Life as a flight (Part 2)

Very close to these families from Calaos, in the immediate vicinity, we find the family of Tockus Alboterminatus. Smaller than the previous ones, but much more active and even aggressive at times (the male came to attack us), they have been one of the most difficult species with which to establish a relationship of mutual trust.

After quickly adapting to his new facility, the male began to court the female, giving her little “candy” in the form of mealworms, but she didn’t pay much attention to him, so the poor bird went into a depression that made her sick, losing all his tail feathers and with a high degree of anxiety and stress caused by reproductive frustration.

He began to lose weight and no longer wanted the “candy” that he brought him every day. They were hard days, even months. Worried because we didn’t know how to help him and with the anguish of not knowing if he would get it back.

While he was convalescing, the Tockus nasutus couple, in front of his facility, formed a large family with three beautiful chicks. This reality of another male courting his female, singing to her every day and bringing her treats, began to cheer him up again and whetted his appetite for life, gaining weight day by day, singing again in the mornings when I approached his facility and returning to come for the ¨sweets¨.

In addition, two steps away from them, the pair of red crested turacos managed to complete the incubation of their eggs, although in the end only one chick survived. Between the top of the palm trees and reeds, a small black earthquake with red feathers on its head, managed to reach adulthood after all the trouble it got into, including the excursion to the aviary of its neighbors the marabous, under the whistles from their frightened parents.

Finally, the Tockus alboterminatus male managed to court his female and both, with our help, reformed their nest with new amounts of mud, until the female felt comfortable to incubate inside.

Just like with the hornbills, our male, happier every day, carefully fed his female and her two chicks, until they were big enough to go outside.

In this same area under my care and supervision, I also enjoy and learn every day from our beautiful pair of Cape Curlews, who lay 2 eggs on the ground, surrounded by small stones that the couple chooses on the floor of their aviary. Both eggs will be vigorously protected by both parents and constantly guarded.

After the incubation period, and grateful for the first egg that we see hatch while the chick struggles to get outside and finally hatch, we receive it with great enthusiasm, moved by all the work and effort put in to get here.

My work involves a great dedication and a great effort, but it is always full of events that make my heart flutter in my chest and tears of emotion and joy in my eyes.

In this story, mine, I have listed some of the species that I keep, with which I share my days, my emotions, with which I learn lessons of progress, suffering and loss, but also joy and overcoming any obstacle along the way.

A story of hope, victory and illusion, which reminds me of the story of Cher Ami, the dove.

All the species that I house gave me parts of their lives without words, with their setbacks, challenges, sufferings and joys, in their times of solitude and with their partners, when they suffered from illness or lost their lives.

But day after day, in their little universe they teach me a lesson in perseverance and joy.

That is why I tell all of you that life is a unique and priceless gift, so enjoy every moment, let yourself be surprised by the beauty of those unique moments and be happy for everything that surrounds you.

Adina Zaha