Apparently, there is more to mothering than just putting food on top of your baby.
You are strongly encouraged to watch this entire cringe-worthy video of a new Peregrine Mom feeding her eyas (baby) for the first time. If you are wickedly impatient, or suffer any of the various forms of focus disorders people suffer from now-a-days, skip ahead to 1:35 seconds which is where things start to get weird.
For those of you unsure of what you are looking at, or not familiar with the fine art of parenting, here is the skinny: in general, when you feed your baby you should carefully prepare very small, bite size pieces of food and place them very delicately in the mouth of your baby, encouraging the baby to eat, all while making sure the baby does not choke. Optionally, you can say stuff like “here comes the choo-choo into the station!” Alternatively, you could use “…plane in the hangar.” Those little games are the appropriate place to get creative when feeding babies. Not the other part.
This young PEFA mom appears to attempt a proper feeding just once at the beginning of the video, but then seems to decide that it is just too much trouble and so, thinking outside the nest-box, gets creative and decides to innovate in the part the of the feeding ritual where you are not supposed to change anything. Especially if your proposed changes involve walking on your baby, dragging an enormous amount food on top of it, and hoping it will somehow all work out for both you and the baby.
Hopefully she’ll figure it out. Even super-mom Carol Brady had to start somewhere. That’s actually a terrible analogy concerning the feeding because I don’t think we ever saw anyone other that Alice feed those Brady kids. Huh.
Yet it is a great analogy for what has been happening at this nest in Union County. Part drama, part horror movie, part sitcom, there has been a real Brady Bunch (TM) vibe going on. I’ve been remiss in not sharing this incredible story with you. I’ll tell you officially and publicly that the reason is that the nest is off-Island… but just between us, the real reason is because my eyes have been glued to the computer screen watching it unfold.
The gist is that the established PEFA couple at the Union County nest were toatz in love and well into nesting, having already laid two beautiful eggs, when the brute you see in the video above swept in, murdered the female, and claimed the nest. While that sounds a little intense, remember this is some prime real estate. This is one of Kathy Clark’s and Ben Wurst’s custom Igloo (TM) doghouse nests. The absolute finest.
The poor male. The guy was totally stuck. Even though the new female had just murdered his beloved, he still needed her help incubating the eggs; but he also didn’t want to let this murderous stranger anywhere near his precious eggs.
Things were dicey for a while, with everyone watching the web cam on the edge of our seats each and every time she entered the nest box and approached the eggs. Would she incubate them? Or would she destroy them?
Eventually she got what she apparently wanted: pregnant. She then started dropping her own eggs onto the pile and we looked set up to have a mega-brood of as many as six chicks or mixed origins being raised in the tiny Igloo (TM). A true Brady Bunch situation. That was about the only insanity that could outdo all of the previous insanities of the nest.
As it turns out, the original eggs didn’t make it, but the newer ones are hatching. You can follow along for yourself at the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey’s Union County Falcon Cam.
Just don’t forget to sing the theme song each time you log on and off:
…’til the one day when the female killed the female…
… and we knew that it was much more than a hunch …
… that this brute, had somehow stole their family …
.. that’s the reason why we call them “Brady Bunch” …
(with Anne B. Davis as Alice!)