Tomorrow, Colleen Coover and I release a new digital installment of The Six Finger Secret, the latest chapter in the ongoing adventures of Bandette! Bandette has been nominated for, and won, multiple Eisner awards, and Colleen’s artwork is as charming as it is accomplished. If you haven’t been reading Bandette, all installments are always available on ComiXology, and the collected trades are published by Dark Horse, and available in all awesome comic stores and bookstores, or online.
I don’t know much about birds, so I looked this up - turns out, round cages like that one are bad for birds, because they only feel safe when they have corners so if they can’t find one, they become very anxious and scared and this can lead to health problems. That’s why cockatoos hate those cages and why this worker of the Saskatoon Parrot Rescue (Canada) is destroying it. So this bird (Pebble) isn’t upset at the loss of the cage, as some websites say, but is actually trying to join in by expressing its glee that the stupid thing is gone.
Another good thing is that the Daily Mail tagged this as WARNING: BIRD LANGUAGE and actually put ‘bleep’ sounds on every single fuck and fucking that comes out of that cockatoo’s beak.
1: yes those cages suck and good riddance to that one. You can make a round cage work by draping a sheet over the back half to give the bird a sense of shelter. But that cage is also WAAAY too small for a parrot that size.
2: you can get a good sense of that cockatoo’s previous owners and their behavior from the language that bird is using, and they probably should never have owned a cockatoo - BECAUSE
3: cockatoos are cuddly and intelligent but also very excitable birds who, very much like a three year old child, are prone to getting over-stimulated and then throwing fits and tantrums. This one is yelling because it’s getting worked up by all the crashing and noise - BECAUSE
4: screaming and mayhem are actually a bona fide parrot social activity! That cockatoo may indeed hate that cage, but also it’s getting excited at all the noise! and movement! and destroying! and pitching in with its own screaming and chattering because YAY IT’S SOCIAL NOISE TIME. (Social screaming hour is one of the things new parrot owners often don’t know about and are unprepared for. Parrots NEED to be loud sometimes.)
Notice this man quiets down after the crashing and banging, and de-escalates the cockatoo’s rising excitement by speaking to it in a normal tone, signifying to it that social screaming time is over for the moment. Cockatoos LOVE getting excited! But they aren’t always great self-soothers (especially if nobody ever taught it how) and sometimes you have to help them calm down to keep them from spinning up into a screaming fit. I have a feeling the cockatoo’s previous owners mostly just screamed back at it instead of soothing it.
If this all sounds weirdly high-level psychology for interacting with an animal, that’s because it is. That’s how smart the larger parrots are.
I was at Disneyland yesterday and when I walked into the Princess Fantasy Faire I welled up with tears as I witnessed a magical moment with the newest princess Elena of Avalor speaking in full Spanish to a small princess visiting from Latin America.
Oooh she’s so pretty 😍
Me: crying at this beautiful magical moment…
Also me: I don’t understand what is being said except zapatos. They are talking about shoes and I’m crying again.
I guess I should’ve translated for the non-Spanish speakers.
Elena: “Your shoes are so sparkly! You know my grandmother always says a princess needs something sparkly so everyone knows that you are a princess and look; you have your crown, your dress and your shoes. Everything is so beautiful!”