In my evolving series about the life and times in the year of the Robin, today's slice concerns her incredible memory for objects and locations and shapes.
Robin has always taken her twice daily baths in a rectangular take-out plastic clear container. It's easy to clean, easy to see through and gave her a sense of comfort when she dropped bits of food or ripped up newspaper to see that it falls to the bottom. I can't explain why she engages in this behavior, only that it seems to please and amuse her. Kind of like the time she dropped a raisin to the bottom and was rather surprised that it had grown in size and shape by the time she remembered to fish it out of the water.
Today my lovely little Robin has decided NOT to take a bath in the new version of her bathtub. I found a much larger square shaped clear plastic container to replace the old one. The old one barely fit her entire sturdy body, and often her tail stuck out, causing her to have to flap around furiously to get every bit and piece of her feathered torso wet. I figured that this newest version would allow her a fuller emersion, get her tail inside the container and make her splashing more efficient.
Needless to say, I underestimated her powers of observation. Despite several verbal prompts of "go ahead baby, go take a bath" she eyed the substitution warily. She threw in a piece of newspaper. She dipped her beak in for a taste. Sip, sip, water seems to taste the same. She flew to a different spot to get a better angle to view her new tub. Didn't look the same, not the same shape. She flew down and dipped both feet in. Temperature feels alright, soothing on the toes. After about a good ten minutes of testing and hopping about, and eyeballing the thing, Robin decided to head to her cage and watch the tub. Just in case something would happen.
Yet I know she is DYING to take a long and luxurious bath. For about as long as I've had this ball of feathers, she has religiously taken two baths a day. One in the daytime and one at night before bed. The water has to be crisply cold, room temperature isn't acceptable. It has to be spotlessly clean- one would never dip a toenail into unsightly water fouled by one's own droppings or the errant feather. If her conditions are not met, my stubborn little Robin refuses to even walk by the bathtub. She is THAT picky.
So for her to test the characteristics of this new and improved tub for so long means that she doesn't quite know what to do. Should she break down and just take the plunge in, letting the cool ripples of water flow over her back and head? Should she wait? Will the other familiar tub come back? Why if they both disappear?
Oh, the endless questions running through that small, compact head!
My wager is that after she's done resting, which she is doing now on the ledge of the cage, that she will give up on her inhibitions and take the plunge. After all, the day is drawing to a close and it's time to start preening again. One can't possible do a proper preen without the benefit of our personal jacuzzi.