The lady bird, she's been laying eggs again. The slut.
When the Fiery One and I came home from Christmas holidays in Cosmopolis, I found four little blue eggs in the bottom of a deeper cup-like thing I have attached to the side of the cage. I was a little surprised, because we got two birds from one of my old bosses, a male and a female, and he said that the female had never shown any interest in nesting, so we probably wouldn't have to worry about baby birds.
The lady bird definitely discovered a new and obsessive interest in nesting over the holidays, though, because when she found herself lacking proper nesting materials, she became resourceful and simply plucked all of the male's body feathers out to line her nest with. The male looked like he was near death, a miniaturized version of the Christmas turkey, but I turned up the heat in their room, and he was fine.
I knew that eventually this constant pilfering of his feathers for her nest-making would kill him, so I transferred him to the smaller cage and put the other larger male, Elliott, in with the lady bird. Elliott was better able to stand his ground with her because of his size, and she left him alone for the most part. The other male quickly grew back his feathers and has been doing fine.
The lesson I have learned: never underestimate a mother bent on preserving her young, even if they're still pretty much zygotes.
Well, actually, I learned that lesson a little later. The lady bird seems to be a bit fickle when it comes to caring for her young. When I switched the males around on her, she promptly lost interest in her small clutch of eggs, kicking them out of the nest one at a time. (On a very weird note, I say that she kicked them out of the nest because that is what I assume she did, but I have no evidence telling me what really happened to the eggs. They have simply disappeared from existence either inside the cage or in the surrounding environs). Then, she spent long periods of time pining away for her mate through the bars of their neighbouring cages. It was quite pathetic. Did I feel bad about it when she pressed her little body against the bars as though she could somehow press herself through to her one true love? No. Her physical abuse nearly killed the poor boy. He, on the other hand, seemed quite content without her and rarely popped over to her side of the cage to chat. He happily itched his areas of regrowth and ate seeds without the interference of his partner's heartless beak.
And what did all her mooning and pining and distressed body throwing come to? All her passionate demonstrations of love for the male were the empty and selfish cries of an abusive partner who has lost her position of power. Yesterday afternoon, while cleaning out the two cages, I found three new eggs of a different colour and size than her last batch bedded down in a nest of wool yarn ends from a failed poncho knitting attempt. And, despite the fact that I have provided her with ample nesting material, Elliott has a small bald patch on his back between his wings. Even with more than enough in the way of nesting materials, she just has to have someone else's feathers in her nest.
Not only did she nearly abuse her last partner into an early grave and destroy her first set of possible birdlings, but she is now set on abusing her second partner and trying to bring a second batch of young into this new abusive relationship.
If any of you are bird people, I know that it is time for me to perform an intervention and get either a larger cage or another one altogether for Elliott. The lady bird cannot be allowed to continue visiting the downspiralling of her own life upon others. Also, do I really want a whole passel of shrieking, hairless babies in my house? I think not.
And about these hairless babies... We now have three new eggs with the possibility of more on the way. I learned from last time around that if I put her through emotional stress, she abandons her eggs, or eats them, or something. Maybe if I poke her with a stick she'll quit this baby-making thing she's doing. One little stick could solve so many problems.
Oh, please. I am so kidding about the poking her with a stick part.
If these ones ever actually hatch, is anyone up for a finch or three of their very own?
By the way, the Fiery One returned home last night from his week-and-a-half long work trip, which means that my life will once again be filled with more regular sleeping patterns, a world away from my computer, diversity in the foods I eat (I've been on the peanutbutter and bread diet plan for about three days, give or take), and god-sanctioned fornication. Yay and yum.
Hello back to you, Ladyloo. I'll be reading.
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