Did that bird just scream “Mommy”?

Similar to my Roomba, cockatoos share a lot of traits with toddlers. They are cute, can be needy, can learn adorable behaviors that keep you from killing them, are cuddly and can throw tantrums.

I knew all this going in.

And I also knew Nala bites and that Nala doesn’t like to step up.

Nala seems to have trust issues.

The first day I had her, I had to towel her (gently) to get her in her cage and I never covered her head. That way she could see what I was doing.

The second day, she bit me twice while I put her in her cage at night but I didn’t have to towel her.

And she’s starting to step up. Now she runs right up my shoulder. Which is still not truly stepping up. But she will reach out and take my hand and stand on it.

She has also discovered that I often leave the room after I ask her to step up and if she doesn’t step up, she doesn’t get to come.

First night I had her, I had to cover her cage to get her to settle. Last night, she went to sleep before I even turned the lights out. Now something startled her awake, but when I turned out the light she didn’t make a peep.

But the one thing I am wondering, she doesn’t scream when left alone but she will periodically call out. And I think she’s saying, “Mommy.”

Maybe I’m crazy.

But has this bird been looking for a maternal type?

See what you think, check out this YouTube video:

“Mommy?”

Welcome, Nala.

I went to visit Nala at the bird store on Emmaus Avenue, Bird Mania. She’s a almost four-year-old Goffin cockatoo.

I pet her for an hour in the store. I know the clerks wanted me to take her home, they and my daughter both think this bird has taken a liking to me.

But I left without her. All of the cages they had were smaller than the ones I have for the parakeets. And I hate the idea of having a bigger bird in a smaller cage than my budgies. But I also can’t afford an aviary.

I also can’t afford a $600 bird.

A $600 bird that will live for the rest of my life.

A bird whose species is prone to temper tantrums.

So I left.

I left and went to Petco nearby and they had even smaller, flimsier cages. And all their budgie cages were tall instead of long. Budgies like you go as high as they can and then they fly horizontally. They don’t go up and down.

I thought they might have a nice budgie cage and I could put Nala in the big flight cage.

They didn’t.

And I went back to Bird Mania and pestered the workers with questions and statements.

And I came home with Nala.

I have had my budgies for a year. I fear this is too much bird for me. I could have spent that money on a new MacBook so I can work from home when it snows. (Honestly, I don’t want a computer. I just don’t. If the office has a laptop I can bring home I’d be fine with that but I don’t need a fancy computer.)

But I bought the bird.

Nala and the parakeets

Our Animal-ventures: Finding Dogs and Nala

My daughter is still obsessive-compulsive about the new Cats movie. Since she lost a field mouse in her room last night, I suggested maybe she clean today.

Somehow I told her that if she got her room clean I would gladly take her to Cats again. Even though I would rather go to the dentist.

But that’s how much I want her room clean.

And so far she’s done five or six loads of laundry, found a pile of dishes and probably emptied the vacuum cleaner more times than she can count.

And she’s filled two 30 gallon trash bags.

I may be spending tomorrow at Cats.

My morning

I spent my morning picking up a little, hanging out with the budgies and watching the roomba vacuum.

Then I spent about 90 minutes working on my budget through April and paying bills.

I have been contemplating buying a computer so I can work from home this winter when it snows.

But it’s just so hard with the price of Apple products on the rise. I need to research some refurbs.

I thought maybe it would be fun to visit a bird store. So I googled that. Bird Mania on Emmaus Avenue.

Double Click Computers

Our first stop was Double Click Computers between Bethlehem and Nazareth. They were once the only Apple service people in the Lehigh Valley. Then the Apple Store moved in at the Lehigh Valley Mall.

My first computer was a PowerBook 165 in 1994. I’ve never owned anything but Macs. I’ve had the first Mac Mini prone to overheating. I had a Performa. I had iBooks, MacBooks, and MacBook Airs. Even the one shaped like a toilet seat. I had a G4. I had a tower with a built-in Zip drive.

I feel like I’ve had all the Mac products. I had the first Time Capsule, which also overheated. Though I never had an iMac. Or did I? I might have had a hand-me-down.

So it was fun to consider buying the new MacBook Pro. But the $1400 price tag scared me.

But they had dogs. 3 dogs.

They were a lot of fun and apparently they keep children from banging on the computer keyboards.

Next, the birds.

Bird Mania

Most of the birds we saw were sold or boarding.

There was a boarding macaw that was very adamant about screaming. And an African Grey that talked quietly. Another bird that said “whatever.” Several that shook. I don’t know whether it was anxiety or fear. A lot of singing and a lot of squawking.

I saw a green bird named Beetle and an African Grey named Dorian and thought “wait a minute.” I was at Three Birds Coffee House and Beetle and Dorian were on vacation.

“Excuse me,” I asked the staff, “are these birds from Easton?”

Sure enough, I had found where the birds were vacationing. Maybe next time the owners can let me watch them.

I wanted to see cockatiels.

But a cockatoo made a move on me.

Nala

Her name is Nala. Her feathers were a tad matted, and she had plucked herself in some spots. She kept reaching through the cage.

So the teen wanted to see if we could handle her. As in pet her.

The staff warned me that she always seemed pleasant but she wouldn’t “step up” and she bites.

But she agreed to let us try.

Nala came out and sat on her cage door and kept trying to bite me and wouldn’t “step up.” But she let me pet her and play with her. And scratch her head and under her wings.

But she kept biting me.

The teenager refused to touch her.

I noticed she had lovely orange cheeks and orange under her crown feathers.

But I had to say goodbye.

The staff person said they had a boy who was a bird whisperer and he couldn’t get anywhere with her. I took that as my solace and my consolation. Then the staff member added, “but she really seems to like you.”

Wow.

My family had a cockatoo, probably 30 years ago. So I know how demanding and needy they are. And expensive. So I asked, “how much are cockatoos going for these days?”

“Because she’s older and bites, she’s $600.”

Sorry, Nala. I’m a single mom.

The staff member gets a towel to corner her. They start this dance around all the cages. I feel terrible. I step close. Nala now will “step up.” And she perches on my shoulder.

Look at her.

So I pet her more and try to kneel by her cage. She gets on the door. Refuses to go in. And plucks out one of her white and orange chest feathers as if to say, “you can’t leave me.”

Heartbroken.

Dinner at Taco Bell

We ended up at Taco Bell. And the teenager made this funky but delicious concoction of two parts Diet Pepsi and one part Mango iced tea.

  • She had normal tacos but I ordered all my items from the value menu. I started with the spicy potato taco ($1) because it sounded intriguing, then the Frito and beef burrito ($1) because that just sounded weird, and a bean and cheese and rice burrito ($1) for protein.
  • Fritos in my burrito.
  • The spicy potato taco was really tasty. I bet it would be amazing with eggs.
  • The Friti burrito gave the soft taco just the right amount of crunch.