All of my flock individuals have meaning and connections with me. That’s why it is so difficult to consider downsizing over the next few years. Some of my special birds have become even more close and loving as their situations change and one or two have become less tame.
Fin is my violet lovebird, or violent as we often say. She survived a rough chickhood where half her upper beak was accidentally removed by a blind African Gray parrot. I recently received a rather bad bite from the same CAG, which is my penance for allowing the accident to happen years ago. I feel her pain. Fin started as a sweet and loving but totally spoiled bird. How could you not spoil someone who had been through all that? Her current cagemate is another female violet lovebird, Rebel. Fin is super territorial and aggressive when I approach the cage. Rebel is not tame at all and has a natural instinct to hide or just stay far away. Fin, on the other hand, is not afraid of me at all and will latch on to my hand to lay down the law. Good thing she no longer has a full beak or I would lose a lot of blood.
My Congo African Gray, Bobo, has turned a corner after six years or so and allows me to scratch her head and neck without the cage between us. She nibbles gently on my hand in exchange and sometimes lets me pick her up by the beak. She can chomp down hard when she does not want to do something or is mad at me. I will never be able to explain to anyone how I feel while giving scratches to this intelligent creature. Due to a mishap where her parents removed her feet when she was a chick, she can’t perch or step up. But she has found a way to tell me she is starting to trust me.
Bo gets floor time and gets out of her cage by walking onto a platform I hold up for her. On the floor, she can’t move fast over great distances, but she loves to back up until she is near my feet, then attacks my toes. I tell her no in a funny voice so she knows I am playing along. She will give her best evil laugh as I move away.
We lost two sun conures within a month of each other. Zazu’s passing is a complete mystery unless the man who rehomed him to us wasn’t truthful about how old the bird was. I mentioned before that my female sun conure has become sweet again. The now single cagemate of Mookie, the other sun conure who passed away of complications following a stroke, is also named Sunny. But he’s an orange front conure, not a sun conure. We have to say Mr. Sun and Sunspot, a nickname Mike gave my girl years ago, so we can tell which bird we are talking about. I wouldn’t mind if the two suns became cagemates, but we have a female orange front, Dani, who is a special needs bird and would benefit so much from having Mr. Sun as a cage mate.
Both Mookie and Mr. Sun were sweet birds who liked to step up and get kisses when it was time to go back into their cage. Mookie loved getting into empty boxes and I have a supply of them that I will now use for foraging fun. Some time after Mookie had passed on, Mr. Sun was down in the box, checking it out, as if looking for his pal. I thought I had finished crying until I saw that.
I moved Maynard’s cage next to my computer chair in the hope that we could play and interact more. His limited out time has put a dent in our connection. It certainly worked! We play through the cage bars but we still have a good time. My role is to put my finger in the cage, his role is to hold on to it with his foot while he bites his own leg and occasionally my finger. He’s such a goofball.
The drawback to this arrangement is that I can’t ever hide anything I am eating from him. Yes, bad habit though it is, I eat most of my meals at my computer. Maynard watches it all. If I am not eating something he likes, which is rare, he demands I get him some cheese from the kitchen before I can eat in peace.
No matter what happens to my flock, I cherish the memories of all the members, past and present. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.