How Zeke spent his Spring Break

Spring Break is still, um, breaking, and I’m back in Storm Lake after five days in Toledo/Bowling Green. While there, I got to hang out with old friends, see two movies,* work on 2 conference presentations, and eat at Tony Packo’s.*** 

But enough about my spring break. Zeke is the family member who really accomplished something. You see, Quaker parrots in the wild build huge, heavy, apartment-style nests that house multiple Quaker families.**** This behavior is deeply instinctual and Zeke spends much of his time at home trying to build a nest in and around his cage. Because his preferred building material is currently plastic spoons and forks, he hasn’t been very successful.

When I was gone, I boarded Zeke at a local veterinarian, where he lives in a small cage. I gave him a stack of wooden sticks to play with — think tongue depressors or big Popsicle sticks. When I retrieved him yesterday, I found that he’d splintered the sticks and accomplished the following: (click to get full birdie-building effect)

Awaystick_2
 Sidestick
TopstickSideaway

I’m starting to think about buying a house. Instead, maybe I just need to give Zeke enough sticks and plastic tableware…..

*16 Blocks, good. V for Vendetta, fabulous.**

**Part of what V-Vendetta shows us, of course, is that successful, society-changing domestic terrorism is based on wearing a REALLY cool outfit, including kick-ass Musketeer/dominatrix boots, and having an artsy secret hideout and nifty origin story. Oh, and gobs of cash.

***Yes, I’m a very-nearly-all-the-time vegetarian. But I can’t pass up a Packo’s brat with sauerkraut and mustard and big plate of chili-cheese fries. Yum. Urp.

****You’ll notice that the nest pictured is in Illinois. Escaped Quakers are very hardy and breed well, and have set up feral colonies in New York, Connecticut, Texas, Florida, and other states. Like all parrots, Quakers are surprisingly intelligent and can mimic human speech. They’ve been implicated in several credit card fraud rings — check your statement for unauthorized purchase of birdie toys, sunflower seeds, and parrot porn.*****

*****Even more disturbing is parrot-on-zombie child porn.

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