I think it’s time for an update on what’s been going on with the birds. A few things of note happened this weekend, concerning the budgies and the African greys.
Sprite is a pretty little green pied budgie that was given to me a while ago. Although the color of his cere is not exactly crystal clear in terms of what sex he is, we are going under the assumption that he is a male. Since I’m keeping one of my female kids for him, that will no doubt prove to be wrong! But for now, we’re calling Sprite a male. So he’s been in the dining room in a cage hanging in front of the window. It’s taken him longer than I expected to become comfortable with us. You can see it in his stance – he’s not been totally relaxed with us. So this past week I had my son help me clip his wings. We found that once clipped, he would step up pretty nicely and never once tried to bite. However, you could still see in his posture that he would probably rather be doing something else!
Yesterday I brought Sprite into the living room where the baby budgies share a cage. I have a ladder attached to the outside front of their cage, with a perching structure suspended from the end of the ladder. The bottom of it is still about nine inches from the floor, allowing it to swing about and the birds seem to really enjoy this. So I let Sprite step up onto the perching area. I opened the cage door and the kids hopped to the door to take a peek at this new green guy. Picture all the little heads angled down and their little eyes fixed on Sprite. It was cute. They soon came out, and eventually someone got brave enough to share that perch area and check him out up close. Sprite took it all very well. Stood his ground and didn’t seem too concerned. The kids were also pretty calm about it all. This is the perch unit suspended from the end of the ladder. You can still see from his stance that Sprite is not totally at ease. When the tail is down like that you can tell he’s not as comfortable as he could be.
So we let everyone hang out for a while and then later I took the cinnamon female kid and brought her out to Sprite’s cage, and let her check it out. Shortly after I brought Sprite in and put him back in the cage with her. They are not exactly thrilled, but there is no animosity that I can see either, so to me it was a win-win.This is mostly how they have stayed so far. Cinnamon girl is either on the high perch or on the swing, and Sprite sits on his favorite spot. I think soon I will find them getting to know each other and becoming friends.
As for the greys, some of you know I had bought an older female in the hopes that my boy, Griff, would win her heart and they’d go to nest at some point. Unfortunately nobody went over this plan with Winnie, and she was having none of it. Griff has always been a gentleman, but her…! Not a nice girl to my boy! Not at all. So they’ve been together and separated twice now. Since the last time, she’s been in a cage right next to his cage, and I do mean RIGHT NEXT TO IT. They have done some beaking (not in a mean way) through the bars, which was encouraging. It’s been quite a while, and most of the time they hang out near each other, with the two cage walls between them. I’ve been leery of biting the bullet and trying them together one more time because I kept thinking that if it still didn’t work I was really going to have to face the fact that they probably would never get along. But it was time.
I had my son help me get the swing out of Griff’s cage because that has been a problem when they were together before. It’s a big swing and a bird on the swing can be reached by a bird on the perch at the rear of the cage. Not good. So Alex had Griff step up on him, he handed him off to me, then while I held Griff, Alex worked on getting the swing out. Once that was done, I handed Griff back and Alex put him inside. Now it was time for the beast. She will step up from the floor, but in the cage she is not cooperative. So I got a perch and had her step up onto that – eventually, LOL. Actually it went pretty well, and probably took less than five minutes. Then I put the perch, with her on it, into the cage and let her step off onto a perch. Shut the door, crossed my fingers, and went back into the living room where I called up the camera that is trained on their cage and watched to see what would happen.
It’s been a day now, and there has been no fighting yet. A bit of posturing, on both parts, but nothing that has made me know I need to call a halt to the cohabitation. I just hope it continues. Life would be much better for both of them if they had a birdy friend.
The other greys were given access to their nest boxes at the end of last month. Ruby, the congo, has 3 eggs so far, but I’m not excited. I’d put money on them not being fertile. Ziggy and Paco, the timnehs, have not started a clutch yet. I’m really hoping they have a successful nesting this time with a couple of chicks.
I have 3 parrotlets that will be going home this week, starting tomorrow. I took a final group shot of them a little while ago.These are lovely kids. On the left is the oldest, a male turquoise; next is a blue hen – she is the one leaving tomorrow; and on the right is a male dilute turquoise. Beautiful kids and a very nice clutch. I’m still bummed that I lost the youngest one, a female dilute turquoise I was going to keep. Looking back there is nothing I’d have done differently; sometimes bad things just happen. 😦
I’m now feeding 3 kids which are the second clutch (this year) from the blue parrotlets. They were born the 1st, 2nd, and 4th of this month, so the oldest is just four weeks old today. I already have deposits on the two oldest, and will be keeping the youngest – a hen – unless the parents of the 3 in the pic above have another female in the clutch they are currently hatching. I think they hatched a third baby yesterday. Mom is extremely protective so it’s hard to tell. I’ll be pulling those babies in another week and a half or so, so once again will be handfeeding two clutches of different ages. That is probably it for parrotlets this year, unless the other pair I have decide to go to nest. They have not been interested, and since it’s been so long since I’ve had a break from handfeeding I’m not too upset with that, either.
The chickens were integrated into the big coop a couple weeks ago, just after dusk. We took each of the four kids (about 16 weeks old at the time) and I banded them while Scott held them, then he put them onto a perch in the dark coop. The theory is that in the dark they won’t fight and will just ignore each other and sleep, and then in the morning will not really notice the newcomers. Amazingly, this works surprisingly well. So the four have been added to the eight with very little squabbling at all. The lone roo is crowing pretty well now, too.
I’m starting to see some trees changing color already, which happens every August, and I’m looking forward to fall and gorgeous foliage. I’ve had enough of the heat. Nothing makes me happier than breaking out the sweatshirts!