Friday, February 10, 2012

Thursday Miscellany- Crows, Quicksilver Parrot, and the Birdbath Drinking Cat

There is a tremendous number of six sequence caws going on in the backyard. I open the big curtain, completely expecting that the move will send whoever is having the interaction packing.  Miraculously not this time.  Instead the ringleader Caw-er, gives me a look then stares beadily at a crow in the opposite Maple tree.  This must be serious.   I suspect an intrusion from a crow or crows that the local Crow family aren't about to put up with.
Deciding the crow in the tree is more of an issue than I am, Ms. Crow goes back to the repeating  six sequence caw.
Suddenly her nictitating eyelid slides into place. This is the protective eyelid which gives some modicum of eye protection but when in place doesn't leave the bird sightless.  Why exactly at this moment it  triggered I don't  know as there doesn't appear to be anything pelting towards her that might trigger the response.
She gives the crow who won't leave a very serious-leaned-forward-stare.
That doesn't work so she's back to "yelling".
I accidentally click the camera against the glass.  This gets me a LOOK.  Though it appears to me that  she looks more annoyed at me than scared of me so she stays with her eye mostly on the prize, though checking in on my whereabouts periodically.
Then it's back to full body Cawing with such vigor that the pink of her throat shows.
It works.  The intruders take off and Carol and her crew take to the air to push the intruders further away from the goodie stump which has just been freshly stocked.  There is a scrabbling noise from the kitchen, I turn around and what should I see?
And Quicksilver the African Parrot gives me the "What?" look.  This is a look only seen when he knows he's busted for doing something he shouldn't.  In this case perching on a vitamin bottle that has slid and is not wedged between the back splash and the lazy susan.  He's hoping I won't notice.  No such luck for parrots even if they are wearing their most innocent, "What: look.    I say "Up" he gets on my hand and I put him back on his perch on top of the dishwasher.  I go to sit down the camera on the counter so I can continue what I was doing before the crow episode  but realize just in time, what a really poor choice that would be.   Silver has been on a search and destroy mission to remove all buttons from electronics since  yesterday.  The latest victim is the clicker for the DVD player.  It  lost the Power button (Red-always the first to go), the Menu button, and the Pause button.  Currently Power and Pause have been made semi-workable again by two strips of transparent tape.  Menu is still missing though likely not ingested by the parrot.  His lottzi is to make them pop into the air upon removeal.  I start to take the camera to it's back and hear another suspicious clatter. .  SIlVEEEERRRR!
WHAT? (Later in the day, I was the only human in the house and was in the bedroom tidying up when I heard the electric can opener begin to whirrrrr...) SILVER!  There he was standing on the top of the can opener very wide eyed and VERY alert.  Needless to say, I didn't take the time to get a picture before getting him off.
Evidentally Culprit the Cooper's Hawk or one of his relatives has been around for days.  The backyard has been a wildlife wasteland except for the brief crow visit going on a week.
The next time I look out, who should be stretching up for a drink from the birdbath but Tree Sleeper the cat.   As you can see he's a rather good sized puss and I'm afraid likely abandoned by someone.  I've as yet not been able to get a hand on him as he's quite wary.  His name comes from the fact that one early morning, my buddies the crows were once again raising Cain in the backyard,  I looked where the three crows were focusing and there was kitty up the maple tree on a big round branch having a nap.   
Evidentally stretching wasn't quite doing the job so TS crawls up the rim.
Delicious, nothing like a nice warm drink on a cold day.
He doesn't appear all that fond of being observed.  Or perhaps the look is more of an offensive move to keep me where I am.
As  I don't appear to be making any moves, he goes for another draught.
I get another "look" and he's of and carefully picking his way across the yard so as not to wet his feet.  I wonder how Pyewacket would take the addition of another cat in the house?
Donegal Browne


Karen Anne said...

Here is a horrible story as a warning about those concrete birdbaths with tops that just stay on them by weight.

A neighbor kitten, whom I had seen several times stretching up to drink out of mine at my former house, was, unfortunately when I was away and did not return in time, trapped completely under the top, without oxygen, apparently when it fell on her when she put her paws on the edge and reached up to drink.

Anonymous said...

Cat's behavior seems that of a outdoor cat and he looks like an "entire" Tom, based on his big muscular cheeks. Might be a hard mix with your current cat, but could work with some carefully watched, slow introductions. I took in a feral girl once and had her for 16 years. Once tamed she was a big mush. You could also keep him as a yard cat and just feed him and make his life easier.

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Ann,
I too was wondering if Bird Bath Cat was a sexually mature Tom. Now you mention it he does have big muscular tom cat cheeks. What I noticed first was his very muscular neck.

My current cat, Pyewackit was a stray that I live trapped in the back yard after seeing her on the Crow's Goodie Stump eating left over pasta. I suspect she was raised with humans as after about a week of acclimation in the bathroom attempting to dig her way out of the window, I picked her up and she began to purr, and yes, she is a really affectionate kitty now if somewhat wary of strangers.

Bird Bath Tom makes at least one stop a day to check out the Goodie Stump himself, and I have to admit that I have been known to leave cat chow for the "crows". Perhaps Pyewackit will eventually get used to having him around, but currently she races from window to window yowling in an attempt to run him off.

We'll see how things progress.

Donegal Browne said...

Karen Anne,
Thanks for the heads up about the deadly birdbaths!