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They were pretty keen DIY’ers.  Lord knows, they built nest after nest after nest, not so much for the laying as the practise.  They were well into it but we weren’t to know until they got started.

They started by shredding all the plants that were there to prettify their habitat and provide them with amusement.  Mainly they amused themselves by carrying the bushy, spider plant leaf by leaf into their nesting box.  The box they chose was the highest one and it had a roof on it, the front was slightly low to make a slot and so it had the appearance of an exterior letter box.  There was no way of seeing what was going on inside.

Supplemental nest material was provided, not least to try and save some of the spider plant.   Down that escaped from my duvet and pillows, shreds of lint, cotton wool, bits of material and paper all got blown in through the wire to be quickly scavenged and carried up to that little box.  There were constant sounds of something going on in there, everything except hammering and nailing.  The pair of them spent a lot of time inside, making arrangements.

Then there was only one of them to be seen about, which one varied but ‘twas always one in the box and t’other stretching its wings.

After a week of this, following instructions from the library books, I put a little bowl of bread and milk in the cage.  They’re keen on it if they’re nursing.  It was totally ignored and a few days later both Mork and Meep were full time back in circulation, fussing and flying, making out,  and building  a bigger, better, deeper, I dunno what, nest. 

All the while this was going on I was endeavouring to get them to feed from my hand.  To say they were standoffish would be to understate it, I was regarded at best with disdain.  Super treats like lettuce would be totally ignored while my hand was anywhere near the wire.  I could stand there and they’d not be bothered but if my fingers were on the wire they’d come nowhere near.  They loved lettuce and likewise millet spray and cuttlefish but not if I was on the other end of it, addiction could wait.

Anytime I had to open the cage door, to add food or water or give a bit of a clean up, they’d fly to the farthest corners of the cage to avoid me.  They’d watch from a safe distance and completely without inclination to explore beyond the door. 

They were magnificent fliers,  did a lot of brrrrr..... ing for fun, navigating in three dimensions.  Really enjoyed landing on their swing.  Mork particularly would loop the loop through it, flying in a big circle over it, upside down under it (!!) and then landing with aplomb.

Then came time for us to go on holiday.  I made arrangements with one of my co-residents to look after the birds.  He wasn’t up for their usual standard of maintenance but ‘one volunteer is worth ten pressed men’ and he agreed to throw a handful of seed through the wire every few days and squirt enough water at their drinks coconut to keep it reasonably topped up.   And so they were left to a natural diurnal cycle and the vagaries of some bohemian to rain food and water on them.

I walked back in three weeks later, put down my bag and looked at the cage.  There was only Mork to be seen ..... and on the sandy floor beneath the nest box lay a bald, blind, dead chick.

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