The other day, I was visited by two new neighbors. I saw them the day they moved in, they arrived and kicked out the family living there and promptly made themselves at home. You can imagine how surprised and shocked I was, yet I was so fascinated I stood there on my terrace watching as this all unfolded just a few meters away. There was nothing I could do to intervene on behalf of the current occupants and in just a few short moments, it was over.
Since then, the couple has basically lived there alone and while I see him coming and going throughout the day, I almost only see her when she pokes her head out every one in a while before disappearing back inside. And in the last 2 months since they moved in, they never once stopped by for a visit. At least, until the other day. Suddenly, and without warning, they were just on my terrace, both of them, sitting in the sun and grooming themselves without a care in the world. They took a bit of a bath, bit their nails, adjusted a few things here and there and then sat there with the attitude of those who know they are beautiful.
And they are beautiful. My neighbors happen to be a pair of Rose-ringed Parakeets. Their home is a hole in the tree just of my terrace which they got when they kicked out a squirrel. She tends to stay inside, on her eggs or with the until now unseen babies while he goes hunting or stands guard on a branch. Lately, they have started hanging out on our terrace. We have a pair of lovebirds that tend to spend the day on the terrace and the nights inside and they will all sing back and forth to each other every morning and afternoon. If I sit still, they will come within a meter or so of me, close, yet just far enough to make a quick getaway if they feel threatened. Our lovebirds love the parrots a lot more than they liked the old but still forbidding looking hawk who spent a few hours on the terrace one evening. They didn’t utter a single peep the entire time. Even though they are domesticated, I think they realize when something higher up the food chain is looking at them and thinking “yummy”.
My new found fascination with birds is a bit of a surprise to me and something I wish I would have had many years ago. My grandparents were bird people. My grandmother had bird feeders all over the place and could tell you all about the various birds that would come to the yard. She could tell them apart by their chirping, and could tell the male from the female by some obscure marking. She knew the regular visitors and noticed the new ones. I found it boring. To me, a bird was a bird was a bird, and unless it could talk to ride a mini tricycle, I wasn’t interested. How many kids are? But now I find this common interest, this connection with them that I wish I would have had when they were living.