Thursday, May 8, 2008

Parrot interactions

When I write about the lizards, it's usually about Andreas. He is much friendlier and more active than Elsa. She was out of her hide yesterday when I got home from work, however, and also enjoyed dandelions that I picked from our yard. I just can't believe how much these guys love the dandelions. I may try to figure out a way to grow them in the house year-round for them.
When I was outside picking the dandelions, there was this bird in our tree, very close to where I was. I'm not good at bird identification, so I'm not sure what he was. (EDIT: a friend e-mailed me to let me know he was a white breasted nuthatch -- I need to get better at my bird IDs! And thanks, P!) But he was beautiful, and I spent several minutes watching him (her?) hop around our tree. P told me that these birds will hop around the trees, looking for bugs, spider eggs, and whatnot. Once they go around a tree, they fly to another and start foraging some more.
Max has recently been using the pen cup on our table as a foraging toy. Parrots shouldn't eat ink, so we watch her closely, but figure there's no harm in letting her play briefly with the top of the pen. Thomas and I sometimes talk about what professions the parrots would be if they were humans. Maybe Max would be a writer?
Kika has been hanging out with the caiques. It's very sweet. Beeps seems to be protecting her from Max. When they're all on the stands, he'll place himself in between the greys. That's Calypso near her in this picture; you can kind of see Beeps in the back.
Speaking of Kika, I heard her first word in the almost 5 days she's been with us -- a standard "hello!" Her voice is much quieter and sweeter than Max's. She's been making a lot of grey noises and whistling. Her chest wound is almost completely healed and she has tons of pin feathers growing. She also has been destroying several of the toys I made her. She loves the finger traps! They are one of my favorite components to teach birds how to play with toys.

Below is a rare action shot of Max and Beeps playing. I love the way movement was captured in that some of their feathers seem see-through.
I used to be very careful in keeping them separate so that this kind of thing didn't happen. But I've come to believe that it really is some kind of play that they do. And I'm always closely watching to make sure that it doesn't escalate. Additionally, they are both flighted and able to escape the situation. I've seen many outside birds behave in similar ways. Finally, they are of very similar size -- I would never let them play with a budgie or a full-size macaw (enough disclaimers?)

No pictures of Rocky recently, but he is still doing well. I think he's been behaving better since I've been handling him, so I don't have as much to write about.


Anonymous said...

Just a thought about Max and the pens--don't know if you welcome comments here or not--I know some pens have removable ink cartridges. You might try that.

Nice blog. I love the pictures!

Mary said...

Comments are always welcome! I love learning new things that might make my animals' lives better!

That is a good idea about taking out the ink cartridge. Then I wouldn't have to watch her like a hawk. I will see if we have any like that and report back.