The Stella Diaries: Week 4
Thankfully, the cough/sneeze that John mentioned on May 25 cleared up. By Stella’s fourth week of life, she had really developed a personality, and quickly endeared herself to everyone around! Here are some notes I wrote during that week. If you’ve read Stella the Starling (my children’s book), then you’ll no doubt recognize where some of those stories came from!
The Stella Diaries: Week 4
Monday, May 29, 2000
I was up until LATE getting all my laundry done at my parent’s house, so I just spent the night over there. My mom absolutely adores Stella! She had a lot of fun with her. Stella chased several little bugs around on my parents’ lawn, including a little spider. My mom turned the little sprinkler on and Stella was hopping around in it like she did in the drinking fountain at the park the other day. So cute! Made us laugh.
My grandparents might be coming up to my place later today. I think they are really going to like Stella. She is a majorly entertaining bird with all her little antics! Definitely worth all the trouble of raising her…
Incidentally, she is eating on her own but she always has to be prompted. She doesn’t TOTALLY eat all by herself yet. Still chases me around and gapes at times, expecting me to feed her. I put a little dried grass on the bottom of her cage hoping to get her to search for food through it, but she hasn’t done it on her own yet so I’m going to point it out to her. Well, off I go. Thanks for sticking around and playing with Stella at the park yesterday; that was a blast and I know Stella had a ton of fun. Man, she’s spoiled!
Stella is now getting the food from the bottom of the cage ON HER OWN without me having to prompt her to look for it! YYYEEESSS!!! So technically I don’t have to bring her with me to school anymore; I feel pretty confident if she’s alone. However, on days when I can get out to be with her more often, I’ll probably still bring her just for the interaction, because that’s important.
May I use your tape player to record a tape of myself for Stella for her to listen to on the days when I’m not around? I have a stereo here but I don’t think it records from outside sources–but it does have continuous play, so I’ll just turn it on when I leave in the morning and let her hear it all day.
Stella caught a bunch of mosquitoes outside today! Little Stella is active as ever right now; sitting on my hand as I type! Churring all the while! Now she’s trying to open my fingers with her beak. Now she’s trying to separate the keys with her beak! What a funny bird…she has got to be the bossiest pet I’ve ever had. Strong little personality!
She was quite mad at me (and let me know it!) for leaving her while I went to work for 3.5 hours. I think I’ll go ahead and take her to the school tomorrow. Who knows how much time I’ll be able to spend with her, though? If I get out of the school earlier (likely, now that I’m done teaching) I might take her to Manito Park for a few minutes. She sure loved it there!
Tuesday, May 30, 2000
I just have to tell you about today. Stella is just so irresistibly cute! I took her in with me today and I got out of school right away. I decided to go to the pet store and get some pet supplies.
I went to Petco first because they’re the only ones I know of with parrot chew pellets. Since at Petco animals are welcome inside with the shoppers, I decided to expose Stella to yet another environment.
I got a number of strange looks from a few employees (and overheard one girl say, “What in the world…?”) and fellow customers before one of the employees, obviously a woman who is into birds, came over quite intrigued and began to interact with Stella and ask me questions about her.
She has nine birds at home (all hookbills) and can imitate their whistles perfectly! She’s really good at it. She was whistling and Stella sat there very attentively listening to it. Then the lady took Stella over to her area and fed her some waxworms, which Stella really liked! The lady was absolutely enchanted and excitedly took me to another employee and told her all about Stella. She said she was a “sweet little bird” and was amazed at how attached to me she was. The lady told me to come back anytime with Stella so she could give Stella some more treats! 🙂 I think my little bird is gaining popularity.
I rarely leave Stella in her cage anymore except when I’m in the school or something. While I’m driving she’s free to move about the car and she’s actually amazingly calm most of the time. She’s so relaxed about traveling (she’s done a lot of it in her short life!) that she even goes to sleep while I’m driving! Most of the time she just sits on top of her cage and preens herself or watches the world go by out the window. Sometimes she sits on my shoulder. She’s not generally flying all over. She’s such a peaceful and trusting bird that I’ve had her go to sleep right on my hand!
After Petco I ran in to NWS&P (but left Stella in the car), and then I took her to Franklin park. It was raining quite heavily, but I let her go out in the rain anyway and put her on some of the smaller trees and lilac bushes. There was one guy there under the gazebo who was looking at me like I was some kind of weirdo. Haha.
After a few minutes of frolicking at the park I made one more stop at the General Store for some earthworms. When I got back to the car I took a big one out and stuck the end of it into Stella’s mouth. It took some doing, but after much gulping and a number of comic antics and disgusting maneuvers, she swallowed the whole thing down! It was quite impressive and extremely hilarious! I was laughing all the way through it!
Stella seems to be making less chirring noises (except at mealtimes!!!–she still begs from me even though I make her eat on her own) and more chirping sounds. She seems to have a special little chirp when she’s content.
Ha, this morning when I pulled into the school parking lot and was getting Stella set up for the day, a few faculty members walked by and seemed intrigued. One lady said, “Oh my goodness, it’s letting you hold it!??!?” I said, “Oh, yeah…this is Stella; she’s my pet.” The lady replied, “Oh, I though it was a wild bird,” and I said, “Well, it is, kind of…I raised it from a baby though.”
It is so FUNNY, the looks and comments I get!! I think that little boy’s question to you was my favorite, though: “Did you know you have a bird on your shoulder??” Hehehe!
I reckon that is all the starling news I can divulge at the moment. Stella’s got to be the most interesting and unique pet I’ve ever had. I can’t wait til she starts talking!
Wednesday, May 31, 2000
Stella’s sitting here peacefully dozing on my shoulder as I type away. She is so cute!
She created a few more admirers today. A girl scout and her mother saw her as I was getting ready to put her in the car and leave the school this afternoon. They came over and oohed and aahed for a little while. Stella also impressed a man at the park…a weird kind of guy, actually, that looked a lot like David Letterman…
Sunday, June 4, 2000
I am discovering that I have to spend a lot of time with Stella and take her out a lot or else she just really gets bored, the poor thing. I don’t mind at all–taking Stella out and watching her antics has become one of my favorite pastimes–but I’m not sure many people would really be able to do that.
Ha, Stella has taken up residence on my foot and is sleeping peacefully. Great, I can’t move without waking up the little sleeping darling!
Back to 2015…
More stories from the the year 2000 are on the way. Thank you for joining me for “Throwback Thursday”!
Photo credit: Stephen Fisher, Flickr.
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