trying to get a closer look, wrinkling their noses, sniffing. Once the doves were confident the cats could not get in, the cooing began. The first afternoon they put me to sleep with the soft, cooing noises!
The aviary has proven to be cat-safe and even hawk-safe, as one summer day a hawk visited our aviary. After the second day, when Tim scared him off with buckshot zipping through his tail feathers, he has never returned. And so our doves coo happily, providing us with music, enjoyment and companionship. We have reduced their numbers in proportion to the aviary size, the original 18 were too many! We gave them away to good homes. We have had a few born there and they all look as though they have settled in nicely.
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