Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Her First Nest

Her First Nest

Begin April 1996 

Spring was in the air. 
Now we had thought Pipke would be more at ease, now that Chicky was no longer there but: that wasn't at all the case.
Very impatient she ran up and down along the back side of the fence.
We saw she wanted to be outside the fence, in the meadow there behind. 
Therefore, we opened the little gate in the fence towards the meadow so that she could go out if she wanted.
For the first time in our life we saw her running all alone through the meadow towards the woodland.
Now we were really very worried.
She was now totally on her own. 
There was no one to protect her now. We really were afraid for her safety! Would she be safe out there?
The woods had no secure fence, everyone had access to the place. There could be stray dogs and even hunters, in fact: it wasn't safe.
We didn't know what she was doing there, but - because she returned home in the evening by herself to sleep in her pen we were less worried.
The next day one of our neighbors told us that he had seen her there - just outside the woodland "on a nest"!
That was a big surprise for us! 
We didn't know that Pipke was a female!
Until that very moment it had always been a question ? mark for us. 
Only now we realized that the few light green eggs we once found in her pen, must have been “hers” and not Chicky's.
Without us knowing - Pipke had grown into a fine lady.

Of course, we were very curious to see where she was.
So we went to the place our neighbor had described to search her. 
We found her there, just outside the woodland, on her first nest.
This would become the most beautiful and highest nest she'd ever built.

Taking care for her eggs

You had to see and hear, how elated she was to see us there.

Very diligent she covered her eggs with tiny twigs and dry grasses and then she came back home with us.
The next days she went back to this nest. Thereafter she also made a nest at another spot, but then suddenly - a few days later she didn't go to her nest anymore.

In fact: we were very relieved, now we didn't have to worry for her safety any longer.
From now on she assisted us with everything we did in the garden: pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, trimming the hedge, we were never alone. Insects or bugs - they got no opportunity to expand excessive: she kept that in balance.
Working in the garden became now “entertainment” instead of a chore for us.
However, we had to take care where we stepped. Sometimes it was even dangerous for her. 
We had to keep an eye on her with everything we and she did. 
Sometimes she stood right behind our feet (to catch bugs that jumped up while we were working) without we knew it and: a few times it happened that we stepped by accident on her tiny paws.
It was heartbreaking to hear then how she squealed very loud from pain.
Then tears came to my eyes and I could really be mad at myself.
I tried to comfort her then. I then took her up, massaged her bruised paw and cuddled her over again and again. It even happened that she was limping afterward and then we were very worried, but eventually - to our great relief - it healed well.
Although she was cautious for the lawn mower – she knew the danger very well - “the spade” was something else. She associated it always with worms, her special treat.
See our insects controller/assistant gardener in full action!

So we had to be very careful if we'd the spade in our hands and she was in our proximity.

That Spring our garden got an extra portion of natural fertilizer.
Pipke was the one who took care for that also, and our young plants: they grew very abundantly!
After Spring comes Summer!
About that Summer 1996, I will tell you later.
Then I will go further with: Choosing Her Partner. 

Hope to see you then!

Bye, bye!

PS: sorry for the poor quality of the footage, but at that time we used an outdated video camera that gave not such good results.


  1. how wonderful you have video! (and what a lovely yard!)
    looks like pipke had a blast!

    interesting that she made a nest and abandoned it...we had a duck that went broody and we couldn't get her off of the thing!

    did she continue to lay eggs?
    what did you do with them?

    1. I can imagine you're curious now, but I can't tell you more about it otherwise I'm giving already away a part of the story! It's not my intention to tease you, but later in the story you will get an answer to these questions!:)