You may have heard the term, Affection Sponge. I usually hear it in connection to cockatoos, along with Velcro Bird. Baby birds who are hand fed are more likely to become these types of companion birds. But do you really want a baby who can’t live without you?
My violet lovebird Fin is nearly ready to go to his forever home. He’s eating 90% of his food on his own. He’s been observed drinking from a dish. I still have a heating source for him in the big bird cage, but he only seems to sit on it after I have fed him baby food. He’s nearly “all growed up.”
He just learned to fly a few days ago, and is still doing the panicky helicopter flights, should I go forward or should I go back thing. It’s just adorable. Except when he decides to perch on my head just after I fed him and haven’t wiped the baby food off of him yet. Yeah, I guess it’s good for my hair.
Fin also is still in the baby poop stage. No warning, lots of output, fortunately no stink yet. And if he stays healthy, the stink will be minimum. But it just doesn’t want to wipe off.
I worry about his feet. When I first pulled him out of the nest box, he displayed a bit of splayed leg syndrome. I thought I would have to wrap his legs to get them to work right. But just having him on a rubbery flooring in the brooder cured that all by itself. Luckily, because he was not having the wrap, no way, no how.
But he still has an issue with his toes. The inside toes on each foot should be going back so they can curl around any perch from behind, balancing the middle toes that face forward. This opposable grip is vital to parrot development and behavior. But Fin’s inner toes, while they have the claw facing upward, still lie next to the front toes. I am hoping as he gets a little bigger, the toes will solve themselves. His future parront knows about the situation and doesn’t seem bothered by it.
The most important thing about baby birds that you should never forget is that each one of them will own a piece of your heart. Unless, you know, you are a mean and evil person who just handfeeds birds for the money. If you are an ordinary person, the babies never completely leave you.
Little Fin has traveled more than any of my other babies, probably because he is a singleton. He went to a science fiction convention with me, and to my weight loss support group meeting last week. But then he learned to fly, so he won’t be going anywhere again with me. I will keep his pictures to remember the fun, and the pain, of this experience. I know his new daddy will lovehim more than I possibly could.
Exhausted after attending his first convention, Fin slept soundly. On his fuzzy pink sock.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.