Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grey togetherness

The greys still do not physically interact at all, but I've recently realized that they are rarely more than a couple of feet away from each other.  They basically ignore the rest of the birds, but are fascinated by what the other grey is doing. Stella seems to be the one who usually follows Max around, though it is occasionally the other way around.

Here they are, destroying the mail pile:
I think Max was looking for a little alone time, by perching on the seat of a chair that was pushed in to the table, but she discounted Stella's detective skills:
I thought perhaps they'd both sit on the chair, but Max took off as Stella arrived, and then Stella followed Max to the stand:
This morning, on my newly washed counter:
They've even taken to both being on the same stand.  Before, this was Max's stand and Stella stayed on the green stand:
They are so interesting to watch.  I wish I knew what they were thinking.  Do they keep such close tabs on each other because they like each other (and, if so, why don't they allopreen?)  Or do they not like each other and have to make sure that the other one doesn't get preferential treatment?  Or am I ascribing human feelings to them and they're just doing it because of the flock mentality that's hard-wired in their brains?

What would happen if we introduced another grey to the flock?  There is the sweetest timneh ever at the rescue right now.  My curiosity will have to go unsatisfied in this area as we are in a really good place and don't have the room for another bird right now!


Suzanne said...

My guess is they are still really getting to know one another. Greys from my experience take a long time to really warm up to anyone, be it bird or human.

It would also come into play if they were opposite sexes or not. A male and female might warm up to one another quicker then say 2 females or 2 males.

Also if you were to get another Grey, I would defiantly introduce him/her very slowly. It seems Max and Stella have a pattern going in behavior and a third might make one or the other feel threatened.

Now I have a question for you. :) I know that all or most of your birds can fly. How do you keep fights from occurring? How do you stop one if it starts? And how do you keep a small bird, Like Brian from landing on a big birds cage and getting hurt?

I ask because I have a small peach front Conure that I can not keep off our Greys cage when she is out. Our Grey has made it clear that she will eat the Conure under no uncertain terms, but I can not for the life of me keep the conure from flying over to the Greys cage. What do I do?

Mary said...

That could be -- I wonder if they'll ever get to the point where they allopreen? I really hope so! I've had Max for nearly 10 years and Stella's been in the flock for 3 1/2 years. They are both females.

I cannot foresee any circumstance under which we'd bring in another bird at this point -- I hope I didn't just jinx myself!

I will expand more on how we keep (relative) peace in our house with everyone flighted in a future post or this comment will get out-of-hand long.

But, to answer your question, I was very hesitant to bring Brian into our house because he's so much smaller. The rest of the birds are more or less the same size and they've worked out most of their differences over the years. They will chase each other around but rarely does it escalate into anything physical as someone will fly away before that happens.

We keep an eye and ear out, and if they start beaking each other or getting physical, we immediately intervene and separate them. With some of them, they'll just step up on our hand. Others (the caiques) get so into it that I use a stick to separate them and then tell Beeps to go to his cage, where he gets locked in until he cools down.

I always have a stick near me because of Rocky.

With Brian, we do extremely heavy supervision to keep him safe. We are very lucky in that he shows no interest in going to any of the other birds' cages. If he's out, either Thomas or I is within arm's reach of him. The only one of our birds who has shown any interest in hurting Brian is Beeps, and they are not allowed out at the same time. Still, we don't take chances with the others.

I do know people who've had to use plexiglass to create a barrier to keep curious birds off of other birds' cages. Let me do some more thinking on what I would do in your situation with the conure. I will try to post tomorrow, but definitely over the weekend if not!

phonelady said...

i have one that I tell go into time out and he goes into his cage is that not funny that they are able to understand what we are telling them . im still not well and Im hoping soon I will know what is going on with me . well anyways ladies it is nice hearing other bird owners have the same issues .