I think of my inside parrots as my kids in a lot of ways. I have to feed them, or at least provide food. I have to clean them, play with them, teach them, and make sure they are comfortable through the night. Maybe I am a bit too intrusive into their lives, like a helicopter parent. They certainly have their way to show me they are independent souls.
My little lovebird Fin shows his streak of independence by the missing part of his beak. Ignoring my instructions to stay on his own cage, he went to visit my blind African grey and suffered a permanent handicap for it. Amazingly, he’s still a love and stubborn brat. But you knew that because I told you he’s a lovebird.
Currently, I am frustrated that the violet lovebird I was given, Rebel, who is no relation to any of my purple lovebirds, doesn’t want anything to do with Tip, one of Fin’s siblings from a recent clutch. Fearing for Tip’s life, I pulled him out and placed him with Blondie. Tip is almost identical to Kiwi, yet another sibling who went to live with a friend. But not to Blondie. No, she wasn’t happy with him. At least, she didn’t try to kill him. And then she started to warm up to him. Yesterday I pulled down their cage and swapped it out for a clean one. I put all the perches back as they had been. Food and water where it belonged. Toys back in. Just waiting on the snuggle hut to dry so I can put it in. Now, they are best friends and they play together. Funny birds.
Rebel was moved into the living room to see if he could get along with Tip. Now he’s out there alone and Fin is in the office alone. Fin likes to go visit Rebel but doesn’t want to sleep over. Rebel is actually pretty cool about having him around sometimes. My next move will be to find a cage that will fit in the space next to my desk but is big enough for both of them to inhabit.
I thought Bo Dangles, the toeless African grey, would be very independent, but she really doesn’t like changes. I tried to give her out time in the living room, where she could see different birds and chew on different furniture. No chance. She spent the entire time scooting back toward the office. I want to try it again sometime when I have a few minutes to sit out there with her.
And now, Maynard. My ray of green and yellow sunshine. He is so much like a three-year-old that I can’t think of him as anything else. When he has out time, he comes to where I am sitting, reading, and wants up. If I don’t have a perch nearby to pick him up with (he will only step up on my hand or arm if he is frightened of something) he will often step onto my foot or ankle and let me lift him to the ottoman. He walks around the furniture he can reach there, then comes back and wants down. He explores the floor and sees that I haven’t taken away the things blocking him from destroying more stuff. He wanders back to my chair and wants up. Repeat over and over until one of us gets tired. Guess who? Mr. Independent wants to make sure I don’t go too far away. I can live with that.
Happy Independence Day! Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.