Monday, November 09, 2009

Day 10 in Tucson

What about days 8 & 9? You ask. Well, it was the weekend, nothing really happend. Then again nothing really happens during the week either, or even today. Are you going to name every single post day whatever in Tucson? I may. I've said in the past I'm bad about titles. It's substance of the post I think that matters. This weekend I picked up a book that had a great title and cover but when I started read, it was yuck, fizzled out on me in the first paragraph.

I will try to give substance and failing that cute bunny pictures. Today, however, is for the birds. Mr. Bird says, "Everyday should be for the birds."


That is Mr. Bird, resident good sport. I mean, he would have to be living in a home with 4 cats.


For years I've talking about getting a parakeet. Except, I was always talked out of it, because I have all these. It's amazing what family will smile and nod at, when you're depressed out of their minds. So this past March, I bought Mr. Bird. He started out as just Bird, while we waited for him to show his true personality. As time went, Mr. Bird just seemed to fit.

I had ideas of teaching him to talk like the parakeet of my childhood. Who would call my grandfather when he heard him moving around in the morning. I did succeed at teaching Mr. Bird "Pretty Bird".

One night, a gust of wind blew in and knocked Mr. Bird's cage from his ceiling hook. Mr. Bird had been on his swing, fell to the bottom and broke his wing. I called the different bird vets in area and each wanted any where from $79 to $100 just to look at him. He was eating and drinking ok, so we just let it heal on it's own. Duane said, "I'm sorry, I really Mr. Bird too, but I can buy you 5 birds for that price." It's not like he will need to fly in his cage. Even though the cats leave the birds alone, we're not going to let them out to fly around.

While he was eating and drinking ok, for three days he wouldn't chirp. I found You Tube videos of other birds to try to get him to chirp. Nothing until about the fourth or fifth day. Then he went nuts everytime he heard the other birds. Duane decided he was lonely. His lonliness was obvious with the romance he was having with his plastic perch bird buddy. Then came Huey.

I remembered that the top part of the beak is blue for boys, but I forgot what my grandmother told me for girls. So, when I saw this pretty bird that white with a bit of black on top and bright sky blue on the bottom, the top of the beak was a pinkish lavender, I thought maybe girl. Makes sense if blue is for boys then pink has to be for girls.

After we bought the bird and a second bigger cage, did I bother to look it up online. Blue and lavender is boys, brown or sometimes whitish is girls. The white however could turn blue if it's a young bird. The only true way to tell is to have bird in question DNA tested. Um no. We found out for ourselves when we put them together and they each tried to get atop the other. Male birds are also chattier than girl birds.

It took several phonecalls to various pet shops before I got a definate, let me look, yes, we two females. Yet, another bigger cage.

A month before we moved, I bought a third female bird, all yellow, which I named Emily. The white one in the back, we named Ladybird.

Then from left to right is Myrtle, Huey and of course Mr. Bird. His one wing hangs a bit lower than the other.

The line up.

Duane is amazed at how they have unique personalities, being they are such primitive life forms with tiny pea sized brains. I knew otherwise.

Mr. Bird, all around happy guy, is a gigolo. He hangs with all the ladies, Huey and loves sit at the front of the cage, hang on the little bell broom, shake it while wiggling his bottom on the perch. The other birds get upset with him for his broom fetish. Sometimes we sing, "I'm just a birdolo" to him. (For those who didn't get the reference to I'm Just a Gigolo)

Mr. Bird tweets and warbles from the time the sun rises, until late at night when we cover his cage. We forgot once and when Duane got up at 3am, Mr. Bird was sitting there chattering away. He even chirps while he is napping with his head in his feathers.

Huey is all around cage bully and can't figure out why the girls avoid him and sometimes Mr. Bird does as well. He likes to push the birds off their perches, and somehow gets Mr. Bird to hang upside on the bottom of the perch, Huey then takes his foot and steps on Mr. Birds stomach. Mr. Bird squacks and I come running to give Huey a squirt with the water bottle. Then I give him a long lecture on playing nice.

Ladybird, the all white one, is quite refined. Since getting Emily, she has now decided to take up with Huey occassionally. She is guard of the broom, and has her set distance of personal space. She will make a rasping noise if another bird gets too close. She occasionally likes to back warble for the boys.

Myrtle is green and yellow with a teal botton. Her butt, around the base of her tail is dark teal, I kid you not. Myrtle is for the most part quiet. She has a distinct squak when she is upset. It sounds like the car horns on the kiddy ride at the fair. You know the one that is like a small merry go round with cars. We call Myrtle and Ladybird biker chicks, because nobody messes with them. They will whip around and give the offending bird a good hard peck if they get out of line.

Emily, she was a baby when I bought her. One of the cashiers had hand raised a batch and just brought them in that night. She was so thrilled I was buying one of her birds. It was the pet store across the street, and I kinda hung out there over the summer. You know to talk to the animals and keep them company while waiting for homes. Just because some of the sales people started hiding when they saw come in doesn't mean anything. They probably had something to do. I'm betting they miss me now.

So back to little Emily. She's a sweetie. Poor thing, her first night Huey was the first to say Hello by knocking her off the perch. After a day of that, Myrtle and Ladybird got after him. Emily is now Mr. Bird's girlfriend, when he's not occassionally chatting up Myrtle or riding his broom. They are so sweet together, preening eachother and sometimes pretend they have babies in the nesting box. Mr. Bird sits on top of the box, Emily in front of hole, Mr. Bird feeds Emily and she pretends to feed babies in the box. It's empty, the box, I checked.

So, now I've bored you to death about my birds. If you're still here I'll tell you why the birds are important to day 10 in Tucson. When I lived here 7 years ago, I noticed the first week that I never heard birds outside. They are there, I've found out. They are just hard to hear over the traffic, the area has been so urbanized.

Like the song says, You don't know what you got till it's gone. One of things I missed most about NY was the birds chirping. There are other things I miss too. This time around on day 10, I hear the birds chirping from sunrise until I put towel over the cage and say good night Mr. Bird, Huey, Ladybird, Myrtle and Emily.

In the next day or two, I'll make a video for You Tube and post on here, so you can see and hear them in action.

1 comment:

Carol said...

You know you are really beginning to remind me of my aunt. Who has 5 cats, 2 dogs, a turtle, birds, fishtank and chickens. (the chickens are for the eggs) Mind you, reminding me of my aunt is a good thing. she is such a cheerful, happy person. I miss her