Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vacation again

I went away for Christmas weekend. Maui had an egg in her cage when I came back. She's laid two in the past week. She is not following the twice/year laying cycle and this is her third cycle for the year. Maybe me giving up on kicking her out of the cupboard made her think she won and was ready to raise some babies. She's in the cupboard right now tidying up the place. Thanks to her, I have to wash every pot before use. It could be worse.

I realize I haven't taken photos of them in a while. I need to do a photo shoot. My parent's house has a wall with photos of all their grandchildren. Seeing that I have no human children, my mother offered to put up photos of her reptilian grandchildren. I need to think of a good scene. Maybe some snow, presents...

Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Together in Harmony

Well, not quite. Maui is used to Hercules and doesn't bother him anymore. Hercules doesn't pay any attention to Maui, but he does tuck in when Manzi comes up to him. Manzi is still very interested in Hercules.

Cage update: The company is sending out two new panels for the cage (the doors were made incorrectly and they rubbed when opened) at no cost to me. They said it is too expensive to ship the old ones back, so I can just keep them. They are really large, so maybe I can figure out something to do with them.

My internet is up and flying so I also bought a camera on ebay. Unfortunately the camera was sent with the wrong charger and instead of getting the correct one, the guy wants me to send it back (foregoing the risk of me plugging in the wrong charger and blowing the thing). I have a computer expert on my side though, so I have no concerns. Once I get this sorted, I should have a new camera soon.

I am paying a neighborhood kid to clean the cages. I started with one kid and am on to the second (scheduling conflicts). This one is amazing. She does a very thorough job and works quickly. I may never have to scrub my cages again. It is like all the benefits of owning an animal without any drawbacks. Neighbor kids are great!

Manzi and Maui have been doing better. They haven't had any skirmishes in quite a while. No preening or anything, but no aggression. Maui still bites at Manzi's feet whenever he lands on her cage, but that is normal and Manzi is smart enough to land far away from her and to leave when she gets anywhere close. Manzi has gone to the ground a couple of times and watched Maui. I haven't seen him do that before and was wondering what he is doing. It appears that he is just observing her, maybe trying to figure out what it is that she is doing. Manzi has never really taken an interest in Maui before. He usually either shows aggression or completely ignores her. Anyway, I should be getting the new cage part soon and can then continue the experiment of getting them to like each other (or at least tolerate each other).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Egg from Maui

All of Maui's digging around in the cabinet was not for nothing. She laid an egg. She has only laid one so far. The first two times she laid five, but the third time she only laid four (maybe it was three). She might lay some more. This egg cracked as she laid it too high up, so she didn't even attempt to sit on it.

I put Hercules (the tortoise) in the kitchen while I am away at work as he has more room. The first day I put him there while I was getting ready for work. Maui had immediately ran over to the cabinet to dig around. Hercules happened to walk towards her cabinet. Maui was not happy. She came out all fluffed up. When it didn't deter Hercules' slow walk towards the cabinet, she began making some bluff charges. That didn't shake Hercules either. Then Maui reached out to touch him and he tucked into his shell. That quick movement was enough to startle Maui and she ran away. Hercules wasn't in his shell for more than a few seconds and he passed right by the cabinet. When I returned home that evening Maui didn't pay Hercules any attention.

Hercules is really liking the extra space. He now has the entire kitchen/dining/entry/bathroom room area, which is 20 times the size of his indoor pen. Within a day I noticed he regained his appetite.

I am working on my high-speed internet. I'll have it next week and hopefully a camera will follow that before long, with online streaming of the birds.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trouble, as usual

Maui has been trying to find nesting sites around my apartment. Finally she began entering my kitchen island and digging around in the back. I usually remove her right away as my pots are on that bottom shelf. I also tried keeping the doors shut, but that resulted in bite marks on the outside as she tried to open them. In addition, she doesn't like the lining I put on that shelf and immediately began to remove it. Her love for that nesting spot resulted in her immediately going there as soon as I would let her out of her cage. It got so bad that I would have to remove her 6+ times within an hour of getting home from work.
After a couple weeks, I gave up and let her have that nesting spot. I put some newspapers in there to hopefully keep her from getting into other trouble. It has now been a couple of weeks and luckily she is still interested in that area. She began chewing part of the shelf, but I just adjusted a couple of pots and since she has been back to chewing the paper. I hope that shelf keeps her interest for as long as possible. Maui is such a determined bird. Manzi will go after something, but he gives up within a few days to up to a week. Not Maui.

Manzi has been super active lately. I don't know what has gotten into him, but he is flying like crazy for the last two weeks. He does laps and laps around my place. Sometimes diving at Maui, but more often going on the fridge to toss items off, landing on the counter, going into my closet to chew on clothes, etc. His ability to move around my apartment is amazing. He is an expert agility flier and can get through doorways, fly blindly around corners, hover while deciding where to go, etc. I am trying to recall train him again to get him ready for next Spring. Hopefully with this agility he'll be perfectly fine outside. There are bald eagles, but as long as he can see them I'm sure he'll be able to out-maneuver them.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Back to two cages

Manzi and Maui were in the large cage for two days without problems. After work on Monday they began to fight. I was home sick on Tuesday and they fought all day long. I finally separated them Tuesday evening. I have a new plan. I will keep them separate for a week and then start again.

One reason for their fighting became evident Tuesday evening, when Maui laid an egg. Last night she laid another egg (she's up to two, three more to go). She has been very defensive over her eggs. I am taking them away from her.

I am also going to continue to give Maui first feeding/petting/etc. to show that she is the dominant bird. I still give Manzi as much attention, just after Maui first receives attention. Hopefully after a week of this they will get along better when reintroduced.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another minor tuffle

Maui ran into the bathroom. I chased after her and Manzi after the both of us. When I turned on the light, Manzi launched himself at Maui. He jumped back quickly and then she went after him. I grabbed him by his tail and pulled him back to separate the two. I thought he would bite me, but surprisingly he didn't seem to mind. There were a few feathers on the ground, but despite how close they were fighting, no one got any bites. I imagine puffing up is a good protection against beaks. I would have known if either of them got bit as they are both babies and would scream to let me know of their pain.

Tomorrow I am bringing in the large cage on the patio and the birds will begin their lifelong companionship in the same cage. I have only seen the two fight when I am in close proximity to them. Otherwise, they entertain each other and whistle to each other. It is only when I am around that they seem to fight over their relationship with me. I have recently begun a new technique to help make them both more comfortable with their positions. Maui has asserted her dominance over Manzi the last few months and Manzi have given way, for the most part. She goes after Manzi when I am around to put him in his place. I heard, from my old neighbor (the behaviorist), the if I give her attention first, feed her first, scratch her first at every interaction, that she will not feel the need to continue asserting her dominance over Manzi. I cannot neglect Manzi and immediately need to follow the attention I give Maui, with attention for Manzi. It might be a bit stressful for Manzi at first, but then he will not get hurt or attacked by Maui.

On the plus side, they will have a huge cage to play in all day and companionship while I am away.

I realize the webcam was a big failure. I found a much nicer webcam (that can be controlled by users, which is really cool), but now my internet connection is limiting. It is ridiculously slow. I am working on upgrading that. Once done, I will set up the new webcam and hopefully post it to this site or something like that so it can be easily accessed by others (including myself while at work).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Neighbor's cat

The neighbors have a cat that looks out from his patio and meows at Manzi and Maui in the outdoor cage. The cat will sit and meow for a good deal of time. A couple days ago, I heard him come out while my birds were outside and he began meowing at them. After just a few minutes, Maui began to meow back. She did such a perfect imitation of his many different meows. It drove the cat crazy and it meowed all the more. The whole scene was quite funny.

Manzi and Maui can now imitate all of the local wild birds, the neighbor's cat, the police sirens and the whistles of all my neighbors who get suckered into giving the birds attention.

I think the birds will be disappointed come winter and they have to stay indoors all day.

Update on the webcam: I only get it set up a couple times per week. Unfortunately, the weather here is unpredictable with frequent storms (in which case I must keep the birds in for the day if there will be storms at any point during my workday). In addition, my webcam is of very poor quality. I will buy a much better one, as soon as I find one I like. I plan on using it every day, even while they are indoors during the winter. I haven't quite yet setup an easy system. Hopefully that will come along soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I now have a webcam for Manzi and Maui. I can share it with anyone interested. You must first go to www.gotocamera.com and make an account. Then, send me your email (that you logged with the camera site) and I will share the camera with you. I was so scared to leave them on the patio in the big cage during the day, but now I can check on them all day long. They seem to be happy out there as they usually don't want to come back in. The only time both have eagerly stepped up on my hand was when I waited till after sunset and it began getting dark. Otherwise, Maui tries to push my hand away and Manzi runs. I end up grabbing the feet of both to drag them inside.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not performing

Manzi and Maui have become the attraction of the apartments. I am right above one of the entrances, so while out on the patio, Manzi and Maui whistle at everyone walking by. Oftentimes, I can hear kids or even adults talking to them from the ground (I'm on the second level). Today, two young boys spent a good 45 minutes talking and whistling to the birds. I went out on the patio for a bit and told the boys several phrases that Manzi and Maui can say, in an attempt to get the parrots to talk. Manzi and Maui were determined to whistle and pretend that they have no idea what I am bragging about. I went back inside to resume working. After a long time, the boys left. Within two minutes of them leaving, Manzi and Maui proceeded to go through every phrase that the boys were begging them to say. I couldn't help but laugh. Birds sure can be stubborn sometimes.

They sure are loving the attention they get on the patio. At first, I didn't hear much from them and they would go completely quiet as soon as someone came near. Now, Manzi and Maui whistle loud as soon as they see someone to get their attention. It works and often the person will come over and whistle with them for a while. Now I have two big show offs.

By the way, if you look at the pictures from the previous post, you should see Hercules (the tortoise) on the ground near the cage.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

All settled into new cage.

Manzi and Maui have been enjoying their time in the new cage. Maui has made it her job to remove all bark from the branches. Luckily they are completely safe so she is free to remove away.

I started out by putting them for a few hours at a time in the new cage. They were pretty intimidated at first, but now are climbing around and having fun.

Something scary happened while taking these photos. Maui decided to get Manzi. He was minding his own business, climbing around and watching me, when she climbed down towards him. She reached out towards him faster than he could protect himself and bite his beak/head. He immediately let out a piercing scream that lasted a few seconds. Maui let go and he ran to the other side of the cage and has been staying out of her way every since. I got really scared as I could only see his head in her mouth. They were moving so fast I couldn't tell what was going on. I thought maybe she got his eye or something. Luckily, he just had a small scratch on his cheek. I have seen Maui take out big chunks of skin, so I know she can do a lot more damage. Maybe she was just warning him. By the next day, I couldn't even see the mark on Manzi. He's had much worse damage from getting into fights with his toys.

I thought about not putting them out together, but that would only reinforce them not getting along. They have been outside most of the day today and hopefully will not have anymore scary episodes.

The interesting thing, after looking through the photos I had taken, I noticed I had the photo of Manzi in Maui's mouth. Here is from far away.
This is zoomed in.

Here is the post-bite trauma. Poor thing.

Here are some other photos of them in their cage. The wind blew all the newspapers into a mess. I am going to forget trying to use newspapers and just do the scrub & clean method.

I have a new plan with them. I will keep putting them out in this cage and when the winter comes, bring this inside as their winter cage, while putting their cages away for the winter. Then when summer comes, hopefully I can bring this big cage back outside and only bring out Manzi's cage for their inside cage. Then I can possibly get rid of Maui's cage and they will live happily together (I might be dreaming).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cage Arrived

The cage arrived last Saturday and a friend came over today to help set it up. It is pretty huge. I haven't got it all decorated, but I do have lots of huge branches to put inside. I am also going to make a plexiglass wind-break.

I'm leaving for a week, but when I get back, I'll get to work on that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Adele at home

Last week I got very sick and stayed home the entire week. I think the birds were very happy and Manzi has been much better again. On Monday I was hit bad with being sick and stayed in bed all day. I didn't let them out nearly the entire day except an hour when I was on the couch laying down. The birds have been very well behaved. So Tuesday I was also in bed most of the day, but I left their cages open and they pretty much stayed on their cages.
I remember the first two years that I had Manzi, I was able to leave him out while I went to check the mail, get water, etc. Then Manzi learned that he could get into trouble while I was away and began to take advantage of it. For some reason, Manzi is back to staying nicely on his cage while I run out for quick errands. I'm not sure how long this will last, but it is nice. I was able to leave him out nearly the entire day on Tuesday and the rest of the week as I spent most of the time in bed. He did wander into my room twice the whole time wondering what was going on. Maui was not quite so well behaved. She will try over and over to get to what ever spot appears of nest quality. I put her back about five times before I finally lock her in her cage. After a while, I will let her out again and about 50% of the time she will try right away to go to the spot again.
A wonderful thing about African Greys are their inherent ability to be in tune with human emotions. I'm sure this is attributed to their strong "flock" sense and their dependency on each other for survival. Anyway, when I am sick, both birds (but especially Manzi since he is so strongly bonded with me) are more quiet, more affectionate and less demanding. It is really nice and makes me love them all the more.

Good news, the giant cage is coming tomorrow. I found volunteers to help me carry it upstairs and into my apartment (370 lbs) and more volunteers to help set it up. The bad news is that I have friends coming to town this weekend and next weekend I will be in a conference, so I won't have time to set it up for two weeks. At least I will appreciate it's weight and grandeur. I am excited to get it set up and stick the two critters inside. I'm sure it will help with their bonding (i.e. learning not to kill each other).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Manzi biting my poor foot

Manzi bit me on my foot again this morning, really hard. I need to work with him as that is a terrible habit. I don’t think animals are really good or bad. I think they behave in certain manners due to training and/or genetic design. I need to figure out how to untrain Manzi from thinking that biting feet is a good idea. I was in the bathroom at the time he bit me, in front of the mirror. When I go in the bathroom in the morning, to brush my teeth and do my hair, he always comes in and puffs up at me getting defensive. I usually have shoes on at this time, so he cannot hurt my feet. If I leave the bathroom, he will stay in there for a short while, but will usually come out after a few minutes. It is like he wants attention, but then he gets very defensive when I am in the bathroom with him. I was putting him on the shower perch where he can see me get ready, but he can fly again and usually flies to the ground to run around and bite things (shower curtain, cabinets, rugs).

Maybe I can start feeding him a small breakfast in the bathroom on the sink in order to keep him occupied while I am getting ready. I could just keep him locked in his cage, but he is locked in his cage so much as it is with me working full time. I might start hiding pellets in pieces of newspaper again and then in the morning putting some in the bathroom to give him something to do.

I think Manzi has been suffering with Maui taking a chunk of my attention and with me working full time.

By the way, Maui has not had any more seizures. There was a bad lightning and thunder storm the other night while she was sitting on my lap. She flinched the first few times that she saw the lightning and/or heard the thunder, but then she was fine.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Maui had a seizure on Monday, but now she is doing fine. It was terrible to see as I was holding her at the time. It lasted about two minutes total and took her another five or so to recover. I called a vet and found out that it is not that unusual. I had just taken Maui outside for the first time and she began to get very fearful. Next thing I knew, she began to twitch. She did small twitches at first and gradually increased to out of control convulsing with her head flopped off to the side and her eyes closed. Her body went limp. I tried to shield her from the environment and I held her close. After another minute she stopped and was just laying in my hands for another few minutes. Then she was able to stand up and within another five minutes or so she began to chat away. It scared the living daylights out of me as I would be devastated if she just died or something. Anyway, she seems just fine and is running around like normal, chatting away. Hopefully it was just a onetime thing where she was overwhelmed by going outside for the first time this year. I am watching her very carefully.

I ordered the large cage rather than attempted to build an aviary. It turns out to cost about the same price, but with much, much less work. The aviary won't be too big as it is really the largest cage I could find that would fit through my sliding glass door. It is 64" x 36" x 72". It is much larger than either of their current cages. I will keep it out on the patio during the summer and it can fit in the spot of their two cages during the winter. It back ordered and won't be available for a while (mid-July). I already collected lots of branches to go inside. I still need to build the plexiglass wind break area for them as it does spontaneously get windy.

I have greatly neglected this blog and would like to offer my apologies. I will be better in the future (this is so open ended. Does it mean forever, or just at one point in time? I can only offer this deal as it is easily fulfilled given the latter definition).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


There was a tie for first place, with two people getting perfect scores (I have plenty of feathers to reward both winners). Unfortunately, second and third place contestants are not winners. I can send Madeline a feather though as she appreciates it.
1. Rachael and Deda
2. Steph (you only missed one)
3. Misa

I was going to rank the last four people, but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I can only say that Lynette got last place, but I'm sure she still tried her best (you're welcome Lynette:).

To me, the birds are quite easy to tell apart, but that is not the case for everyone. Here are a few tips. Maui has the leg band on her right leg while Manzi's is on the left. Maui has lighter feathers. She also has the eye spots making both her pupils look odd shapes. Maui has much more feathers around her neck and her tail is quite a bit wider. Picture 5 is funny because you can actually see Maui on an egg if you look closely (click on the picture to blow it up) between her foot and her body.

I moved the shower perch to my glass door yesterday. I put both birds on it and they only lasted a few seconds. Maui is quite nervous on it. She is fine in the bathroom, but there is just too much going on outside and she is on too small of a perch. Manzi does just fine, but with both they are not a good combination. Maui's fear are highly contagious to Manzi and he thinks there is something that he should be terrified of as well. Once I take Maui off, Manzi is just fine again and sees it is just the fun outdoors. Hopefully Maui calms down on the perch.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Contest with Grand Prize

Quick funny story:
I often scold Manzi in the morning when he begins to get into trouble by saying, "Manzi, stop it!" A few days ago I was eating my cereal when Manzi decided to get into my kitchen cabinets. I stood up to scold him and Maui beat me to it shouting out, "Manzi, stop it!" in a perfect imitation of my voice. That was the first time she had ever said that. I couldn't help but laugh.

Let the Contest begin:
Identify the picture as either Manzi or Maui. If both birds are in the photo, then state the order from left to right (Manzi, Maui or Maui, Manzi). In submission of your results, put the photo number and then your answer (120. Manzi. 121. Maui, Manzi. 122...). Now for the part that some people told me is weird: The winner of the contest will get two bright red, beautiful tail feathers mailed to them!

Just post your answer in the comments. I will delete your answers after I review them and then I will post the final scores in one week.

Number of players (so far): 8














Tuesday, April 5, 2011


There was a break through. Manzi began to preen Maui. Not all out, but he did preen a few of her feathers. Maui was so patient with him as she held her head down for a full 5 minutes. I was a bit worried. Manzi first reached over, puffed up and pupils dilated (showing aggression) and pulled out a beakful of feathers. For some reason Maui didn’t scream and instead kept her head down. Manzi’s feathers depuffed and his eyes de-dilated and he then gently grabbed a feather and pulled it through his beak (in a preening manner). He did that a few more times and then they both got distracted as I moved. Anyway, it was a beautiful thing and I have real hope for these two.

Aviary news: I have decided to build them an aviary. It will not be very big, but still much bigger than either of their cages. I will put it on my patio so they can hang outside with Hercules during the day. I am still deciding on the dimensions, as I would like to be able to wheel it inside in case of a storm. That would mean it needs to get through my sliding glass door. I think I will make it 76" tall, 60" wide and 36" deep. I calculated the living space and that would make it 3 times the volume of Manzi's cage. I will make it out of steel and then also get it powder coated so it won't rust very easily at all. I am estimating the cost to be about $700 (I have to buy a spot welder). Luckily, I made a friend here in Minnesota who is extremely handy and will help in the construction. The estimated time frame is 2 months. Thursday I am going to buy the steel rods. I am going to weld it together out of 120 steel rods spaced at 1".

I am still working on the design. I want to make a wind shelter. I was thinking of using plexiglass so they could still see out, but it is very pricey and would probably cost an extra $100 (I was told it is $130 for a 4' x 8' piece). Maybe I'll do a metal wind shelter. I was thinking of making a shade for them too, but that can be out of material, although they might just chew it up. If anyone has ideas/comments please post them so I can incorporate them (if of redeeming value).

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eggs, eggs and more eggs (and a bit of a shower)

I will start with the shower. After being accustomed to the gladiator perch, I moved them to the shower perch, which is only about a foot long. Maui has continued to be the dominant one. She is harrassing Manzi the entire time they are on the perch. She reaches out to touch him and gently grabs his beak. He has taken to holding his head away from her so she struggles to reach his beak. She is pretty persistent and will get right next to him. Manzi isn't sure what to do with her. He still likes his shower though and does not want to leave the perch.

Now on for the fun/exciting/possibly scary news. Maui is laying eggs again. She laid two on the floor of her cage and a third from a perch. The third (well, it was laid second) cracked, but two are in good condition and tucked nicely beneath her.

One of the eggs (the third one laid), has a small crack similar to one of last year's eggs.

It might be due to her homemaking skills. She has strategically shredded every bit of newspaper and cardboard within reach and then even more strategically pushed them out of her "nest" so she can rest cleanly on solid metal. I'm not sure I am really following her strategy. I also question her nest building strategies. I give her boxes to shred. Since Maui has been in breeding mode, her strategy to nestitize a box begins with the bottom. She immediately enters the box and removes the floor. Once that is complete, she will work her way up the sides. Mind you, cardboard boxes are not the most sound structures. Once they have the bottom completely removed they begin to loose their well known stability. That stability is even more questionable when the sides began to be compromised. Within a couple of days (sometimes they last up to three if they are very thick cardboard) they collapse. It is pretty funny because Maui will try and pick the top up and scoot underneath it, but then it is resting solely on her and she doesn't stay still enough for that to last for long.
I let Maui keep two eggs as she is just so cute sitting on them. She is eating and drinking just fine so I'm not worried. She does not mind me reaching my hand in her nest and feeling the two eggs. I have taken her out a couple of times, but it isn't voluntary and she will completely collapse in my hand so I have to scoop her up by her body.
When someone came over, after the first egg was lain, she was upset by it. I was surprised as she is usually so good with company. Anyway, she left her egg and went on top of her cage. That was the first time she left her egg (it had only been 24 hours). After an hour or so she went back into her nest and pushed her egg out halfway across the cage. Then she left her nest again. If she does breed, that is good to note not to let visitors around as I wouldn't want her do that to a fertilized egg.

Lastly, I looked up AI (not artificial intelligence, the other one) to see if that would be possibility because I heard that one parent can raise chicks just fine by themselves. It looks way too complicated and I can imagine Manzi getting pretty ticked off being a test dummy. I work with poultry specialists, but they work with chickens who do not commonly need AI. I need a specialists with parrots. Any volunteers?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Maui encroaching

It has been nearly a week since Manzi and Maui are perching together. It is funny. Maui now is nearly at the halfway point on the perch while Manzi is at the very edge. Maui starts at the edge, but slowly gets closer and closer to Manzi. He will walk over to her to harass her a bit and then run back surprised that not only does she not back down, but she seems to enjoy his attention.
Manzi still seems very perplexed. He is no longer showing much aggression, but he does still fluff up at Maui. Either way, it doesn't work.
Soon I hope to take them on the shower perch together. That perch is much smaller, but they seem to be just fine. No more jousting or anything like the first couple of times they were stuck together. They do bite beaks, but much more respectfully. At first they had lunged at each other and gotten quite worked up (as you can see in the photo below). This gives me a lot of hope for being able to cage them together. The only problem with that is that Manzi's cage would be better than Maui's cage as it is so much larger, but there is probably no way that Manzi would allow Maui to enter his cage.
Maybe I can get an even larger cage that they can both enjoy. I had thought about sectioning off part of the living area for them, but that might be too much work, be too expensive and cause too much damage to my rented apartment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Today I enforced their getting along by putting them together on a perch. They did better than I thought they would as after a while, they just hung out together without any threatening.

Here is right after I put them together. They were both a bit unsure of the situation.
I like this photo of Maui acting shy while Manzi keeps a close eye on her.

If you notice, before Manzi tries anything, he keeps his eye on me checking to make sure he's not going to get into trouble and that it's okay. Here they are just beginning to test the waters.
They did connect beaks several times (they're not kissing). Luckily, their beaks are hard and no damage was done.

Before they became too docile, I did snap some photos of them sorting things out. It wasn't until I looked through the film that I realized I had a gem.

I think this turned out to be good. The birds dealt with each other and were not entirely aggressive towards each other. I am less than an arm's length away from them, but hopefully they will be well adjusted to their time together and can eventually go in an aviary together.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Face off

Manzi has continued chasing Maui around. A few days ago Maui was on the ground and Manzi began to chase her. She ran just a foot before turning around and facing him. They were within a few inches of each other, just staring when Manzi turned away. He is all talk. That happened a couple more times and then he stopped chasing her.

Maui is fully into nesting behavior again. She is working diligently to make a nest and I wouldn't be surprised if I began to see eggs again. Spring is coming.

I gave them a new seed mix today before leaving to work. Manzi ate most of his, while much to my pleasure, Maui had eaten only half, throwing the other half out of her food dish. She has an amazing ability to throw as pieces were at least three feet away. As soon as I let Manzi out of his cage he ran to the ground and ate up the feed Maui tossed. Manzi must have been paying attention.

As a side note, I notice a difference in the speed at which the bird's eyes adjust to the light after being taken out in the morning. Manzi's eyes adjust nearly instantly, while Maui's stay dilated for much longer (about three times as long). As such, she doesn't see her cage well enough to step onto it right when I bring her out and she doesn't step down until I touch her to it and she feels it. I can see her eyes really dilated and as soon as the pupils shrink down again she begins to wander around. I wonder if that has to do with her age.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Fire Alarm

I had a friend over from Davis. Anyway, she thought I need to take more photos with Manzi. I did not get Maui in the photo shoot. Here is one of the photos.

Maui did something interesting this morning. She was preening and a tail feather came out. She then grabbed the tail feather in her foot and used it to scratch her head. She did that for about 10 minutes until I pressed record on the video camera. At that point she dropped the feather and refused to pick it up again when I handed it to her.
When I first got Maui, she didn't know how to properly use her preening gland. It is a gland which makes oils to keep their feathers conditioned and water proof. She would move her head towards the gland, but not make contact, nor would she spread the oil around. Just last week she finally started using her preening gland. She must have watched Manzi and picked it up. Maybe now her feathers will begin to darken to Manzi's color.

Manzi and Maui went through a stage a couple of weeks ago of fighting a lot, but they are doing better again. Manzi has been harassing Maui, but not so bad. Sometimes when she is on the ground, Manzi will chase her around. She usually flies back up to her cage when this happens. I was pretty ticked at Manzi a couple weeks ago. I was making some beaded earrings. He was playing on his cage when he decided to go to the ground. That was fine, but I didn't realize Maui was already on the ground. Next thing I heard her shriek terribly afraid. I jumped up and realized that Maui was on the ground cornered by the cabinets, but charging at Manzi. Manzi backed down as Maui stood her ground. She was fine, but the worst part was that when I jumped up, startled, I accidentally tipped over my container of beads spilling hundreds of them on the carpet. That took a while to fix.

Lastly, on Friday I was not happy with the birds. I came home and they were making the incredibly loud shriek over and over all evening. I had to move (I am about 10' closer to the sky, but the exact same longitude and latitude), so I had a couple people over that were complaining that their ears were hurting. I didn't know why the birds were making that noise, until a neighbor came over wondering how the birds dealt with the fire alarm that went off that day. I found out it was going off for 1/2 hour before it finally got shut off. I found out that it happened a couple of months before too, about the time they first started making that noise. Their cages are right below the alarm. That is why they were making that noise. Hopefully it goes away. They have already been making it less since Friday, but it takes about six months for them to drop a noise.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

License plates arrived!!!!

Isn't he darling?

The plates just came today. When I become a two-car household, my second car will have Maui. I am so excited to have moved to a state that still has Manzi's name available on license plates.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Trick

I decided to get back into trick training with Manzi. It has been a while. I have been doing some maintenance, but no real training. Also, I abandoned his play stand in Davis so he has not known what to do when I ask him to play dead (previously he would fall backward on his playstand perch and hang upside down). His new trick is copying off Michael's Kili. It is playing dead on the ground. I point the gun, and am wanting Manzi to fall over onto his back. He is putting his foot up for me to roll him over on his back as soon as I point the gun. The first couple of times he whined protests while I put him on his back, but then he saw that he got a treat out of the deal and stopped complaining. Hopefully we'll have this trick down in a few days.

Maui got scared today and circled around. She missed the landing on her cage and circled again. By then she was tired and landed on Manzi's cage. He was on his cage too and flew at her. She shrieked pretty loud and Manzi backed off. I was there in an instant, but hesitated separating them as it seemed they knew enough to give each other space. I am still torn between wanting to keep them safe by not letting them have a chance at biting each other, and allowing them to work out their own differences. I have heard they probably won't really hurt each other, but the possibility is there.

Earlier this evening Manzi was under Maui's cage, scavenging. Maui got a bit irritated when she saw him so she went to the bottom of her cage, just above where Manzi was. Then she began to drop pieces of newspaper shreds on him. Manzi was pretty upset. He fluffed up and threatened her. Maui grew tired of that and finally went back up to her perch, allowing Manzi to continue scavenging in peace.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sleeping in the closet

I have been having trouble with Manzi and Maui. I wake them up around 7am every day while I am getting ready for work. The trouble is on the weekends if I stay up late. They patiently wait all the way until 8am in the morning before wondering what is going on. Then they lose their patience and begin to call, whistle, scream, talk and basically enjoy the morning. I thought that is all and fine as I should not be sleeping in, but they wait until 8am because it doesn't get light until then. What happens when it gets light before 6am? Then I came up with the closet plan. I set their travel cages back up and converted them into their sleeping cages.
The first day they were ticked and were screaming for a long time. I set up a night light in the closet. I strategically picked the closet of my second room so it has to go through quite a few walls before I hear them. The second night they were better, but still protested. The third night I turned off their night light when I heard them protest. I gave them an almond each time I put them to bed too. It has been about five nights now and they hope right into their sleeping cages. I think they have happily adjusted and they do not scream at all when I put them in, or in the morning before I take them out.

I took a nap a few days ago when I wasn't feeling well. I heard the birds chatting away. Manzi screamed and it was quickly followed by Maui saying, "Knock it off!" She had such a stern voice and said it crystal clear. It took me a moment to realize it was her as I thought maybe someone outside was telling my birds that. I haven't heard her use that in a while. Manzi cycles through phrases, but Maui seems to retain everything and bring them up spontaneously.

Lastly, I ordered my Manzi license plate. He is going to be famous.

Very funny note:
Someone asked, "how does one convert a travel cage to a sleeping cage?"
The reply by coworker, "
remove the car and add a closet."

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