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Didn’t take them long to adapt to their situation.  Gaff, garden, pension.  Being the last two birds in the world.   


It was a soap opera in there, better than anything on tv.... it was non-stop.  Anytime I needed entertaining the birds were there full on. After a while it dawned on me I was living in another species’ household.  It was very intimate in both directions.

They got up when dawn could push enough light past the curtains.  Thoughtfully keping everything low key until I got up and drew the curtains back.  It was very pleasant to wake up of a morning with quiet fluttering going on nearby.   They stayed up until I went to bed.

I never did get them to respond to a bedtime whistle but it didn’t take them long to get me trained to slowly close the door, simulating dusk, for them.   I was living in a Skinner box. 
I noticed.      I also worked out that in living space : body volume ratio,  they had more room than I did.      And we all had the benefit of an open fire.

They took five square meals a day.  I guess it was the way they were brought up.  Occasionally snacking in between.  They’d hop up onto the edge of the feed coconut and pick up seeds and crack them.  Then when they’d had their fill they’d wipe their beaks on its side  and fly away and the brrrr... of their wings would winnow husks out of the coconut onto the sand.

They loved bathing.  Bathed every day.  Mork would hop up onto the edge of the water coconut then hop in and brrrrrr....... his wings.  Spray everywhere.  Then he’d hop out onto the other edge, shake his feathers then fly up to some spot and preen himself.

They did a lot of preening.  Preening began by puffing out the chest and then opening out the feathers as if unzipped down the middle.  A parting line.  Then get the beak scratching around the base of the feathers and then get them all lined up right.  Zip everything back up and check it out.  Being able to turn their heads right round they would do a rearrangement on the back.  For the full monte they’d stretch each wing in turn and do the spread out feather scratch around and realign treatment.  Then take to the air for a test flight.  Wheeeee    brrrrr........

They were constantly chattering, meeping, to each other.  Being the last two birds in the world they soon got close.  They began courting, sitting close to one another and kissing.  Sometimes, as a treat, he would pluck out one of her feathers, chew on the quill end, pass it to her, she’d chew on it then pass it back.  He’d give it another chew and then drop it.       (This turned out also to be a play they’d use to cheer each other up if one of them was a bit mopey.  And elsewhere !!)   

Then they got to mating.   Mating behaviour was just too fantastic.  They’d get on to the “springy” branch and perch on the off-branches, which were a bit like a broad staircase if you thought of it that way.  One would perch above the other and facing each other they’d brushing, hop past each other, turning as they landed to keep face to face.   All the time they’d be chattering to each other.  And what were they saying ?? ......

“Come fly with me and be my love
And we shall all the pleasures prove
That hill and valley, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.”

When the chattering and the hopping had got beyond fever pitch he’d mount her and in a burst of fluttering she’d roll her head back with her eyes closed in an ecstasy of unity.
Then they’d break off and fly to seperate perches in the cage and preen.    A bit of calling and meeping and then they’d be back to the mating spot again for another frenzied bout. 

They had romantic evenings too.  They’d sit on the roost together and bill and coo in a meeping sort of way and then he’d scratch behind her ear with his beak and she’d roll her head back, eyes closed in an expression of bliss.

Next thing they were building a nest.


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