Jack And Dollys Brood
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Jack, the brown and cream coloured song thrush and his wife Dolly, who is a replica of Jack, but smaller, were looking around for a place for Dolly to build a nest to lay her eggs and hatch her babies.
Jack had seen a place he thought was safe and well covered and could be easily watched for unwelcome intruders that may harm the eggs or babies once hatched.
There was a large bird bath in the garden where the lady who lived there regularly scrubbed out and replaced with fresh water almost daily so the water was clean. This was very important for the bird's to drink and to have a regular bath that they enjoyed.
The boss bird of the garden was James, the blackbird.
He patrolled the garden from early morning with his singing until dusk when he usually had bath in the bird bath.
He was very aggressive towards any other male blackbirds but very accommodating with the other species of birds that also lived in the garden.
The garden was a favourite with the birds because the lady provided fresh clean water every day but also made sure that the cats kept out of the garden area to ensure the birds were safe.
The neighbourhood cats were very well trained, not to go into this part of the garden and Sophie the Springer spaniel had made sure that the cats knew that he was the chief boss and so the cats stayed out of this area.
James showed Dolly a handing basket that had some yellow primroses and blue pansies growing in it, but that it also had a large flattish area where she could build her nest to lay her eggs.
Dolly decided that the place was very suitable and next afternoon, when no one was around, she built a large nest out of twigs from the garden; and some mud she found nearby in the spouting.
Jack stood on guard in the trees to make sure that his lovely Dolly could be warned by him if there was any danger such as a stray cat or another bird that may be jealous.
Dolly was able to build a beautiful, quite large nest in the hanging basket that was well camouflaged with the flowering plants in the basket. It was a beautifully built nest that had a deep base and was very well woven and crafted with twigs.
The nest just looked like part of the basket.
The next day, after the mud had dried, Dolly went there and laid her first egg, it was turquoise blue.
To lay four eggs in total, she laid one on Tuesday at midday, one Wednesday at midday, then one on Thursday at midday and the fourth egg on Friday at midday.
There were four beautiful blue eggs in the nest and Dolly came back on Saturday at midday to start sitting on the eggs to incubate them.
Dolly's head was only just visible over the top of the nest when she was sitting on the eggs.
Dolly sat on the eggs for several hours during the day and then left for a short while to return later to sit on the eggs again.
She sat on the eggs all night and left in the morning for a short time to return to the nest and sit on the eggs.
On the eighth day just as dawn was breaking, the first egg hatched by breaking the shell open and a very small little bird chick with no feathers emerged.
Jack had been waiting by sitting in the nearby tree watching and keeping guard to make sure that the nest with Dolly and her four eggs was protected from any predators such as a cat or another larger bird.
Jack also brought food for Dolly, who then feed it to the little bird chick.
The next day a second chick emerged and then the third chick emerged; but the fourth egg did not hatch and remained as a beautiful turquoise blue egg.
Jack was so very busy gathering worms for Dolly and her three chicks or her brood of chicks.
Jack would bring the worms to Dolly and then she would distribute the food evenly among the chicks so that all three received food.
After several days Dolly began to leave the nest, but only when Jack was available to keep guard on the brood.
Soon both Jack and Dolly were gathering worms for three hungry chicks that had now grown feathers and were starting to lift their heads up and demand food by cheeping.
Jack and Dolly were a very devoted to their off-spring and loved their family of three beautiful little fluffy feathered chicks that had large eyes and were growing very quickly.
These three little chicks were very hungry and demanded food by lifting their head upwards whenever Jack or Dolly came back to the nest with food.
After feeding, Dolly would settle back onto the nest to protect the little chicks from the weather and keep them warm when it got a bit colder.
Jack kept returning to the nest where Dolly was sitting with the little chicks, Dolly would then leave the nest for Jack to feed them.
Because the chicks were growing quickly the nest was starting to get a bit cramped.
The fourth egg did not hatch and remained in the nest just as Dolly had laid it but the chicks just ignored it.
After feeding them Jack would sit in the nearby tree keeping a fatherly watch over his three babies until Dollys return.
He would signal to her with a whistle, one whistle told Dolly it was safe to return but if there was any possible danger or threat for her to go to the nest Jack would give a louder more shrill sounding whistle and she knew to wait until Jack gave a whistle that told her that it was safe to go to the nest.
The chicks were now eating a variety of food that Jack and Dolly were able to bring to them.
The lady who owned the house also left some fresh banana in a very large spoon that she placed into the hanging basket when Dolly left the nest.
Dolly really appreciated the extra food and very quickly distributed it to the chicks. Jack seemed a bit apprehensive, but eventually realized that the extra food was needed for the three chicks.
When it was cold and dark at night Dolly was just about able to tuck the three chicks under her wings to keep them warm and secure, but they getting so big that Dolly was now perched on top on the deep nest that she had built several weeks ago.
For several more days Jack was very busy from dawn until it was dark, finding worms that the chicks loved, but with three hungry chicks demanding food Dolly had to help Jack find worms to feed them.
Jack was always able to hear if Dolly needed help and sometimes sat in the nearby tree keeping a watchful and fatherly eye on his three little fledglings as they positioned themselves on the edge of the nest and started flying exercises, raising their tiny wings to develop them.
Each of the chicks began to flap their wings to develop the muscles that would soon enable them to fly.
Whenever Jack or Dolly came back to the nest three long necks with open becks would suddenly appear to be feed. But when Jack and Dolly were away finding worms they would sleep.
Then Jack and Dolly decided to name their chicks, they called the two girl chicks Molly and Holly; and the boy chick Jackson.
They were almost as big as Dolly and almost ready to leave the nest to venture out into the big wide world of adventures and danger.
Molly was the first fledgling to be strong enough to leave the nest and she flew into the nearby tree and landed on a branch where Jack was waiting for her.
Then, a short time later, Holly flew up to be with her sister Molly and they sat up in the tree observing the world around them.
Then Jackson, wanting to be with his two sisters, flew up and joined them; then their mother Dolly appeared and in bird language explained and showed them where and how to have a bath, and that they needed to drink water each day to stay healthy and not get dehydrated on hot days.
Then papa Jack explained to them in bird language the dangers that were around, particularly the cats that would hide and then try to sneak up and catch birds, also the cars on the roads, so to stay away from them.
Molly, Holly and Jackson spent the day in the garden exploring and meeting the other birds that lived nearby and shared the fresh water in the bird bath that the lady who owned the garden made sure, every day, there was nice clean fresh water to drink and have a bath in.
The next day, as soon as it was light, Jack led the three fledgling chicks to the outside world to begin their lives as birds.
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