Hi all! Sometimes you think you have control over what you're going to do, or write, or accomplish in a day and then sometimes things happen the turn whatever plans you'd made totally topsy turvy. It's G-d's way I imagine playing jokes with us simple humans thinking we have control over our destiny. Here I was thinking of today's topic for my farm blog, and thought of explaining why I went into this field.. In the end, today's happenings changed my plans, so here's the story.
Actually all went well this morning. All the kids made all of their buses to school with nary a sandwich forgotten, and equipped even with jackets for the grey sky threatening to rain. Somehow things got tripped up, somewhere while trying to get my chinchillas ready for their trip to the Elder's Club in old Bet Shemesh for the monthly animal activity I do there to add some entertainment to their lives.. The chins* (short for chinchilla,) were already in their travel bag and I was just opening the backdoor of the house to step outside when suddenly…….. a bird flew over and past my head and out through the open door. Yes that's correct, not the opposite that a bird flew in the house, but one flew the coop as you'd say….literally.
You know you can socialize a young bird by removing it from its parents when it's only a few weeks old by hand feeding it until it is independent. Now somewhere along the line, it's little birdie memory becomes foggy and forgets the days of hiding under it's warm mommy bird's breast and being fed mouth to mouth, warm regurgitated baby bird food, straight from it's mother's beak whenever it gave it's hungry needy food chirp, (different from other sounds it will learn to make.) Eventually the birds become completely dependent on their human surrogate mother and will not even recognize a bird of similar breed as one of his own, and will react to it as if it is, well, some strange unrecognizable creature.
Up until mid morning today, (before he flew away, choosing freedom over living with us, sniff,) we had a hand fed cockatiel, you know those medium sized birds larger than parakeets or budgies as they're also called, coming in shades of white, yellow or grey sometimes with a marble pattern etc. What really stands out on them is their cute little feather crown and orangey circles on their cheeks. Now this bird, Tsip as we called him (short for tsipor,) wasn't a very well raised bird. We received him from a family in Bet Shemesh when he boldly flew into their window one day, having unthinkingly chosen a cat owning family as his new roosting spot. Free flying birds and cats don't do too well in the same house. Come to think of it, even a caged bird might feel kind of threatened in the presence of a cat, so those kind folks considerately gave up this gift bird, and brought him over to us.
Now that bird had the run or should I say the flight of the house. You're to occasionally cut back the wings of a hand fed bird, but if he gets the taste and the skill for flight despite the clipped wings……well then it's a lost cause cos that bird will be able to fly like a pro. Tsip found life in our house to his liking to a certain extent. Life in our house is like having an open buffet all day long. There's always someone walking in hungry, leaving some tasty morsels on the table, floor, on the plate left forgotten on the table. Then again, when crumbs weren't left well Tsip wasn't one to go hungry. He'd been caught with his beak stained red from tomato sauce standing knee high in a pot of spaghetti someone'd left the lid off. Of course he couldn't finish off the whole pot by himself, but that didn't stop him from digging in. Come to think of it he was one lucky bird, cos there wasn't a fire on under that pot. I wonder what funny kind of name the Italians could give to a spaghetti sauce based on garlic and freshly stewed cockatiel. (sorry got carried away there for the moment.)
As simple a creature as birds seem to be, even birds have likings and dislikings and this one didn't like anyone except for my husband. Try and figure that out for my husband likes animals as much as they fulfill a purpose, so Tsip held no attraction for him. On the other hand, Tsip would stalk my husband and land on his head, shoulder wherever he could dig his claws in and hang on. The yell for help (from my husband not Tsip) came soon after, Davida! "Ani techef meif lach et hatsipor hanachs hazeh mehachalon!!" In English, get this pain in the … bird away from me before I throw him out the window! Hey something just occurred to me! Maybe Tsip had a plan all along and was hoping to get tossed out the window, and when it didn't happen, took initiative and flew himself out! Nothing would surprise me anymore! Did I ever tell you about my bilingual mare?? No?, so we'll leave it for another time..
We even set up a small aviary just for Tsip. No I'm not kidding. There was a cage of finches, and parakeets or budgies and there he'd spend most of his day peeking in through the bars at them. Why one day he even figured out how to open the door to the parakeets and stuck himself inside with them and started playing with their toys!!! He was kind of eccentric at times. His other hobby was to fly into the washroom and admire his reflection in the mirror, which I wasn't crazy about since he didn't like being disturbed when we had to use the facilities, if you know what I mean. On the other hand, I personally didn't enjoy using the facilities while he was staring at himself in the mirror. The mirror is hung right across from the toilet…..get what I mean? I never could be sure that his beady little eyes weren't wandering over in my direction, and that wasn't really a nasty birdie smirk at the corners of his beak. His other quirk was watching himself in the micro which I didn't like cause it usually went hand in hand with chewing at the wooden frame of the cabinet, and that was a no no.
So you see, his life wasn't so bad. He did have his own food dish available with bird food, and water, plenty of exercise and friends. We never even scolded him about his carelessly dropped droppings we always were cleaning up, but I figure birds are meant to be free, and hopefully he'll meet up with a bunch of escapees like himself…… Did I ever tell you about the numerous birds we had escape from a poorly constructed cage??? No??? So we'll leave that for another time. Until then, have a good week Ciao from Davida's Farm in Moshav Yishi. If you'd like to be in touch regarding group visitation, animals, animal care, horse back riding, comments on the columns, birthday parties etc. you may write me at:
or call to 0505- 739899.
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