The eaglet has landed.

“They” often say that you should handle your chicks early and often, so they become accustomed to human touch and become friendly. Right from the very beginning, I have had a problem with this notion. Chicks are not kittens or puppies; they do not seek human touch or rise up to meet a hand that reaches to pet them. They are still, in large part, wild animals.

Our rule (which is to say MY rule) has always been: you can invite them; you can encourage them; you can not force them.

With 1.0, they were in the house with us, and we were on the floor with them. The physical connection hasn’t been as close or as quick with 2.0, and I’m okay with that. If there’s one thing I learned from 1.0, it’s that these things are all subject to change. My most distant and touch-phobic girls became my biggest cuddle bunnies once puberty hit. Theirs, not mine. Obviously.

This lot has been quite skittish, and I suppose I could have handled them more. We’ll see in the end, won’t we?

One thing you can count on with chickens, though; once they get over being terrified, they’re going to be curious. And if you just sit there still enough and quiet enough for long enough, they will be driven by their nature to check you out.

The babies were out on recess, tearing around the coop, and showing a particular affinity for every chick’s favourite game, King/Queen of the Mountain, the mountain being the tallest reachable object available. The chicks have been leaping all over the two upended logs by the screen door, and one of them girded her loins and lept from the log nearest me onto my knee.

I froze and enjoyed the moment. Then I did what any responsible blogger would do, I came back half an hour later, but with a camera this time.

I hope you’re not getting sick of close ups of the babies, because here come a couple more. If you enlarge them, you will see tremendous detail in the feathers, at a very interesting point in their development.

You may also notice that the close ups are always of Silver Laced Wyandottes, and they do seem to be the braver of the two breeds. I can’t be sure, but I think this is going to be Alice:

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