Peepee the baby bird

 

Peepee the baby bird

 

Peepee came into my life when I was fourteen. My sister and her friend found him while walking home from school. They placed him in a box on my bed. The box was titled 'Belly'. "What's this?” I asked my sister as she walked past my room. "A baby bird," she said simply. “A very greedy and hungry baby bird”. When I opened the box I did not realise that I would be beginning a friendship that would last for many years. 

As I lifted the lid I stared straight into the open beak of a cheeky looking almost completely featherless, fat, pink bird. The only feathers were the feathers that crowned his head. And so our relationship began. Peepee turned out to be a mousebird. Mousebirds live in large social groups and so it was only natural that Peepee would consider our family as his flock. He considered himself human and flaunted his hierarchy over our ring neck parrots. It is not hard to understand why he believed he was human. He drank out of cups, ate off our plates, played hide and seek and slept in a shoe box under a small knitted blanket. (Mousebirds cannot perch like other birds or hang on objects. Hence the sleeping in a box.) 

The crown of feathers on his head would rise and fall in curiosity every time he saw something of interest and he would do this ridiculous little thing I call a 'mouse dance' on the floor where he would shuffle along the floor like a wind up mouse. This was an instinctual behaviour. Wild mousebirds love to sand bath and he was merely imitating this behaviour. The worst part of his day was bedtime. He hated bed times. He waited for the usual bedtime cues and promptly hid. We would call for him and there would be no sign of him. There are only so many hiding places in a home and eventually we became 'Peepee hunters', looking in his favourite spots and searching for the little time waster. 

He liked hiding amongst the hanging cutlery in the kitchen, or burying himself under the sweaters in the sweater cupboard or sit dead still on the top of the pelmet amongst my mother’s ornaments. And just when we thought we had all his hiding places sussed he found another one. 

In High school I was called the 'Bird Girl'. The girls would bring me baby birds and expect me to work miracles. I tried my best but I had a greater success rate after I befriended Peepee. I would get a baby bird and take it home and no matter what kind of baby bird it was, Peepee took in on himself to stuff objects into it's mouth. My job was to make sure the objects he was stuffing down the baby’s throat was food. It was a good thing I was there because if I was not quick enough, he would attempt to use substitutes like lint, coins and paperclips. After feeding the baby he would undertake a vigorous preening from the baby's beak to toe. I would watch on in wonder. I never imagined that the bird that I once rescued and reared would now be helping me do the very thing I did for him.

 

True story by Tracy Pitout

 

 

 

From the SMARTER than JACK team 

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4. Here's some information on Mousebirds from Wikipidea:

This group is confined to sub-Saharan Africa, and is the only bird order confined entirely to that continent. They had a wider range in prehistoric times and apparently evolved in Europe.

They are slender greyish or brown birds with soft, hairlike body feathers. They are typically about 10 centimetres in body length, with a long, thin, tail a further 20-24 centimetres in length, and weigh 45-55 grams. They are arboreal and scurry through the leaves like rodents, in search of berries, fruit and buds. This habit, and their legs, gives rise to the group's English name. They are acrobatic, and can feed upside down. All species have strong claws and reversible outer toes. They also have crests and stubby bills.

Mousebirds are gregarious, again reinforcing the analogy with mice, and are found in bands of about twenty in lightly wooded country.

 

 

Author: 
Tracy Pitout
True Story?: 
yes
 

That was a very interesting

That was a very interesting story, I never heard of a mouse hunter bird. You are very lucky to have this experience. I would be so blessed to have a little help feeding my rescues such as your bird. Thanks, Deei

We had a lizard who hid all

We had a lizard who hid all the time like that, too. Her name was Daisy, and she used to even climb out on the patio and jump down and run and we had to chase her. I think she thought she was one of our macaws or something!