I have been told to write a happy post to cover up that last one.
Well, if I must.
Last week I collected a parakeet from a neighbour. She heard squawking and found the poor little chap rolling around in the dirt battling with a chicken. I know from experience that parakeets are ballsy, but that's ridiculous.
I gave it two days of r&r and copious quantities of food, after which time I realised it wasn't eating and was getting thinner and thinner. Plan B: the baby food worked beautifully. Okay, so it's a baby. One of the first of the year I should say. It has full plumage and flies pretty well now that it's nourished, so the parents must have nested around early February. He's just started eating papaya - stage 2 - so we should have a releasable bird within a week or two.
You know about our pigeon - Jerry's legacy to me before he left for foreign shores. If we were in the UK we would probably be pilloried for raising a sky-rat, but we're not, so we raised it, and now we don't dare release it as it will certainly end up as pie.
My possum trap has captured yet more rats and the same ferrel cat twice now (last chance buddy), but no possums. They are still around - there's chewing and spitting and smelly evidence everywhere, but I guess it can't be bothered to wait in the trap queue.
And you know about all the sex, right? No - well gather round... First at it were Bibi and Daphne. Unfortunately, they are a red lored and a white fronted. It's a bit like a staunch PUP shacking up with a UDP activist: it can be done, but it's not a pretty sight. Next were Chac and Chell, except Chac is cheating on Chell with Prico, even though Prico has her eyes closed most of the time and has no idea what is going on. Michael is loved up with Nigel, even though Nigel is only one year old and thinks Michale is just playing. (The less said about that relationship, the better.) Iran is naturally ticked off that his brother is getting some and he isn't, but I guess that's the same in a lot of families (BTW, Omer, if you're reading this, I have the names the wrong way around, but I'm too old to change now) And the two remaining white-fronted boys are so jealous of everyone, that the minute they hear any sex-noises, they bounce around them trying to ruin the moment. As you can imagine I spend an awful lot of time being a voyeur.
There's also a one-way valve in the aviary somewhere. It's about the size of a cat-bird, and it lets them in, but not out. I have one smart bird that knows the secret human-operated release door will be open for 10 minutes in the morning, and he hops straight out of it. The others leap about wondering how he got out, and I arrive back at the aviary next day to find him back in there again. I have my suspicions he is like the child-catcher: he lures the unsuspecting birds through the gap in the wire, closes it behind him trapping his prey, and then exits courtesy of the kind human to do it all over again tomorrow. I now have no less than 5 cat birds in there. Nothing else. Go figure.
I shall end my happy post with my familiar chorus: "Don't forget Geoff"!! He's traveled 116 miles so far, leaving 358 miles to go. His bum is sore and he's fitter than ever, and we're now only $8355 short of an aviary (is that like 2 sandwiches short of a picnic??). Geoff is my hero!