29.6.05

A bird flew into school one day

To the best friend: You may wish to stop reading here. There are no chickens in this post, but it does feature a live bird.

On Monday, my colleague found an African grey parrot parked under one of the tables outside the staff room. The fella was pretty tame, metal ring around his right foot and all, and readily hopped onto any arm proffered, perch-like, before him. On the other hand, he would also take mildly screeching offence at anyone who tried to pet him.

Fortunately, my colleague used to keep budgies and wasn't as clueless as, say, me. (The last close contact I had with a domesticated bird was probably in the '80s, at one of those Australian nature parks with galahs and cockatoos.) He first watered the parrot, then moved it indoors, away from any possible predators. Although the parrot had somehow flown into school, it showed no inclination to take flight again and we didn't want an excited stray cat to bring its wanderings to a startled and bloody end.

Since we both had exams to invigilate that afternoon, we contemplated moving the bird to one of the restrooms for safekeeping --- mostly because we wanted to post "Bird on the loose" on the men's room door. But in the end, the parrot was calm enough that it spent the afternoon perched on my colleague's chair in his cubicle.

By day's end, a phone call to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority had confirmed that they don't keep track of stray pet birds, so the colleague took the bird home for the night. Meantime, we'd also confirmed that it was something of a one-trick parrot. His one trick was: hop onto one's forearm, scuttle up to the elbow, nip at one's clothing to ease his ascent up to the shoulder, where he would steady himself near one's collarbone and, if one wears glasses as my colleague does, proceed to try and pull off said glasses.

Since I don't wear glasses, by the time he got onto my shoulder, all he did was, um, perch. It was still pretty neat, though.

Edited to add (12:06 pm): The parrot has been happily reunited with its owner, from a condominium near school. Apparently, there was much happy clicking and whistling on the parrot's part when it saw its owner, who in turn warmly rewarded my colleague for his trouble. (Apparently, African grey parrots do not come cheap.) My colleague had fun having the bird around for a couple of days, but as he put it, "It has the intelligence of a five-year-old and the emotional dependency of a two-year-old." And I thought dogs were needy.

6 Comments:

At 6/29/2005 12:09 pm , Blogger Yuhui said...

No picture?

 
At 6/29/2005 1:38 pm , Blogger Tym said...

No camera or cameraphone.

 
At 6/29/2005 8:39 pm , Anonymous Skates said...

*Smile*

The African Grey is one supposedly the most intelligent bird in its class (no puns intended) with supposedly the intelligence of a baby/young child, slightly neurotic and a very long life-span.

(Source: some friend)

*envy* *more smiles*

 
At 6/30/2005 9:49 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Picture No Talk.......

 
At 6/30/2005 9:12 pm , Anonymous Tris said...

I read! Think I forgot to tell you about the night I found a bird in our stair well...

 
At 6/30/2005 10:37 pm , Blogger Tym said...

Skates --- Thanks!

Anonymous --- No thanks.

Tris --- You'll have to tell me the next time. Are you graduating out of your phobia? :)

 

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