On August 17, 2006, Peanut discovered the joys of scritches, better known as Bird Ruffles.
We call them Bird Ruffles because you are literally ruffling the bird's feathers: you gently lift them up until they're standing straight up, move them from side to side a little, and then pat them down again. I've ruffled Peanut's feathers before, usually in conjunction with Warm Toasties
, preening (when you gently pinch the feather's sheath to break it away), and petting his head (known as Bird Noodles) (I don't know why). But this is the first time he's relaxed, closed his eyes, squeaked, and twisted his tiny little head around so I could get to the best spots. You can click here for a really big version of this picture
because RUFFLES ARE THE BEST THING SINCE TASTY SEEDS.
Peanut seems to be on the mend. Oh, he still does a lot of sleeping, but Bruce and I have been careful to interact with him when we can, and in the past few days, he's been up to some of his usual tricks. Like flying around to hunt for seeds, climbing down my arm for drinks from the faucet, and hopping over to Bruce's Knee Of Plenty for a lunch snack. The best part is that Bruce's now-weekly trip out of town didn't change Peanut's behavior this time around.
In fact, I'm beginning to think that his original change in behavior was deliberate. Peanut figured he'd get us all worried, so that we'd give him extra tasty seeds, and Bird Ruffles every day. All day.
You might think I'm joking about the Bird Ruffles — but I'm not. Today he walked down my arm, sat in my hand, and settled in for 20 straight minutes of Bird Ruffles. He didn't want to stop. I guess he's making up for all the years of not getting any.