I first heard it about 4:45 a.m. Ella was crowing, as usual, except something was different. It was enough to make me rouse a bit more and listen. His normal crowing is a rather pathetic “er er ERRRrrrrrrrrr” trailing of on a raspy note that sounds like a dull bandsaw blade cutting through a shoe (No, I’ve never cut a shoe in half with a dull blade, but I can imagine how it might sound…). Anyway, this morning he didn’t finish off that way. After a shortened ERRRrrr came a surprising high note! er er ERRRrrr Oh!
It’s curious. I don’t know what caused him to find that new note, but he was clearly delighted with it as he kept it up for an unnecessarily long time. At least it was coming from within the chook house, so it wasn’t a loud as when he’s out and about. He doesn’t always manage the new note, particularly when he’s yelling at me to GET UP/FEED US! That always involves much louder, more insistent crowing. For that he has to stand on a rock or a stump, and the ERRRrrrrrrrrr part is much louder and longer. And it invariably lasts until I GET UP/FEED THEM.
BTW: I should tell you that Ella no longer has a bare backside following his unfortunate mugging by Louie. His feathers are growing back nicely and he has a nice–though still small–tail.
That was then
This is now
Just a side note to those of you who have enquired about the bushfires in Tasmania. At the moment, at least, my property is not near any of the fires we’ve been having following that horrendous day of 107.6 degrees F (42degrees C) and very high winds. That was the hottest day ever recorded for Hobart. It is cooler now, and calmer. At about 5a.m. (while being serenaded by Ella) I looked out the window to see dense smoke everywhere, having been blown this way from fires in the Derwent Valley. My heart goes out to those who have lost everything. It’s a terrifying experience, as well as a devastating loss. Fingers crossed we don’t have any more of it. And thank you to those of you who have asked about it. MM