Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Affectionate greys

The greys continue their streak of hormonally-induced neediness. I don't remember this lasting so long in the past. While it is very sweet, it gets old quickly. I like my independent parrots!

Stella has claimed her favorite perch, and Thomas has become complacent, allowing her to perch there as long as she doesn't make loud noises in his ear. She tries this with me, but I either duck so she can't land, or remove her immediately. I'm not risking a facial bite!

Luckily, Max does not also do this. She just bangs her beak into you until you acquiesce and pet her head:
I do lecture them about the advantages of being affectionate with each other, but they do not appear to care that:

1) they'd probably get better-quality preening since it would be done by a grey parrot and not a human


2) they'd probably get even more preening since they appear to have an insatiable appetite for it, whereas our appetites for this are quickly sated.

Quality and quality arguments, and I can't win this debate with them!

On an off-topic quick note, Stella's open wound, which I discussed here, has healed. I'm pretty convinced that she did not mutilate herself, but injured herself while flailing around her cage as she does not have feathers there to protect her skin. She has been letting more and more feathers grow in, so perhaps in time she can flail all she wants without opening up her chest.


I believe I've mentioned this before, but it's happening almost constantly lately, so I'm posting about it again. When I leave the living room, even when I tell him I'm coming right back, Rocky runs over to my side of the couch and tries to usurp my place.Then, he threatens me when I try to reclaim it! Of course, I just move him back to Thomas with a stick and he's happy there.


The parrots each got one whole wheat shell noodle. Calypso ate his right after taking a bath:The noodle passed Stella's worthiness test, as she deigned to hold it with her foot, like a parrot, instead of insisting on it being held for her, or just dropping it to the floor for lack of real interest:
The others weren't interested in their noodle long enough for me to take a picture of them eating it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Long weekend

What a wonderful, long weekend we had -- though not long enough! Thomas, for once, didn't have to work! I thought I'd get lots of blogging done and take tons of pictures, but that didn't really happen. I guess we were too busy enjoying the moments.

Here, Thomas was reviewing the ads to see if there was anything he wanted to buy (answer: no). Of course, three little attention-sponges had to come over by him:Rocky is even perched on his foot...
...until he decides that Thomas's feet look hungry, so he starts to feed them.
Which resulted in Thomas vacating his spot, partly because he doesn't want to encourage breeding behavior in Rocky, and partly because having food regurgitated onto your feet is pretty disgusting!
Notice the little pieces of paper all over the house -- the greys were busy destroying the newspaper! They are both very nesty right now; hopefully they'll snap out of it soon!

Rocky ramblings

Rocky and I have been getting along better lately. Maybe it's because it's colder, so I've been wearing long pants and long sleeves in the house, giving me more confidence. Thomas has been putting him on my (sleeved) arm or one of us will put him on my lap when we're sitting together on the couch.

Usually he tries to immediately get back to Thomas, but he does so very gently -- he very easily could attack me if wanted. If I distract him with a song, he'll stay a little longer before escaping to safety.

One thing that always amuses me about him is his behavior when Thomas isn't home. Like when I took this picture:He could have played happily in the living room, without any interference from me. Instead, he decides to come into the kitchen, putting himself directly into my presence. He wasn't threatening me until I came close enough to take his picture. Otherwise, he just perches there, interacting with me from afar.

He is one strange guy.


With the cooler weather come clementines! The parrots love these bite-size citrus treats. I got a picture of everyone eating some.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rocky surprise

Last night, Thomas and Rocky decided to play a trick on me. Thomas came over as if to hug me, and then at the last minute, he sprung Rocky on me, who was hiding inside his flannel! I must admit that I didn't fall for this trick, as it's one they play occasionally and I had heard them snickering about it beforehand.

Before I filmed this, Thomas kept opening his flannel to expose Rocky, who would yelp when he was revealed, in concert with Thomas. However, once I started taking the video, he did the opposite -- yelping when he was covered and remaining silent while exposed.

Sometimes (frequently) he can be so adorable I just want to scoop him up and do what Thomas does to him. Luckily I remember that doing so will likely result in bloodshed, so I am able to control myself!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Treasure hunt

Stella was on Thomas's shoulder (where she really shouldn't be, but he is a soft touch). Whenever he'd lean over, putting her in range on something, she's have to start exploring. In this picture, she's eating the bag in which we had our mushrooms.You'd think she'd be happy just hanging out with him, but of course she wanted more.

Angry bowl

Stella had been on the kitchen counter, when she threw down Beeps's food dish, then flew down to the floor to attack it.We've been very careful to not leave anything breakable on the counter lately!


Over the weekend, we were at one of the last farmers' markets with vegetables until next year. We'd set them on the floor, in preparation for washing them and turning them into parrot mash. No surprise that Stella had to fly down to start investigating and eating early:Here's Rocky eating a carrot. Notice how he's all fluffy and has his right wing extended as I approach, even while eating, to show me how scary he is:
Max, acting very nonchalant with her bean:
Stella, on a perch this time, with the broccoli. Since she doesn't like to hold things in her foot to eat, she eventually dropped this on the tray and then climbed down to eat it:
Beeps with broccoli -- we're not sure how much he ate and how much he just destroyed. I wish I'd taken a movie of that!
Calypso did have some, but I didn't take any pictures of him.

Monday, November 22, 2010


The greys have been a bit more clingy than usual. Luckily Thomas is quite accommodating!As usual, where one grey is, you're likely to find the other. They are obsessed with knowing what the other one is doing and keeping tally to make sure no one is getting better treatment.

Going for a run

She's not facing the right way, but at least she realized one foot for each shoe:

Friday, November 19, 2010


I got back a little later than usual from my morning run, and returned to this:Thomas had let everyone out, and all of the parrots, except Calypso, had made their way into the kitchen for some breakfast.

Then, he went in to shower with Beeps and Rocky:Max ran over to the bathroom, pushed open the (not quite closed) door, and invited herself to their shower.

I never managed to get a picture of the three of them on the shower door, as Rocky and Max refused to stay put! I kept getting called in by Thomas to remove a parrot from temptation.

Max loves to fly over to the towel rack and perch on my towel:This is not allowed, as not only might she poop on my towel, but she likes to eat the frame of the picture that is within her reach.

And Rocky kept flying down from the door to the floor in order to nest in the bathmat:
This is not allowed, as this is what he was doing when he destroyed a tile.

I've always heard that it's more difficult for parrots to fly down than up, and that's certainly the case for Max and Beeps, but Rocky never got that memo. 90% of his flying is down! He loves the floor.

Only Beeps, as adorable as ever, was happy on the shower door:
When it was my time to shower, I went in with Stella, Max, and Calypso (as usual) and everyone stayed on the door for me. I guess the parrots know that Thomas tolerates more goofing off than I do!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blender obsession

As I've previously mentioned, Thomas makes a smoothie every morning out of frozen berries. Stella is present for this almost every morning and usually ignores the entire process.

For some reason, today she became enthralled with the blender!It was really quite comical; every time he'd make it blend, she'd rush over and tap her beak against the container. He'd stop, and she'd run away, then return once the noise started up again.

Not sure what was so interesting today that she's been able to resist for months!


Shortly after getting out of her cage yesterday afternoon, Max went on a mission to find water. Eventually she was so persistent that I put a saucer of water out for her. I joked she's like a cat!


I was in the back bedroom where many of our plants live, when I noticed that our Christmas cactus had begun blooming. Yea! So of course I moved it into the kitchen so we could enjoy it.

Rocky was enthralled and immediately climbed up on the table to investigate:
You almost couldn't tell where he was! I must note that while I found this listed as non-toxic for birds, I still will not allow any of them to eat it.It's so huge, I have to find a new place for it to rest -- right now it's taking up the majority of our island.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Head debris

I got home just a few minutes before Thomas yesterday, so the parrots were out of their cages but had not yet migrated to the kitchen when he walked in the door.

As soon as they heard the garage door closing, they flew (Max, Stella, Beeps) or walked (Rocky) in to greet him.

Stella took off a bit late, so Thomas was already inside when she flew in. She had a feather on her head, so as she flew in he asked her, "What's on your head?"

Then, she landed on his, so I asked him the same question!
To make things even funnier, the feather that had been on her head fell down and landed on his head, so he had a feather and a bird up there.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The splits

First, a bit of background:

After dinner, Beeps flies over to the back of the couch and walks back and forth, beeping the entire time. Occasionally, he hops up on my shoulder, or Thomas's shoulder, then climbs down so he's on our lap. Then, he runs and hops over both of us, stopping occasionally to surf in our clothes, preen our fingers, or take the back off of the remote control.

It is completely adorable, yet something I will likely never get on video since he's not a fan of the camera.

Last night, Thomas and I were sitting on the couch together after dinner. We were sitting pretty close to each other; Beeps was pacing on the back of the couch. He hopped on to us, so that one foot was on my shoulder and one foot was on Thomas's shoulder! He sat there for quite some time, then he must have noticed the remote control and had to run down to take the back off.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bottling travails

Over the weekend, we did have to do a bit of bottling. Thomas was working, so I went downstairs to wash the labels off of bottles. I didn't want to be alone, so I thought I'd take a parrot with me -- everyone else stayed in their cages upstairs.

First, I tried Calypso, but he was rather scared of the basement. He jumped to my shoulder and would not relinquish his hold on the back of my sweatshirt -- so he quickly went upstairs. Next, I tried Beeps:He wasn't really enjoying himself, so he went back as well. I certainly wasn't going to bring Rocky down, and I didn't trust either of the greys to stay out of trouble, so I was alone after all. Probably quicker that way!

Later, after Thomas returned, we got down to the bottling. One by one, the parrots who got into more trouble than we could handle while bottling got put in their cages. That may have been a bit dramatic, as it was only the greys! They kept fighting, including through their last warning, so they were separated in their cages and not released until we were no longer occupied.

I'd go into the living room periodically to make sure that everything was OK. Of course, Calypso was perfect. What made me laugh were Rocky and Beeps. They were pretty much imitating each other -- but on each other's cage!

Rocky, on Beeps's cage:
Beeps, on Rocky's cage:
When I took this picture, they were both hanging out on the door. Rocky had been in the same position as Beeps -- relaxed, on one leg -- but had to go into high alert as soon as I was around. At other times, they were both playing with toys inside the cage and eating each other's food inside the cage.

Goofballs! I think Rocky would prefer to be in Beeps's cage full time, but it's really too small for a severe macaw, plus...he knows how to escape from it! That may explain his eagerness for a cage switch.


They are drinking a bit of Thomas's post-run gatorade. Not much; it probably isn't healthy for them.


Rocky is definitely the strangest parrot in our house. He doesn't like me, yet when I am home alone with the parrots, he will frequently seek me out. Thomas had to work Saturday, and Rocky wanted to be near (but not touching) me.

For a short while, the two of us were alone in the kitchen:Of course, once Max realized what was going on, she flew in, and Stella quickly followed her.

He's been rather hormonal lately, which involves contorting himself into strange positions; frequently involving leaning up against something, standing on one foot, and holding his tail with the other foot. This is extremely challenging to capture on camera, but you can kind of get the idea here:
I continue to work on our relationship and hope we can be friends some day. Lately, since it's cooler out and I'm wearing pants instead of shorts, I'll set him on my lap when we're on the couch. He almost immediately runs off of my lap, but at least he's not biting me or threatening to attack. Progress! Thomas thinks I could move our relationship forward if I only wore scrub pants, ratty race T-shirts from a decade ago, and a housecoat (like he does). Interesting theory...


I guess Monday comes pretty quickly when you sleep the weekend away! But that was what I needed as I am mostly recovered. Just a bit of coughing. Over the weekend, I cut the top off of some vitamins, and Max immediately ran over, snatched it up, and ran away with her treasure:Later, the greys were wreaking havoc, as usual. What is Stella staring at?
Max, who was on the seat of the chair!
I caught her in mid-blink again. She thought I was coming down to pick her up, so her foot is ready to step up; she was probably a bit unhappy when I took a picture instead! But I did pick her up after the picture was taken -- I guess I should have looked first to make sure the picture was flattering!

Friday, November 12, 2010


I am sick. I never get sick! Somehow I picked up a flu. Luckily, not the kind of flu that affects the stomach, but the one with fever/chills, achy joints, and a sore throat. Between the 36 hours of 7 pm Wednesday through 7 am Friday, I was awake for about 4 of them.

I do not understand how this could have happened. In the 8 (almost 9) years I have worked at my current job, this is only the second time I have had to take a day off of work due to illness. I expected to get sick when Thomas would bring something home from one of his patients, but he wasn't even here when this happened. I am just baffled!

Needless to say Thomas's homecoming did not go as planned. The parrots, especially Rocky and the greys, were very happy to see him, though I didn't get any pictures of this as I was heading to bed with a fuzzy mind.

I am feeling better, and hope to be back to 100% by the end of the weekend.

In closing, here are a couple of pictures of Calypso taken Wednesday but not posted until today. I was cutting up the lizards' food for them, when Max started dancing around and saying "want some!" She did not want any of the lizards' greens, but Calypso did!
Hope everyone is doing better than me -- I'm off to bed again!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


With Thomas gone, he was worried about Stella's daily blueberry consumption as he is the smoothie-maker in the house. He finished up our last bag of berries before leaving, but set aside a bunch of berries and left me with the instructions to thaw some for her every morning:
Calypso, who has never met a berry he didn't love, also is a beneficiary of Thomas's thoughtfulness:Since Calypso doesn't like Thomas, he usually spends mornings in the living room until Thomas leaves for work, at which point Calypso joins us in the kitchen. He's probably the only one happy about Thomas being gone, as he gets more time with me since he comes into the kitchen immediately now. I must add that I do offer to let him come in every morning, but Calypso declines until Thomas has left.

Poor Calypso, as Thomas will be home very soon!

Cage switching, part 2

Before I write too much about the following pictures, I feel it necessary to do a bit of a disclaimer for anyone who isn't familiar with the blog in general. Parrots can inflict serious damage on each other, especially when their cages are involved. When this kind of stuff goes on, I supervise very carefully. Also, my birds can all fly to escape danger, and they are all approximately the same size, so I would most likely be able to intervene before any serious damage occurred. For example, if I had a budgie or large macaw, they would be kept separate.

That out of the way, Rocky isn't the only one who likes to play on other parrots' cages.

Here, Rocky and Stella are on Stella's cage, while Max is on Rocky's cage:Beeps and Max on Rocky's cage:
Both greys on Max's cage:
Max, Rocky, and Beeps hanging out under Beeps's cage:
Beeps taunting Max, who's keeping watch over Beeps's cage:
Stella on Calypso's cage:
I don't get it. Most of them have similar toys, and they have identical food. There must be some weird parrot attraction in this!