Archive for December, 2011

He Speaks!

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

For the first time ever (at least in my hearing – what he does when I’m not home, I haven’t a clue), Steve SPOKE.

His first words, as I was leaving the house, wishing everyone to be good and telling them that I love them, he said:  “I’ll be right back!!!”

I repeated the words back to him, and he said again very clearly, “I’LL BE RIGHT BACK!”

How fun is that?  He’s such a dear guy.  It made me smile so broadly all day today that he finally has relaxed enough to say something.

I believe Steve learned this phrase from his first owner.  Mary of Parrot Musings told me over a year ago that she thought she heard him muttering something like this when she was out of his sight.  I wonder what else he might come out with in the future?  Stay tuned….

A Merry Christmas to All!

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

So Sleepy…

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Chipper (left) and Charlie (right) are inseparable.  Where Chipper goes, Charlie follows.  And that includes nap time on the tree in the sunshine…  They make me want to take a nap too!

“Come On, You Can Do It!”

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

When Chipper was a baby and came to live with me, he had never flown.  Therefore, it took awhile for him to learn.  One of the phrases he heard me say again and again to encourage him was “Come on, you can do it!”  So whenever I am in a coaxing mood and want him (or Sam, across the room) to do something and there is hesitation, Chipper will chime in with “Come on, you can do it!”

It doesn’t take much to get Chipper excited about life.  The shiny gold flash of the lid on this jar was really cool to him, so I encouraged him to rap his beak on the lid as it made such a satisfying noise.  He told himself that he could do it, and he did!

Chipper Feels the Christmas Spirit

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Chipper, my cockatiel, has been unusually cheerful and happy these last few weeks.  After skritching his head one night, he wanted to go on “walk about” on my couch.  I had dumped a number of items on it just previously, having returned from a class for newcomers to my church.  Chipper spied a little book (about the new translation of the Mass) and quickly sidled up to it.  He loves the book, as you can hear!

YouTube Preview Image

Sleepy Sam

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Sam and I were hanging out on the couch awhile ago, and the sunshine was ever so relaxing.

He fell asleep on my lap for a few minutes…

Flock Update

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I apologize for not writing for so long.  Again, computer problems.  I seem to have a bad effect on new computers.  I finally had to dump my new HP desktop and switch to a Mac – now no problems!!  May it continue thus…

For you Steve fans, Steve is doing fine.  While there isn’t much outward progress to report, my feeling is that he’s doing well.  He continues to have a serious case of agoraphobia and hasn’t ventured outside of his cage in a long time, EXCEPT at night when the other guys have gone to bed and it’s head-rubbing time.  Then he consents willingly to stick his head – sometimes half his body – outside the food hatch near my chair.   But no more than that.  In this, he has regressed a bit, as he used to come out periodically when things were quiet.  That hasn’t happened in a long time.  But I don’t force the issue or any others.  I figure that in time – perhaps a great long time – he may finally feel he’s safe enough to come out a bit more.

Curious about my iPhone and looking very dinosaurish...

Steve is also very shy with the other birds.  Having been a single bird at the beginning of his life and gone through terrible years of neglect, he is timid of the cockatiels (they are the noisiest and most fractious) and Sam (who is definitely unpredictable).  He may never warm to any of them, but that’s OK.  And he doesn’t know how to play (having never been given destructible toys to play with).  This has been a challenge.  He also often opts not to get excited about things because it may still hurt to move his body a lot (the skin under his wings is very tender).  But at least he chews on various items I have hung and attached throughout his cage, and that’s good.

He continues to keep the feathers off his neck and upper chest – it’s a bit of a habit now, I think.  But when he began chewing the feathers on this thigh big time, I felt there was another reason at play.  I began spraying him daily with warm water, in case it was because of the increased dryness with winter heating.  That seemed to do the trick.  He has stopped chewing his thigh completely and I will continue spraying him, despite the colder weather.  He seems to really enjoy the spray, so it must be what he needed.

The one thing that pleases me most is that his relationship with me as caregiver and friend is much stronger and feels cemented somehow.  He gets very excited to see me if I’m out late, beaking my fingers happily.  And his personality is starting to manifest at odd moments.  If I turn on a light in the living room after I’ve put the birds to bed (covered), he will emit a soft heart-wrenching wail, which means he wants me to come and say hello, followed by happy finger-beaking.  Then it’s hard to cover him as he will continue with a few pips and whistles when I re-cover him.  He is the sweetest, most gentle of greys!

The other guys are doing just fine too, though I think Chipper has been missing Pippin my lovebird.  This past week, he kept referring to her in such phrases as “What, Pippin?” and “Whatcha doing, Pippin?” – which has the effect of tearing my heart!  Sam continues to make Pippin’s sweet sound and also her sounds of annoyance – sounds which Pippin made about HIM when he did things Pippin considered in poor taste or simply bad behavior.

Sam, the goofball/dog with feathers

The cockatiels Chipper and Charlie are fine too.  I had to replace Charlie’s sleep basket with a very large one, so it displaced a wooden box I had previously used to shore up his basket.  Chipper has always coveted it, so it’s now in his cage, and he is most pleased!  I call it his hobbit home, and here he is coyly peeking out of the hobbit hole:

Chipper, loving his hobbit home

(By the way, don’t ever give such a nesty box to a female bird or it will induce them to lay eggs, which can be dangerous.)

And here is Chipper again, in your facet:

That’s a summary of how things are going in my flock.  Here is hoping that your life goes well this special season – that you stay healthy and happy and warm!