Watching my zebra finches, one was grooming, not himself, but one of his brothers, intrigued, I continued to watch. The finch being groomed had his bum up in the air as his brother tended to the tail feathers. Puzzled, I thought, why is he getting his brother to groom him, finches can groom their own tail feathers! So then the thought came to mind that their discussion probably went something like this:
“I thought you groomed yourself!”
“Well you have a feather out of place”
“Where??” the finch hops around trying to take a good look at himself from all sides “I don’t see anything”
“Come here, I’ll fix it” so he hops up on the top perch where the other is sitting.
“ok, now bend down”
“What do you mean bend down?”
“You know, like you’re about to take flight, just don’t take flight”
“Oh ok”, he bends down and his brother starts to groom the feathers.
With a mouth full of feathers, “not yet”
“Well, can you hurry? This is not a good position to balance in, it makes me want to fly”
“Well don’t, I’m not finished yet.”
Some seconds pass, “done yet?”
Some more seconds before the bird being groomed hops down to a lower perch.
“Why’d you go? I was almost done!”
“I told you that was an awkward way to stand, I was losing my balance!”
The brother hops down to the lower perch, “ok, well bend down, and I’ll finish it here”
“No!” and he flies down to the seeds to have something to eat… clearly the discussion was over.
Gotta love featherkids!