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I'm smitten

I’m completely enchanted by my baby birds. I want to spend all my time playing with them and teaching them tricks and cuddling them and feeding them and just watching them as they learn new things.

I know it’s a cliche, but they really are growing up so fast. They’re five weeks old now. Already they can fly and two of them are weaned. Baby Oboe still likes his formula, but Piccolo and Banjo are big kids now. They eat big-kid food.* When they’re not eating or sleeping, they build forts out of baby towels, and play hide-and-seek, and swing on the swing.

Just last week Banjo had a major baby-bird crush on me. He’d come running whenever I came into the room and he’d climb the cage to be at my eye level. He’d beg for me to pick him up and cuddle him. He’d push the other babies away from me because he wanted me all to himself. He adored me. It was very sweet and I have to admit I was flattered.

This week? He’s got no time for childish crushes. Sometimes I walk into the room and he doesn’t even acknowledge me. I swear he sometimes rolls his eyes when I call his name. (But if I pick him up and go lie down with him, he’ll snuggle into my neck and fall asleep. Sometimes he practically purrs.)

Little Oboe was depressed for awhile there because the other two were sitting up on the high perch while he was still grounded on the floor of the cage. He hung his sad little head and huddled against the bars looking profoundly depressed. I let him come downstairs and sit on my shoulder and help me make a pizza. That cheered him up. And now, just a few days later, he sits up on the high perches too.

You know how I am with new hobbies. I tend to get a little carried away. I’m reading everything I can about birds, and checking out all the different kinds of birds and subscribing to Bird Talk and ordering bird toys online and getting ready to join the local bird groups and marking upcoming bird shows on the calendar and researching local breeders. I want to start an aviary and breed all kinds of birds.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my babies. They’ll be ready for adoption in two weeks. I think Kathleen still wants one, and the Elgin Street Irregulars ought to consider having an Official Bird. (Maybe Oboe. He’s the Third Bird, which would fit well with their Fourth Dwarf.)

I’d like to keep one baby for myself, but I don’t know which one. They all have such distinct personalities and I adore them all.

By the way, the webcam is still on during the days, but not for much longer.

*So far, in addition to bird food, they’ve tried peaches, rice, snow peas, beet greens, quinoa, banana, pears, carrots, corn, lettuce, swiss chard, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, kiwi, broccoli and alfalfa sprouts.

9 comments to I’m smitten

  • gc

    Oatmeal… that’s my baby birds! I wonder if they like it better than Neil Diamond.

  • Lucy

    So where is Duncan in all this? He must be getting quite jealous by now (someone else taking his place purring in bed with you?!!)…. and maybe hungry as well.

  • GC, let me sing them a few Neil Diamond tunes before we ask them which they like better. (Maybe we should play Neil while feeding them oatmeal, thereby forever cementing the connection in their little heads.)

    Lucy, that’s a very good question. Duncan is frequently on the other side of the door, meowing. Sometimes I let him in and he gets up on the desk, right next to the bird cage, and bird-watches. I let him watch until his tail starts twitching. I admit my feelings toward Duncan have shifted slightly since the babies came along – it’s hard not to look at him as a predator now. But I’m working on it.

  • I am touched, ma’am, that you would consider sending us such a tasty morsel ummm, thoughtful gift…

  • They sound so lovely and now I’m smitten too!

  • XUP

    But wait! Don’t love birds need to be with a mate? Can you have just one? Won’t they get lonely and depressed???

  • Coyote, I’m sure you’ll find this little fella irresistible.

    Finola, does that mean you want one too?

    XUP, it’s a myth that lovebirds need to be kept in pairs. Lovebirds just like to bond. If they don’t have another lovebird to bond with, they’ll bond with a human being, and they will cherish that human being like they’ve never been cherished before. (I’d offer you one, but I suspect Basil’s hunting skills are formidable.)

  • I have to say I am most tempted after your descriptions of them. But sadly we are a highly allergic household and the fish that we are babysitting right now is about all that I’m up for. I hope they find great homes though.

  • Sheila

    It sounds like you have done a bang up job of socializing these birds, Zoom. And it sounds like it has been a wonderful experience for you.