Another mouth to feed


Pigeon chick- a face only a mother and I could love

Pigeon chick- a face only a mother and I could love

And so it begins…

As soon as I walked into the wildlife unit this week I knew Spring had arrived. From every corner of the room cheeps, chirps and chirrups could be heard, and you wouldn’t believe how deafening they can be, especially first thing in the morning when they all want to be fed at the same time.

It takes a few minutes to adjust and adapt, but now is the time to really get a wriggle on.


First, all the boxes with towels over them must be examined, these contain the most recent arrivals, so they need to be found new quarters and settled in. There is not an inch of space at the moment so finding places for the chicks to go is an undertaking in itself.

The next job is to identify the youngest chicks that need hand feeding, then sort out their respective feeds, all different of course!!!


I’m lucky to even get a blurry picture of these hungry chicks, they flap their wings furiously and are incredibly fidgety, some of them will fly off my hand, but soon return for their grub, often settling on my head. They certainly have no interest in sitting still….well, not until they’ve eaten anyway.


Hours and hours go by in a blur, and all the while the phone is ringing and more animals are arriving…..and people turn up to look around, which is something that happens more often during school holidays.


It’s really hard work getting food into the new inmates, but it’s something I simply love doing. Time flies and I don’t even notice, or get hungry or even thirsty, well, until I arrive home.


So, a couple of stories for you. Now y’see these runner duck chicks? Well, the woman who brought them in claimed to have been handed them by someone who said they ‘d kill them if she didn’t take them. Really???? Hmmmmm, personally I think someone is breeding them and these will all turn out to be boys. There are four of them and they are all different ages.


Again, sorry about the blurry pic…but this duckling positively bounces about.

Yesterday, a member of staff arrived at the rescue only to find this duckling sitting outside the door. Struth, the animals are bringing themselves in now!

Anyway, that one was sorted out and a few hours later a dog walker came tearing in hollering something about more ducklings. So a co-worker and I ran out and found another two across the road from the rescue. It was a rather unnerving capture as the chicks were on the pavement of a deadly road which is on a tight bend, but fortunately we quickly caught one each and popped them in with number one, within a few minutes all three were snuggled together.


They’re obviously all from the same brood and it’s a good thing that duckling number one isn’t alone as they don’t do terribly well without siblings. When I got home, I received a text saying that a fourth had been found outside the rescue in the flower bed, hopefully any remaining ducklings will also be found. 

Something must have happened to mum, my theory is that she flew off as there is a field opposite the rescue that had been freshly ploughed, that may have scared her off.


And finally….

Look at the top right of this pic, by Curly’s kennel, can you see him?

Over the last few months I’ve noticed a black and white cat hanging around the garden. I’ve also heard it and Curly yowling at each other during the night. Also, the dried food I’ve been putting out for Curly has been going down really quickly, I assumed it was the hedgehogs eating the biscuits.

Now, last week, each time I’ve taken wet food out for Curly, I’ve caught the black and white cat sitting in Curly’s kennel feasting on his food. The first time the newcomer fled, the second time it looked at me and yowled, as if to say…”Are we cool about this then?”

The next day it yowled, put it’s tail in the air and made my acquaintance, purring and rubbing around my legs.

That’s when I finally realized it only has three legs, one of it’s back legs has been amputated.

It runs really well but walks quite badly. Given it’s had surgery, surely it has a home? I noticed it was rather skinny when I was stroking it, but I suppose it must use a lot more energy walking on three legs.

Anyway, I have a feeling it’s adopted me and whether it has a home or not, it’s here to stay!!!

I think I shall call him Comfrey, Curly and Comfrey, yes, that has a nice ring to it.

  48 comments for “Another mouth to feed

  1. April 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Well, the animals certainly know your address! Hopefully Comfrey and Curly will be good companions. What a collection of ducklings and chicks you’ve amassed in such a short span. They do all look terrifically hungry though so adorable in their fuzzy new feathers.

    • Snow Bird
      April 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Lol, I’m beginning to think there is an invisible sign on the door saying, “Animal Hotel”, Curly doesn’t seem to mind Comfrey, they often sit together in the garden. I do make sure Curly gets his food though as I know he has no home.
      Spring at the rescue is always crazy, the chicks all seem to appear at once, they are adorable though and so willing to adopt us as parents. If any more come in I shall invest in ear plugs! Thanks Anne. xxx

  2. Jo
    April 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I suppose it’s that time of year when babies are being born that more room is needed at the rescue. I wonder where Comfrey’s come from, and will he and Curly get on, both being toms? Did you ever find anything out about the cat you saw on your walk, the one you thought might be a stray?

    • Snow Bird
      April 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Space is always such a problem in the Spring, the wildlife unit is packed to bulging!
      I suspect Comfrey is an opportunist, he must have a home, the problem with cats is that they will often pick another home, he always seems to be around, lazing on the lawn…Curly doesn’t seem to mind his company, which is odd given they are both tomcats.
      I still see the strange cat and it always comes to me. The house it hangs around is up for sale, so I don’t know if it is abandoned or not. I leave it dried food every time I walk by…..Thanks

  3. Gill Kimber
    April 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Flipping nora, it sounds absolutely hectic! That is hilarious – the animals bringing themselves in now … good luck, SB!

    • Snow Bird
      April 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Lol….it aint for the faint hearted Gilly…I had to laugh at the duckling sitting outside the rescue door….what a great picture that would have made. Thanks Gilly. xxx

  4. April 16, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Yeah! A Real Labour of Love! Difficult time of the year for the young…especially those being fledged….and you folks are so dedicated – commendably so! Excellent work D! Hugs! xxx

    • Snow Bird
      April 16, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Spring is hard on the youngsters, so many chicks fall or are blown out of nests, fortunately all the current chicks are uninjured so just require feeding, this lot should all go back to the wild. Thanks

  5. April 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Well done on dealing with all the birds, which I’m sure are quite a handful at times.
    I hope that Comfrey is accepted by Curly and that they get on okay.
    Flighty xx

    • Snow Bird
      April 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks Flighty. The chicks are certainly lively….and noisy, I wish I had some of their energy!!!
      So far the cats seem to be getting along, no evidence of scrapping thankfully. Maybe Curly enjoys a little cat

  6. April 16, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Wow, you certainly have a generous heart. Too bad you can’t charge the duck breeder for taking care of his “problem”. Although I suppose he could just ring their necks and bury the unwanted ducklings, so maybe he has a soft spot after all.

    • Snow Bird
      April 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks Jason….I don’t really have a choice with Comfrey, he seems to have made his mind up that our garden is a good one to eat and hang out in!
      I wish we could charge the breeder too, those ducks are farm animals so will be at the rescue for life unless someone adopts them. I think you are right about the breeder having a soft heart though, I suppose he could have killed them which would have been awful! xxx

  7. April 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    So that makes two dogs, two hedgehogs… and two cats now! Haha! As they say, things come in threes… I daren’t get another dog though, you know what will happen! That pic of the ducking is the cutest thing I’ve seen all day! xx

  8. Snow Bird
    April 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Hahahahaha….yes, Noah will be along soon with an Ark….Thanks

  9. April 16, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Some wonderful pictures! Particularly the blurry duckling with its beak open! I love its FEET!! :)) bless!

    Am so envious of you getting to handle and snuggle so many birds and beasts 🙂

    I love the shot of Curly’s back and the other cat looking at him… that is so funny – cats are funny aren’t they! Staring at each other! :))

    How funny all the creatures queuing up to come in to the rescue… word has obviously gone round that there is free grub and a roof over yer head! They are like little refugees or something!

    Well thank goodness there are people like you to look after the birds and the beasts and yes… maybe you should start building an ark for them all! xxxx

    • Snow Bird
      April 17, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      Lol, they do have such funny feet!!! I really must try and take better pics but it’s all so busy and when you only have one hand …..well you can see the results!!!
      You would love working at the rescue, they even have a tiny little fox cub in at the moment. There is a lot of staring involved with the cats, Curly usually wins but Comfrey really is cheeky and is as bold as brass!!! I can see some fun times ahead with them two.
      Hahahahaha….I couldn’t get over all the ducklings admitting themselves! Ark building shall commence, especially if we get another wet winter!!! Thanks

      • April 18, 2014 at 7:07 pm

        You are a great inspiration and I’m sure contributed greatly to my getting bird feeders and doing the foxes jam sandwiches and things – because you have put the animals in my consciousness more if you see what I mean….so thank you for that….

        Just LOVE the ducklings webbed feet though…. so funny! :)xxx

        • Snow Bird
          April 18, 2014 at 8:34 pm

          Ahhhh, what a lovely, lovely thing to say, but….you are an animal lover in your own right and clearly have a great awareness and connection to animals.
          It is wonderful that you are helping the foxes, so many of them suffer from terrible mange so to think yours are being helped is absolutely marvelous!!! I await pics of foxes with lush golden coats….yes!!! I’m sure the poor things will be grateful.
          You put things in my consciousness too…oh yes!!! Thanks

  10. April 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    All these poor little orphans at this time of year – I know they’re in safe hands with you – you love them all – I bet you’re pretty exhausted when you get home though. So Curly has a new friend has he – I bet he said ‘you ought to come round to our place I live with an old softie who’ll take you in’. lol.

    • Snow Bird
      April 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      It’s such a shame when chicks are separated from their mother, we are a poor substitute, but they will get the best possible care.
      Oh….Spring is manic at the rescue, mainly because the hogs aren’t released yet and the birds pour in…it will be busy now until the end of summer. It is hard work but really rewarding too.
      Hahahahaha….I can well imagine that conversation taking place between the cats! Thanks Elaine. xxx

  11. April 16, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Oh, Dina, I love your photos and hearing about the Rescue! How wonderful the ducklings are all together and in your care.

    Loved the story about Comfrey…it kind of reminds me of the way I met our youngest cat, Fergus…I hope Comfrey and Curly will become good buddies.

    Thank you for the wonderful stories and photos, as always, and joy to your dear heart!

    • Snow Bird
      April 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Ahhh, thanks so much Kitty, you would enjoy the rescue too.
      Fergus certainly landed on his feet, cats seem to have a knack for who to follow or who to move in with…..clever creatures they are.
      I have missed your posts of late, I hope all is well and your Spring is beginning to arrive….here’s to the butterfly garden!xxx

  12. April 17, 2014 at 6:04 am

    I enjoyed your account of this spring wake up in your area of the woods… but know that it’s a thin line between hope and inspiration on the one hand, and heart ache on the other… when we don’t find the means of dealing with all the pain and cruelty in this world. I always admire your ability to relate, though… and to give to your fellow living beings a part of what you have… Curly seems to be a part of the grand rescue plan too…

    • Snow Bird
      April 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks Shimon, how very true about the thin line, there are often negatives at the rescue, but I try and focus on the good and all the animals that get a second chance. I do get sick of cruelty though!

      You would like Curly, I think, he is a fascinating cat and goes walkabout with me just as Nechama does with you. It’s rather pleasant having a cat walking alongside, it feels like I’m walking with a little

  13. April 17, 2014 at 6:19 am

    My dear!! I’m sure you may need some hepl… but this tipe of work shall fill your heart (I wish I could share it with you, if I wasn’t so far away).
    Is wonderful to know that people like you exsist… people with a great heart for animals 😀 the one you call pigeons (piccioni) in in the italian language are “colombi”, a little smaller than pigeons and with clearer plumage. The ducklings are still very small, do you think they will be able to be set free, back into water?
    I had to laugh at Comfrey… (come for free) ’cause here at our home we have around 6 up to 10 cats caming for free lunches and dinner 🙂 It’s lovely to look at them, but being straw cats you have to keep still and you can’t get close to them. We ask the ved about the best food (our cats stay inside and receive special less calories dry food) so for the straw’s we had a high calories and more rich dry food, which actually smells great to ours too… so sometimes our indoor cats are angry with us because the straw’s receive “better tasting food”… A great hug, dear Dina, and I wish you a sunny Easter!!! 🙂 claudine

    • Snow Bird
      April 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      How wonderful it would be if you could help!!You would love the rescue I’m sure, dogs, cats, wildlife, farm animals…it has them all!!!
      My goodness, you are the savior of those cats, how lucky they are to have you, it must cost a small fortune to feed them all, word has obviously got out!!!
      Come for free??? That’s brilliant, I laughed out loud at that!
      Ah…piccioni, I think I shall call the pigeons that now! I’m sure the ducklings will thrive, especially as there are four of them. They will certainly be released once they are old enough and water proofed, we do really well with ducks.
      Your house cats do have a point!!! lol…Thanks Claudine. A huge hug to you too. Have a wonderful Easter.

  14. April 17, 2014 at 8:13 am

    The ducklings bringing themselves in made me smile. Good that they knew where to go 😉 Looks like you’re having a manic time, though very happy that you’re enjoying it so much too.

    • Snow Bird
      April 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks Jenny, the ducklings admitting themselves had us all tickled

  15. April 17, 2014 at 8:51 am

    There was a pair of Mallard ducks who came to my school every year to breed; we loved seeing the little fluffy ducklings wandering around fearlessly so your duckling pics and stories have brought back some lovely memories for me! I’ve seen a fair few baby pigeons in my London life – unfortunately the pigeon poo is a real problem in a city so they become a nuisance. These birds are very lucky to have found the rescue centre and you!

    • Snow Bird
      April 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Ahhhh, I bet the kids loved those little ducklings, they are so adorable aren’t they. It always surprises me how quickly they grow, and they stay wild even in captivity, once the mother has imprinted on them they can’t be tamed which is great when it comes to releasing them. Pigeons do seem to create problems world wide, they are great survivors. Thanks

  16. April 17, 2014 at 9:57 am

    It’s all fluttery and and beaky. One thing about the birds you pictured, they do grow well and quite quickly, they’ll be flying off soon. It must be satisfying work.

    the two cats are interesting. Cats do sense a good place to stay.


    • Snow Bird
      April 18, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      That’s very true Menhir, they grow up so very quickly and should leave the rescue once they can feed themselves and fly well. No doubt there will be plenty to take their place!!!

      Comfrey does make me laugh, he is such a cheeky chappie, bold as brass, I wonder what happened to his leg? xxx

  17. April 17, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Don’t pigeons feed chicks on pigeon milk – how do you substitute that?

    Have you come across the children’s story Six Dinner Sid. It’s about a cat that set up home in six different households turning up at each for dinner. I guess the black and white cat is too skinny to be doing that though.

    • Snow Bird
      April 18, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      They do feed them a milk substance, we use an egg mixture which also has tiny seeds in it, it comes dry and needs hot water adding to it. You wouldn’t believe how much a single bird can eat!
      Lol….I haven’t heard that story, but whoever wrote it sure knows cats! I’m sure Comfrey has a home, but he seems to like hanging out here eating Curly out of house and home. Thanks

  18. April 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Love those ducklings, perhaps Mum knew just where to leave them when she’d had enough!

    • Snow Bird
      April 18, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Lol…..ah yes….maybe she did at that! Thanks

  19. April 17, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    You are an animal magnet! There must be an invisible path that leads straight to your house and rescue for the animals to follow. Smart little duckling to show up at your door. I once had someone abandon a puppy on my doorstep. When I opened the door, it actually rolled into the house. Have a great week!

    • Snow Bird
      April 18, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Lol….I often think there is an invisible sign on houses too!!! Oh good grief… could anyone abandon a puppy????? What happened to it? Did you end up keeping it? Thanks Casa xxx

  20. April 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Well I’m sure it must be really deafening at times but I applaud your efforts SB. Must be a rewarding experience after you leave and can hear yourself think, that is. Thanks for all the pictures, my friend.

    • Snow Bird
      April 18, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks Patrick….y’know the old ears ring once you’ve left and sometimes I can still hear them even when I’m asleep!!! xxx

  21. April 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I can just imagine the noise in the rescue at the moment! It’s so good to read that you’re there and caring for these lost chicks. Lucky them after such a terrible start.
    I imagine you’re right about those Indian Runners knowing how unwanted male ducks (and geese) can be. It is awful to see them dumped liked that.
    I love the photo of the two cats watching each other across the garden. It does seem Comfrey is making himself at home.
    A lovely post, Dina and I look forward to seeing how your charges do!

    • Snow Bird
      April 18, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      It is sad isn’t to see orphaned birds, their mothers do such a better job than us….
      It’s not a good thing to be male in the bird world is it? It’s the same with cockerels, our geese and cockerels are terrible at the moment, the slightest thing causes outright war….breeding season kicks it off, and they can damage each other badly too….sighs…
      The cats are getting along at the moment, it’s nice to see Curly have a little companionship. Let’s hope it stays like that eh…..Thanks

  22. April 19, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Springtime obviously brings its own challenges – keep you busy with the next generation. We have had some rotten weather recently,all round the country. Fine and windy today.

    Blogger has some issues at present, so I can’t post on the Green Planet.

    • Snow Bird
      April 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Yes, it’s a really busy time Peter and certainly keeps me busy!
      Here’s to you keeping the good weather….we’ve been having a chilly windy few days too.
      I hope blogger is sorted soon!xxx

  23. Linda
    April 20, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I really hope you’re having a relaxing weekend although it looks as if you have your hands full. As always, all the best with your latest charges in your care and especially hope Curly and Comfrey get on well together. x

    • Snow Bird
      April 20, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      I’ve had a rather lovely weekend Linda, although it has been chilly, I’ve been getting stuck into the garden, the weeds are growing furiously!
      So far so good with the cats. Thanks Linda, I hope you’ve had a wonderful

  24. April 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Your posts always make me smile broadly:):) Love this one, and yes it does sound as if you have another resident……
    I thought of you when in Portugal…as there were so many beautiful birds, including lots of storks nesting on top of all tall structures.
    Thank you:)xxx

    • Snow Bird
      April 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Lol, thanks Janet, having you smile is wonderful. My black and white friend is here to stay it seems….
      How wonderfulto see the storks, I can just imagine them….I hope you’ve painted them!!!xxx

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