The resident Wonga pigeons in our Blackheath garden have just completed their fifth hatching in this extraordinary year of 2020. The couple have been with us for a number of years, but had only ever had a single, spring hatching ……until now. We wondered if they sensed something was amiss and were trying to ensure the survival of their species! To our astonishment they raised chicks though gale-force winds, driving rain and snow. The two chicks from the fourth brood barely spent any time in their ground nursery before being weaned and thrust out into the world. We felt a bit sorry for them, but their parents were preoccupied……busy yet again on their wooing bench😪
My husband and I were a bit blasé by now and rarely checked the nest. By the time Rob spotted the latest chicks they were quite large and leaping about all over the place.
Feeding begins immediately, with a strictly vegetarian mash;
Mrs Wonga no longer had to call endlessly for these changes of shift as the male was staying close by. I spotted him from the deck, camped on an old tree stump ‘planter’.
With the chicks almost ready to come down, the parents risk leaving them alone, albeit only for a few seconds. As soon as Mother Wonga appears her partner is off like a shot!
Just when we thought the parents were about to bring the babies down the rain came and they thought better of it. For heaven’s sake, it’s supposed to be sunny in Australia at Christmas!
It’s a challenge feeding hungry chicks at the same time. 😱
More heavy rain…all day! Impossible for the parent to cover its almost fully grown twins.
December 22…..finally, down they came. Before we spotted the ground nursery the parents had taken them up to a night roost in the tulip tree. Sorry about the quality of the photo. That’s the female with them, the male was sitting a little higher up.
Here they are in the ground nursery next day. The second chick is out of sight behind the bird bath. After wandering about a bit they settled down here, just outside our kitchen window.
Evening, and following a great deal of indecision and changing of spots the whole family settled down together for the night.
We have called the chicks Bell and Star. I’m not sure which one I have photographed here. Note that he/she has not grown into that beak yet.
All I can say is well done Mr and Mrs Wonga, You have put in a truly heroic effort this year. Several sets of twins and a couple of ‘singles’…..unbelievable!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS 🎄🎄🎄 You deserve a long break in 2021.
FINAL CHAPTER – The twins thrived, despite scant attention from their parents who, would you believe, were soon back on the nest. This was the final photo taken of them before they left home on January. 25. I award them each a purple heart, for all they been through. 💜💜
HOW AN EARLIER PAIR OF TWINS COPED AT NURSERY SCHOOL 😍