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Duncan, Phoebe and the Barn Owls

Duncan in his leopard skin carrier

Duncan in his leopard skin carrier

Duncan had his annual checkup yesterday, and guess what? He’s lost three pounds! He’s down to 19 pounds now. The vet says good for him, but he could still stand to lose a few more.

“He’s a big cat,” she said.

He’s also got some tartar on his teeth, so she gave us a toothbrush and toothpaste for him, as well as some dental food. As soon as she pulled out the bag of dental food, Duncan perked right up. He remembered it from last time. He loves that stuff. They must put catnip in it or something. Last time he broke into the bag in the middle of the night and ate all his dental food in one sitting. This time I hid it in the fridge.

Lizard at the Hummingbird Nest

Lizard at the Hummingbird Nest

Things were so dramatic at the hummingbird nest yesterday. I was watching the web cam, feeling sad because it looked like the eggs weren’t going to make it. Suddenly all this crazy drama exploded as a LIZARD crawled up to the nest and peered inside. Tiny Phoebe mustered up the full fury of her maternal instincts and dive-bombed the giant lizard over and over again, forcing it away from her precious eggs.

It was an epic David-and-Goliath style battle, and all over the world people were watching with their hearts in their throats. There were whole classrooms of children watching, and knitters, and little old ladies, and ornithologists and cubicle-dwellers, all suddenly drawn into this horrifying battle, all rooting for sweet little Phoebe and her tiny, questionable eggs.

After she’d driven the lizard from the rosebush, she snatched up the bad egg in her beak and discarded it. The 5,000 Phoebe-watchers speculated that she knew the smell had attracted the lizard, so she got rid of it. She spent the next few hours on high alert, very agitated. And then she abandoned the nest and the second egg. So we’re not getting hummingbird chicks after all. Sigh. (I cheered myself up a bit by watching barn owls having sex.)

Here’s the recording of the lizard attack. Amazing stuff.

7 comments to Duncan, Phoebe and the Barn Owls

  • Kathleen

    Zoom what a amazng video !!! Just wondering if the second egg is ok? I was glad to here the Duncan has lost weight and that his teeth are going to be ok, with lots of cleaning. Casey and Duncan now weight the same weight. Have a good St-Patrick’s Day!!! Give a big kiss to Duncan from me.

  • Arden

    My cats all love the dental diet stuff too! The first time we got any, we’d gotten a small sample bag that was the same size as treat bags, so the cats all thought we had treats for them, and they loved them. After that we got the genius idea to buy the big bags and give them out as treats (since it’s too high-calorie for our lard-assed cats to eat as a regular meal) for a fraction of the price of treats. I wonder what ingredient it is that makes them all go nuts over the stuff?

  • Yay! Duncan. I’m afraid to take Tux to the vet and have him weighed. I’m guessing he’s around 25 lbs. I love Duncan’s swanky carrier – so stylish! Too bad about the eggs, but your owl comment made me laugh like crazy!

  • Kathleen, it’s highly unlikely the second egg will hatch. Those in the know say its colour suggests it was never fertilized. It’s several days overdue for hatching now, and Phoebe left it alone overnight. It’s not looking good. Phoebe has been around off and on today, and seems unwilling to give up on it for good, but also unwilling to tend to it so attentively as she had been before yesterday. She’ll lay more though, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed for those ones. (Apparently Phoebe is pretty old in hummingbird years, and her age might be a factor too.)

    Arden, I think I’m going to give them to Duncan as treats too. He loves them too much to be permitted to eat them freely (I leave his dry food out all the time so he can eat when he’s hungry – he’d be 40 pounds in no time if I left the dental food lying around.)

    Valerie, I’m sure Tux is just big-boned, and I’m glad the owl comment made you laugh. I’ve been watching all day to see them have sex again, but so far all I’ve seen is her ripping the head off a gopher and devouring it.

  • That’s cool too. We have a red tailed hawk who nests on the side of the building at work. She likes to sit in the trees outside the cafeteria and eviscerate rodents while everyone is eating lunch. Most people think it’s gross I find it fascinating – but I’m weird like that.
    And if Tux is big boned, they must be big squishy bones.

  • Thanks for posting the hummingbird vs. the lizard. I missed it live yesterday. Too bad there won’t be any chicks. Ahh well…

  • reb

    Porn at the experimental farm um the bird and bees need instruction manuals now?

    I really need to pay more attention to what is going on here instead of being distracted by all this cross-provincial stuff lol