Friday, September 21, 2007

So when I first started this blog a few months ago, I was worried that I'd quickly run out of things to write about. After all, every day seemed pretty much like the same thing! But as I'm working on remembering to take pictures and tell specific stories, I've realized how varied these days that all seem the same tend to be! Now I"m worried that those few of you who come here and check in on what I've written might tune out because some of my entries have become so long! And this will be one of those entries...

First, I had a fantastic evening with Calypso! I have been clicker training him, but he is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He is incredibly loving, though. Anyway, for months, we have been stuck on the first step of clicker training -- targeting. I would try to get him to do something else, but he wasn't interested. Targeting held his interest, and I could see after each successful target how proud he was that he'd accomplished his task. But last night, he learned how to shake hands!!!!! And I was even able to take a halfway decent picture of him! I am so excited about this, and can't wait to teach him other tricks, even though it will be slower going than with my other birds.

Here is another picture of Elsa with her head under her wood. I'm including her in today's entry because of the way I found her food dish when I came home from work. I remembered Wednesday night that we had run out of fresh greens for the lizards. Not wanting to run to the store at that time, I went Thursday morning instead. The grocery store I went to did not have a huge selection. I ended up purchasing some chicory endive and some carrots with the tops on -- the parrots will get the carrots and the lizards will get the tops. Elsa went through her greens, ate all of the chicory endive, and piled the carrot tops off in the corner. What a funny lizard!

I've probably mentioned here before that I have to use a stick to get Rocky to step up. I am actually amazed at how well this works. If I try to have him step up on my hand, he attacks me. But offer him a stick, and he steps right up and doesn't even go for my hand that's holding the other end of the stick. Whenever Max sees the stick, she goes over and starts chipping away at it, and then doing weird things. Here is a video of her playing with my stick, but the real reason I included it is because at the end she asks me for a kiss and then when I ask her for a kiss, she gives me one.

Last night, I ate a few mixed nuts as an appetizer. We order roasted, non-salted nuts from this site, which I would highly recommend. (We also order dried fruit -- their strawberries are fantastic; the apples, not so much). What we normally do with the nuts when we offer them to the parrots is put a nice selection in our hand, and then offer the open hand to each bird so they can take out their favorite. Rocky takes whatever is closest, Calypso takes the largest cashew, Max takes any cashew, and Beeps takes the largest nut. I'm not a huge fan of the brazil nuts, personally, so last night, instead of giving them a choice, I decided to thin out the brazil nuts and give one to everyone. Here are the caiques eating theirs (notice that Calypso's eyes are closed -- back to bad pictures for him!):

And then, I was planning on taking a picture of Max eating hers, but as soon as I walked away from the nuts to photograph the caiques, she had flown to the counter and grabbed a cashew out of the bowl!

As you probably know, Rocky loves Thomas. I can't quite figure out the relationship we have. He wants me around, but he doesn't want me to handle him. He follows me around the house and calls my name. Thomas had to spend last night at the hospital for his job. When I'm alone with the birds, Rocky is completely different. He refuses to stay on his cage; instead climbing up on the other birds' cages. When Thomas is home, Rocky spends most of his time interacting with us or under his cage, building his nest. He will not work on his nest unless Thomas is there. Last night, Rocky refused to stay off of the other birds' cages, which meant he had to spend more time inside his cage than he normally does. If Thomas had been home, he would have screamed to be let out. But since he wasn't there, he was content to stay in his cage and play. Thomas will get home this morning, and he tells me that all of the birds treat him as though he's been gone for a month!

I use safflower seeds as my treat for clicker training for Max and the caiques. I had pulled out my container of safflower seeds, but then left the room for a minute. I return to find Max attempting to eat the seeds through the plastic container, saying, "Want some!" I asked her if she wanted to train, and she started dancing and then flew to her stand where we train.

We don't usually buy nuts in the shell for our birds. We buy shelled nuts for ourselves, and they eat those. Plus, since we have small and medium sized parrots, they can't open some of the tougher nuts. I suppose we could start to crack the nut for them, but we don't. My parents do buy pecans for Alfie (their quaker) and sent along a bag of them -- enough to share with our parrots -- for while we were bird-sitting for them. Alfie needs his pecan cracked for him, but he prefers eating it this way to a shelled nut. There was a pecan on our kitchen table this morning, and Max flew over there to play with it. It kept her enthralled for well over 10 minutes. That is like a lifetime for her! The only other things that capture her attention for so long are marbles and new toys. I couldn't quite figure out what she was doing with this pecan. It kind of seemed like she was trying to open it, but then sometimes it seemed like she was trying to sit on it (as though it were an egg). Here is a video:

Thanks for reading, if you've made it this far! I hope that you all have a fantastic weekend! Tomorrow I pick my parents up at the airport and drop their birds off -- these two weeks really did fly by! They're probably getting ready to have their last European dinner right about now. Although their birds are funny and well-behaved, I'm looking forward to just having our 5 parrots to look after!


Sharon said...

Great blog I found it through Caique Crazy. I love the clip of Max playing with the pecan. I have to admit I didn't get to read the post because I'm in the middle of fixing breakfast. But will be back soon!

I have an African Grey named Mooky stop by my blog when you get a chance.

Mary said...

Hi Sharon,

I love your blog! Mooky is so adorable. I just love greys!

And you have so much beautiful wildlife near you. It's so fun to "meet" other people who love their birds as much as we do!