Comarants, egrets, great herons, pelicans, otters, rose spoon bills, ibis, cranes, possum, hawks, seagulls and songbirds. Our backyard and behind it is full of nature. Thanks to a lake across the street, and Tinney Creek behind us. Tinney Creek is a tidal creek, it is affected and fed by Tampa Bay. A bit briney, so it's a fish nursery. Which brings all the critters.
We have large windows looking out on all this action. Well I should say, the birds do. I have the view of cages in front of those windows. All eight parrots have little to no interest in any of that wild life, except Butters. And Butters' exception is turtles and vultures. She hates these ninja looking creatures with a great and mighty rage. Her warning cries can be heard in Georgia.
So when a possum died 100 feet off the back of our house, that brought roughly 27 ninja vultures in from the surrounding area. And THAT brought a general Red Alert Fit from Butters.
I posted this pictures so you can see these Turkey Vultures yourself. They are BIG. And in flight their wings make some serious shadowing. And on the ground was a very large, very dead male possum. The feeding took 3 days, the clean up another 1 day and we had three Turkey Vultures show up randomly to make sure it was all gone. Butters became obsessed with their arrival. She was looking for trouble by end of day two. It was time to change the message for her. Her fear and frustration was normal and instinctive. BIG fast moving shadows, large flying, flopping, hopping and arguing vultures on the ground. In the wild, that's not good.
On day three when the vultures had managed to bring the carcass out of the creek and onto solid ground 40 feet off our fenceline, there was only one way to go for poor Butters. And that was to turn this whole thing into a game.
I opened the windows, and pulled up a seat to look out alone. The game was simple enough. I would see a vulture and laugh and point and say "Oh look! A vulture!" Snickers was the first to join in. He has a brilliant laugh and gasp. I would say, "Oh look!" Snickers would laugh and gasp and turn his head in shock and awe. We were both laughing, Felix joined in soon after. Kirby got into the act as well. Butters sat on top of her cage and looked down and seemed suspicious of this whole process. Certainly Vultures aren't a joke!
But, she wasn't fear calling.
I left the windows open and walked over to Butters' side of her cage. I stood there and laughed and talked to her and scritched her head. The rest of the flock became bored with the game and dispersed to food bowls. Last count 23 Vultures.
Butters looked out the window, looked at me and looked back out the window. And ever so slowly she walked to the window side of her cage. She looked out and did a low chuckle. And ran back over to me. 17 Vultures.
She walked back to the window side, looked at me, and hopped onto the window sill. She growled low and uncertain. She looked long and hard. She chuckled. 19 Vultures.
And at that most excellent moment when a parrot can either flight or fight, Butters chose to scream out the window at those 19 Vultures with a feirceness and cuteness that only a parrot can deliver.
19 Vultures burst into flight to the safety of the Pinetree. Surely a mighty bird had come to claim their feast, or what was left of it.
Butters laughed and chuckled. "Oh Butters!", she said. Ninja vultures are now irrelevant vultures.
We are still working on turtles coming out of the creek. Randomly. Without warning. Black discs of moving doom.