Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eddie, my "special" bird

Eddie is probably in her late twenties but she still has yet to catch on to the concept of planning for a landing after launching. Getting airborne is always a big surprise for her. How she stops, that's the bigger surprise. Crash or land?  She is equally proud of herself whether she hits a wall or accidentally grabs hold of something on the way to wherever she's going. When she stops a flight, however way she does it, she lets out a big "Woooooooo" at the end. Success. In her eyes only.

Above is a picture of Eddie after she crashed into the piled up plants in the kitchen that still go out in the morning and come in at night. That's one of her better landings but still, that's just 12 inches off the floor where she ended up. I personally would not be that proud if I were a bird, but she's Eddie and she's "special." Stella is just appalled at the praise and support Eddie receives for the most remedial of things. 

Eddie is definitely not like Stella who is too smart, too calculating and has way too many grudges, more of which are added to her list every day. Stella right now is behind me in the kitchen trying really hard to unbalance some bowls so that they will crash to the floor. I've got some one pound cans in the bowls to slow her down. For Eddie, every morning starts as a completely new first day in the rest of her life. I swear that little hard drive in her head gets purged every night. She's not a pea brain, she's a split legume brain, but I still adore her.

Eddie loves hanging out on top of her cage, very rarely does she launch herself somewhere. I'm very used to her always being on the top of her cage. She spends her days watching her shows on TV with laugh tracks and laughs along when everyone else does. When it's time to go to bed, she climbs into her cage, pulls the cage  door shut and then tucks herself in for the night. But one day I was a little lax about keeping the back screen door shut. 

During the summer, I'm always going in and out of the house (and so is Violet the cat) so sometimes I leave the screen door slightly ajar.  I wasn't aware the screen door was wide open one day until I turned around when I was in the backyard and facing the house, saw Eddie flying toward me on her way out of the house with the biggest "Ohmigawd" expression on her face. Once she left the house, up and up and up she flew until she almost flew out of sight and then..... I saw her make a U-turn and then...... land on the roof of my house. I was just stunned. So was Eddie. I ran to my neighbor and he grabbed his ladder and grabbed his new baby and off we went to try and rescue Eddie. But when Eddie saw all that commotion, she launched again. Out of sight. Completely out of sight. But then we saw her descend from a big U turn in the sky from behind the trees into someone's backyard up the street. Edward (my neighbor) and I searched for a half hour. No Eddie anywhere. I was heartbroken, tired, was down to 2% hope and then when I was almost ready to give up finding her, I said in a very sad voice out loud, "Eddie?" I heard an instant little churr. She was right in front of me all wrapped up and stuck in a big hedge of honeysuckle that was growing on a chain link fence. I grabbed that bird, rolled her in the bottom of my tee shirt and ran right home.

The screen door stays closed when I'm outside now. Closed. Secure. In fact I even lock it. 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful that Eddie is still living here with me and that she never caught on to launching, landing and relaunching or I would never have seen her again. She's a little split pea brain but I adore her. There's no explaining that but I do. If you've never heard the "This American Life" story of a woman and her love for a macaw, click here. Just don't do it with a bird on your shoulder and a cat on your lap. I was just listening to it with Stella on my shoulder and Violet on my lap and the first time the macaw made a noise, Stella flew off as fast as possible (I found her hiding in the medicine cabinet) and Violet? I have no idea where she is right now.


Mental P Mama said...

Oh dear, I have a pionus parrot who may be related to Eddie. Not too bright, and incapable of landing. Only crashes

Anonymous said...

I adore this blog, i read it everyday and enjoy the animal and
the clever writing. as the owner of a redfoot tortoise, iam curious as to what michael ray and cathy jean are? keep up the great writing?

Tami Weingartner said...

That would have been so scary! Glad you found her.

Anonymous said...

I really should wear my reading glasses and drink my coffee before I type anything. What i was trying to say in my 1st ever blog comment was i really, really enjoy the day to day antics of this household. Looking forward to hearing about Thanksgiving with the pets.

Q said...

Dear Maria,
I love reading your bird stories!
I think Stella is entertaining but Eddie has my heart!
So glad all is well.
I have heard this story on This American Life. It is very charming. You and the birds could also do a "charming" story!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your special friends,

Maria said...

Mental-Living with a couple birds, it's interesting to see how fast some of them learn, or how fast their instinct kicks in. Eddie...well, it's taken her ten years just to figure out that picking a landing spot before launching is the best method of flying...not that she's very consistent about that. Stella learned how to fly and land and make U-turns pretty fast but since she's such a sturdy little thing, it took a long time for her wing muscles to develop. I swear I could see the minutes go by on my watch while she flew across a room toward me. I'm surprised with her beginning speed she could even get into the air. And then, Starlinka...she made two separate jumps, got airborne on each one of them and landed on a flat surface not far away. Done. She had the whole flying concept figured out. Starlings are sooooo smart.

Mary-thank you so much for your kind comments. That makes me happy to hear you like reading my silly blog. And first blog post comment ever? Wow. Now I'm really flattered. It's nice to meet you. :-)

You have a redfoot???? How big is he? Is he 20 pounds yet? How are you coping? Does he go outside and stomp your garden? Maybe you're lucky and have a nice polite turtle. :-)

Michael Ray and Cathy Jean right now are in the basement in their tanks under some lights...not very exciting for them but they 've finally slowed down for the winter. I'll see tomorrow if they think joining the rest of us upstairs for dinner is interesting to them.

Tami-My animals have had several accidental escapes and I have always managed to find them. I was very, very lucky with Eddie.

Sherry-I think I'll be writing a lot about the birds over the winter months because the bugs are gone for the year......except for five lacewings on the ceiling over my head right now. :-) I'm glad you like the stories about my indoor birds. Their personalities are all so different.

Country Girl said...

Maria, I'm thinking of you and your eclectic household today on Thanksgiving.
I loved this post about Eddie! What unique characters she and Stella are.
I wish you much love.

Maria said...

Aw Kate. I'm thinking of you too. Does your messed up ankle get you out of cooking today? Timing is perfect because this is the biggest cooking day of the year. :-)