Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What to do about the Quakers?

This has been an ongoing argument (with myself) for almost a year now. I really, really, wonder if I shouldn't rehome the quakers to an aviary, hopefully someplace with other quakers. NOT breeding, but a place where they have lots of room to fly and other birds for socialization. Of course, one of the birds in question being Frank, whoever took them on would have to have plenty of experience and knowledge handling birds with behavior "issues".

I have been trying for years to calm Frank down, and while I have seen many breakthroughs, I think (hate to say this) it is just how he is. There is very little info on mental "disabilities" in birds, but perhaps someone that had a better idea of what they are like in humans could diagnose Frank. My best guess is severe ADHD. Not that it really matters what it is, except it might give me a slightly better idea of why he acts the way he does. And of course, I would love him however he is, I have a very strong bond with him.

Lola, of course, is perfect. Well, perhaps not perfect by some silly "standard" for bird behavior, but, she gives plenty of warning before biting, even territorial cage biting, and rarely even feels the need to do that if she knows you. She does not get "hormonal", even, unless you count how loud she gets then! Her plucking is improving greatly, in fact, she is almost fully filled in!

Anyway, when I got Frank, he was not a bird I could see ever being happy in an aviary, especially one with other birds. Lola was the same way. However, I have worked really hard with them, and since they became friends with each other, they improved immensely! They both not only get along with other birds now, but try to be friends with everyone! They love flying, exploring, foraging, destroying toys, etc. I have always had them flighted, and they do share a flight cage now with plenty of time out of it. Still, these are wild animals we are keeping in captivity, and I hate to see two birds kept in a cage at all, when I really think they would love a big aviary with other birds.

I have asked around some to see if there was anywhere around here they could go. So far, I have not found anything that wasn't (or at least, would be happy to become) a breeder. And it is very important to me that they are never bred.

Perhaps it is too much to ask. An aviary, hopefully with other birds. Willingness to have a bird (Frank) that will fly and attack you one moment (sometimes without a particular reason, however many ABCs I try), and is sweet the next, and has a whole myriad of behavior ins and outs. He may improve greatly in an aviary, as I think he would from how he acts here on the sun porch, but then, he may not. And absolutely no breeding.

And then of course there is the thought that perhaps I am putting a human's idea of what they will enjoy on them. That is something I try very hard not to do. I have seen it happen so many times with other birds, I want to make sure I am really considering what they would actually like, not what I think they should like, as sociable quakers.

And finally, the just-plain-selfish reason, I would really, really miss them if they left. Lola is my sweet little cuddle bird, and Frank is always ready to chat with me, and give me a lift if I am feeling down. It is hard to imagine not having them around.

I guess I will just keep looking, but in the meantime, they are staying here, of course! And I am certainly not complaining!

1 comment:

Mary said...

I haven't heard of any aviary-type environments for quakers in rescue, either. I've heard of some for macaws, greys, and cockatoos. My dream would be to have a huge aviary for damaged greys where they can just be birds.

As you say, it is so hard to know what's best for them without imposing your own preferences.

Good luck with your decision and in finding the right place for them, should you decide that's what's best for everyone.