Wednesday, December 26, 2012

26 Dec and our chick is buried

Last year, after much debate and thought about it, we removed an unviable egg from the nest after it became clear that it was not going to hatch. I'll never forget the feeling of calm that washed over the balcony as I stepped back inside the house with the egg in my hand. Within minutes, PPO appeared more relaxed and threw her energy and attention into preening her chicks.

The same thing happened this morning. We looked at the frail body of the dead chick in the nest, and decided to bury it for PPO. We switched the cam off and I headed out onto the balcony - without an umbrella. Carefully, I crept to the nest - all the while talking softly to PPO. PPO kept a beady eye on me, while pushing her chick under her for protection.

I crouched down right next to the nest and slowly reached out and grabbed the dead chick. PPO froze in place and kept watching me. Slowly, I backed away and closed the balcony door.

We buried the chick in our 'bird' garden - a small section of the garden fenced off to allow birds an area to eat and bath in peace. Our dog, Destin, cannot access the area, so it is a perfect spot for our chick to be buried.

We are saddened and shocked by the sudden passing of the chick. Unlike Teeny, this chick did not deteriorate slowly in front of our eyes. The chick was up and about one minute, and lying still the next. Without going into detail, the chick had a big wound which may, or may not, have been the cause of its death. I'm not sure if the chick had anything internally wrong with it.

It's difficult to lose a chick after what this breeding season has already brought. Can you imagine what it must feel like for our sweet PPO? And for Pappa?

I can only send out all my love and prayers to the remaining chick, and hope that not survives, but thrives.

RIP little one!


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  2. Thank you, Tracy, for saying those loving words, on my gehalf, too... My Blessings and Love!

  3. Tracy,

    Thank you for the update on the little one. Peace and love be with Little One.

  4. What a beautiful story of trust between you and PPO. For all the times you've been on the balcony and been scolded for it, that she would allow such close contact for such a specific purpose and allow it with such trust is the most precious Christmas story I've heard in many, many years. Death in nature does occur. It is painful for us to experience when we watch nature up close and become invested, and indeed this hurts. However, this exchange between owl and human is utterly priceless. Thank you and PPO for this gift.

  5. "I can only send out all my love and prayers to the remaining chick, and hope that not survives, but thrives."

    Amen, Tracy! And thanks to you and Allan for all that you do for the owls, their habitat, and us.

  6. Dearest Tracy and Allan, What a beautiful bond you have with PPO that she let you tend to Rosie. I am just so sorry that Rosie passed. I know it must have been a shock. I am glad she/he is in a place of peace. Your burial sounds very special and very sad. I find you to be remarkably strong and so loving. Thank you for sharing your difficult story with us. I care so much for PPO, Pappa, Baby Owl and You and Allan. With sorrow, love and hope~

  7. Having been away I'm now catching up with the blog/facebook and am so very saddened to discover that one of our dear chicks has died. Tracy, you did the right thing to remove the chick and bury him/her and it is wonderful that PPO let you do so. The relationship you and Allan have with PPO & Pappa is so special and so beautiful. May our little chick be at peace and the surviving chick thrive with the tender care of its wonderful parents.

  8. Dear departed chick I'm pleased you have a name: Sweet Rosie, rest in peace.

  9. I'm so very sorry about the loss of the chick. On
    Facebook some were saying the name Rosie had been given to it - don't know by whom. Anyhow it is distressing to lose one, I know, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed and sending positive thoughts to the little one. and to you. Thanks for being such loving caregivers.