Tuesday, September 8, 2009

All is well again

All the parrots are back in their normal cages, something they are very happy about! A bit of an update after this summer switch-around:

-As I had hoped, Linus and Ava hit it off immediately. They quickly went from having their cages side by side, hanging on to the bars next to each other when locked up, and playing happily together when out, to sharing Ava's flight cage. They really are so sweet together, following each other around, and having another bird with him has really helped Linus's confidence, as well as his diet! He is a much better eater now, after following Ava's example. Overall, another great success story on parrot friendship! I am always very careful when introducing parrots, making sure to watch their behavior carefully, and never allowing them out together unless I am sure they not only get along, but want to be together. I am even more cautious when it comes to allowing them to share a cage, however large, but as both Linus and Ava have always been flock birds, they do seem to do much better that way.

-Frank and Lola are very happy back in their flight cage, as are Yo-yo and Miss Patty, with plenty of room for playing! Likewise, Claudia and Chester are both very happy to be back in their own respective cages.

Now for the part that is hard to write about:

-Yaz did amazingly well this summer at my parents, and seems to have really fallen in love with them, and vice-versa! He is so happy with them, and definitely prefers them to me. As my parents also love birds, they have decided to keep him. Very sad for me, but since he has clearly decided he has found where he wants to stay, who can argue?

-My parents will also be keeping Peter and Luna, but that was already decided. Since Peter and Ava's big split, they can not be kept in the same room together, or really even the same house as I tried to do, as hearing Peter's calls really upsets Ava. My parents agreed to take one of them, leaving me with the hard decision of which one they could keep. After a lot of thought, I decided it would be better for them to take Peter and Luna, since Peter has always had an unhealthy obsession with the ekkies. As Chester's main goal in life appears to be destroying other birds, this has always meant I only let Peter out when Chester was locked up and I was in the room, or when I had Chester out of the room.

For all three of these guys, it took a lot to convince myself to let my parents keep them. While I am good rehoming foster birds, it seems so different with my own. I adopted them, not as semi-permanent tenants, but as my family, and it is very hard to not have them with me. Still, as happy as Yaz was here, it is obvious he has chosen my parents. And I know Peter and Luna will be happy there, and will still get the best of care and attention. It is always important to remember that what you would prefer for your parrots may not be what they would prefer, as in the case of Yaz. While I can hardly imagine life without Mr. Socialite Peter, I could not keep both of them, and he really was not very safe here as long as he kept trying to dive bomb Chester.

And in the end, they are only going to stay with my parents, so I know not only that they will get wonderful care, but that I will also get plenty of updates, and will be able to visit them often!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

An idea on food acceptance

One of the hardest things to do with parrots can be getting them to eat a better diet. Parrots are naturally suspicious of new items as a safety mechanism to protect them from potentially deadly objects. If they have never been shown that a food is not only edible but delicious, most will naturally avoid it. There are many ways to try and get them to try new foods, and I am always on the look-out for new ideas, even if I am not currently trying to switch anyone's diet.

Watching Claudia recently, as I was getting treats out to fill her foraging toys, I realized something very important: Claudia will eat anything if it comes from a prized treat jar. Anything. As soon as she sees or hears a jar she will start pinning her eyes and begging to be picked up, with her foot out and ready! She is not normally a lover of new foods, so I usually have to offer them for a few days, carefully showing her each morning how to eat them, and how wonderful I think they are, before she will fall in love with them. Therefore, the idea that I can get her to eat something simply by placing it in the dried pea jar and pretending it is the best kept secret in the world of treats is quite useful!