Batty Little Budgies
November 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
Oh, these two… they’re enough to drive me batty! I’ll start with Sabrina. Last week, I received a wonderful order from Kathie at My Safe Bird Store with some staples, some great toy parts for foraging (on sale!), and some little pedicure perches for Sabrina. Sabrina’s nails are getting long and sharp, and because she’s so tiny, it’s more of a safety hazard for her than for a larger bird because her nails can so easily get stuck in cotton rope or even stainless steel chain. But, she doesn’t trust me enough to let me cut her nails. I could grab her and just do it as quickly as possible, as I have in the past, but she’s actually beginning to trust me right now and I don’t want to ruin the little I have going for us. (Charles is a good, sweet boy and lets me do it myself.) So, I purchased a safety pumice perch for her because they’re effective and in my opinion, the safest type of grooming perch. (For those of you who have agreed with me in the past that the larger ones look… well, questionable, you’ll be happy to know that the little ones don’t at all. They’re so tiny and thin that they’re almost cute!)
I put the little purple perch in her cage last week on Tuesday or Wednesday, and of course, she was completely terrified of it. Absolutely wouldn’t go near it– wouldn’t even go near that part of the cage. It was right next to one of her food bowls and she stalked and pounced on the food bowl from the opposite side and kept an eye on that evil perch all the while. I thought she’d give it up after a day or two, but by Saturday, she still wasn’t going near it.
Finally, I decided I’d hang her veggies above the perch, so that she had to step on it if she wanted her coveted leafy greens (they’re about the highest value treat you can give her or Charles, funnily enough!). I took a nice, thick bundle of organic pea shoots and tied them to the cage bars right above the perch. She was hilarious. For half an hour, she sat across from the perch, staring at those greens and thinking of how she could possibly get to them. Finally, she decided climbing up to the ceiling and then backing downward and eating the greens upside down was the best course of action, all to avoid this perch.
Eventually, I am happy to say, she did finally step on it, and– it didn’t kill her! She still isn’t crazy about it, but at least now she knows that it’s not some sort of evil contraption bent on destruction. Plus, she got to enjoy her delicious, fresh, healthy greens in a more comfortable position.
Some of you might notice the chubby fellow in the background. Why yes, that is Charles, who doesn’t seem to understand that there’s a divider in between him and the coveted pea shoots. Of course, he had his own very large bushel of them in his side of the cage as well, but that didn’t seem to make a difference. You always want what you can’t have, it seems!
On another note, I think the acrylic divider is actually working out quite well. They seem to like being able to see each other and also seem to like each other more while the divider is there. I very frequently come home to really adorable little scenes like this:
It breaks my heart to see them yearning to get to each other!! Of course, the other day when I actually tried removing the divider to see how they would act towards each other, they were good for all of 10 minutes. Then they started clobbering each other once more. I am hopeful, however, that the divider is helping them to learn to coexist and to learn how to have their own spaces. I’m hoping that in time, I can begin removing the divider maybe for half an hour everyday… and building up from there. I am constantly catching them trying to “communicate” through the divider in non-aggressive ways, so perhaps this is the beginning of something. Let’s hope!