Friday, April 18, 2008

Night fright

Cockatiels (a parrot species about 8-10 inches long) are notorious for night frights. Sometimes I wake up to the desperate flapping and can go turn the light on. Other times I just get up in the morning and find the broken and sometimes bloody feathers in and around the cage.

Last night I woke up. I leap out of bed, go into the next room and flip the light switch. A few seconds later, another episode of flapping breaks out, puzzling me. Sometimes it takes a few seconds for the birds to settle down, but once they can see it's safe they don't resume beating against the cage.

The birds settled down again quickly, though. I hear a sound from outside the house, a muffled thud-thud-thud-thud-thud, the flapping starts again, then from close to me clink-clink-clink-clink. I move my houseplants away from the edge of the shelf, the birds settle down.

Then again, the muffled thud-thud-thud-thud and the birds flapping and the clink-clink-clink of my ceramic pots shaking. "Do you feel that?" asks my partner from the bedroom (he later told me he thought one of his muscles was spasming).

Well. My first earthquake. The epicenter was 300 miles away from me. But still, what an unsettling way to start my day.

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