There’s not a lot of information on African gray parrots in the wild. Apparently there, the birds are seen as a quick way to get money or a resource to be protected. So I don’t have a clear idea of how they make up their nests. They are cavity nesters, but unlike budgies they don’t remove all the debris at the bottom of the nest. Do they add to it? Lovebirds are also African parrots, and the peach face lovie has been observed cutting materials into strips and tucking the strips into their feathers for transport back to the nest.
In captivity, grays accept material in their nests. It’s likely that they do carry grass and leaves to the cavity to cushion the eggs when laid. But they are a good sized parrot, and can carry what is needed in one or two trips, in claws or beak.
My female African gray is toeless, thanks to her parents’ early displaced aggression. Bo Dangles has no idea that she is missing anything, except maybe whatever I am doing at the keyboard right now. She gets around her cage with no problems, except the occasional slip accompanied by a “Whoa!” and maybe a “Sorry.”
As I have written before, I keep Bo’s shelves covered in towels these days. We started with carpet samples and remnants. Once those carpets were pooed on, however, there wasn’t much you could do with them. If the poo wasn’t too bad, we could hose it off and dry the carpet, but one more use was all we could get. That’s when it all started. The remnants had loose strings on the cut sides. Bobo began pulling the strings, and when they were long enough, she would turn her head and tuck them behind her wing.
Mike teased that she was playing Pretty, Pretty Princess Dress-up. I worried as he did that she would end up hanging herself somehow. I cut off the strings whenever I could, but she would only make more.
Then I had the flash of brilliance to use towels instead of carpet. I can hose the chunks off of the towels and wash them. It’s a much better solution to the Bobo problem. She went for months now without pulling strings off of the towels. Perhaps I breathed a sigh of relief a little too soon?
The most recent batch of towels I got at a thrift store somehow triggered the behavior in her again. Little strings off the nap of the towels, long enough to reach over and behind her wing. Has she gotten tired of her fort of cardboard boxes on the bottom of her cage, which incidentally keep her from impacting the bottom too hard? Should I find more bells and pull toys for her? Tug of war is her all time favorite game. I have no idea if this is a problem, or if it’s just a cute behavior. Pretty Parrot Princess.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.