A Parrot: The Forever Two-Year-Old

When you think about adopting a baby bird, consider this:

You are raising a child monster with permanently-affixed pliers, and that child is gonna be a two-year-old for fifty to one hundred years, depending on the species.

Every mistake you make in his or her formative years, every bad habit you instill, will be with you for the duration of that parrot’s life.

It’s so important to do your research. Any bird, big or small, requires a level of expertise in handling and training beyond that of a cat or dog. Negative reinforcement doesn’t work, and it takes a measure of patience that many many not expect.

Baby parrots never forget, and they rarely forgive–and only if you grovel. 😉

This is just one more reason why I strongly believe in adopting an older bird. If you spend enough time with an older bird, you know what their quirks and habits are BEFORE you bring him or her home, and if you make a few mistakes here or there, you will not be imprinting key memories in a bird that is as impressionable as a baby one.

Flock of ROCK!

I’m on the writing committee for a local charity, and this is one of the songs we might be using/rewriting for our musical. Tippy clearly likes it as much as I do. XD

…Sorry it’s a little blairwitchy. I was dancing with him.


Achievement Unlocked: Consistent Step Ups

It is with a happy heart that I can now say this: Vi CONSISTENTLY steps up! I waited two weeks to make sure, but it’s official: she is cage-bound no more! We made our goal of July! A little late, but better than never!


When she’s in her cage, it’s her terms; she’s made it clear that her cage is her safe zone, and I need to respect that until she’s more comfortable.

But. She  scampers out almost the moment I visit her. Once she climbs out, be it on top of her cage or the floor, she is more than happy to join me. 🙂

Bonus: She STILL hasn’t bitten me.

Extra bonus: she did EXCELLENT at the vet (Dr. LB complimented her gentle temperament)

AND we ventured outside for a few moments today.

The two of us are SO lucky we found each other!


Kindling the Cockatiel’s Affections

Q-Tip: A Man After Someone Else’s Heart

Tippy spends most of his days trying to woo Winston, our English budgie. She is a strong, independent woman who needs no man, though, so his efforts fall flat (we were THRILLED when they were sitting side-by-side the other day). Hubby and I have been going back and forth over whether to get him a friend who wants the least bit to do with him, but the reality is, we have five birds. And though we love them, it still feels like a lot.

So, I’m endeavoring to win his affections; since she constantly rejects him, maybe he’ll open up to me with a little extra TLC?

The biggest issue with Tipton is that it can’t be forced; he has to want the attention, or it backfires.

I’ve started walking around with him on my shoulder in the morning when he’s so excited to not be alone after the evening he starts his little clicking affection noises. Murmuring sweet nothings; giving him kisses. I’ll do this until he starts getting into a snit and his happy clicks begin to turn into angry chitterings; initially, I’d have about thirty seconds before he realized he was betraying Winston, but a week of this later, he’ll coo at me for about five minutes before he realizes I’m not a bird.

We’ll see… can I win his heart?

April Showers bring May TBD / Step-Up Progress: Semi-Consistent

The first time you catch your re-homed parrot dipping her head into her water and sending it flying all over the place is the time you should DEFINITELY give her a spray bath.

As usual, progress feels slow (or non-existent) with Ms. Vi, but as a parront to a rehome who barely was allowed to leave her cage, we have to keep our eyes on the prize!

IMG_20160625_161645394Progress Mini-Steps

  • Vi is getting stronger every day; she’s able to climb faster and more confidently as she works out her muscles day by day.
  • She is confident enough to frequently crawl down to our carpet; she’s an absolute pain while there (she thinks carpets are for chewing), but she trusts us enough to crawl down consistently!
  • She will now consistently let others stroke her head and responds pretty well to the attention of others. She still seems to prefer women, but it’s exciting!
  • She actually ENJOYED her shower (obviously) for the first time! No more forced baths! …Mostly.
  • Still haven’t been bitten–this is kind of a big deal!
  • She steps up when she feels like it; we’re still working not to push her.

We will see what July yields (especially since she may regress when we have to board her), but day by day, we grow a little big closer! 🙂

Step-Up Progress: Stepping Up for Bread!

…Because I have been busier than any person has a right to be, but we made more progress with Vi!

  1. She stepped up for Fletcher last night for a tasty piece of bread. She also let him pet her–exciting, because we were expecting her to be a one-person bird and merely tolerate him. Not so!
  2. She stepped up today from her cage to go upstairs. Granted, still bribing her with bread, but she really, really enjoys being upstairs. =)

Still reminding myself not to rush. Slow and steady, man. Slow and steady.

Day by day, we put her broken pieces back together. What a sweetheart!

And thus, Vi begins her singing career…

Twenty-four years young. XD

Somehow, Vi’s former owners taught her to say ‘Goodbye!’ or ‘Buh-bye!’ and shake her head whenever you wave at her.

suspect the way they did this was, whenever she said ‘Buh-Bye!’ they would wave at her, then rewarded her with LOTS of verbal praise, maybe some head-scritches, and possibly some treats. In this way, they trained her to associate them waving with the phrase ‘Buh-Bye!’

Here is the result: