Monday, August 02, 2021 —(In 20 days, August’s full “Sturgeon” moon will rise nearest to earth.)
We go for a walk, Peaches and I, on a hot summer afternoon. He watches everything, says “Hello” and “Goodbye” to others we meet out walking.
Peaches is a distinctive character, alert and carefree. Best, he’s finally showing signs of maturing. He’s lived with me four years, is turning sixteen, becoming easier to live with. He seems now a more relaxed bird, although still very noisy.
He’s a Citron Cockatoo, the smallest of the breed, considered perhaps the least talkative. Nonetheless, he has screaming sessions that produce hugely annoying racket. Especially when I’m trying to focus on something particularly interesting in a book or on television. It’s impossible to ignore the bird’s demanding outbursts.
I know that Peaches has a superb vocabulary, even if Citron’s do talk less than the larger Cockatoos. Peaches uses his vocabulary at his choice, not necessarily when someone’s encouraging him to talk.
On a signal that I might leave the house, like opening a drawer that holds my wallet or rattling a car key, Peaches always announces, “Bye, bye!” I nod and answer, as if to a human, and who wouldn’t? Whenever I return, he’s offering a cheery, “Hello, hello!”
His condominium cage is beside large windows. On seeing an approaching stranger, a delivery person or visiting friend, Peaches screams out alarms. My dogs rush to the windows, add their noises to his, and I’m duly alerted to possible danger.
There’s always clamor around here. If the dogs are outside, if they notice activity that makes them bark, Peaches joins in with his own effective barking sounds.
I’m certain of his giant vocabulary, because sometimes Peaches launches into loud talking. He spills a string of words revealing an amazing variety of stored sounds. Previously, he has lived with women and with men, and so, changes his voice to mimic the gender he’s copying.
It’s great fun when Peaches suddenly breaks into loud laughter. He sounds exactly like a human in the middle of belly laughing. Always, it’s impossible to resist responding. I laugh along loudly.
I love this bird.
Dear Friends: By definition, a bird’s a reptile. Amazing creatures, those. Diana