Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And now I'm pi-eyed...
...and I think this one's a keeper...

If you've read this blog over the last year, you know that I've had my ups and downs with birds. One of those was the most affectionate little parrot, but he was a screamer. I got rid of him, but in retrospect, I shouldn't have, but then again, demanding relationships have always taken their toll on me. The little bird was a Sun Conure, and, they're known for being quite Boisterous...when I woke up and went out into the kitchen, or when I came home for the evening, he'd go "SCREEEEEECH!!! SCREAMMMMM!!!"; after a while, it was either Me or The Bird; I'd had enough, and I took him back to the pet store. I should've realized the bird was just glad to see me, and he didn't mean to irritate me. And after I got rid of him, I felt as if I'd lost a family member. I felt lower than dirt, 'cos really, he was a good boy. I wish I'd kept him. But I can't un-do what's been done. I checked with the pet store later on, and he was evidently really happy with his new people. So I guess that's good...

In-between, I've had parakeets (whose ceaseless squawking just absolutely drove me nuts) and finch, which are so hard-wired to reproduce that before you know it, eggs are laid, birds have hatched, the babies are ready to fly and competing with their parents for food after 2 or 3 weeks, and then Mom and Dad are ready to breed all over again. With finch, either you remove the eggs they lay and toss 'em out (I felt really, really guilty for doing that), or you give away the newly hatched birds 'cos more are on the way; either you do that, or by year's end, you'll have a dozen cages all full of Finch birds that you don't know what to do with. It was pure anarchy last summer. I gave away one set of Finch parents AND their babies, and the other set of Finch parents had two litters of Little Ones before I finally cried "UNCLE"!!!

I was totally being overrun by the incessant peep-peep-peep sounds the finch made as they rapidly flew back and forth and all over the place, and if I didn't put grass in the cage so the Male could Build Another Nest, he'd peep-peep-peep twice as loud until he got his grass so he could build a nest, and he'd proudly pick up a grass blade, fly to the top where the nest was, install the grass blade, and then he'd "repeat process" over and Over and OVER...enough to drive ya crazy! I thot, "don't these birds do anything for fun?" Finch are weird little birds. Very primal. You don't buy finch for their character, because there appears to be none. I'd originally bought finch because the Parakeets were driving me nuts. In comparison, the Finch seemed quieter. But finch have a way of multiplying and that can make things really crazy. It's a good thing human beings don't reproduce as fast as finch do. By End of Summer, I Had No Birds. Ack!

So, after my disastrous bout with the Flu last fall (I could barely care for myself, let alone birds), I began researching birds on the internet. I ran across a type of Parrot I'd never heard of, the Pionus parrot. (Pie-OH-nuss) The various Parrot websites all uniformly extolled the Pionus as being just about the most mellow breed of Parrot; they're known for doing things quietly, and they're not frantic and really don't skedaddle helter-skelter like the 'keets and finch I had. On the downside, I read that "Pi's" don't have the most melodic voice ever, and they're not really good as far as talking ability, either. I suppose that a relationship with a Bird is a lot like a relationship with a Human...some people just have a way of driving some other people NUTS...I try not to do too many personal relationships anymore...and, a person's character also has to be taken into account when choosing a bird, as I've found out. 'Cos I've been driven nuts by birds, too.

And I kinda thot, "well, the way I do things, and the person I've become', I sure don't want a 'screecher bird'...and because my nerves are, well, pretty well SHOT, I don't need a frantic bird, either. And because it's pretty easy for me to run out of 'emotional gas', I don't need a 'needy' bird, either. It's like the three bears...it has to be juuuuust right, I guess, when it comes to birds. And when I read about the Pionus Parrot, I was immediately intrigued. My Pionus parrot came from a bird breeder in Indiana. When I told her I wanted a Pionus, her first question was "what kind of cage do you have?" And I asked her, "what do you suggest"? I put together a great big cage, stocked up on bird food; she couldn't ship him to me until the weather got warmer, he arrived at the Portland, Oregon Airport two weeks ago; a week after that, he developed a bird-cold, so he had to go to the Vets', and he's been back here for a week now. So "Pi and I" are just beginning to get used to each other. And for the most part, he just kinda 'grunts and whispers' contentedly...he definitely is a fairly quiet little boy.

I've been taking things slowly with him...I want to interact with a parrot, but in order to do that, you've gotta take time to build up the bird's trust. So I have. It's been largely hands-off, and for the first few days, he was okay. Then he began stomping around the cage and having hissy-fits all over the place, and of course, I didn't know why; honestly, you've gotta be an armchair shrink if you're gonna put up with a parrot. So today, I tried something different...I got him to perch on my finger...he crawled up on my arm, sat on my shoulder...and I just let him be a "shoulder bird" for the next 2 and a half HOURS, would you believe. I took him on a guided tour of my house...then I sat down in front of my stereo, put on a jazz record, and as the saxes and trumpets played, Little Pi began screeching and singing to the music. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And his "bleats and brays" sound sorta like a saxophone! So far, he likes progressive jazz-fusion music, the Tijuana Brass, and he likes The Beatles, too.

So it was getting late in the day; I took him back to his cage, sat him down, and he seemed to be mellower. Then he went and got a little bit of food, and then he just came back to the front of the cage and stood there looking at me. Oh yeah? When I offered my finger, he stepped up. He wasn't ready to be alone yet, I was thinking. And he was so calm. No hissy-fits...and I took him back to the rocker-recliner, and just sat there, him perched in my finger, me scratching his head...he just sat there really peacefully. Finally, after a while, he began looking towards his cage again. And that's where he is now. He just wasn't ready to go to bed for a while. I know he got lots of attention from the lady who raised him, and is it too much to think that he Needed some attention from me? ME? Admittedly I've been a bit afraid of handling him too much; he's new, after all, and has been kinda skittish...which makes me kinda skittish. I 'spose relationships are like that...they ebb and flow...and you just muddle along 'till you find something that works? And maybe this little creature can teach me about relationships? Because I don't know a Damned Thing About 'Em. I've never had a good relationship with Very Much of Anything.

And why, all of a sudden, I need 'something around' instead of living Totally Alone like I've done for so long, I don't know. Why now? But I seem to be in better control of my moods whenever there's a bird in my house. Maybe this is why people have pets. Animals force you to live in the present; honestly, it's difficult to worry about past things when there's a little creature nearby that you're taking care of. I got this little bird because I Needed To. That's all I know. And I'm glad he's here. Ladies and Gentlemen...meet "RINGO", the Pionus Parrot...and for the first time, he actually looked at me today, just like this...


I must ask, "how could you turn down a little face like this?"
____________________

Little Ringo is about 7 inches long now; he'll grow another inch or two, and as he gets older (he's just under a year now), his blue feathers will become very, Very blue. Technically, he's a bronze-winged Pionus parrot, named after the color of his outer wing feathers.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

I wondered when the little guy would appear. "Ringo", eh? Fits.

I e-mailed you last week asking about said parrot but it bounced back. You haven't changed your address have you??

1:42 PM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

Nope, Marianne...I haven't changed my e-mail address. Yahoo sometimes puts legit mail in the "spam" category, and I don't know why that happens. Maybe that messed up your e-mail...maybe Yahoo thot you were a spammer? Hey, Yahoo's free...and you get what you pay for...

11:15 PM  

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