Saturday, April 27, 2013

Max wants head pets (what else is new?)

As I've written about many times, Max loves getting head pets.  Always on her terms.

If I'm sitting at or standing near the table, she'll fly over and gently nudge me with her beak (as seen in this video.)  Then, once she has my attention, she'll start scratching her own head, in order to communicate to me exactly what she's hoping to get from me.

This time, she decided not to scratch her head, but she was still so adorable (I might be a bit biased...) that I'm posting it anyway!

Sleep cages!

It doesn't look like I posted about this last summer when I bought them, but due to the fact that I am living in an apartment and wanted to not get kicked out due to the parrots awakening with the sun, I bought them sleep cages.  Their normal cages are too big for me to properly cover, so this was my solution.

I was a little worried about how they would take to them, but they all love them!  I was also a little worried about putting them together myself, but I am discovering new skills of assembly I never had to use before.

Since they each get a cashew before bed, after they go into their sleep cages, Max will actually climb down and go into hers by herself.  She also knows to open the door on the caiques' cages (I don't latch them when they are unoccupied) to see if either caique left some cashew uneaten.  Occasionally, she is rewarded for this thoroughness.

Here's Beeps:
And Calypso:
I cover them, so it's dark, which allows me to keep things quiet until I wake them up.

During the day, when they are out with me, they like to play on the cages.  Calypso spent quite a while trying to rip up the cage paper through the grate today.  The reason I went to grab my camera is that Beeps actually went into this cage with Calypso on top.  I had hoped to get a picture of that, but he'd flown back to his cage by the time I returned with the camera.
In unrelated news, the offer I put in on the house was accepted!  The inspection is on Wednesday May 1, and if all goes well, I will be the owner of a fabulous Victorian -- my dream house -- by June 15.  I'm going to try to remember to take some pictures on Wednesday so I can post them here.

This is all so exciting.  I can't wait to have a guest bedroom.  And, my dad asked if I would be interested in brewing beer with him once I have a house.  That's a hobby that Thomas and I shared, and I'd given it up once I was alone.  Now that I'll have a bigger kitchen, I can't wait to brew with my dad!

Friday, April 19, 2013

At the art museum

I go to my city's art museum on a semi-regular basis.  I love art, and now that I've started painting after my separation/divorce, I like to look for inspiration.  Sometimes I go alone, but sometimes I go with friends.  One of the great things about my new single life is getting to spend more time with friends.

My good friend and I went to a wonderful new restaurant, just a couple of blocks from my apartment.  I had a homemade veggie burger:
Then, on to the art museum.  They were having a special exhibition, where floral artists are assigned pieces in the collection, and they create an arrangement inspired by the art.  Super fun!
Unfortunately, this was not one of the pieces that had art inspired by it, but: parrot in the museum!
This one made me laugh!  It's in my dad's favorite part of the art museum: self-taught art.
Part of the permanent exhibit: metal birds!  I did buy an outside metal ornament that had a bird on it.  Once it's installed in my garden, I will post it.
Not wanting to jinx things, but I have put in an offer on a house!  It's so fabulous, but if I don't get this house, I'll find another.  This house has so much character -- stained glass windows, built-ins, a fabulous staircase, double door entry (for parrot safety), laundry not in the basement.  The parrots and are tired of living in an apartment, and we are excited to be in our own place where we can be as loud as we'd like again!

The weather has improved, which means I've been bicycle commuting most days.  I had to stop to take pictures of mergansers ("mohawk-ducks" as my good friend Sheila says.)  Unfortunately, all of my closer pictures were fuzzy, and the mergansers all dispersed while I got my camera ready.  You'll just have to take my word that they're not mallards.
Tomorrow, I am running my last long run before my May ultramarathon.  I'm hoping the weather will cooperate!  Last week, during my long run, it started snowing!  In April!  Then, another friend and I (she's running with me tomorrow morning) are going for pedicures.  They will be well-deserved, for sure.  And, the salon is close enough so we can walk and, therefore, drink wine.  So exciting!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pay attention to me!

After my marathon yesterday (first place in my age group!) I was at home, drinking a celebratory beer, and just enjoying life. Max was wandering around the house.  Suddenly, I felt a gentle beaking on my toe.

She wanted attention!  Right now!

Friday, April 5, 2013

After-work routine

The past few weeks, I've started a new after-work routine with the parrots that we've all come to enjoy.

In my small apartment, I don't have enough room for them to be in a common living room, as they were in my house, which means that they have their own bedroom.  This isn't ideal, as they don't get as much ambient attention when I'm doing things, unless I make it a point to get them out.  Having them all out at the same time in a room without their cages can be tricky, as they start posturing and starting fights.  I need to be on high alert at all times.  This means that I usually rotate parrots (Max and Calypso together; Beeps separately, since he can't get along with anyone) who are out with me.

Once I have a house again (crossing my fingers; in a few months if inventory improves!) they'll be in a common area again so this won't be an issue.  Each bird respects the others' cages, so they can all be out with light supervision.

That was some wordy background!

I have moved a comfortable chair into their bedroom, and I sit there and read for at least an hour while they play.  This reading isn't always the most productive, as they frequently want to interact with me, so my book gets postponed.

I took a few pictures of Calypso's march to attention.  He starts by hanging off of his cage door, to be as close to me as possible.  And super cute, as well.
After a few head scratches, he moves around the same level as I am, making kiss sounds and whistling.  (He continues to be the most photogenic parrot I have known):
Caught in mid-scratch:
Before I know it, he's on the ground, coming over for some more personal attention:
Not to be outdone, as soon as he's on the floor, Max has to be on the floor, too.  I try to keep them on opposite sides of my chair, though yesterday, when I didn't have my camera with me, they were both ripping up the newspaper that's under Max's cage!
Beeps stays on his cage, as when he tries to venture down, Max goes after him.  He's happy, and I make sure to spend time with him everyday in a one-on-one situation.  After over 6 years of living together, I would have hoped they could be better friends!
A video of Beeps.  Every time after I do a certain whistle, he says "Pretty baby!" It sounds clear to me, but when he does this for visitors, they can't understand him.  (ETA: Apparently this video is not working.  Ever since blogger "improved" their interface, I have had trouble with videos.  This has been going on for years!  I will try to figure it out tomorrow.  For now, just imagine Beeps saying "pretty baby!" after I whistle.  This happens twice.)

When he saw me taking pictures of Beeps on his cage, Calypso had to climb to the same spot on his cage for attention:
However, he didn't do anything exciting enough to warrant a video!

With Calypso off of the floor, Max flew up to her favorite spot: the arm of my chair, where I scratch her head while reading:
I am currently reading "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson.  It's about the American ambassador to Berlin during Hitler's rise to power, prior to World War II.  It's non-fiction that reads like fascinating fiction.  Highly recommended!

Tomorrow I am running a marathon.  I have not been doing much speed work, so I am not anticipating that great of a result.  Additionally, the weather forecast is not fabulous.  It will be that terrible in-between weather that is so difficult to dress for!  I am maintaining a good attitude and determined to have fun, even if I'll be slower than last year.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Max loves the bathroom

Max's latest favorite place to be in behind my bathroom door.  If she's not following me around, I can say with 95% certainty that's where she'll be.

I had hoped to get a video of her going back there, but I wasn't quick enough on starting to record, as she made her beeline:
Then, when she knew I was out there with the camera, she stood there, posing for a while.  However, almost all of the pictures I took involved her eyes partially closed:
 I worried people would think she had an eye injury, so here is one, eye wide open, preening herself:
This does not appear to encourage nesting behavior, but I don't let her stay behind there too long.  I'm worried she may try to eat the door or baseboard.  I've avoided any parrot-damage to the apartment in over a year, and I don't want to start creating any now!