Not only do my birds masturbate, but more often than not, they are cartoon characters. Science has shown that birds of the corvid family -- crows, ravens, rooks, magpies and jackdaws -- to be more intelligent than the average bird. My birds are not from the cordiv family. They're cockatiels, and although they're supposed to be capable of speech, my particular set are not. They make up for their lack of intelligence with love, but a quote comes to mind, "Where did he go George? Where did he go?"

Many of the more social animals, inparticular dolphins, apes, and humans, can pass the mirror test. If an animal can tell that the animal in the mirror is not another animal, they pass. If they think it's another animal, they fail. My birds will talk to the birds on the side of my metal toaster for hours on end. Several incidents of this have occured while the toaster was on, because the inner warmth makes them believe even more so that they're cuddling up against another feathery friend.

This love of reflection could be a good thing. The birds don't get lonely after all. However, it seems my birds have a keen interest in ghosts. Yes, ghosts. Apparitions of other birds, or rather, slightly less than opaque reflections. The kind of reflection one sees when one looks at a glass window. To make matters worse, my birds like to play chicken with these ghosts.

This results in my birds appearing to be cartoon characters. After landing on my head for their afternoon shit, they promptly fly around, and then suddenly glimpse something out of the corner of their eye. A transparent bird! Attack with full force!

My bird smacks straight into the glass. At first, I feel pain, worry for my bird. Humour complements this however, as my bird, as if out of a cartoon, comically slides down the glass slowly with both wings spread wide, undeniably staring at the phantom the whole time.

I snicker and put her back in the cage. Once again, I remind myself to buy them a mirror for the cage, or draw the blinds next time.

Maybe I'll watch just once more....

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