Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Steam the Red-tailed Hawk and Silver the African Grey Parrot Blow Off the Human

Exhibit 1--4:24:10pm
In my own defense, I really tried to be unobtrusive. I was several football fields away.

Note that Steam the Thresherman's Park tiercel is looking at me.

No flies on Steam.

Thirteen seconds later he's sliced, still looking at me, and is leaning forward to...

...make me take a picture of a tree with no bird in it.

Exhibit 2--I'd just hit the print button and gone into the kitchen, when I heard the flapping of wings.

Now there is supposed to be no flapping of wings that lead to flight for a variety of reasons. The first of which is, if Quicksilver should fly by on a low flight path or end up on the floor browsing for tidbits, Pyewackit the cat may just creep up on him. Who'd win I don't know, and I really don't want to experiment.

The second reason is parrots love to chew things. It's their job basically in the wild. But when not in the wild, this can be anything from mildly annoying as in none of the remotes in NYC have any of their red buttons left, to totally exasperating when you walk in on him perched on the side of the mixer's bowl helping himself to cake batter or really scary if he's found testing out whether the plates over the electrical outlets come off.

Therefore Silver has a play area in every room in which I spend time. And he's supposed to spend his time on said play areas even if I happen to go to the kitchen for a minute.

Some days that's just dandy, and some days it just isn't.

Look back up to the picture of Quicksilver above. He has flown from his play area to the printer table. See that expression and posture? That is the "What?" expression and posture. Long zygodactic toes neatly flattened on the table and beak a mile from any buttons with a face that says, "I was just looking. Do you have a problem? How silly of you."

He then turns and "reads" the printer screen. Just helping me with my printing job. But I know what he is really looking at--the big silver button. That's the one that will go first. I mention this fact.

He is utterly affronted by the mere suggestion that he'd do such a thing--binoc look with puffed feathers. I make a camera adjustment and when I look up he's got his beak on the button, prying...SILVER!!!!

No! My beak absolutely wasn't on that button. Poppycock!

The printer goes CLUNK! Clunk! CLUNK! WHOA!!! This is a parrot deciding whether he is going to be eaten by a machine.
That dealt with he looks me straight in the eye, leans over, places his open beak on the sides of the button, gently and then immediately flies to his play area where he was supposed to be in the first place.
And that is the parrot version of getting the last word.
Donegal Browne

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