Monday, May 5, 2008

Our newest foster

On Friday afternoon, I received a phone call from the woman who runs the parrot rescue where we volunteer. A grey had been surrendered and she wasn't doing well at the facility. She came in plucked, but had mutilated herself on her chest and under both wings. Would we be willing to foster her?

Greys tend not to do well at the rescue, and Kika was taking it particularly hard. Thomas really didn't want to take her in, but he acquiesced. I think he's afraid that I'm not going to be able to give her up. And, we had to move our bookcase with our DVDs into another room to accommodate her cage. We are now officially out of room in the living room.

According to the man who surrendered her, she is very fearful, and she exhibited many fearful behaviors while at the rescue. However, once she got into our house, it's like she became a different bird.

Here she is, about 5 minutes after entering our house:
We have two large stands in our kitchen, and she started exploring both of them.

Thomas decided to take a shower, and brought Kika in with him. Here she is, drying off after her shower:

You could tell she wasn't used to this, but she was very brave and ended up enjoying herself. We have been spraying her down daily to help with her feather growth.

She is doing amazingly well. I have about 10 toys placed in her cage, and she has been investigating them. She hung out on the couch with Thomas and me last night as we watched TV, and played with many different foot toys. She especially likes beads, so I have been making her bead toys.

She is still carefully observing everything that goes on in the house. Whenever I pick up one of my birds (except Rocky), I bring them up near my mouth and kiss the top of their beak. I was not planning on doing this with Kika (I don't trust her not to pierce my lip!) but after a day of watching this, she stretched her head as close as she could to my mouth and made a loud kiss sound. So I have been carefully allowing this as I don't want her to feel left out.

We also started clicker training on the first day we had her, and she made amazing progress with targeting. If we keep her long enough for her to learn some tricks, I'm going to make sure her new family wants to keep training her.

This morning I had her on the kitchen counter, exploring. My goal is to get her exposed to as many things as possible so that she's not fearful when she goes to her new home. She is wiping her beak on the counter.

I am having a hard time photographing her -- she usually ends up looking washed out. I may have to read through my camera instructions again. She really is gorgeous and I want to document her feather improvements during the time she spends with us.

So far, the only problem is Max. She is quite jealous of this new bird. I keep reminding Max that she's number one in our house and that Kika won't be staying long. Max buzzed her, which resulted in Kika landing with a thud on our floor. Luckily she wasn't injured, but we are now taking extra steps to make sure that Kika stays safe. Unfortunately, her wings are clipped. I would love to see her learn to fly which will also increase her confidence, but I don't think we'll have her long enough for that.

I'll write more about what else happened over the weekend tomorrow. It certainly ended up being different than we had expected!


DweezelJazz said...

So sweet that Kika gave you kiss already. Birds can be so loving and dear. It hurts that they're often not understood. Thank you for taking care of her.

Mary said...

It's really been a pleasure having her in our house and will be incredibly hard giving her up. She is just so incredibly sweet and loving!

Beloved Parrot said...

Oh, how sweet. Glad to see she's moved from a temporary tenant to a permanent part of your home. She clearly knew she was home when she walked in.