How do birds hear?

Dory, my Redbelly Poicephalus, is nibbling on my fingers again.  She wants me to scratch her ears, so she pulls on my pinky finger until I notice her and stop typing. Yes, birds have ears and like dogs and cats, they like them scratched.  A breeder friend of mine raised Dory from an egg.  She handles the baby birds from the time they are very small. She plays with them, feeds them, scratches their ears, and they think she is their Mom. It took a while, but now Dory thinks I am her Mom.

Dory is an African parrot whose ancestors came from the temperate grasslands in the northern part of the continent in the days when it was legal to import them. These days, a ban exists on the importation of most exotic birds.  

I first fell in love with Dory, from watching her on a video my friend posted of her baby birds.  Although the males of her species have red bellies, females do not.  Dory has red eyes and the most beautiful iridescent green tail imaginable. Yes, I fell in love with her green tail.


Speaking of tales. I read several chapters of Dearie, the new bio on Julia Child, but I didn’t like it very much.  It may get better later on but the author has given far too much detail about Julia’s family fortune and troubles and Julia’s reckless youth which involved hall crawls among other things. That means getting drunk (during prohibition) and crawling on your hands and knees to your room in the dorm.

Sorry, that’s not my cup of tea.  Too many kids work awfully hard to have the opportunities she almost tossed away. To say this is not a very flattering story is an understatement. The stories about and by M.F. K. Fisher are far better.


After a sad trip down memory lane via photo albums this morning, I went outside for an uplift.  The White-breasted Nuthatch came to the suet feeder while I was watering my pots. This means she was not just a winter visitor, but a year-round resident.  The garden is in disrepair after the hot miserable month of July, but the birds are finding plenty to eat in the “bullrushes” as David calls them.

A mass of wild Hibiscus and Pokeweed in need of removal, yesterday, David took the weed whacker and attacked them. The Pokeweed berries were on the cusp of ripeness, so the trim was overdue.

For all the non-Southerners, some folks like to eat Pokeweed leaves and stems.  Supposedly the berries can help fight cancer. I have not tried Poke Sallet myself, but the birds sure like the berries, which brings untold disharmony to my yard. Birds plant things. 

Known by many names including Poke Sallet, the Latin name is Phytolacca, and different species of the plant grow around the globe.  P. diotica becomes a substantial tree in South America and our local Pokeweed, an annual puts out a huge stem in no time.  It loves hot summers. 


I visited my youngest granddaughter’s FB page and found a couple of photos I like. The photo at the left is Joy with her boyfriend Joshua. Don’t ask me to interpret the shirts.  Grandmas can be petty ignorant, but I think it means they are a couple.

Below, Joy at her Mom’s farm. I wonder who she is playing hide and seek with? Don’t you love the Beech trees? Lots of birds out there, including those owls with ears.





3 thoughts on “How do birds hear?

  1. They are such a lovely couple, Dianne.

    I’ve never owned a bird so I didn’t realize you could handle them that way and ears??? It never occurred to me that they would want ear scratching. How do you even find their ears? Your Dory is indeed beautiful though. I can see why you fell in love with her.


  2. Think you’ll be hearing wedding bells in the near future? Good luck to the couple. I guess that Julia Child bio isn’t very uplifting, eh? I think it might improve when she marries her husband and achieves TV fame via her cooking show and cookbook.


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