Monday, June 29, 2009

The attack of the killer squirrel

The last post about squirrels had both Manzi and the squirrel being curiously interested in each other. I generalized and thought all squirrels would be the same. Yesterday, two squirrels were quarreling and one ran over to the tree in which Manzi was playing. As soon as it saw Manzi, it bolted over to him about ready to pounce on him. Manzi, thinking he is tough stuff, ran towards the squirrel ready to take him on. I quickly ran over and chased the squirrel off. They were within a foot of each other!

The irritated squirrel went to a branch above Manzi and tried to jump down on him. I got some sticks and threw them towards her (don't worry, with my aim nothing is in danger of actually getting hit by me) and finally scared her away (the squirrel was in fact a female). Then I sat down on a nearby bench to continue watching Manzi. The irritated squirrel climbed up a tree and sat right above me and began eating on the tree dropping seeds and other stuff on me. I relented and moved to another spot. She was quite the feisty squirrel!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The greatest compliment

Just a bit of background: An african grey will regurgitate food as a gift or show of affection. Manzi is very taken by feet and if not stopped he will sometimes regurgitate (throw up) on feet to try and seduce them. He also did this to a new pair of shoes that he found particularly attractive.
Anyway, it has been over a year since he has ever thrown up on me because I discourage it (it is not as appealing to me as it is to him). On Thursday morning before I left to Fresno, I had Manzi in my lap, scratching his head, while I was on the computer. I wasn't paying attention to him and next thing I knew, I had some kind of liquid on my hand. I looked down and saw that he threw up on my hand and leg (chunks of pellets from breakfast). It was pretty disgusting and I was not complimented by it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Stuffy nose

I have had a stuffy nose since Saturday. So now, every time I pick up a tissue Manzi starts blowing his nose (well, making the sound of me blowing my nose). He always does it just a half second before I actually blow my nose.

Flight training has not been implemented in quite a few days. I got to get things back together soon. Manzi did lose another two flight feathers yesterday, but I think that was just due to his regular molt. He has two new ones growing in right now too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tic tac toe

Here is a video of him playing with the toy trying to get the treats out of the middle.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Healed Beak and Nice Behavior

Today is the first day that fluid finally stopped coming out of Manzi's beak. There is no more visible swelling either.

I have been sick the past couple of days. Today Manzi has been on his best behavior. He has been nicely staying on his cage playing with his toys all day long. My brother, Albert, gave me a 3-d tic tac toe game (here is a picture of it:
It is a 3x3 grid of dowels with x's and o's that can be stacked 3 high. I finally put it in Manzi's cage today and he loved it. He spent a lot of time taking off the x's and o's (made of little blocks of wood). I restacked them a couple of times for him and the last time I hid some almonds in them. That took him about 45 minutes to get the almonds out. I spent most of the day on the couch reading and it was nice to not have to put Manzi back in his cage even once for bad behavior.

Because of him being so great, I took him outside and let him climb around in the tree for about 45 minutes. He finally figured out how to climb to the top of a branch that he hangs out on. Before he would often try, but twigs sticking out would poke him and make him climb back down. Today he sorted out that problem by chewing off every twig in his way. After 45 minutes I called him down and he happily came to me. It has been a good day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Big show off

Yesterday we had missionaries over for dinner. After we were chatting for a while, Manzi decided he needed attention. He was making all sorts of noises, but when I took him out of his cage, he really began to show off. Manzi started flopping upside down while hanging onto my fingers. He looked like he turned to jelly. This made everyone laugh so he did it over and over again. Finally I put him back on his cage and then he began attacking his toys and ringing his bell over and over again. He also was running all over his cage. He is such a show off. He just loves the attention and really puts on a show.

About flight training, indoor recall is not going great so I am going to hold off for a while. Manzi no longer likes peanut butter so hopefully I can find something else he does like.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hopefully Tomorrow

Today Manzi did his initial flights with an instant response. But after four, he decided he no longer felt like doing flights and quit all at once. I let him play in the tree off the leash too and he did very well. He had so much fun making all kinds of noises and destroying as much of the tree as possible. After 20 minutes he was not ready to get down.

Tomorrow, I'll let him play in the tree and do a few flights with him. I won't push him at all so he stays interested.

His beak is doing much better. The swelling is almost gone and no more blood is coming out, just a very small amount of clear fluid.

Check back tomorrow evening to see how the flights went!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bloody beak

Today I noticed Manzi's beak was slightly swollen right below his left nostrel where it meets his skin. I left it alone until this afternoon. I decided to touch it and when I lightly pressed it, blood squirted out (along the border of his skin and beak). It was quite a shock to me, but Manzi seemed like he could care less. He didn't flinch or anything. I am going to keep an eye on it. Sometimes I wish he wasn't so rough and always beating himself up along with his toys.

He wasn't too interested in his flight training today. He did a few flights and was so slow so I decided to try again tomorrow. If he does a couple good days in a row, we'll go back outside.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Back to Training

These past couple of days we have been doing indoor training. Today Manzi did exceptionally well. I no longer have to show him the treat and I am using the whistle for recall. He didn't hesitate very much for his flights and he also figured out how to turn in a circle on the ground too! Believe it or not for him it is quite different than turning around on a perch which takes only two steps and two foot turns.

I am going out of town on Thursday, but will be back next Monday. We will then do another couple of days of indoor training and then resume outdoor training.

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