Archive for June, 2011

Charlie and His Airplane

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Charlie, my cockatiel,  has an old acrylic toy in the shape of an airplane, which he gently dings when he’s feeling really good about life.  He’s had this toy for at least 6 years.  I think it’s a relaxing sort of therapy for him.

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Eating, Steve Style

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

While Steve still doesn’t know how to really play like an African Grey yet, one thing he knows how to do well is EAT.

His all-time favorite food is the hard-boiled egg.  Actually, any type of cooked egg will do, but hard-boiled in the shell is the kind of food he will crane his neck nearly outside his cage to see if it’s in his food cup.  Sadly, I cannot give it to him every day.  He’d balloon out into a very round Grey!  But he still looks every night to see if I’ve brought him some special 8-minute egg.

Here you see him carefully scraping out whatever remnant of egg white remains in the shell.  When that is done, he carefully shreds the shell as part of the ritual.

Steve is no slouch about other foods, either:  Besides pistachios, cashews, and almonds, his next favorite food is apple or grape or blueberry.  He also likes pea pods, which he also shreds after extracting the raw peas.

Fortunately, Steve also loves his Harrison’s pellets, which I wrap for him ahead of time.  He goes through a fair amount each day, deposited all over his cage to forage.

Here he is looking at me through the feed hatch – I just love his expression!

He’s eating a wrapped pellet and watching what I’m doing.  This was taken during the temporary regression when he didn’t come out of his hatch for head scritches.  Thankfully, he is coming out again onto the platform you see at the bottom of this photo.

In many ways, I see Steve has progressed wonderfully in the nearly 9 months he’s been in his new and permanent home.  In other ways, I see we still have a long slog to go before he can drop his fears.  Considering how long he has had to remain in a nervous state as a coping and survival mechanism, I appreciate all the more his progress.  He’s a trooper and I’m grateful he’s here.

I feel we a real relationship now, even though his is limited to how far he can let down his guard.  But when he has let those guards down, I can tell he’s very happy to be here.  I think he knows I mean to keep him safe.