Monday, April 28, 2008

Mostly Rocky

Rocky is still in nesty mode, as you can see by this nest he is building. We're not sure if he wants to share it with all of Thomas or just his feet. In any case, they had a pleasant Saturday morning with the paper (Note: this is the very beginning of nest building):
He has been molting lately, with the result that one feather has been turned around for most of the weekend. We keep telling him to fix himself, but he hasn't yet. Thomas and I have also both tried to turn the feather around, with no luck. We expect that it will molt out in the next few days.
One of Rocky's molted feathers ended up on our kitchen counter, which is one of Max's favorite hangout spots. She was playing with it and preening it:
By the time I got my camera out to photograph her, she had dropped it. Although I rarely stage photos, I figured that since I was merely recreating events that would have been captured had I been quicker, it was OK. Unfortunately, Max then wanted nothing to do with the feather. This isn't a great picture, but it shows off some of her personality. As I attempt to hand her the feather, she got all fluffy and posed in threatening postures. After a few more tries, I was able to take the above picture, which is what she had been doing.
In other news, we returned home on Saturday night and were taking the parrots out for a few minutes before bed. Emboldened by the wine I had finished earlier in the evening and protected by one of Thomas's sweatshirts, I decided to see if Rocky would step up out of his cage for me without attacking. I hadn't held him (except on a stick) for about 20 months. Success! He stayed calmly on my arm. The next day, alone in the house, I tried again. More success! Then, we played on the floor, with Rocky coming over and putting one foot on me before running away. No indications of any attack.

This is still a work in progress, as I tried twice this morning and was met with all-out attacks. I have quite a few bruises from this, but he wasn't able to get skin as I was wearing the protective sweatshirt.
Thomas doesn't think I should work with Rocky on this. He thinks that severes are such one-person birds and that since Rocky and I have hammered out a workable relationship, why try to change things now? He also doesn't want to see me bloody and scarred for no reason. Obviously we currently disagree on this. Right now, I'm planning on working with him every day to see whether we can make progress.
I thought I had made peace with the fact that I lived with a bird I couldn't physically handle. Apparently that's not the case. I'll update here with how things progress.


Sharon said...

Mooky shreds paper all the time I don't think it has to do with nesting anymore just that he likes making big messes. He loves to shred the newspaper on his stand and than fly back up on his perch making the shreddings of newspaper go everywhere!

Mary said...


That sounds like Beeps. You can see the satisfaction on his face when he pulls out his cage lining and shreds it. He also then flies over it so they go everywhere!!!

Rocky is the only one of my birds who builds these nests in the spring. He'll chip wood and do some paper shredding year round, but in spring he'll bring paper to dark, enclosed spaces and work on his nest. We let him do it since it makes him happy and doesn't increase his aggressiveness.

I just love hearing about Mooky!