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Nuts are okay, but they have to be naked

It’s been a while since Polly the cockatiel has had a starring role on this blog – not, in fact, since Operation Nut Job appeared to have failed a few months ago, much to our chagrin. And lazy YT has failed to report on the fact that Operation Nut Job is actually ongoing and has not been a failure but a resounding success. [Incidentally, if you’ve just joined us, you may want to follow the previous links and get the full lead-up to the story.]

After her initial loss of faith in her beloved hazelnuts, Polly soon decided that nut babies are better than no babies, and has continued lying on them intermittently ever since. By which I mean she’ll lose interest for a while – say a week or so – but as soon as the hormones start churning once more, she’ll return to her nuts, gathering them underneath her to cuddle and care for. It’s very sweet, really.

However, Polly has been shifted around a bit in the last few months, seeing as how we’ve gone away on holiday and whathaveyou, and as soon as she’s away from home [read: secure environment] she’ll normally abandon her nesting plans, only to resume them a couple of days after returning. The other week when we went away to New York, Polly stayed with her foster family [who I found by hanging up an ad at the local corner store and they’re totally amazing] and since we were going to be gone a while, I decided to include the jar of hazelnuts with her food and other paraphernalia, just in case she decided to have an egg-laying episode.

After collecting her on our return home, I noticed that the jar of hazelnuts had been left behind, so I went out to the store to buy some more. Being busy, however, I didn’t have time to roast them first, meaning the brown skin was still on the nuts when I put them into the cage. This seemed to confuse our Polly quite considerably. She did the usual thing, hanging around on the bottom of her cage and going through her nesting motions, all the while resolutely ignoring the brown nuts that were just begging for a little love and tenderness. I figured it was just a matter of time, she just needed to get her bearings again and then it would be business as usual – but no. The nuts remained scattered at the bottom of the cage while Polly half-heartedly went through her nesting motions, looking decidedly forlorn.

Hm. As the days passed, it started to dawn on me that perhaps Polly has a strict policy only to adopt naked nuts, i.e. minus the brown skin. So I stuck the remainder of the nuts in the oven to roast, then peeled off the skin and dropped three of them on the bottom of the cage.

Three minutes later – literally – Polly had dived back into the cage, hopped onto the bottom, and once again settled into maternal bliss with her three little naked hazelnuts tucked in beneath her. So now we know that nuts are not eggs unless they are naked.

Polly hatching hazelnuts


It’s sunny and calm and utterly beautiful. The weather has been dreadful these past few days [rain, wind, yick yech] so it’s time to get out there and enjoy it before it goes away again. Current temps 9°C [48F] and the sun came up at 7:53 am, will set at 6:37 pm [so early!].