Today we’re going to talk about the glory of birds. (WE…DID IT ALL…FOR THE GLORY OF BIRRRRRDS!) (Shut up, when I was a teen-Amy, that song was my FAVORITE, because I was all into the Karate Kid movies. I didn’t always make the best choices. Still don’t.)
AMY! WE JUST TALKED ABOUT BIRDS! you are yelling at me. DINOSAUR BIRDS!
Well, yes, we did. But we’re totally not talking about dinosaur birds today. We’re talking about awesome REGULAR birds that exist on our OWN PLANET NOW. And did I mention they’re awesome? Because they ARE.
I have a weird history with birds. (That sounds terrible and naughty. It was not meant that way. I promise.) I had a pair of lovebirds when I was in high school. I was so excited because they were the first pets I got to own MYSELF and they were MY PETS and I got to NAME them and I was VERY EXCITED ZOMG. Only come to find out they did one thing, and that one thing was screech. Constantly. They didn’t stop. They started out in my bedroom but then I couldn’t sleep so we moved them to the laundry room and then the whole family couldn’t sleep so then we moved them to the BASEMENT and we STILL couldn’t sleep so we gave them away. SO LOUD. So pretty and green with pretty faces but so loud. And also they totally didn’t let me touch them. I wanted to touch their pretty feathers and snappy beaks.
Then in grad school I knew someone with a parrot that tried to eat my whole ear and I totally bled all over the place. That parrot was smart and could say things and was crafty but also super-mean. And we had a parakeet at the pet store where I worked that could say its name (“EGGY!” and no, I don’t know why its name was Eggy, I assume because it said something that sounded like Eggy, and someone who worked at the pet store before me said, “That must be his name!”) He also would ride around on your shoulder and he never pooped on your shirt. I liked Eggy very much.
I also had a pair of birds right after grad school but when I moved I gave them away because I decided I was not a bird person. They ALSO did not let me touch them, and also birds are messy and make a lot of noise. I’m better with cats that knock over things when they fall off the bookcase. Or fish. I’m very good with fish. I want fish again someday.
ANYWAY, after I blogged about dinosaur birds who used their dancy rumps to get all the ladies, I got TWO VIDEOS about OTHER AWESOME BIRDS from TWO PEOPLE I LOVE. See what a lucky woman I am? The luckiest, is how lucky.
First, the amazing Mer who I miss like CRAZY posted the following video to my Facebook page after she read about dinosaur rump-shakery:
This is the Vogelkop Bowerbird. I had never heard of this bird before. Now it is one of my favorite new feathered friends.
In case you decide not to watch this totally kickass video, I will tell you the highlights.
- the Vogelkop Bowerbird is an interior decorator. He lives in a little thatchy thing. Which is, given his name, not surprisingly, called a bower. And he DECORATES it. With things like fungus, leaves, insects, and in one case, DEER DUNG. Heh.
- these birds also like color schemes. They’re like wedding planners. The deer dung bird liked nature colors so he chose browns. The other bird liked brighter colors. Also, his insect decor kept crawling away, and he kept running back to retrive the insects and put them back where they belonged and it was SO FUNNY AND AWESOME.
- The deer dung bird didn’t want the fungus that was growing in his dung to mess up his all-brown color scheme so he spent a long time plucking all the fungus out of the dung. These birds crack my shit UP. No pun intended with the shit and the dung.
- The reason these birds decorate their little bowers is because the lady-birds choose their mates depending on whose display pleases them the most. Sex knows no species boundaries, my friends. None at all.
- Near the end of the video there’s some total birdie-style sexing, for those of you who like such things. I’m looking at you, Ding Dong Joe. (Also, apparently birds are QUICK. Whoo! I don’t feel that lady-bird’s needs were at all satisfied.)
This bird lives in Indonesia so the odds are good I will never ever see this bird. I don’t know that I’ll ever go to Indonesia.
According to Wikipedia, the Satin Bowerbird chooses items of ALL THE SAME COLOR, so that one’s even MORE fun. These birds are enjoyable as hell.
Also, when I was playing this video, Dumbcat stood in the middle of the living room and turned his head all around and said, “Merouuu?” because he thought there were birds in the house. Dumbcat wants to eat a bird very badly. Or make friends with a bird. I’m not quite sure of his motivations, bird-wise.
Then I tweeted Andreas, totally taking him to task for not telling me about this amazing bird. Because he’s all sciency, you see. Andreas should tell me about ALL the things. (It never crossed my mind he wouldn’t know about these birds. And as you will see, I was right in that assumption, even though you know what they say about making asses out of both you AND me.)
He responded with:
@lucysfootball Well.. I haven’t gotten around to tell you quite EVERYTHING I know yet. Working on it though.
— Andreas Heinakroon (@heinakroon) January 6, 2013
Andreas makes me laugh and also smile with happiness. He’s just the best.
He then told me about the bird that only likes blue (I’m going to assume that’s the Satin Bowerbird) and then sent me the link to the NEXT video, and listen, this one’s ALSO an awesome bird. Check THIS one out:
This is the lyrebird. The lyrebird can make ALL THE SOUNDS. Not just other bird sounds. Did you watch that video? You should. It’s not even very long. And it’s totally the most entertaining. That bird is pretty and also VERY TALENTED.
It can make the following noises:
- other birds;
- photography equipment;
- logging equipment like chainsaws; and
- car alarms.
And they TOTALLY SOUND LIKE WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE. This bird sounds like he has a tape recorder in his throat. It is AMAZING. Plus he has a pretty tail, like a little mini-peacock.
THIS time, when I watched THIS video, Dumbcat LEAPT up onto the couch, and proceeded to crowd up onto my lap where the laptop was. I was all, “bub, what are we doing right now OH HUH THAT’S WELL NO LET’S NOT…” because he then attempted to lick the screen.
Apparently lyrebirds were more tempting than bowerbirds. Dumbcat wants to eat a lyrebird. Even though all those tailfeathers would make him sneeze and the minute it started making car-alarm noises, he’d get scared and hide in the pots-and-pans cupboard. (When the windows are open in the spring/summer, he also licks the screens when birds are on the porch. He doesn’t attempt to go THROUGH the screens. He’s hefty and totally could, if he wanted to. No, he just licks the metal screens. Because he’s…well, he’s my Dumbcat, I suppose.)
Also, I loved this video the most, because when the lyrebird made kookaburra noises, he was SO CONVINCING, a kookaburra totally came to see what was up. A KOOKABURRA! My favorite bird of ALL THE TIMES! Now I want a lyrebird AND a kookaburra. They would be the best of friends. I would name them Fred and Jimmy. Why? I don’t know, I don’t question your life choices. RUDE.
Lyrebirds live in Australia, mate. I’d totally go to Australia and meet all the lyrebirds. And also all the kookaburras. And meet a guy with a sexy accent. And meet Nemo. Those things all can happen in Australia, I saw it on my teevee.
So what have we learned today?
- Bowerbirds are the interior decorators of the avian world
- Bowerbirds only have sex for like thirty seconds
- Female bowerbirds are probably bitter and grumpy due to that last tidbit of information
- SATIN bowerbirds seem to only like blue things, which is super-selective and pretty
- But, since they are bowerbirds, I assume they still are all wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am (SAD)
- Lyrebirds are the best mimics ever and remind me of that guy from the Police Academy movies, only prettier
- Lyrebirds can EVEN FOOL KOOKABURRAS
- Andreas knows about all the birds, every last one of them
- Dumbcat wants to either eat or make friends with a bird (debatable)
This has been a very big day, blog-wise. We have learned MANY THINGS. I think you’ll all want to take a nap now, probably. I can’t blame you.
If anyone has a lyrebird or a kookaburra they’re looking to rehome, you let me know. Dumbcat and I would take very good care of them. Promise.