12 May 2005

"Out Wit, Out Play, Out Last - Out-Smarted By An Owl Finch"

Right now, I don't have time to remember or search for some quote that will elegantly illustrate my current situation. I don't think there is one. I was cleaning the aviary a few minutes ago and an Owl Finch staged an escape. I can't say for sure if this was just spur of the moment on his/her part (Owl Finches are beguiling), or something s/he had been plotting for some time in a sneaky, pre-meditated sort of way, but I am presently in my office with the door closed, the ceiling fan off and the window shut and an Owl Finch "cawing" and flitting past me. I think it's taunting me, laughing under it's chirp, probably saying, "Catch me if you can...sucker.".

I haven't even had my coffee for gosh sakes!

I first chased this ornery Owl Finch into my bedroom, but Princess, my big fluffy gray cat was also hot on it's trail, so that was no good. At one point, it landed on the floor and I just cringed, knowing I couldn't get to where it was and just waiting for the inevitable flurry of feathers and fur. Blessedly, it shot up to the window sill and I managed to chase it across the loft to my office. The cats were on high alert. Cassie was salivating. My office isn't that large - probably only 10' x 12", but with a Bowflex, bookshelves, a closet and bamboo shades, there are several perches and, at 5'5", I'm not all that tall, so we played "cat and mouse", pardon the pun, for about 15 minutes and then finally, I said...you win...for a few moments anyway. I was becoming more exasperated and forming a huge resentment toward a creature that probably weighs in at 6 ounces, dripping wet.

Most of the older, smarter, seasoned birds in our aviary, when they make the mistake of flying out of bounds, make a huge U-turn and fly right back in or at least have the good sense to land on top of the aviary. But not our Owl Finches. I always thought Owls were supposed to be so wise and smart. I guess that maybe that doesn't apply to Owls of the Finch variety. However, glimpsing toward my left, this tiny teaser is now in a fern, chewing on something in the dirt and peeking at me - daring me to get up and play Stumble-Upon - and I don't mean the website - as it flits back and forth.

I really hope when I finally catch this thing, and I will, that the other birds give it the cold shoulder, or whatever birds do when they are displeased with the behavior of one of their own, because when this coup was enacted, I was in the middle of replacing the seed, millet and yes, those tasty, slimy meal worms that they all love so much. But no, I had to drop my dish and put the lid on the worms in order to play tag with this Owl Finch.

I walked outside a few minutes ago to see the meticulous masterpiece that is my backyard, thanks to my Dad's weedeating and lawn care techniques. The lush green grass framing the crystal blue water in the pool, not to mention the 86 degree temperature it currently is outside, made coming back inside to outwit, outplay, outsmart an Owl Finch, not too inviting of a proposition, but I have a responsibility to save this bird...from itself, four cats, a big dog, quite a few ceiling fans and a few open windows. I'd rather be out by the pool. I'd rather be IN the pool. I'd rather be doing just about anything, save for a root canal, than cooped up in this room with a whining tiny bird that has runaway from home. Geez...

My break is over. I better grab my bamboo stick and see if I can entice this thing to get onboard and get back in the fold....err, flock. I am growing tired of this game and I'm hoping this Owl finch is getting bored and hungry.

Hopefully I'll have a good outcome to report, or a tale of a cat who enjoyed an exotic, albeit expensive, appetizer.

Wish me luck.