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Polly rocks

Sigh. Despite our best efforts with hazelnuts, it looks as though Polly the cockatiel is not having any of it and has decided to proceed with her egg-laying plans as usual.

She’s had a total of three hazelnuts for several weeks now and has laid on them dutifully. Her routine has gone something like this: wake up in the morning, leave the cage to take a poop [so as to not sully her precious nesting area], pick at some fresh veggies laid out on a paper towel on the floor while YT eats breakfast [birds feed in flocks, so whenever any one of us sits down at the kitchen table to eat, Polly must eat at the same time], then pace around my feet restlessly, peeping occasionally, until I relent and pick her up and spend a few minutes scratching her head. Once I’ve done that, she’s ready to return to her cage to spend the better part of the day dozing on the bottom of her cage with her brood of hazelnuts tucked beneath her.

I’ve always just assumed that she was sleeping – until the other day when I had to forcibly evict her from the cage in the midst of a hatching session. I picked her up on my index finger and was amazed at the heat coming from her – obviously she’s generating energy equivalent to a small furnace, all for the purpose of getting those wee barren nuts to hatch.

It’s very sad, I know. What’s ever sadder, though, is seeing our Polly like this – which is inevitably what happens when she tries to produce her own eggs, which I fear is imminent. A few days ago she started acting all broody again and I began to think that maybe I should smuggle in another nut baby, just to make her think she’d actually managed to get laid, you know, and had miraculously produced a baby while she wasn’t looking. But I didn’t – and this evening she was pretty much set on the bottom of the cage and making those vague rocking movements that indicate that the time is nigh.

With any luck she’ll be satisfied just adding one more to her brood – cockatiels normally lay three to five eggs per clutch, and if she produces an egg now I’ll surreptitiously slip in a fourth hazelnut sometime in the next few days, to bring the total to five. Although it’s all touch-and-go at the moment; she may very well reject her surrogates in favour of the real deal. Time will tell.

The ground has actually been covered in snow and it’s been windy and quite nasty cold. This morning, for instance, we had temps around zero C, wind and flurries, which brought the temps down to well below freezing. I went out for a walk to the bakery and wore a wool insulator and my Icelandic sweater underneath a windproof jacket, which was just perfect – you really can’t go wrong here with Icelandic wool and windproof outer shells. Anyway, it warmed up as the day wore on but the wind remained, so we had horizontal rain. It’s dark in the mornings now and lemme tell you, it takes Herculean effort to get out of bed. Particularly for the likes of YT who has the luxury of working from home and therefore doesn’t have to be anywhere at any particular time. It’s a good thing I’m self-disciplined by nature, otherwise I’d be a bag lady by now. Temps currently 7°C [45F] but with the windchill it feels like 1°C. The sun came up at 9.03 this morning and set at 5.18 pm.