the first of the ANIMALS Pages
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Photo: An Indan Ringneck parakeet. Ringneck is a description, not an instruction

Here's the Bird. No known name. An Indian Ringneck Parakeet. Pound for pound the loudest of God's creatures. She sits in a cage about 3½ feet behind my head, as I write. Her cries are physically painful to me, an old animal with zero effective hearing above 3800 Hz. Imagine what it must be like for an animal with sensitive ears. Ouch.

She came to us like many of our animals did: dropped by and stayed. One day I heard a screeching in back of the house. There she was, sitting on a wire. She had three routines: the "charge" as in football cheers; the wolf whistle; the attention whistle. Plus all the incoherent caterwauling you could put up with. I taught her the Woody Woodpecker.

Over the years she has lost the trained calls, since we neglected to reinforce them. Her forte, since she spent so much time alone in the house with them, is dog barks. They start in our house or in the neighbors', and she pitches right in. She also has a good raven to dish up on occasion.

Last year at this time she got into one of her affectionate periods, and on a hunch I put a box in the cage, a box with a little hole she could just squeeze in and out through. She spent most of the next three weeks in there. When it finally came time to clean the cage, I found eight eggs in what passed for a nest, made of shredded paper, and feathers. Until then I had only an inkling that she was a female

I have let her escape several times, accidentally. She flies away and out of sight, but if I leave her cage outside with the doors open, pretty soon she comes home. Always a disappointment. Her record for length of adventure is just more than three weeks. That time I was deciding to fold up and store the cage when she showed up, bedraggled and hungry. Shortly thereafter we bought her a cage of about three times the volume.

During the notorious "Cedar" fire of 2003 we were forced to evacuate and seek cleaner air. Getting the Bird into the small cage was easier than reassembling it. When the air at our retreat got too bad, we took the caged bird into the house. Then we got instructions to prepare for evacuation from there, so it was back into the truck. False alarm, it turned out. Once we were able to return to our home, she climbed eagerly back into the large cage.

The picture at the top of the page is of a male. They have the pronounced ring that gives the species its name. There is an inflight photo (two, actually):  

Scan: underside of the Bird in flight     Scan: upper side of the Bird in flight

I did find these poses of the Bird resting
between chews of the trophy shelf:
Scan: Bird perched on a macramé relic       Scan: Bird perched on a pallid bust of a Corvette trophy

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