March Potpourri

The Moving Parrot Writes, and Having Writ – The Parents and Parronts often make mistakes in the name of keeping their loved one occupied. When my son was a toddler, he loved keys. Not wanting to give them back after he’d played with a very important set, he threw them out in the yard in the bushes. They were never seen again. I only remembered that after I gave Maynard a pen to play with. He ripped the rubber grip off of it, and waved it around maniacally.  Good thing the pen is mightier than the beak. I may have to let him start writing this blog.

Canary Update – Those little sex fiends are at it again. Bubbles laid one egg, sat on it a little bit, then didn’t, then got down to business. I hated to tell her it was too late by then. After 10 days plus, I candled the egg. Nothing going on there. I pulled the nest and separated the couple. That was Tuesday. Rico went insane when Bubbles perched on the edge of the food cup on her side and wagged her tail in the air. I let them back together today, and he has had his wicked way with her to the point that she is now saying the canary equivalent of “Enough, already! Give it a rest!” I need to find canary couple counseling. They are so confused.

Eggs in general – This year has been rather up and down for my breeders. As almost always, there is a jealous bird in the aviary that killed some of the chicks. Next season, I am going to move my best pair into their own breeding cage, like the ones the lovebirds have. That should guarantee success for them. I pulled all the nest boxes and dumped the eggs. So much promise for so little return. At least removing the boxes prevents the mice from having something to hide behind.

Lovebird Chicks – My purple (okay, okay, violet) lovebirds are champion parents. They gave me three clutches of 3 to 4 chicks since October. I enjoy handfeeding lovebirds more than cockatiels, but that might just be me. So I hand fed the first clutch. A friend took the next two clutches. I don’t like to push my breeders beyond three clutches per season. But the weather has been so unpredictable I thought leaving the nest boxes would be advisable. My dilute peachface pair are not producing any chicks. Piro is a proven dad, but Aura was had fed and raised as a pet at first. Not sure where the breakdown is, or if they are not compatible on some chemical level. I tried giving them some of the purple pair’s eggs, but for whatever reason, they never hatched. Maybe Aura doesn’t know she has to actually sit on the eggs?

To try to prevent any more chicks in the purps’ nest, I went out every other day and gave the eggs a good shake. That is usually enough to prevent hatching. The hen stopped laying eggs about then, smart lady. And imagine my surprise a few weeks later to see one of the eggs has just hatched! This was on or about February 9th. I had two weeks to decide what to do with the baby.

Meanwhile, I found out that the local bird store could not get handfed lovebird chicks anywhere. When my handfeeder brought back the last group she took, I had sold one to a friend north of me, which required complicated transportation arrangements. But I had two more so I brought them to the bird store. They were impressed with how sweet and gentle the babies were. Yay, me! And that made up my mind right there. I would pull the last chick in a while and handfeed him.

I call the baby Fin, because I am finished! I’ll be going to a writers’ convention at the end of March, and I hope to wean Fin by then. Because “he” (no, I don’t know if he’s a he. Just a convenience to say he) was an only chick, he has splayed legs that I have to address soon. The condition has improved just from moving him into the brooder with the rubber mat in the bottom. Already he is so active, climbing all over the little box and looking out at the other birds. So, the last baby of the season, and a special one at that. I’ve never seen a chick fall asleep while being fed. Like a human baby sometimes does. He will make some person a loving, enjoyable pet.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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