The Mother Effing Bird Whisperer

Anytime my cell phone rings at 3pm, I immediately think “it’s Jenny!” And it usually is. It’s awesome to have a friend who calls just to check up on me every once in a while (or, sometimes, to tell me that she thinks the Pope is out to get her.)
During one of our more recent phone calls, the conversation turned to fear of flying. I was all “I just started to get over my fear of flying and then the mother fucking birds took that plane in NYC and now I’m afraid to fly all over again because BIRDS CAN TAKE DOWN A PLANE.” And Jenny was all “I know! And birds are everywhere! I think we should kill all of the birds!” And I was all “YES! WE SHOULD KILL THEM… WAIT. No, I can’t agree with that. Because… I love birds.”
I think she thought I just meant “I love birds in the way that normal people love birds. Because birds are pretty and make beautiful music.” So I had to make her understand.
“When I was in high school, I was obsessed with birds. Birds were pretty much my life.”
I continued.
“I subscribed to Bird Talk Magazine. And I would cut pictures of birds out and hang them on my wall. Because I loved birds THAT MUCH.”
Then, I was all “but that’s not all! My dad built an aviary so I could breed lovebirds. And I would spend hours after school with my birds. AND ONE TIME! My breeder escaped and I was trying to catch her and a HAWK SWOOPED DOWN AND TOOK HER AWAY! And I screamed and my Mom and Uncle came running. I was all “A hawk took my bird! He landed somewhere over there!” And my Uncle grabbed a bat, hopped the fence, found the hawk, beat it with a bat and rescued my lovebird! But she was all bloody and near death, so I did a little research in one of my BIRDTALK magazines and read how to nurse her back to health by keeping her in a shoebox in one of my drawers in my bedroom. And she lived and laid eggs again.”
Jenny was all “oh my God, you’re a fucking WEIRDO and I love you even more after hearing that story.” Which I’m pretty sure was code for “Looooser.”
So, yeah. While you were enjoying things like “homecoming dances” and “dates” I was busy hanging up centerfolds of COCKATOOS and nursing half dead birds back to life.

39 thoughts on “The Mother Effing Bird Whisperer

  1. maya

    I love this post. While you were obsessed with birds, my obsesseion was with one teen heart throb by the name of Joey Lawrence. I had about 300 posters of him on my wall.
    oh and FYI- I saw the plane in the hudson from my office window.

    Reply
  2. Jenny, Bloggess

    My favorite part of the story was how you were all non-challant about your uncle running down and BEATING A HAWK TO DEATH WITH A BASEBALL BAT like some sort of bizarro mafia guy. Insane. And also awesome.

    Reply
  3. sara

    Sounds more meaningful to me! I was a catlady in Jr. High. I nursed a kitty back to life after all its siblings had died of some virus. The kitty paid me back by being a raving psychotic that insisted on nursing on everyone’s shirt while shredding their legs (through jeans no less) with its kneading and it purred like a jet engine.
    Birds are safer.
    And your uncle totally rocks for beating the hawk down. :)

    Reply
  4. MBB

    For the first time in a long time, I think I peed my pants.
    THIS is why I still log on here to read your blog- because even though these posts are scarcer than they used to be, they’re still worth the wait.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  5. diana

    That is hilarious.
    I had the opposite relationship with winged creatures growing up. While we were both animal lovers for the most part, my mother was terrified of birds and passed that along to me. Inexplicably she volunteered at the Audubon Society gift shop for years.

    Reply
  6. Jacquie

    Oh, birds. I try to like birds. One time a woman in the parking lot at work was screaming bloody murder while holding a pizza box because a little birdie had landed on her head. I brought that bird inside and went to petco and bought a cage and toys and books and food and all that stuff, but the thing creeped me out, it would sit on my shoulder and act cute and innocent and chirpy, but then it crapped in my coffee and I knew the relationship was doomed. I gave it up for adoption. But my bad feelings about birds goes much farther back, to one day in high school when I was tooling around town in my sky blue pacer (really) and something plopped in through my open window, so I pulled over to check it out and it was a dead bird. Like the thing had died of natural causes up there in the sky and then just fell to earth by way of my car window. What are the odds? I was certain it was a sing of the impending apocalypse. It still gives me the shivers to think about.
    My advice to overcome your fear of flying is unoriginal: alcohol and prescription meds. Good luck!

    Reply
  7. Laura Lohr

    You freaking crack me up! That is funny. It is even funnier b/c before Mr. Bear and I dated, he dated a girl with THAT LEVEL OF LOVE for birds. Everyone in the family called her the bird girl. They used to fly around and poop every 7 minutes. She loved birds so much, she actually calculated how frequently they pooped. She was a crazy bird girl.

    Reply
  8. Karly

    Bird Talk Magazine? Wow. Just wow.
    I once stole a goose egg from a nest and tried to hatch it in a pile of dirty clothes in my bedroom, but then I gave up and chucked the egg in the woods. Can we still be friends?

    Reply
  9. Tammy

    You know how some people have pretty splatter patterns on their laptop cases? Usually done in pink? Well, I have not so pretty splatters, too, all over my screen. They look like chewed up peas and chicken. WHY do I try to read this blog while I’m eating? I KNOW I’m either going to pee myself or spit on the screen!!

    Reply
  10. Missy

    You know what, though? I can almost guarantee that your bird-ing-ness was way more awesome than my prom dates & homecoming dances.

    Reply
  11. Miss

    Girl, this just makes you more awesome.
    But I must confess… I ACCIDENTLY killed a rooster once by scaring it to death. Does that offend you? If so, I’m real sorry about it. I totally had a funeral for it if that helps.

    Reply
  12. KTP

    I’m pretty sure you were born and were weird and bred birds so that one day you would tell this story on your blog and I would come across it at the exact moment I needed a good laugh and I would feel better. IT WAS FATE.

    Reply
  13. Abra Leah

    See, this is why we love you. :)
    I had a pet chicken when I was in 4th grade. I LOVED that chicken. I named her Nicki, and I raised her from right out of the egg. When she was still pretty young she tried to eat a bing cherry and put her whole beak into it. It got stuck and dyed her beak tip purple. So, she always looked like she was wearing lip stick.
    Then she got bigger, and louder, and was violating deed restrictions. So, we had to take her back to my Abuela’s house in Pico Rivera (yea, I know). Then like 2 weeks later we were over there and I was calling her, and she didn’t come (because she always did!!). And my Abuela was all – oh, that’s her over there. But it wasn’t.
    And that is why I couldn’t eat arroz con pollo for over 10 years.

    Reply
  14. AA

    Okay, just change the word birds to horses and you have me. I had pictures and statues all over my room and read every horse story in my junior high library. In high school, when every one else was at the Christmas dance (the big sheebang, only slightly less important than prom) I was out in the middle of the night looking for my horse that had escaped his pen and was wandering loose somewhere. We couldn’t find him. Turns out he was in the pound! he had gottne picked up when someone called them because he was eating the hay from the manger scene on their lawn.
    I think if we had been in the same high school at the same time we would have been best friends.

    Reply
  15. Becky

    Then you might appreciate that my daughter’s neuro AND ped BOTH stock Audubon Monthly. You can tell that I don’t read it because I didn’t know how to spell it. And you’ve now answered my question of who the hell reads it :)

    Reply
  16. Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com

    I was THE EXACT SAME as a teenager. Except I focused on racing pigeon magazines and had pictures of pigeons EVERYWHERE. I have a special place in my heart for birds, even the ones other people call flying rats.
    So. Am loser, too.

    Reply
  17. Marcy

    Holy Cockatiel Crap Batman..
    Now I know why I like you so much… Who has stories like this to share with the world?
    My Uncle would have beat the crap out of that hawk too… the only difference IS… he would have cooked it and eaten as well…
    See You are not the only odd ball out there.
    Thanks for the laugh…

    Reply
  18. geekbrat

    OH MY GOD ME TOO. I’m gonna tell a ‘chicken soup’ type story in your comments now, sorry :)
    my mom and I had this thing for raising baby cockatiels. we had just clipped all their wings (the RIGHT way, leaving the 2 outer ‘primary’ feathers intact and just clipping the ‘lifters’, I hate how pet shops butcher feathers, grr sorry lol) and I was maybe 10 years old, playing in the screened porch area with the birds. it was summer, the door was open… and one of the younger adults just took off across the yard and up into a tree like a fucking rocket. that wasn’t supposed to happen! I was SO upset :(
    it was sweet–the neighborhood got involved in the search, listening for his ‘different’ call (since he wasn’t your typical sparrow or robin) and if they spotted him, notified the others and we’d all try to coax him down. around sunset, it finally worked! we were calling him and he was hopping lower, branch by branch, until suddenly the streetlights flickered on. he was right below one, and it spooked him and he took off, over the trees, away from our street. my mom and I were devastated.
    we had no luck finding him the next day, and that night, we had a terrible thunderstorm. I couldn’t sleep, I was up crying and feeling guilty because I’m the one who left the door open. but my mom reminded me that ‘god watches over all his creatures’ and that ‘you never see a whole bunch of dead birds on the street after every thunderstorm do you?’ hahaha.
    a few days later, we still hadn’t found him. we asked around, had people keeping their eyes and ears open. nothing. I was riding my bike down the street and all of a sudden, I hear one of the phrases we taught him, echoing crisply from somewhere nearby. so excitedly, I start calling him, and he hears me and starts talking more! I track down where it’s coming from, and there’s a little girl (younger than me) holding him on her finger from behind a screen door.
    I raced home and grabbed my mom, and we drove down the street to talk to the girl’s parents. apparently the morning after we lost him, a nearby K-mart was doing a sidewalk sale, with a guy dressed as a chicken walking around out front. our bird walks up to him and starts talking, and the dude figures out it must be someone’s pet, and puts him in a box with some food and water.
    the little girl and her mom were heading into the store, where they spotted our cockatiel. apparently, the woman used to breed and sell them herself. she took him home and found a cage, kept him safe and well-fed until someone responded to the posters she was going to put out.
    my mom would hate if I left this part out… in order to make sure the bird was actually ours, the woman asked “does he talk?” when we said yes, she asked “what does he say?” my mom told her ‘hello’, ‘pretty bird’, he ‘whistles yankee doodle’ and says ‘praise the lord’.” she goes, “he’s your bird.”

    Reply

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