Monday, August 30, 2010

They're both flying

Just not together nor at anywhere the same level! Today Maui got spooked at took off flying. She did a full lap around my living/kitchen area, but couldn't make a second 180 degree turn, nor was she able to stop, so my sliding glass door helped her. She wasn't going very fast when she crashed into it, but I still checked her over for injuries. She was just fine. Manzi flying full speed would probably hurt himself, but Maui looks more like a helicopter barely staying in the air. She is getting better at flying by leaps and bounds though. I have been making her fly from my hand to any destination (such as back to her cage, to the ground, etc.) whenever she wants to move. Maui was so nervous at first and had a few mishaps, but now she is pretty confident at flying back to her cage from my hand (I only hold my hand 2 feet away) and will even start flapping before I get her very close. She has been flapping more and more every day. She made her first 180 degree turn on Saturday, but has since made a few more. Maui is always acting as if she will fly and seems to really try, but she needs her confidence built up. I was worried that her crash today would stop her, but she flew readily enough later in the day.

I took Manzi out flying on Sunday. He didn't do so well. He flew several laps around the park, but was making his panic noises that he makes when birds are chasing him. I didn't see anything chasing him though. Eventually, he flew out of sight and didn't circle back. I got on my bike, but found him just on the other side of my apartment building. Right when he saw me, he tried flying down to me, but was so high up in the tree that he just went right past me. He then took off even much farther going way out of sight and I almost began to worry. Luckily, after 30 seconds he circled back, with a hummingbird hot on his tail. After a few spins, he landed on the roof nearby. After resting for a few minutes he flew down. He was very hot. I took him back to the park, but he didn't want to fly anymore. I put him in his favorite tree and he played there for about 20 minutes before he flew back to me (I was sitting nearby on a park bench). He didn't fly anymore after that, so I took him in. I was surprised how fast hummingbirds can fly. I have seen them harass Manzi before when he is hanging out in a tree, but never chasing him while flying.

Lastly, Manzi and Maui are still not friends. I have been feeding them treats on the same perch. They eat their treats and then I separate them before any trouble starts. Manzi is still not very happy about Maui's presence. On the other hand, she is totally relaxed and has wandered around the apartment a couple of times today. She doesn't get into trouble, nor feel the need to destroy anything she comes into contact with, like Manzi. I wonder if there is a calm gene? j/k

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Maui better, Manzi worse

So, Manzi is not very happy with the new arrangement. At first he seemed to like Maui. Then he wasn't so fond and now he is treating it close to all out war. When I take Maui out of her cage, Manzi goes inside and eats her left over food and then plays with her toys. He gets so jealous of her when I scratch her head or hold her. Today, when she was nicely eating, Manzi went over to harass her. I shut her cage so he couldn't go inside. Instead, for the next 20 minutes he was climbing around the outside, but moving her toys (as they are attached to the cage bars) and also trying to grab her. Maui was attempting to eat in peace, but she was paranoid about what Manzi was doing. Sometimes she would reach out to him and he would bite at her beak, but luckily they can't hurt each others beaks. Finally, after twenty minutes of being harassed, Maui had a light bulb moment. It was funny because I could see the thought process in her head. She saw Manzi climbing around and then looked at his feet (as his beak would just bite at her). She watched his feet for a minute and then she bit at him. Manzi squealed and quickly jumped off her cage. He didn't sustain any real injuries, but it really surprised him. Since then, he has left Maui alone. Maybe now he realizes he isn't the only one who can do damage. Later tonight Manzi has been very energetic wanting attention. I gave it to him for a couple of hours and then put him up for the night.

On another note, Maui is really relaxing here. She is now coming out of her cage all on her own. I can take her out at any time and she never tries to bite me. She is also loving getting scratches. She sat on my lap for 40 minutes enjoying getting her head scratched. She is a sweet heart. I am glad that she is becoming more and more confident and feels comfortable walking around on the ground and leaving her cage. She is even playing with her toys. I am working at improving her flight skills. Right now they are close to zero, so anything at this point would be an improvement. She can fly upwards and do a slight, uncontrolled turn and she is quite good at hitting stationery objects at low speeds to minimize impact. I have her fly the last foot back to her cage and to the ground. Maui is so nervous about flying, but she is always holding her wings out as if she wants to fly, but doesn't have the courage to do so. Hopefully she will gain confidence in that area. She also needs to develop some muscle mass. This weekend I will begin trying to teach her a trick. I'm not sure what I should teach her first. Maybe I'll start with target training.

Lastly, both Greys are now copying each other. It is funny because when I first got Maui, I couldn't tell their whistles apart, but it was easy to tell their words apart. Now, that is getting more difficult as both of them can say words in the same tone as the other.

Monday, August 23, 2010


She had a rough night last night. She panicked when I turned off the lights. I ended up leaving the hall light on and today I talked with her owner and found out that he keeps a nightlight on for the birds. I will leave the hallway light on again tonight and tomorrow will get a nightlight.

Today I took her in the shower with me and she loved the water. I didn't completely soak her, but she did get quite a bit of splashes. She didn't come out of her cage on her own, so to get her in the shower I had to reach into her cage and hope she didn't bite me. She was being a sweet heart and talked the entire time.

Later, I gave both her and Manzi walnuts. Manzi cracked his right away, but Maui couldn't get hers open. Right away she went to her water and dropped it in hoping that it would soften it up. She waited 10 seconds or so and tried cracking it again. She did this about 5 times before I finally took it back and cracked the shell. I didn't completely crush the shell, just made some cracks on the outside. Anyway, Maui took it back from me and immediately dropped it back into her water. This time when she took it out, she was able to open it (due to the cracks made by me). The funny thing is, she probably thinks all her water soaking is what finally worked!

Maui still hasn't come out of the cage on her own, even though I leave the door open all day. Once I heard her climbing around. I looked over and she was halfway out of the door, but as soon as she saw me, she immediately went back inside. She is very shy, but she loves getting her head scratched. Hopefully she'll relax more and more every day. Manzi was showing some jealousy today, but after taking him for a walk by himself this afternoon he was much better and not so naughty.

Just a side note: Both of Maui's eyes are a bit strange. Her right eye has a black fleck near the bottom and her left eye has an unusually shaped pupil. I haven't seen many African Greys, so I have no idea how common this is or if it affects her vision. Maui clearly is not blind and uses both of her eyes. Anyway, here are some photos of her eyes.

Her left eye:

Her right eye:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Maui's here

She is adorable! I will post a video as soon as I get her a bit more relaxed. When Maui came today, she was terrified of being in a new place and hearing hawks calling outside. It took her a while to relax and about an hour before she started making noises. Within a few hours, she began talking away. She has quite the repertoire and can imitate both a female and a male person. Her and Manzi spent all afternoon chatting back and forth with each other. Maui didn't come out of her cage, but she did eat some food and put her head down to let me scratch it. She hasn't threatened me at all and has been very sweet. She let Manzi also scratch her head for a bit. He didn't do a very good job, but he'll learn.

I just covered Manzi, but since his cage is right next to Maui's, she got very scared of the cover being tossed over his cage. I need to find something to cover her cage too which will hopefully make her feel more comfortable. I hope we all get some sleep tonight and that no one wakes up too early in the morning.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three Week Slumber Party

Maui will be staying with Manzi and me for three weeks starting this Sunday while her owner is away. I already made a spot for her near Manzi's cage.

Right now Manzi is trying to seduce my deodorant and keeps trying to put his head down in front of it encouraging the deodorant to scratch him. His attempts are not working on it as it seems more content to remain the inanimate object of Manzi's affection. Maybe Maui will be more receptive?

I will post a video clip when I get the two together (referring to Manzi and Maui, not Manzi and the deodorant).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flying again

I took Manzi out flying yesterday. He did really well. The wind was around 14 mph, but it didn't phase him. Manzi is still working on regaining his flight skills. He has also continued missing some of his landings. I haven't been able to take him out regularly though like last year.

He had a grand time.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Manzi and Maui

So Manzi saw his new girlfriend again today. At first they just said hi through the cage. Manzi is trying to touch Maui and while she is puffed up at him in a semi threatening manner, she is lowering her head begging for a scratch (which I give her right after this picture is taken).
For the following pictures, Manzi is on the right and Maui on the left, bu in the first picture Maui is on the right inside her cage. Manzi is quite a bit darker than Maui for unknown reasons.

Next, they were allowed to touch away from the cage.

Manzi was trying so hard to get to the perch with Maui, but as soon as I put him on the perch, he stayed at the very far edge away from Maui and she did the same.

Maui was being a sweetheart and kept asking for Manzi to scratch her while he was being quite upfront just walking up to her reaching at her with his beak. Here, he is looking at her feet and she is trying to stay back wondering what he is doing.

After a while, they both began to preen and relax. As you can see, Manzi is on one foot getting comfortable.

All in all, I would say it was a huge success today. I was hoping that they would put up with each other, but they really like each other already. When I went to take Manzi from the perch, he kept putting his head down trying to avoid getting picked up because he wanted to stay on the perch with Maui. Also, Maui was quite chatty and it seems they were both trying to impress each other.

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