Conversation with a Big Little Mynah Bird

Natalie is hand-feeding a baby Mynah bird. He’s about two months old and still very small, but with a BIG personality. I asked him whether he was a boy or girl bird, his response was unhelpful but immediate: “I’m a loud bird! I’m a big bird! I’m a hungry bird! I want! I want! I want!”

Like many young animals, he doesn’t yet know his gender, but he’s bursting with masculine energy, so I’m gonna guess he’s a boy. Natalie was thinking of naming him Gremlin, so I asked what he thought of that name (while showing him images of a gremlin) and he rejected it outright. Gremlins are small and sneaky looking. There’s nothing sneaky about this bird. He’s large and in-charge, full of energy and adventure. He wants a big name that reflects his big personality.

The other two birds who live on Natalie’s lanai are the pigeons she is raising. I asked what he thought of them. “They’re my friends. They want me to be with them. They love me.”

A couple of doves come to visit the lanai often. There’s a perch that stretches between the pigeons’ cage and the Mynah bird’s cage, and the doves sit there often. I asked what he thought of them.

“They love me too. They can’t wait for me to be able to fly with them. They say it’s very nice out there. But they also want to know what I did to be so lucky that I get fed all the time. I don’t know, I told them. I’m just a very special bird. Everybody loves me.”

The three baby birds stay in their cages unless Natalie is home to supervise them. Then, she opens their cages so they can explore the lanai and practice flying. The Mynah bird likes to walk across the perch and go into the pigeons’ cage. I asked if he wanted to live in the bigger cage.

“I want all the cages. I want to be able to come and go wherever I want. I’m learning to fly so I can go exploring with my small friends who come to visit. I am bigger than them. Soon, I’ll be bigger than everyone. I’m a big bird. I’m a strong and smart and special bird.”

He’s definitely full of confidence.

He’s almost too confident, and that is worrisome. He wants to fly and explore and go on adventures outside the lanai, but he’s still way too little for that. I will have to check in with him often and remind him of the dangers he could encounter if he ventures outside his safe space too soon.

Meanwhile, this intrepid adventurer needs a name, and we’re looking for ideas. Let us know what you think!

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