Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mother Nature gave me the bird

I enjoy the community in which we live. Sun Lakes sits on the southern border of Maricopa county, with easy access to Phoenix and easier access to the open desert.

As I sit at my desk in my office a daily parade of birds passes the window. The Quail delight with their nervous walk and funny little protuberance above their beaks. Smaller birds in several species come to pick up seeds and scuttle under the front bushes. At our old house we had the privilege of daily visits from a roadrunner as he made his way down our street. So it should be known from the start that I appreciate birds in general.

I do however have a problem with a specific bird. Not since we made the mistake of baby sitting an African Grey parrot for two weeks for a neighbor have I had this much trouble with a fowl. Indeed the African Grey, named Norman, who had the ability to imitate any noise and possessed a prodigious vocabulary was my last experience with a foul fowl.

Good ole Norman had been kept by the owner's son and roommate for a while and had learned some very bad habits. It seemed the roommate and Norman didn't hit it off and the parrot constantly woke the roommate up with a perfectly replicated imitation of the young man's car alarm. I don't have a clue how the bird knew this or learned it's importance; I just relate the story as told to me. Anyway...after one such instance the young man returned to the second floor apartment and said to Norman "Fuck you Norman."

This became Norman's most often used phrase and as you might guess; it can get old quickly. Still, I could have lived with that. Norman was a cool bird. I took him out on our deck and let him walk the railing. He climbed onto my shoulder and chucked ( a sort of parrot purring) in my ear. He had the ability to be sweet and lovable. He was also much akin to the little girl with a curl.

In his case, he developed the ability to understand that a certain racial slur he uttered offended my deeply. In order to get my attention he uttered this word more and more frequently as his stay with us went on. I finally took him back over the night before the couple returned and had the last of him. I later learned that an African Grey can obtain the vocabulary of a 5 year old human and is much like a child in other ways as well. I do not miss Norman.

So...by now you might be wondering about my current bird troubles. We have a bird, quite a songster it seems, that is singing at midnight. After doing the requisite research, I've found this fowl to be a male Mockingbird who is without a mate. It looks as though we will be getting these midnight serenades till the young man gets laid or more correctly gets a mate. The site I found on the web about this issue recommends making changes in my lifestyle, where I sleep, closing the windows, turning on the A/C and many other things. It does not recommend my initial inclination; which is to borrow my Father-in-Law's pellet gun and shoot the damn thing.

Lucky for the bird the temperature here today may require turning on the A/C this evening. Temperatures are predicted to be in the low 90s today.

I just hope the bird get's lucky and fast.



Thom said...

He'll with luck. I vote for a pellet gun for him and Norman. LOL. Too funny however. Of equal opportunity. MYbe Norman and the mockingbird get it on LOL. Doubtful I know.

Richard said...

Thom: I am in need of a feathered cupid.

quilldancer said...

My sister left my ex- and I to house-sit -- water her plants, feed her cockatiel, fetch the paper and the mail .... and she did NOT tell us that the bird's most favorite pastime was imitating the alarm clock at 4 a.m. The first morning, my ex- damn near fried him for breakfast.

Nessa said...

Hey, that's just wrong. Should we shout you guys whenever you get "lonely?"

; D

Richard said...

Quilly: How convenient she left that out.

Nessa: Yes, if we make a racket after midnite.

Thom said...

Good answer Rich :)