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This blog began in 2009, so there are countless posts. See Label List for topics of interest. To ask questions, please avoid leaving comments on OLD posts or they might be missed. For answers, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Peace & Blessings!
UPDATE, Sept., 2011:This year this hen produced seven babies in two clutches and one healthy baby has pink eyes. Also, her daughter and granddaughter have produced beautiful, healthy pink-eyed babies this year. Go to Sept. 2011 posts for photos of them.
Sad news. The pink-eyed baby did die.
His parents have raised many, many healthy clutches, but the three they've had with pink eyes have never survived past two weeks. All the dark-eyed chicks have done well and became adult birds.
He was found dead in the nestbox yesterday morning. His two dark-eyed siblings are both doing well.
This photo shows all three babies with their mother. This was taken the day before he died. This hen never fussed when I reached in to take him out to feed him; or when I took the others out to be banded. Raising chicks is nothing new for her and she trusts us.
The comment attached to my previous post (generously provided by a reader, thank you!) says that Gouldian finches that hatch with dark stomachs like this baby, have a liver problem and don’t survive. Maybe that was one of this baby’s problems.
I’ve asked myself all the usual questions. Should I have gotten up more times in the middle of the night to feed him? Was he warm enough, etc. It must be human nature to question ourselves, and we often feel guilty over the loss of someone or something we love and care about.
My husband reminded me that I still blame myself for the crib death of my first child 40 years ago, as does a friend of mine who also lost her first daughter in a similar manner. Could we, should we, have done something differently? Yet, so many neglected or abused children live to adulthood. Why do others, lovingly cared for, sometimes die anyway? The answer to this, and to the death of this baby bird, is that we cannot know the answer. It is in the hands of a power much greater than us.
It was obvious from the start that this baby had serious handicaps and wasn’t growing quickly enough. It was a sweet little thing and I enjoyed it while it was here. Am I sad? Yes. Am I going to continue second guessing whether I did everything right? No.
Laugh at me if you wish, but I like to imagine that this baby is flitting around heavenly trees right now, making a beautiful pink splash of color in an already beautiful, perfect place.