Friday, July 8, 2011

Unexpected Visitor

This past Saturday I was quietly {is that possible} slicing a loaf of bread while the rest of the family sat at the table eagerly anticipating French Toast. Next thing I know everyone is screaming and carrying on and I quite very nearly cut myself in the process of trying to figure out what the big deal was. 
As it turned out the boys were squealing at us to come check out the bird on the veranda. It’s not abnormal for us to get birds here. We have quite a few who live in our yard and have nests in all sorts of areas. We don’t have a cat and that helps.
We also get the visiting or traveling bird who’ll stop by.. Lapwings {plovers} from next door come over when the sheep scare them off, Galas will often visit, pigeons, the occasional magpie {which I would prefer didn’t come to visit}, Kookaburras, various honey eaters, and on and on.. 
At our previous home we use to have a few Cockatoos who’d come and carry on to no end. It was always fun to watch them go crazy for pinecones, but man were they loud! We don’t see them as often here and they haven’t stayed in our yard, but we can always hear them when they are visiting. 
We also use to get the occasional parrot who’d visit. And by parrot I don’t mean the red headed blue feathered one in the pet shop. I merely mean of the parrot family. I suspect the previous owners use to feed them and they wee a bit expectant of it.
Here, however, we have more sea fairing birds and the occasional woodland bird. So when I looked out the window and saw a lorikeet I was shocked! So was the bird because it proceeded to fly right into the window! Thankfully he didn’t hurt himself, but instead flew to the winter laundry line out there and proceeded to put on quite the show for us.

He swayed one way and then the other, did a few dance moves and then tried to pull my clothes peg off the line. Mr S decided to go outside and see how close he could get, and as he went I suggested he look for a metal band on the birds leg because it seemed far too showy and friendly to be a wild bird.

The boys and watched from the window, and sure enough that crazy bird did have a band on it’s leg. It was also quite pleased Mr S came out to play and hopped right on his hand, walked up his arm, and cuddled up around the collar of his shirt. 
We brought the bird inside after being unable to convince it to go into the box we had prepared for it. Once inside it put on another funny show for us and when we laughed he screeched at us. Not being bird owners we had no cage and deposited the bird in an old store style guinea pig cage as we canvased our small neighborhood to see if anyone had lost their pet.

As it turned out no one claimed to know who had such a bird and no one claimed to have lost it. We gave up and came home to finally have that breakfast we’d hoped to have hours earlier. The bird, however, was not content in his cage and decided to join us.. on the kitchen table. Seriously.
Do you have any idea how much pottying a lorikeet does? Especially one who drinks it’s food rather then eats it? It’s a lot. I’m just gonna lay it out there and tell you that. It’s a whole lotta pottying and Im pretty sure if they wore nappies/diapers you’d be changing them more then a newborn baby!
The bird was content to sit there and stare at the boys as they ate their breakfast, but when Mr S’s marmalade encrusted french toast was thrown on the table the bird actually bunny hopped across the table flapped it’s wings and squealed in glee! Then it proceeded to hop right up on the plate and start licking up marmalade as fast as it’s little tongue could lap. 

I was lost somewhere between horror and delight. I mean, it’s not everyday you get to see such a show put on, but poor hungry Mr S was sitting there screaming, “Oie! Give-me me marmalade bird!” In an effort to keep the bird and the hubby happy I doled out more marmalade encrusted french toast and suggested no one eat the other piece.. bird flu and all that ya know.
We ended up going into town and purchasing a bird cage and feed. Did you know lorikeets don’t eat seeds? Yeah, they drink nectar in the wild {thanks to their bottle brush tongue}, so at home you replicate this by feeding them nectar as well as fruits and veggies and a special mixture of protein loaded dry food. 
Of course, when we got home the dog was insulted we’d been in the pet shop and didn’t bring him home a treat. It probably didn’t help that we added a “new pet” to the house and then proceeded to feed the guinea pigs there new sack of food. Poor dog, but I’m getting way off topic here..

The point is, we came home and plopped the bird in his new cage and proceeded to feed him. He was grateful. He was not as grateful when he saw he had no marmalade and no nectar. Drat! 
This bird is funny crazy, and despite running an add in the paper for him we’ve yet to have anyone claim the little fellow. He’s very personal and adores being held, spoken to, and spoon fed. Yes, you read that right, spoon fed. I’m going to warn all of you right now {Mom & Dad pay attention!} if you ever come to visit me and I serve you soup or cereal do not let the bird see your spoon. If you do, it’s your own problem. And if you touch a bottle of honey while holding a spoon, I’m leaving and you can deal with the screaming and crying until you give that crazy bird some! 
Seriously though, this Bird-Bird as some of us have been calling him, is amazing. He loves to climb and if you laugh he’ll just keep right on doing it. Of course we call it a him, but as it turns out you can only determine that kinda status by dna testing of a veterinary surgery. All of which seems a tad extreme to know if we should say he or she. 

Me, being me, did some research about these birds and it turns out they are not only the biggest in the Lorikeet family {he’s a red collared just for the record} they are also some of the most difficult to have as pets due to their need for special feed, mess making ability, and constant upkeep.
Did I mention this bird likes to bathe everyday? Not in the normal quite clean way most birds bathe.. No, this bird will shove himself into the smallest bowl of water possible and throw the water everywhere. In fact, I’m convinced this bird could easily compete with the boys on biggest bath mess ever! 
He also talks. Yep. First night in our home I walked past the cage and he said, “Hello!” Knocked my socks off. So I stood beside the cage and said, “hello” about a thousand times and he refused to answer me. A couple of days ago I tried again and got into a whistling game with him where he ended it by saying hello to me once.

So, last night while he was hopping all over the couch I leaned over and said, “Hello there Bird-Bird!” he glared at me. I glared back and that dreadful little show off stood up, stretched out his neck and said, “HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO!” I kid you not! The guys laughed, and I gotta admit it was pretty amusing. 
I answered back with my own barrage of hellos and that snarky little bird looked me square in the eye and said, “G’day!”


I Read. Do You? said...

This is such a great story! What fun!

Tracey said...

Cool! Pretty bird!

reader19 said...

Such good pictures of the bird!