Wednesday, July 22, 2009

AS DIFFERENT AS NIGHT AND DAY...
...These two little girls Drive Me Nuts sometimes...
-
I've had a pair of Cockatiels for going on two months now. They'd evidently been together for quite a while before I bought them. And, they're still together. And they both confuse me. And yes, they are both Female. They both fight over me. They don't want me to leave the bird room ever; they scream when I go out the door. But at 6pm every night, they want me to scram so they can go to sleep. Ah, the thankless life of a Bird person.
-
This is "Shadow", a little grey girl whose sole purpose in life seems to be picking at the zipper lining on my sweater. As you can see by her upside-down head, she really gets into it. Then she'll nudge my cheek as if she wants a head scratch, so I extend my finger and she'll bite at it. I've come to find out the only time she wants scratches is when she's on top of her cage or on top of my easy chair, in other words, above me, so she can escape if I scratch her too hard, which I'm always afraid of doing. I'm so big; she's so small. She is finnicky, finnicky, finnicky. But she is also very paradoxical. I'll be eating a piece of cheese or whatever, and she'll position her beak between my lips, trying to steal the food out of my mouth. Oh, but if I try to touch her, she'll look for refuge on top of the Lazy Boy (shown in picture here). 'Shadow' is a standard grey cockatiel; males of this variety have yellow head feathers, otherwise, their bodies look virtually the same.
-
It's taken about a month for me learn all of the quirks of her behavior, but now, I'm on to her. I think. Or, at least, I'd 'like' to think. If the old childrens' story, "The Princess and The Pea" was ever re-written with a Cockatiel as the main character instead of the princess...little Shadow would definitely qualify. Maybe I should ask the Pet Store if they have little gold crowns for birds. Little Shadow has a good side, too...she can sit in her cage, or on top of it, calmly keeping herself busy. If she wants attention from me, she'll emit two little ladylike soft chirps, and then I'll put her on the chair with me, so she can then reject me anytime she chooses, should I make an overture to her. Actually, though, that works out just fine; because, after all, I have This Other Bird I have to deal with...
-
Up next, here is "Sunshine". The clerk at the pet store thot this was a Male, and so did I. How do I know it's not a male? It actually laid an EGG on me. She's the loud one, and a more fitting name for her would be Jezebel. In the morning when I go into the bird room, there she is at the bottom of the bird cage, wildly pacing back and forth, all the while screaming at me, "Let Me Out!!!" (No, she doesn't actually that, but I'm sure that's what she means.) I think I need to put some Ritalin into her bird food...she is one of the most Manic Cockatiels I have ever seen. And she acted sooo nice at the Pet Store...I guess she cased me out and knew I was an easy mark. Yeah, that's gotta be it...she flew to my shoulder in the Pet Store, before I'd even bought her. She conned me, didn't she? I'm on to her, too. I think...
-
'Sunshine's' way of accepting scratches from me is, after a couple minutes of running up and down my leg, I extend my hand forth, and she leans her head into the palm of my hand, extending her neck for all it is worth, and actually pushing against my hand while I scratch her chin, or neck, or the top of her head. It's as if she's saying, "I need this!!! Do It Now!!!" She's the one who will fly to me from her cage when I open the cage door. Once, she flew out of the bird room, thru my living room, rounded the corner, and landed on my shoulder in the kitchen while I was fumbling around trying to get the coffee pot going. Mmmgmmph, snort, yawn...(that's me in the morning). Sunshine is one High-Maintenance Lady who Demands Attention. If little Shadow (the first bird on this post) is the bird version of Marlene Dietrich or Greta Garbo (I vant to be alone), then Sunshine, my wild brawler of a Cockatiel Girl, would be more like Mae West or Cher (or, maybe Charro, gucci-gucci). Those ladies were known for getting their way. And Sunshine...well, if it's possible to be hen-pecked by a bird, I guess I am. How about that. I'm bird-whipped.
-
So, when I found out that Sunshine, the yellow-headed bird here, was a Female, I was totally confused. But it's got a yellow head. How can it be Female? Researching this over the internet, I found out that Sunshine is actually what is known as a "Pied" Cockatiel; their coloration consists of all sorts of disorganized color splotches. She has yellow head feathers, yes, but she has splotches of gray within those yellow feathers. It's virtually impossible to tell if a "Pied" is male or female. Unless it lays an egg on you. One more detail: When I take them both out of their cages (one bird per shoulder), the minute I sit in the La-Z-Boy, little "Shadow" stays on my shoulder while "Sunshine" proceeds to roost somewhere between my knee and ankle. It's as if they've divided me up. Maybe they're working together, scheming, trying to make me lose my sanity? The Talking Heads, an 80's band, in their song, "Animals", sing about all sorts of critters who conspire against us and laugh at us. That might just be the case in my situation...
-
Now, I don't know if this makes me a bad bird owner, but after a couple of hours, I have to leave the bird room. "Sunshine" will sometimes ceaselessly chirp at the rate of 20 times a minute for a good half-hour if I've forgotten to do something...it's like Japanese Water Torture, only with a Cockatiel chirping away instead. Meanwhile, little "Shadow" will be playing her mind games with me, and, well, rather than tying them up, gagging them, and leaving them on the cage floor, I g-e-n-t-l-y put 'em in back in the cage and then I skedaddle outta there, so I can put what's left of my mind back together after all that bird noise. That's the trick to having birds, maybe. Knowing when to get away from them so they don't drive you crazy. Or crazier.
-
The birds are asleep right now. At least their early bedtime leaves me more time to rat-a-tat-tat away on my computer. That means I have more time to BLOG. As for the rest of my blog, I don't know, but this particular post is Definitely For The Birds...

2 Comments:

Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

Im so glad these two girls came into your life, after all that sadness with the others....

I think these and you are a perfect match :)

x

1:43 PM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

Perfect match? Not on some days...like today...the yellowheaded female was screaming her head off this morning, only I don't handle anything well in the mornings. So today I tolerated here. She drove me nuts today. Now I know (to a degree) how Moms feel...

2:24 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home