Thursday 26 December 2013

Bringing up babies

Raising rheas

Perfectly formed
Harry and Cathi Poole appear in my sidebar as contributors to this blog. Sadly Harry is no longer with us but his fine photography lives on and so does his contribution. I still remember how he chased me from pillar to post to get my blog right. He even had the temerity to disagree with my horticultural opinions! I hadn’t taken a photograph for forty years and he was particularly scathing over my pictorial efforts but he taught me a lot. He really cared. 

It was Harry who rescued the sparrow hawk trapped in my garage and bravely held the defiant disdainful creature for the camera whilst Brenda and I snapped away. We were very lucky with that one. Cathi still bursts out laughing when she looks from her bedroom and sees me holding a camera!

The animals were a big part of Harry and Cathi’s life and it was a huge occasion when Harry hatched two eggs. Like all of their other animals the proud rhea parents had been rescued from an uncaring owner and had previously lived in a brown parched tiny field. Not only were the new babies born to a large green generous pasture they were actually raised in Harry and Cathi’s large garden. As they grew older I jested with Harry as he hosed copious  white slime off his lawn. Cathi works in town and the burdens of parenthood fell to Harry.
Male rheas normally incubate the eggs. On this occasion most of the raising fell to Harry. He was very busy that summer. Initially he would stroll around with the chicks in his breast pocket. He looked like an elevated kangaroo. It was a change from seeing him with a hen on his  head! The tiny birds were soon the size of the chickens. It was at least six months before they returned to  join their natural parents in the field.

Old blue-eyes

Cheeky chappie
I think I am a pelican

Contemplating my tail

Great hat mum
A little hung-over

We are an item
It's twins

Letting life pass by
It's my little sister

Place in the sun
Proud father

Give me  a cuddle


I'm in charge now

Stop sprawling

Rhea window, my previous rhea posts

Needless to say these are Harry and Cathi’ pictures


  1. Love the legs behind resting position. Did the birds imprint on Harry?

    1. Oh yes and so did a duck which thought itself a hen - and would marshal the hens in a night!

  2. Cannot believe how absolutely gorgeous those birds are. Brilliant Roger, thanks!

  3. They are unbelievably cute!

  4. I think I'm in love ;) They are gorgeous! Thanks ever so much for posting these Roger.


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