Friday, August 31, 2012

Bringing Up Birdy

Raising a bird is quite the community project. All members of the family pool their resources to keep track of the rapidly growing Peep. And I don't just mean children.

By today, Peep didn't even need the cell phone to signal him to eat. He now thinks that tweezers make a dandy herald of food, and has even started asking to be fed. Whenever he wakes up, he lets out a single (LOUD) peep, and waits for the Tweezers of Destiny.

When I was a freshman in high school, I raised a sparrow to adulthood, the only success up to that time, and for many years after. I named him Hoover, because he was like a vacuum. Mom barely remembers Hoover. That could be because he spent most of his time at school with me. My wonderful teachers were very patient for the 2 weeks or more when their classes were regularly interrupted by a bass "PEEP! PEEP! PEEP!" Peep is quite dainty in comparison with Hoover.

He's eating a mix of soggy cat food and berries. We'll give him bugs if we catch any. He didn't much care for the tuna shreds, so we gave up on that one. And he's started flirting - fluffing his feathers now that he has more of them, fluttering his wings, and trying to look adorable so I'll give him all the goodies instead of the other birds in the nest. (There are no other birds in the nest, but that doesn't hinder his efforts in the slightest.)

Now that I'm getting my voice back a little, I can make peeping noises, and he'll respond. Or Jack will text me so my phone beeps, and Peep thinks someone is calling him. Or a car will honk in the distance...beep...and Peep will think I was calling him to dinner. 

No matter when or what, his slightest move is watched with deathless, unblinking interest.


Wannabe kept purring this rusty purr
that sounded more like a growl.
Trust me, though, it was a purr.
It sounded terrifying, putting Peep off
his feed for more than 3 seconds.

If you would just come out, then we could
get to know each other better.

Expensia takes the night shift.

Day and night, someone always stands guard. It reminds me of the verse, "He that keepeth Israel slumbers not, nor sleeps." Peep seems to take his furry fans in stride, as long as he can stay safely in the kitty carrier. And as long as they don't rattle the bars too loudly trying to get in. With adventure all around, Noni Beth

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Peep of the Prairie

I'm still way behind in my blogging. I mean, we haven't even gone through Yellowstone yet in blogland, and that was in June. But there is breaking news, which must blast through all the posts that aren't there yet, and take its place at the head of the line.

Yesterday, a customer noticed a tiny baby sparrow lying on the asphalt near the fire station, which is next door to the office. The air temperature was in the high 90's, so I can only imagine how hot the poor little thing was with no protection for its feet and belly. He (she?) lay writhing in agony, fluttering and scooting, too small to walk, too small to make it across the ten feet or more to the grass. A distressed parent bird watched helplessly.

Of course I couldn't leave the poor thing there, even though I need a baby bird like I need....well, there is no simile grim enough and still polite enough. I do NOT need a baby bird.  I figured I could at least give it a more comfortable place to die.

It wouldn't eat at first. Maybe it was too weak, or maybe tweezers didn't look enough like Mommy's beak. Or maybe soggy cat food didn't look enough like flies. Then Tiggy had the bright idea to play the birdsong on her cell phone, and voila! An Eating Monster was born. It's like Pavlov's dinner bell - he hears it, and he must eat.

Below is a video clip of Peep. There are some cute shots of him, but in large parts the camera is swinging wildly and out of focus. Six cats were very interested in all the Peeping, not to mention the smell of cat food and hard-boiled egg. Every time the camera shakes off Peep, it's because I'm shoving away one of his ardent fans. It was like trying to hold back a crowd at a Beatles concert. It's going to be a looooooooooong time till he's ready to fly away. Sigh.

So here is Peep, still alive after more than 24 hours in custody.