Thursday, July 10, 2008
WWWD? (What Would Woody Do?)
By Melissa L. Kauffman, Editorial Director of BIRD TALK and BirdChannel.com
Share in the adventures of Melissa Kauffman's experiences in bird ownership in Life in the Bird House
There is a popular saying, “What would Jesus do?” It’s a great saying: easy to remember, easy to use, easily understood. No matter what the situation, even if you are only vaguely familiar with Jesus and his teachings, you pretty much would know what he would do. What could this possibly have to do with Woody, my new Meyer’s parrot? Well, we are all familiar enough with our family members that this slogan could apply to them too. You are going to be an hour late getting home for work? What would your husband/wife do? What would your kids do? What would your birds do?
Now, my `tiels Natty and Carlisle would definitely notice if I don’t come home on time. I imagine (since I am not there to see it) that they probably get a little antsy in their cages and probably make that whistle – the three-note one that means, “Hello? Where are you?” My older dog probably would just take a longer nap. Our 9-month-old dog would probably find something to destroy in retaliation for having to wait an hour longer.
Now, WWWD? I have to say, I just have no idea. Woody has lived with us for a couple of months now and I still have no idea why he does some of the things he does. He was doing some kind of odd sound just yesterday, and my husband turned to me and said, “Why is he doing that?” I shrugged. My husband looked at me, exasperated, “I thought you were the bird expert?” That just settled me in to give my lecture, “First off I am knowledgeable about birds, but hardly an expert. Second of all, this is a Poicephalus. Sure, I know some general information about Poicephalus, but that is it. I never wanted a Poicephalus so I never did any extensive research. This is an African bird, I’ve always been interested in the Australian birds. I don’t know a lot about this African bird.” My husband said, “Woody doesn’t live in Africa. What does that have to do with it?” I sighed. “OK, Woody is an African-American bird. But being descended from African birds says a lot about what he instinctively does.” I then promised Scott to do more research. Of course, I had already done some reading once Woody came into the house, but none of it seemed to answer the day-to-day stuff that Woody does. We don’t know if it’s just what Woody would do, or what a Meyer’s would do.
Woody is nothing like the cockatiels, budgies, cockatoos or conures I’ve known. Living with someone is a whole lot different then knowing about someone. In the meantime, every day I still have to figure out for all new situations: WWWD?
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WWWD? (What Would Woody Do?)