Crows in the House and on the Horse!

Some birds aren’t that scared of people and will hang out near the house. Like this cute little maya or Eurasian Tree Sparrow.

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And then there are crows. I confess that I used to sit around thinking of schemes to get rid of the crows. Crows have a bad reputation. They eat other birds. They steal eggs from nests. Other birds mob them and try to drive them away. They are associated with witches and bad omens.

They are also very intelligent birds. They are part of the corvid family. There are studies that show corvids using all kinds of tools, remembering the faces of researchers at a university and then attacking them when they saw them in the campus, and solving complicated problems such as dropping pebbles into a container of water so they can get a sip of water just like the Aesop’s fable!

Now that I’m not scared of them or trying to drive them away, I can just watch them.

There’s a murder of crows that hangs out at the horse house.

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What would happen if Barkley entered the horse paddock? Would they attack Barkley?

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Ha! Barkley didn’t even feel threatened.

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They are no match for Barkley and just leave him to do his thing in the paddock.

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I thought it was so nifty when I saw a crow drinking from the horses’ water trough. I ran back to the house so I could take a photo.

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And then the other day I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was the crow really standing ON Takoy’s back?

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Yes, he was! And Takoy wasn’t bothered at all!

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The crow stayed there for a long time. What was going on? Was he going to groom Takoy? Get a bug from Takoy’s back like those Oxpeckers and Rhinoceros in Africa? Walk behind Takoy waiting for him to unearth bugs from the grass like a Cattle Egret and carabao? Grab some feed from Takoy’s bucket? I didn’t see anything like that, the crow just flew away. But who knows what I’ll see next time!

 

 

 

Adopt, Don’t Shop!

“Call my friend, he’s going to give you a horse!”

Yes!! Those are the words you want to hear from your celebrity veterinarian friend who has his own TV show.  I sent Doc Nielsen Donato a message asking  if he knew of any healthy and friendly horse for sale or adoption. At that point, I  was getting desperate and was considering just buying a horse so Takoy would have a companion. I had sent messages looking for a horse to adopt to all the other people I knew who had some kind of connection with horses when I thought of asking Doc Nielsen. Less than two weeks after I sent a message to Doc Nielsen, I adopted TWO beautiful horses! Woo hoo, way to go Doc Nielsen!!

Boo Boo is a 4-year old female Thoroughbred. She is blind in one eye.

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Boo Boo greeting Takoy for the first time

Tara is a 10-year old female Thoroughbred. She very curious and bossy.

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Tara and Takoy

We kept Tara and Boo Boo inside the paddock at first to get them used to their new surroundings. After one week, they seemed ok and we tried letting them out for a few hours in the morning. Unlike Takoy who stays on the paths, these two made their own paths through the swathes of long grass!  We were worried that they might suddenly spook and bolt or try to run away.

In the afternoon, I decided to let them out again. I swung the paddock gate open, and then EARTHQUAKE! There was a 5.7 magnitude earthquake! The ground was shaking and the roof of their house was rattling!  Tara and Boo Boo ran back into the paddock! What a relief to see them running back inside instead of running away!

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Inspecting the grass that was cut down for the compost pile.

I am so happy with how things worked out! We were able to help a fellow horse-owner, Takoy has two beautiful companions, the three of them can run around in a little herd, Tara and Boo Boo have a new lease on life, and I adopted and didn’t shop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re welcome, Takoy!

A quick post to share some happiness!
Takoy is no longer a lonely horse! He has two new pasture buddies!

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Tara
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Boo Boo

We brought them to the farm on March 31. Takoy’s expression when they had settled in just seemed to say, “THANK YOU!”. I could just feel his anxiety evaporating! Or maybe that was my anxiety evaporating!

I will make another post soon with more pictures. I accidentally drowned my phone last week and I’m still very hopeful that the phone technicians are able to fix it enough for me to recover the awesome photos I took of the trio walking around outside their paddock!

Looking Back at 2016

Some things were lost, some things were gained, and much was learned.

We went on overseas trips in March and May, in addition to many local birding trips throughout the rest of the year. As a result, I didn’t get to spend as much time on the farm as the previous year. We did mostly 1-day trips to the farm/sanctuary. My hagonoy eradication project fell by the wayside. On the plus side, I learned how to do less housework type chores during my short visits to the farm and more fun things like walking around with Momo and Barkley.

In July we had two harvests of mangoes! They were absolutely delicious! We offered some of the first harvest for sale and they were gone in a flash. The next harvest, we gave away to family and friends. People were eager to eat our all natural, un-sprayed, pesticide-free mangoes! Our mangoes stayed greenish on the outside but became very sweet and orange on the inside. People told us the fragrance and sweetness of our mangoes reminded them of the mangoes of their childhood.

We treated ourselves to some very cool tools and gadgets in 2016! We got a scope for birdwatching from the veranda, a digger for making more wildlife ponds, and a wildlife camera for observing the wildlife as unobtrusively as possible.

March 2016, when Tonji was figuring out how the little digger works! This is Pond No. 4 under construction.

This next video is from November 2016. The ponds are full of rainwater and the ducks Continue reading “Looking Back at 2016”