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.

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