Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rocky overload

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Thomas had to work 30 hours straight, starting Monday morning. The parrots and I spent Monday night alone, and they were so happy when he returned on Tuesday, especially Rocky!

Rocky is a bit lost when Thomas isn't there. He hangs out with me a bit and I make sure to play some of his favorite music for him so we can dance, but it's just not the same as having his favorite person home.

After being up for so long straight, Thomas acts giddy; almost as though he were drunk. It can be quite amusing, and some of my favorite Thomas-Rocky moments happen on these days: Rocky, so elated to see his mate, and Thomas, doing silly things with him. Rocky thrives in this environment.

The first signal I had that last night would be one of those really fun Rocky nights is when I entered the living room to see Thomas placing his sleeve on Rocky's head.My little macaw loved this!

Then, he decided to look at Rocky's growth. This is something I make him do on a regular basis so that we can keep track of it -- is it getting larger, changing color, etc. -- anything that might warrant a vet visit. Rock's not a huge fan of this, so Thomas has to control his head with one hand in order to avoid a bite. Despite the fierce expression on his face, he doesn't really mind being held in this manner:
His growth remained the same as last check.

As a reward, he then got double head scratches. Look at how he raises his head feathers in order to give Thomas easier access to his skin:I couldn't help myself and took three Rocky videos last night. They were just on fire!

One game that they play, that I wouldn't recommend for most birds (of the 6 in our house, Thomas can only do this with Rocky), involves Thomas touching Rocky's beak, and Rocky responding. You can see how this has the potential to turn into a bloodbath with an unwilling parrot! You can hear him moaning and making his noises. At the end, he does his freakout/head shake motion that he does when he's really excited:

Thomas was giving Rocky a lot of head pets last night, reestablishing their bond. I just love how Rocky purrs as a way to show his pleasure:

And another video of Thomas giving Rocky the business. Rocky loves it when this happens, and I can't stop myself from laughing, either. As with the other videos, I wouldn't recommend doing this with most parrots; a bite and unhappy bird would most likely result.

Rocky is quite different from the other birds in our house; much more hands-on. He and Thomas have this very special relationship. They really are two peas in a pod, although Thomas is nicer to me than Rocky is! I know I've said this before, but it's hard to believe that they didn't meet until Rocky was 19 years old. I don't hear it as often as I used to, but anyone who claims that "used" parrots don't bond well to new owners is sorely mistaken!


Sammi said...

Okay, the Thomas-tickling-Rocky video is the cutest thing EVER. Damn that's adorable.

Beloved Parrot said...

Hi Mary! here -- we are working with a lawyer to shorten the agreement page and make it a bit more understandable. As long as YOU own the photo you can do what you please with it, including sending it to us. If you've previously published the photo somewhere else be sure you didn't sign away or agree to give up your copyright to it. In which case you would no longer hold all rights to it and we wouldn't want to publish it.

Make sense?

If you want to wait till we get the new agreement up, that's perfectly okay.

And yeah -- that macaw freaked me out when I clicked open the picture! What a great shot!

Beloved Parrot said...

Wait a minute! You're saying Elvis on is a severe macaw???

We were sure it was a Hahn's.

Mary said...

Sammi -- thanks! I'm currently working on a post entitled "My thoughts on severe macaws" which will hopefully discourage anyone from buying a baby severe macaw due to the adorableness of Rocky :)

BP -- thanks for the clarification. I don't think that you would, but wanted to make sure you wouldn't sue me for having the picture on my blog and sending it to you. I have never licensed any of my pictures, so all is fair game. I will submit!

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

BP -- the one drinking from a cup is definitely a severe. I will e-mail the superior parrot address with a pic of a hahn's for comparison.

Superior Parrot said... here again -- you were absolutely 100% correct!! And I've corrected the picture on the blog.


Meg said...

I hope your Severe post goes well. I have the same thought frequently about quakers. There are many wonderful companion quakers, and I love mine to pieces (though they aren't really one of the well-ish behaved set). Quakers are always adorable as babies, and very talkative, and then, more often than not, they go through a major life change at maturity. If you know how to deal with it, and don't mind that they often choice one person in the house to like, despite socialization, then that is fine. But somehow, most are disappointed, and then the poor quakers get rehomed.

Mary said...

Meg -- so true about quakers. And, because they are quite easy to breed and inexpensive, the problem is much more acute with quakers. At one point, the shelter where I volunteer had around 15 up for adoption. I think we may be down to about 6 now. Quite sad.

From personal experience, my parents adopted the most adorable quaker from the rescue; at about 2-3 years old, he started mutilating for no reason that the vets could find (thousands of dollars later). He finally mutilated himself so badly he couldn't support his weight and had to be euthanized. Very traumatic experience, and I suspect due to poor breeding.

DoodleBird said...

Mary, how long do they live?

Mary said...

Doodlebird -- my vet and I have discussed this. It's hard to know exact lifespans since we don't really have a lot of longitudinal data with them getting the kind of care they get now.

For severe macaws, the general lifespan I have seen estimates around 40-50 years. I asked my vet if it would be unreasonable to expect to keep Rocky around until 40, and he said that's not unreasonable. We're counting on having another 20 years with him, but it could be more or less; I guess we'll see!