Friday, July 24, 2015

Twitch's Treasures

"What's yours is mine, and what's mine is mine."

Yup, that pretty much sums up Twitch the common grackle's motto. In the 4 months that I've been fostering him I have found that if he has something and you try to even touch it, you will suffer the pointy, stabby beak of Twitch. And if you have something and he wants it, kiss it goodbye (and also suffer the pointy, stabby beak)

Twitch resides in my office, and when I'm working on my computer or doing other desk work, I usually let him out to get some exercise. He spends a lot of time on top of my monitor singing at me, watching what I'm doing, and bouncing off of the top of my head. But Twitch and his big brain has learned something: the human has interesting and often tasty things at her desk. It started one day with the little green foamy frog you see in the photo above. For 3 years, that cute little frog has lived on the upper left corner of my monitor. Until one day when Twitch decided to remove it, take it back to his cage, immediately decapitate it, and then play with the carcass.
You see how at the end Twitch puts his beak in the air? That's how male grackles assert their dominance. It's common to see two grackles at a bird feeder, beaks in the air, seeming to see who can put their beak the highest in some sort of snobbery contest. 

Well later I got a bit of revenge, when I put a new frog on my monitor in the same place, knowing it would be irresistible to the feathered fiend. But what Twitch didn't know is since this was a new frog, the adhesive on the back of the sticker would be quite sticky. Yes...quite sticky indeed.
Twitch is twitching in this video because he had just taken a bath and was all wet.

Sadly, that was the last time I got the upper hand. Twitch has learned to raid my lunch breaks, helping himself to whatever he can find.
Why did Twitch have to eat the Wheat Thin on my keyboard? I'm going to be picking out cracker pieces for months. Twitch figured out that if he wants to be able to keep his stolen goods, he'd better get it back to his cage, and fast. Now whenever Twitch finds something he likes, which I call "treasures", he immediately flies off with it, usually back to his cage for further processing. How he selects his treasures is somewhat of a mystery, but I do know he likes novelty.

Another day his treasure was a rubber band:

Earlier this week it was a glass marble. Amazing he could fly around with something that heavy for over 5 minutes!

Twitch has become so grabby with things, that I think I'm going to have to ban him from having lunch with me. This is what transpired today.

The last time I banned Twitch from eating lunch with me, he just sat there in his cage, staring at me upside down like this:
It's like he's trying to trick me into taking him out again by being ridiculously weird and adorable. 

And it works.

Yes, for as much of pain as Twitch can be with all his grabby, stealy, bitey, stabby, antics, it still greatly amuses me. He may be a punk, but I love him to death. 

There is one message that I want you all to take away from this blog full of cute and funny videos. I'm sure many people who read this will think "How fun is it to have him in your office?! I wish I had a smart and sassy bird like that!" Yes, Twitch may have a big brain that gets him into all sorts of trouble, but his big brain should be in the wild. Remember, Twitch is only in my office because he was taken from his family as a baby and kept as a pet in a tiny, cramped cage, suffering from malnutrition for 7 long years. He shouldn't be using his brain to steal fortune cookies, frogs, and marbles, he should be using his brain to find bugs and seeds underneath leaves, teach his chicks how to forage, and figure out how to best torment crows and hawks. The best place to observe wild animals is not on the internet, but in the wild.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent wrap up! Will use this at Nature's Classroom! (You now the place!)