Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The wait begins

Over the past few weeks, one question has plagued my mind.

"What if she's a boy?"

After all, DNA sexing isn't 100% foolproof. There was always a small probability that the DNA test for Léa would have been wrong.

She is in a pretty big molt right now; the baby orange feathers on her head are falling, there is definitively a tint of grey on her neck where it used to be green, some coral is finally starting to show on her ankles..

The head is what has been worrying me. While all babies have the orange cap, the males do lose it for good and the females get a new one growing in, a bit more on the reddish side from the pictures I've seen, comparing juveniles to adults. A while back, I had been looking back at pictures of other female Capes who's journey from baby to adult had somewhat been documented in pictures. And always I've seen that it's clear that the orange on the head becomes splotchy and slowly darker grey feathers with a tint of red show up and finally the full blow coral forehead shows up. I also hunted down pictures of one of Léa's older sister (previous clutch, not quite a year apart) and she went from having a full orange head as a baby (much more than Léa had) to having a full grey head with a small trip of coral coming in. I do wish there would have been more in-between pictures to show a smoother transition but no such luck.

Knowing myself and my tendencies to worry for everything and anything, I had told myself after all this "research" that it's quite possible that Léa will lose the orange before the coral comes in; in fact, I also found a little text somewhere only that said just that. I kept telling myself before the molt even started that there is no need to worry, that until the molt is all well and over that there is no need to jump to the conclusion that she is a male.

But here I am, undoubtedly worrying, going back to all those pictures that I've looked over a thousand times, trying to see something although what more they could tell me I do not know.

So what if she turned out to be a male? Well, obviously I would love her all the same. She is, regardless of her sex, my little goofball who brings me tremendous joy. But admittedly part of me will be disappointed since these years of waiting were really for a female Cape.

A little hope was thrown my way earlier this week by a fellow Cape owner with whom I had been discussing this first heavy molting in Capes. She also has a little girl Cape named Olivia. She admitted, when Oliva's head molt started, thinking the same question for a few weeks - "What if she's a boy?" at the face of the grey feathers starting to take over.

So a new wait begins. The wait for those little coral feathers to pop up on her forehead.


Kacy said...

Whatever sex Lea is, you can't change it, so try not to worry! Just enjoy your goofball :) She is perfect no matter what!

(And DNA tests are right more often than not, so I'm pretty sure she's a girl!)

Danita said...

Well then we will have to pick a new name!!
Leander Leandre, Leandrew, Leandro, Leandros, Leanther and Leary

I bet she is is a she though.

Natacha said...

@Kacy - I think I won't help keeping the question in the back of my mind until I see one coral pin feather make it's way through the grey ;)

@Danita - lovely list of names ;)
I had picked an alternate male name just in case a while ago (as in months ago) but for the life of me, I can't remember anymore..