Saturday, July 11, 2015


 When I had left the kitchen to investigate the sound of something falling over in another room on the other side of the house, thank you kitties, I had been beginning to make a pie. 
 (Strawberries are waning but raspberries and blue berries are in full swing.)

 Silver had been on his window perch in the kitchen.  When I returned he was as you see him above, on the mixing bowl staring into the Crisco 

 Yummy!  Fat!  

I'm assuming that fat, as it was for humans when we were in the wild, is hard to come by for parrots in the wild, therefore they, like us, have a built in craving to eat as much as possible when it is available.  Silver always has an eye peeled for unguarded butter dishes as well.  

The old "get it while the getting is good" signal built in for our distant ancestors, is driving both of our species to gobble fat even though fat is available anytime at the store for us and therefore when they can nab it our parrots.
 The possible dilemma for the parrot which turned out not to be much of a dilemma at all was whether to give me his standard "What?"  when discovered in a compromising situation...or to just keep eating shortening as fast as possible. 
 He chose eating shortening as fast as possible.  He didn't even pause.  Silver dipped his head and started ingesting Crisco as fast as parrotly possible.
 Typically of a parent of a small child or the caretaker of a parrot, I said, "Silver! WHAT are you doing?"

 He did tip his head slightly more my way but kept eating.  Needless to say, I scarfed him up and put him back on his perch while giving the standard lecture...   Bad Silver.  Don't eat the shortening.   Stay on your perch.

 Yeah, I know.  Won't make a bit of difference the next time the Crisco is unattended.  He can't help himself. 

Okay he probably could but he has this urge....
 Later in the day, I came into the laundry room and found him hanging by his feet from the cupboard.

"Ah, Silver, do you want to be hanging upside down from the cupboard or are you stuck?"
 No answer.  

Now remember how he feels about the possible "nesting cavities" in the laundry room.  They are private and we don't talk about them.  

When spied doing some kind of possible nesting activity he acts as if whatever it is, is perfectly de de dah. 

 In this case he is communicating that he always hangs upside down and everything is perfectly fine.

Actually he likely was trying to pry open the cupboard door that has been zip tied closed (That one has cleaning products in it.)  and somehow he ended up feet up and head down without a beak "handle" in reach to right himself.  I suppose that eventually he'd have to try to get some lift with his wings in that small space to keep from landing on his head when his thighs or toes gave out. 
I then notice that his thigh muscles are beginning to quiver.  Stress on the muscles.  He's definitely  stuck.  See his tail braced on the shelf above?

Now it is my dilemma.  In order to get on my hand he will no doubt use his beak as the needed third point of support in order to release a foot.  Clamping down with his beak for balance to get a foot on my hand is going to  puncture my hand.   

Bad option.

I look around.  Ahhhh...there is "the stick" in the corner. 

"The stick" is a long dowel about the length of a broom handle.  It is used to move irate parrots in tantrum who are so angry they loose rational thought, from one place to another without the human getting perforated body parts.

Or in this case,  moving parrots who are stuck hanging by their feet. 

Only just the sight of me picking up "the stick" makes Quicksilver irate.  

Sigh.  Yes, Silver, and I suspect African Grey's in general, do kind of a "growl" when in a tizzy.  He knows that when the stick gets close enough, he will grab it and bite it and I will have control of the stick and he will find himself going into his cage via the stick, to calm down,  but he just can't help himself. 

 Currently he is having an automatic anger response to the stick because of past association even though he is currently stuck upside down and the stick will help him be right side up.  

Most Parrots are emotionally hot.  Though I have met a couple who aren't.  More on that at a later date.  Back to the stick.

Usually when the stick appears Silver is having a fit for one reason or another, sometimes just hormones, and now because of association his anger is automatic when you reach for the stick.  Though the stick is just a perch, he knows he'll go for it and loose control of where he is.  Even though in this case he doesn't want to be where he is.

Emotionally, parrots are like very small human children. Their emaotional quotient is thought to be that of a two year old. 

While with human tasks of intelligence they rate as about seven year olds.  

Whereas with parrot tasks of intelligence, like hiding the pin cushion they've nabbed while you were out of the room, when they hear your footsteps approaching, and getting themselves back to where they were before you left, they are stellar. 

Many parrot's guile level is remarkably high.  Higher, in my opinion, on a moment to moment basis than that of humans

It is true,  Silver did nothing but eat faster when I returned when it came to the can of Crisco.  


He knows that nonchalance isn't going to work, and it wastes possible eating time plus he isn't big enough to hide a can of Crisco, but he sure can hide a pincushion or other parrot portable item extremely well so you don't see he has it.

Trust me. 

Donegal Browne

1 comment:

Karen Anne said...

Ugh, Crisco :-) I can see snarfing down butter...