Monday, November 2, 2009

Parrot relationships 2: Rocky & Beeps

Rocky has always been strangely attracted to Beeps's cage. It's the cage Rocky was housed in at the parrot rescue where he spent about 4 months before coming to our house. It's not nearly big enough as a permanent cage for a severe macaw, but it's fine for a caique, so about three years ago we bought Rocky a macaw-sized cage and Beeps got an upgrade as well.

We're not sure if he likes the cage because it used to be his (but for a much shorter period than he's been in his current cage), because of its placement near the door to the living room (easier to hide and plan a sneak attack on me), or possibly because the grass is greener on the other side.

Beeps has never really minded. He usually just stays out of Rocky's way, either by running around his cage or by flying to another location in the house. Sometimes he'll fly over to Rocky's cage and eat his food.

Late last week, I heard lots of wood chipping, so I wandered into the living room to see what was going on. Unfortunately, I couldn't exactly capture the scene on camera, but Beeps and Rocky were chipping wood off of the same toy that was on Beeps's cage top!

In this picture, Rocky stopped chipping to threaten me; notice Beeps in the background:
Drinking Beeps's water:Beeps does not seem to mind:
In this video, Rocky is threatening me, while Beeps is running around. That little guy has so much energy!

There are many times when the greys and Calypso are all on one cage and Rocky and Beeps are on another. Daphne is always kept separate for safety reasons, though she shows no interest in the other birds.

I feel compelled to write that we do supervise the parrots and have made the conscious decision to let them be on other parrots' cages. Allowing unsupervised, or even lightly supervised, interaction could be a recipe for disaster as it wouldn't take long for one parrot to rip the toes or beak off of another. We closely supervise all interactions whenever we have a new bird in the house, and become more lax as flock dynamics are understood. With wild animals, it's a risk we're willing to take, mostly because the five parrots who are allowed to interact are all more or less the same size (our budgie is always kept separate and safe) and they have the ability to fly away from any perceived danger. It would break my heart if anyone stumbled on my blog and their parrot suffered an injury because the human thought it was OK to allow their parrots to interact with each other based on what we do in our house.


Elizabeth said...

Beeps is so completely adorable!!! That first picture is particularly wonderful.

I always like to think about what kind of large parrot I would choose if I thought I could handle one. I always imagine an African Grey, having had one as a child. But maybe I'm overlooking caiques. Beeps can be my imaginary large parrot for awhile.

The Homeless Parrot said...

I wish my grey would get along with my sennie, but it ain't ever gonna happen! It dates back to once when my TAG got out of his cage while we were gone, climbed on the sennie's cage, and mangled his toes. They've never gotten past that, though it was 5+ years ago!

Beloved Parrot said...

Homeless -- if somebody mangled my toes I wouldn't get past it either! Ever!

Mary -- My Charli and the Bobbsey Twins always insisted on exploring Sugar Franklin's cage and eating her food when she wasn't in it (yes, I always supervised!), even though it was the same food they got. Now that she's gone they're happy to go eat each other's food.

Who knows why? There's not much I wouldn't give to know how parrots think!

Beeps is a doll -- you need to send him over to me immediately! ;-)

Mary said...

Elizabeth -- I will probably write this in a post soon, but Thomas told me the night you wrote this comment that if the house were burning down and he could only save one parrot (what a morbid thought!) it would be Beeps. He really is the perfect pet for our house, though he was given up at least twice before he found us, so I know he's not right for everyone!

THP -- I've heard senegals rarely get along with other species. We boarded one for a friend for a month or so and she definitely antagonized the larger parrots -- we needed to keep her away from everyone!

BP -- they must have suspected you giving SF extra treats :)

Beeps is so completely adorable and I wish you could experience him live. I don't think I do a good job of showing him on the blog because he tends to not like to be photographed! I'll try to get some good shots of him soon, though!