...for a weekend that started badly, it has ended up being a pretty good one.
The nicest thing was my first local contact through the blog with another bird rehabilitator. I've "met" others through various forums, but this was a blog first, and something I've wanted for a long time. When I started posting, I tried to limit the things that I said online about my jobs, in order to limit my identifiability. After a while, when I started looking at the search terms that got to the blog, there were a lot about mynahs and other baby birds, and I felt guilty that maybe there was info that I could pass on - either from myself, or by asking other more knowledgeable people at the centre - and that I owed it to the babies to try to help if possible. Yeah, there are some permit concerns wherever indigenous wildlife is involved, but at the end of the day, it's the wildlife that wins if more people know what to do. This particular lady is very knowledgeable herself, so making contact is going to be of benefit to all of us. And she is on the other side of the country, in an area where there is a lot of wildlife (and where we've had a couple of requests for help in the past and no-one to refer them to), so it's nice to know that there is someone who is skilled and caring in the area. Nice to "meet" you, sunbird-mommy!
And the dude managed a visit this morning, which I was hoping for but not really expecting. Not for long, but it was just so good to lean up against him. He is so warm, and so right, and it feels so much like safety when he wraps his arms around me. One of the things that always startles me briefly is that he doesn't appear tall because he is so perfectly proportioned, but that he is just the right bit taller than me so that when we hold each other, my face just naturally fits into the side of his neck, my head rests perfectly against his shoulder, and our arms just slide into place. Everytime that I ever hold him close it surprises me again that he is just so completely perfect in every way, and then I breathe in his own special smell - clean, warm, sweet....unique. For me, he is home.
The other good bit is unexpected too. The Alexandrine parakeet that has been visiting since Weds night is busy charming me completely. On Friday night he let himself out of his cage, which is safe, since he is in the bird room, and everyone else is in their cages. He made it very clear that the only way he was going back would be with force and nets, and I wasn't in the mood for that, so I left him out. He also made it very plain that after he stepped up beautifully on Weds when I fetched him, he feels betrayed by having been boxed and then caged, and has no intention of doing that again for a while. If I offer him my hand he squawks, and glares, and then leans forward and very gently bites my hand three or four times. He has a huge beak, and could very easily bite really hard, and we both know that he isn't biting, as such. He is just telling me that he doesn't trust me that much yet, but that he isn't being totally antisocial. He takes food from my hand, and doesn't run too far away, so that's a good start. What is really sweet is that he must have been a hand-reared baby, because the one thing that he can't resist is when I syringe feed the mynahs - within seconds he climbs across the cages and leans over with his mouth open. I give him a few drops, which is all he seems to want, and then offer him a bit of parrot mix or fresh food, after which he scuttles off to the other side of the pigeons. I've never wanted a parrotty bird, especially with all the wild birds that come here for a while, but Alex is beginning to tempt me greatly. Wouldn't be fair to him though, so I guess I'll send him to his new home soon - just surprises me that a bird as well socialised and loved hasn't been reported missing to any of the local vets or avian specialists. I'd like to be able to take him home to the people he knows and trusts.
The not good side is that I had better get to bed soon, as I have a team meeting with my inexplicably grumpy boss tomorrow. Not looking forward to that, so I'd better sleep soon enough that I'm wide awake, cheerful and on time for that....