Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Lifer?

This handsome African Gray parrot is about the extent of my birding as of late. He lives at the nursing home where my sister is living now and from the first time I met him he has liked me. He talks quite a lot but mostly only when I turn my back. Last week he surprized me by asking "Wanna go to Albuquerque?" He gets as close as he can and gives kisses. About ten years ago he came in with a resident and has become a permanent resident himself even though his owner has since died. My whole family enjoys visiting him after we've visited with my sister. I will say though I have seen MANY red-tailed hawks along the freeway while driving back and forth to the nursing home.
My backyard is hosting all of the winter regulars, house sparrows, house finches, juncos, goldfinches, cardinals and blue jays, white breasted and red breasted nuthatches. The downy and hairy woodpeckers and chickadees are everywhere. Right now as I'm writing this it is two-thirty in the afternoon and the temperature is a whopping -7 with a windchill factor of -31!! The gusty winds aren't expected to die down until later this evening. There is a handfull of chickadees huddled and tapping their black oilers on the window air conditioner in the bedroom window. Birds often gather there on cold days because of the warm air that I'm sure leaks out through the window. Even on such a brutally cold day as today I am cheered to hear the spring songs of the chickadees and house finches. The male cardinals are singing territorial songs high in the bare tree branches. Because of my sister's illness, as tired as I am of the cold, I find myself trying not to wish for time to hurry us into spring. But no matter our wishes, the days lengthen and the sun passes higher in the sky in it's own time. There is so much in life that is unpredictable and out of our control but the seasons merge one into another in their own time too.


Larry said...

That Parrot looks so much like one called Tomas that lives in the Weathersfield CT Nature center.-he did the same thing to me-started talking when I left the room and stopped when I came back.--31! I'll know enough not to complain about our winters in CT to you.

Linda in Erie said...

I'm praying for your sister and wishing you the best in dealing with her illness. The talking parrot is pretty neat. Our weather tonight is at 5 degrees and the wind is gusting at 40 mph and I guess we have it good compared to you! Spring will be nice.

Lynne said...

Larry- the lady that cares for the parrot said he always stops talking when he's got your attention. It was -18 with reallt strong winds when we got home last night. When it's that cold your pant legs hurt when they touch your legs and the inside of your nose gets a bit frozen when you take a breath. Like an ice cream brain freeze all over!

Linda- thank you for the continued prayers. Although she has to be fed, Phyllis is able to eat now without a feeding tube which is wonderful as she really enjoys food. Art and I snuck some McDonalds french fries in to her yesterday and she was in foodie heaven! BIG smiles.

Mary said...

Dear Linne,

Your winters are SO severe. Even in Maryland we did not have it so hard. I think you need spring - or at least a "touch of spring". It would be good for your birds, too.

I think of your sister and wish her the best days... Can she visit that silly parrot for a few laughs?


mon@rch said...

I love African Gray's and they are such amazing birds! I think they are soo smart and we use to have a few at the Aviary that I worked at! They always knew certain people who they would respond to!

Lynne said...

Hi May! We do take Phyllis down to see the parrot. She can't see him but smiles when he talks.

Mon@rch- The parrot says "good boy" when he sees me because that's what I always say to him. He begs me for a taste of peanut butter then bobs his head when I ask him if it's good.

Susan Gets Native said...

I did a program yesterday at a long-term care facility and they have a dog-greeter by the name of Zeppo. Give me a parrot any day.
Phyllis, you and your family are in my thoughts all the time.
Stay warm up there!

Jayne said...

A beautiful post Lynne. Glad that the parrot is there to cheer those who get to "talk" to him. :c) Love to you. Phyllis remains in my prayers too.

RuthieJ said...

Some of the nursing homes around here have small aviaries with different kinds of finches living in them. They're fun to watch, but a talking parrot would be much more interesting--especially because he's friendly.

I'm hearing chickadees and house finches singing but no cardinals yet.

MojoMan said...

Wow, Lynne, you've had a lot of challenges recently. I hope you and your loved ones find comfort and peace soon.

Trixie said...

YIkes! What cold! Our snap is finally losing it's grasp. We have a few clouds, a few flakes, and double digit positive temps. YIPPY!

You and your family have made the daily prayer hit parade. I am sooo glad to see you posting.

Deb said...

Lynne- you and your family and Phyllis are definitely in my prayers.

I'm sure that parrot makes lots of people happy, when they need to be happy. I used to want a parrot when I was younger, I had to settle for a budgie and a cockatiel.