Friday, March 22, 2013

A Sweet Little Cybershot Story called Starting a Family

i had been following the story each day as it unfolded. Some part moving me to tears and some making me look forward to a new beginning. And this particular morning i cried out loud...Oh no! not again!! i moved a bit closer to the railing so that i could empathize with the grieving mother. All i could see was part of the broken shell of an egg.
The fact being that she had laid not one but two cute eggs when my eyes had first chanced upon that window which i thought could be hose cleaned with the strong jets of my gardening hose-pipe. Thank Heavens i saw them first...the he and the she busy in their occupation. That of starting a family.

i could see one egg peeping from below the mom. The he and she close to each other having some agreeable if not intimate conversations. The going to be dad soon and his better half in complete harmony. i guess about one major issue for sure. The eggs kept rolling out every time she moved, even 
when slightly. The understanding affirmative nods as he faced her seemed to convey, " Don't worry I'll get a few more twigs to help make a roll and tumble resistant nest..."

He flew off to bring more twigs one by one at a time while she got busy arranging whatever she had to prevent the egg from rolling off the ledge. Her friend watching over her from above chatting with her while he was away.
He was back soon with not one but two twigs and placed them down slowly before her. She looks at him with all grateful eyes as if trying to say, ''You're such a darling...wonder what i would've done without you by my side..."
The very next morning as i went around to check how the family was doing i had seen the remains of one of the eggs. She kept nursing the one that she was left with but her sad eyes were fixed on the broken remains of the baby that she had lost . 
i had felt like crying and i did too. Whatever had happened in the night while we slept i am clueless all i knew at that moment that she had suffered a huge loss.

The reason for my outcry was the bit of that white piece again...she was not there where she was supposed to be. i moved closer trying to spot her elsewhere and then my eyes saw the most amazing thing.
Something that looked golden and fuzzy. She had also returned. Probably my outcry had alerted her and she was back to stand on guard. Protect with whatever it takes, her baby. Her one and only one.
i could see her alert and in readiness least bit tempted by all the grains, the maize and the millet that i had carefully transported last evening with the help of a hollow bamboo pole. She turned to look at me perhaps sensing my happiness on my wonderful discovery that all was not lost and that a new chapter had begun.
The baby looked like any adorable cute baby but not a pigeon baby. It was the cutest small duck i had ever seen. And i don't know how long i had watched them. Watched the weaning...the snuggling...the caressing... the disappearing inside the mama's belly and the not to be missed confidence that sometimes feels like some newly dawned upon self pride that one gets when one becomes the mother of an alive and kicking healthy baby.

i remember that day well. It was the winter solstice December 21st and the morning when i had got out it had felt bitterly cold and morbid and we were beginning to feel that perhaps just like the other few days that went by we might remain sunless. Devoid of any warmth on the what the doomsday ought to be. But the sun did show up appearing at noon at its lowest altitude over the horizon. As if dispelling all the doomsday and the chaotic weather prophesies.
 The baby pigeon duck cosy inside her mother was safe. Both were content and comfortable. Oblivious of the doomsday, the sun appearing and the steady barrage of visitors gathering above. Definitely i feel they too had congregated not only to greet the baby and shower kudos to the mother but also to proclaim, with all their chattering that ," Listen you people!! you have got it all wrong ". That Alexandrine parrot her watchful friend included. There were a lot many who had come and kept coming to sing for the newborn and to prove how foolish we humans were. For if the doomsday was about to happen they would be the first ones to warn us.

It was also the day i had decided to shed my fear once and for all and start shooting with my own DSLR Nikon camera which i had purchased a couple of months back.

 Now looking back i wonder if i would've done a better job had i handled the story with my DSLR. But on second thoughts i strongly feel that using any sophisticated camera on such occasions is just like using a vacuum cleaner. By the time you get the equipment, plug it in with it's attachment you are already done with your good old broom and mop. Besides when endearing dramas unfold before your eyes you are more comfortable with that which gives you quick results instead of you wondering how best to fix your new equipment. Last but not the very least the DSLR can scare the **** out of the poor birds trust me on that. Especially if they spot you with one. Their trichromatic vision probably perceives the protruding lens of such cameras as some weapon aimed towards them for destruction. Of them and their kind.  In such situations a cybershot definitely proves very useful and just too harmless. Even for them...the pigeons of course and the rest of the avians.


  1. All said and done, the pigeons are the ones who are not so well clued in when it comes to making nests and hatching eggs. They just place some twigs here and there and according to them the nest making process is over. I have also observed that they don't make any attempt to protect their young ones or eggs when attacked by other birds (mostly crows) Inspite of all this, they are the ones who are multiplying fast.

  2. @ Haddock thank you for hearing this story which may not be new for you, the nature enthusiast that you are. i remember reading through your posts with lovely pictures on the birds in your garden. About their nesting habits i do agree that they are not fussy but after watching them first and then seeing two days back this programme on National Geographic on pigeons i have more respect for
    a) their partnership in love
    b) their incredible flying abilities
    c) their genius in homing
    d) their sharing of parental responsibilities.
    i wish if you have the inclination, to watch