Communication is Key

Perhaps you only have one companion bird. You may know every squeek, squawk, and word your bird makes, and know exactly what is meant by it. Hungry, happy, tired, bored, wants attention, all those moods are communicated easily.

I have more than one bird. Some of them, like finches and canaries, don’t really communicate worth a darn. The male canary will sing to let us all know he’s in charge of his cage and ready to please his lady. Not the least surprise there.

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Today I sat in another room where there were no birds, and listened to the morning, waking up calls from the three rooms where we do have birds, and outside. I tried to identify the calls, which bird was saying what. Some were easy. The budgies sound like no one else in the flock. But there are budgies in two of the rooms and outside. Our lone rescued bird, Cyanara, was the only one chattering.

My male button quail, Snow, used to call long and mournfully 24/7. Since I dumped 3 young females in the aviary with him, he’s been a little less mournful. I hadn’t heard him call at all until yesterday when he gave a single call. No eggs yet, but the girls are young and might not actually be ready for that type of commitment.

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Wraith the Ring Neck parakeet has a variety of calls and noises, easily distinguished from the rest of the flock. He tends to say his name most often. And pretty bird. He loves to meow. Sometimes when it’s time to feed the cat, his imitations can send me running to the front door to let our cat in. I always look askance at him at this point.

The conures all sound alike, but Dani is our self-appointed alarm, second only to Zazu. Dani is an orange front conure, and Zazu is a sun conure. I can’t always tell them apart. They are in the front room, while Sonny (orange front) and Mookie (sun) are in the back room. Not confusing at all. The back room also is home for Beeby (half moon conure) and Esme (green cheek conure). Beeby makes noises that no other conure in our house, maybe in the world, makes. Kind of like Porky Pig mixed with Sylvester the Cat, but on helium.

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Maynard us easy to pick out. The grays, Bobo and Io, often sound very much alike in their whistles and noises, but only Bo actually will say words. Unless you count “Whoop-oh!,” Io’s word of choice. He can put lots of nuance into it, too.

Newcomer Tekla, baby peach faced lovebird, makes sweet baby bird noises and seems to be trying to tap dance. Newer birds, a pair of gray singers who probably will be called Jane (gray) and Mark (singer) make some sweet noises and calls as well. They are next to my desk and entertain me constantly. So much fun in such tiny packages.

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I don’t always understand what my birds are attempting to tell me, but as long as I keep their cages clean, their food available, and their water changed daily, they seem pretty happy. And it’s a small price to pay for their entertainment value.

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

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