How To Translate Parrot Speak
"That would drive me nuts."
A simple statement, from man who, at the time, had his head stuck deep into our air conditioning unit. There was only half a man showing from the HVAC closet, and it wasn't the pleasant half. He made that comment to my husband who was standing near watching the progress.
Standing amongst our companion parrots I didn't hear anything other than conversations between birds. I reassured them, they talked amongst themselves and to me about the day so far. You see, the day at this point was just too intrusive. We had just gotten through four hours of trucks parked right behind our house outside all their windows. City trucks with lawn mowers and landscaping tools. Five men pulling out tools, starting motors large and small, and all of them coming and going from the creek while clearing the growth. Piles of tree limbs grew in full view of their windows.
Butters was over it. Snickers had had enough of humans he didn't know. Felix turned to his reliable ambulance, car alarm, microwave beep, back up the truck, crow screech, dog barking fart sound chuckle to maintain his personal space. The cockatiel horde couldn't have cared less. Their micro flock was secure at another window free of this view.
By the time the HVAC guy showed up our flock was done with strangers, strange things, and strange sounds thank you very much. Dad took off work early and arrived just a few minutes after all the intrusions, but before the HVAC guy was finished. Which triggered flock calling requirements of glee. It also requires dad to respond with individual greetings. And there was the rub. Greetings were put off due to the HVAC guy.
Today's communications were totally off kilter, and eight frustrated flock members had a few things to say about all of that! This guy wasn't an animal lover, our dog seemed to put him off as well. I suppose what he heard was noisy screeching. Unstoppable bird sounds of different decibels. I would have translated, but I didn't want to talk to the unpleasant half of a man sticking out of my HVAC closet. I stayed in the bird room.
Snickers was in his cage for his own good. He's nosy and he's territorial with new people. He didn't call too much but sat on his favored perch moaning and growling under his breath. That's a Snickers pout. The "If I wasn't in here, I'd take care of YOU!" kind of pout.
Butters was out of her cage and on the large tree in the center of the room. It was her job to deliver her Anti-turtle Alarm call. She did it well. So well, the windows shook. I find it funny in as much as she turns 360 degrees in a circle while doing it. She takes her work seriously.
Felix was ramping his repertoire of sounds to a level reserved for visitors. He's a ham and requires attention. Dad hadn't said hello yet, so this stranger was going to receive his best performance to date. None stop microwave, Andy Griffith Show, All in the Family, Star Wars Theme, laser beams, answering machine, crow screech, dog barking, ambulance, fire truck, and farts. Lots of fart sounds and laughs. Alas, he didn't see the better or unpleasant half of this stranger. But an African grey never retreats. He just got louder.
Kirby was locked in Butters' cage for his own good. He's our Ambassador of Friendship. Every single visitor must receive the Kirby Shoulder Greeting, and then the "I Will Eat With You" group hug, followed by the "I Will Help You With That" walk. He's a Klingon part Fighter Jet Heat Seeking Missile. No getting away from Kirby. Unless you lock him up. WHICH leads to the incessant Kirby Screech of "HEY you put me in a cage, and I know you didn't mean to do that because I NEVER go in a cage because I am Kirby and Kirbys don't go in cages GET ME OUTTA HERE!!"
The cockatiels were the unfortunate ones, they not only heard the HVAC guy, but saw his tools. Every time he walked by the kitchen pass-through. Personally, I think cockatiels are the loudest bird on the planet when they want to be ...and they did. Of course, they were only warning Kirby who needed to let them know he was stuck in a cage and couldn't do anything. So, Butters continued the alarm for Snickers who only agreed with her and told her to keep going. Felix stayed out of all of it, his Matinee Show wasn't over yet. It was a beautiful cacophony of feathered feedback. It drives me totally happy.
I felt bad for the HVAC guy. He couldn't fix our system issue. He has to come back on Friday to replace the blower. I don't feel bad that he has to listen to what he perceives as noise. I feel bad for him because he doesn't speak the language.