Maynard, the poster child for this blog, is your usual Amazon. A combination of a spoiled toddler, a termite, and a terrified prey species. We have a great relationship, as long as everything goes according to schedule. If I am late in opeing his cage in the afternoon, he can be cranky.
First, I have to set up the metal barrier between my desk and Mike’s desk. Maynard will go over there, even when Mike isn’t home, and chew on the desk, the carpet, the papers, everything. This barrier, a shelf from an old bookcase from an office somewhere, is too slick for him to climb, and too tall for him to get his beak on the top. It’s really hard to find barriers for walking parrots.
Most days, that barrier is already up, because Bo Dangles gets her out time in the morning with the rest of the flock minus lovebirds. And she learned from Maynard which bits to destroy first. Thanks to her lack of toes, she can be contained in a much smaller area.
Maynard used to have free run of the front bathroom. Then one day, when it was much too quiet, I found him on the vanity. He’d climbed up the over the toilet shelves, thrown things down, walked over to the vanity, and unplugged the nightlight. I tried closing the bathroom door, but he chewed the door, the molding, and the old carpet. I tried to trust him once more, and we got a lovely hole chewed into the cabinet doors of the vanity. Sigh. I experimented with several barriers to keep him in the hallway, but nothing really worked until I used a whiteboard. Slick, too tall to climb, perfect. But I have to line it up with the end of the hallway wall, or he climbs up on the dining room furniture and gets over it. Okay, he’s part monkey, too.
Maynard likes to chew on cabinet doors. He started on the linen cupboard when access to the bathroom was denied. I tried keeping the doors open, so he could go in on the bottom shelf and make a nest. Eventually the lure of chewing wood overcame the nesting urge. He has lots of wood toys in his cage. Now I have to put a cardboard box in front of the linen cupboard.
Maynard loves to go in my and Mike’s bedroom. This parrot has a foot fetish so he heads right for my shoes. Sometimes I let Maynard in, while I hang up laundry or clean. As long as I keep the vacuum away from him, he’s fine. But some day he will kill that machine that he has only wounded so far. He loves to go under my dresser and nest. I have to be crafty to get him out from under there. And because I don’t have that many pairs of shoes, I put a folding table across the doorway to keep him out.
He’s a good sport about these restrictions. As long as I don’t go into one of the rooms without him, he goes off to find other things to play with. Recently I moved a bookcase into the dining room. I realized I had put plastic bin lids behind it to keep Maynard from chewing more of the back panel. But he had never touched the books, so I didn’t think about it. Until later, when I saw the remains of a couple book spines. Luckily I still had one more folding table.
For an Amazon Parrot, Maynard doesn’t ask for much, and I love how much of his out time he spends with me. Because if I can see him, nothing is being destroyed. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.