Our Neighbours' Noisy Bird

We have new neighbours. A few weeks ago, a man and a woman, a boy, two dogs and a bird moved into the house next door.

We’ve seen the adults and the boy. We’ve spoken to them over the fence. We’ve seen the dogs too. But we haven’t seen the bird. But we know it’s there. We can hear it. Just as it begins to get light each morning, the bird screeches, “Wake up! Wake up!” And even when we're no longer asleep, it keeps on calling. All day long.

“That bird next door woke me up again,” yawns my daughter Imogen as she stumbles into the kitchen looking for her breakfast. "I've been awake for hours." She's not smiling. Nor is her sister Charlotte.

“That bird is as bad as Jeremy,” says Charlotte. “Do you remember how he used to wake us up far too early every day?”

Jeremy was a scaly-breasted lorikeet. One day, my son Callum phoned me from a friend's house: "Mum, we found a lorikeet. It's very friendly. I think it's been hand-reared. We can't find its owner. Can I bring it home?"

I was going to say, "No, Callum, we have far too many pets," but I found myself saying, "I'll go to the pet shop and buy a cage." 

"Thanks, Mum! The bird will be my pet. He's going to be my friend." I didn't need to see Callum's face to know he was grinning.

Did Jeremy and Callum become the best of friends? Not exactly. It didn't take Callum very long to realise his bird was a lot of trouble. Yes, Jeremy woke us up far too early each morning. But that's not all he did. He...  Perhaps I shouldn't say anymore. I might spoil the story. You see...

Edward Angel also has a bird called Jeremy. He’s a lot like Callum's bird. In fact, he’s identical.

If you'd like to find out what happened to Callum's and Edward's lorikeets, you could read Chapter 10 of my novel, The Angels of Abbey Creek.

So what are we going to do about our neighbour's noisy bird? I don't suppose we can complain. What good would that do? We know from experience, it's not easy to keep a lorikeet quiet. Anyway, if we complain about their bird, our next-door-neighbours might complain about our dog. 

Early this morning, just after the sun had risen, I put on my running gear and then I grabbed our dog's leash. But as soon as Nora saw me coming towards her, she ran in the opposite direction. She didn't look where she was going and tripped over her metal food bowl. It flew through the air and then bounced a few times along the concrete path: Clatter! Clatter! Clatter!

"You silly dog," I said. "You've probably woken the neighbours."

I can't find any photos of Jeremy. But I did find a Youtube video about scaly-breasted lorikeets.

And I do have a photo of Nora, our dog. Here she is with my daughter Sophie. 

I don't suppose you have a dog who trips over metal food bowls. But do you have a noisy bird?

Sue Elvis

Australian blogger, author, podcaster and unschooling mother


  1. When we lived in the San Diego area, we would have in the neighborhood a rooster that would crow at the crack of dawn :) Then of course there's the usual wild birds that began chirping even before the snow began to shine :) Hopefully everyone will get used to hearing the bird and sleep won't be disrupted in a few weeks :)


    1. Betty,

      Roosters! I'd forgotten about them. Yes, they are extremely noisy early in the morning. We have a lot of kookaburras. They perch on our fences and chuckle very loudly at dawn, but they don't bother us. I think you're right: We'll get to used to the lorikeet just like we've got used to the kookaburras. I do think kookaburras have a nicer call than lorikeets though. Their song makes me smile!

      It's lovely to chat with you. Enjoy the weekend!

  2. Oh my goodness, I feel as if I was in your home during the bird conversations!! I Do remember that chapter in your book Sue!!! I though of it immediately when I read your post title!

    Good grief Sue, I wish you luck with the noisy neighbors! ( well, their noisy bird!)

    Love the Callum story. Love it. You're such a rockstar mom you know.

    Love ya Sue.


    1. Chris,

      There are lots of family stories in my book!

      Callum and the noisy bird is a good story, but Callum and the ferret is an even better one. Oh my, we've had some strange pets. I wonder if I can insert a ferret into a future Angels story!

      Yesterday, I reread your review of my novel on Catholic Mom, so I've been thinking about you. THank you for that kind review and thank you for stopping by. Love seeing you on my blog! xxx

  3. I remember Jeremy quite well from your book, I just mentioned him to Gemma and she smiled :) The suburb we live in appears to have more dogs than humans (perhaps I exaggerate, but there are a LOT of dogs!) so it can be noisy at times. It doesn't seem to bother me so much now that we have a dog, I know he makes a noisy fuss when we leave the house without him.
    It's terrible to be woken up though, I wonder how long you will be able to put up with it?

    1. Kelly,

      Jeremy is hard to forget. He made quite an impression on our family!

      There are lots of dogs where we live too. The dog across the road has a huge bark just like Nora's. It often barks in the night and I think most of the people in our street think it's our dog making all the noise.

      Nora likes to run silently up and down our backyard fence to make the dog next door bark. Its owner gets irritated and yells at her dog to be quiet, while Nora stays silent and just grins. We get woken up by the neighbour's bird and our dog provokes her dog into barking. I guess we're even!

      A noisy fuss when you leave home? I dread to think what Nora does when we're not around. It's better not to know!