Some Very Itchy Birds

First off, apologies for the hiatus.  I doubt I have any “fans” waiting around for a new blog post, but I feel I should at least apologize to myself for neglecting to do something I enjoy so much – writing.

In my own defense against myself (huh?), I have been busy graduating.

That’s right, I have a degree.  Now what, you ask?  Well.  I don’t know.  But feel free to hire me, anytime.

Anyway, back to my original intent with this post.  I have neither a plan nor a structure, so I suppose I’ll just wing it.

Speaking of wings (hehe, pun!) my boyfriend Milo and I visited the birds at the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park here in Vancouver, yesterday.  Somehow, neither of us had ever been there before, despite our mutual love of photography and animals.

As you can see from the photos I took, the Conservatory is home to an incredible range of plant life and birds.  It was particularly amazing to be up-close to some of these beautiful birds, who are, for the most part, not afraid of humans.

And this is where I have to pause, just as I do at the aquarium (scroll through my past posts if you don’t know what I’m talking about), to question what it is we are doing, by putting these birds in an environment such as this one. I noticed quite a distinction between the little birds, who are free to fly around the Conservatory as they please, and the larger birds, with clipped wings.  Not just a distinction in size, obviously.  The smaller birds somehow came across as being more fulfilled, more carefree and happier, if I may project my own human emotional categorizations onto them. The larger birds were restless. And who wouldn’t be, confined to a branch their entire lives?

So I question the human practice of restraining other animals simply for our own gain. But of course, we’re all also questioning my own oh-so-human tendency to project my emotions onto these other beings.  So, I have no arguments, and no proof to support my statements.  Let’s just call them observations; or mere thoughts, even.

We had a funny moment with the African Grey parrot, which you can see in the photos, named Rosie.  She came off of her branch and out onto the walkway, on “foot”, and approached Milo, and another couple who was there.  She seemed very curious, but also a bit fearful.  After maybe an hour of sitting there trying to figure out what she wanted, someone discovered that she was wanting to be scratched on the back of her neck.  We could feel that she had some new feathers coming in, and obviously this was causing her some discomfort.

So everyone took turns giving her a scratch, and she was pleased, it seemed.

Another funny bird was having itchy issues as well – the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo.  When we first arrived, the bird (whose name we didn’t find out due to a lack of signage), was using a piece of its branch to scratch itself.  It was both endearing and comical.  Later when we went back towards this bird, it performed something of a “dance” – it would sway its entire body rapidly left and right.  Also very intriguing behavior.

Anyway, I don’t have much of a story or even much of a debate for you in this post.  It was certainly a lovely day.


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