Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mummies are scary!!

I bought a paper mummy for Halloween. Little kids were terrified of it on my door. After Halloween, I was considering manzi's bathroom territorial attitude and decided to put the mummy to good use. He is terrified of the mummy as well, although Maui couldn't care less about it. Now he is not attempting to enter the bathroom or even be within 10 feet of it. 

It is difficult not to be amused. My sister suggested I get a Santa for Christmas. That's not a bad idea. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Maui voluntarily did a flying lap

This evening the birds have been quite active. Manzi running around getting into trouble, flying lots of laps around my apartment. Maui has also been active running around on the cage. At one point, Manzi and Maui were both running around on the cage, when Manzi took off and landed on his perch in the living room. A couple seconds Maui ran to the edge of the cage and took off too, towards the same perch. She almost seemed to have surprised herself because mid flight, she looked like, "Oh no, now where do I land!" Then she turned around and flew back to her cage.

Manzi often gets worked up and flies laps around my living area, but Maui's never done such a lap. The closest she comes to voluntary flight is when she wants to reach something really bad, and gets a bit too close to the edge, then stumbles and flies. It was really nice to see her get so worked up that she just took off! Maybe there is flying hope for her after all other than the nervous flights back to her cage when I send her off my hand.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Maui dancing

I was inspired by that cool video of the cockatoo dancing and tried to get Maui to do something similar. Manzi is a lost cause, but Maui has some hope.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Maui and Hercules causing trouble

Hercules got out again while I was away for the weekend. It was bad cause I wasn't there, but nice cause most of his mess was cleaned up before I came home. I had barricaded his area, but still need stronger reinforcements.

Here is a photo of Maui eating some dinner. She can be such a messy eater. She got food stuck all over her beak. Unlike manzi, she's not so keen on me restraining her and wiping it clean. She eventually took care of it herself.
The birds and Hercules were a big hit for trick or treaters. I'm going to do a better job next year of their costumes. Someone gave me the idea of tying a dead head to Hercules so he is dragging it around. That will look pretty cool. Maybe I'll spray paint the birds with some kind of completely safe paint (or Kool-aid)!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hercules the Terror

Hercules is joining the ranks of the birds, wrecking havoc! He has been back inside only a handful of days yet figured out how to escape. He destroyed two plants and damaged a third. He kicked soil into my carpet, knocked my laptop off its stand, unplugged my router, unrolled a section of wrapping paper and tore it up and chipped away at my drywall (more spackle in order). After seeing the destruction, I found him napping in my closet. He looked so peaceful, all worn out.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Destructive Week

We've been having a bit of a destructive week. Monday Manzi found my iphone unattended while I had a bathroom break. I have an otterbox cover, so that absorbed the damage. Given that Manzi had an entire minute alone with the phone, he did surprisingly little damage (only the rubber cap over the sound control was removed and shredded).

Yesterday Manzi finally realized that the wheat and paper mâché toys in his cage are not ready to eat him alive (he's been terrified of those and hasn't gone to the perch where they are located for 5 weeks!). When I came home from work I saw he had completely destroyed both toys. Even though Manzi was terrified of the toys, Maui could care less about them.

Today he's chewed off the rubber scroll wheel on a mouse and he's chewed up an earring. Previous to this week, he was being very undestructive. Even last weekend he was calm. He sat quietly next to me nearly the entire days of Saturday and Sunday (I was home nearly all weekend). I was almost worried that he was so peaceful, but I did enjoy his calm company.

Maui still hasn't successfully figured out how to climb down the rope to the floor. I put her on the rope several times, but she is afraid of it. After watching me put her on it and making her climb it, Manzi went over and climbed both down, then back up the rope. Like he was demonstrating it to her or something. Manzi can easily fly down too. I take Maui off her cage every day, and about once per week she'll fly to the ground and wander around. Still, she's not as potty trained as Manzi, so when she's running around the ground, she leaves presents on the linoleum.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Manzi flying... ummm, I mean walking

I took Manzi out to fly yesterday. I used his leg leash. He was very excited to go outside and held his wings out while walking to the open field. I set him on the grass and had him fly to me. He made a couple of those flights. Then I decided to send him out from me, have him fly around, then come back. He has done this successfully several times in the recent past without reaching the end of the leash (it is a long fishing line).
I sent Manzi out, he began to circle around, but then reached the end of the leash (I had it a bit shorter than normal since we were in a different field with trees nearby), which caused him to fly in a circle around me. He couldn't make the turn to come back in towards me and continued in a very large circle. He tired out pretty quickly and landed on the grass.
I called him back to me and he didn't come. So I sat down and proceeded to eat my lunch. Manzi seemed upset and chewed on the leg leash. After about 10 minutes of us ignoring each other, Manzi began to run (yes, with his little legs) towards me. It took him another 5 minutes to reach me! He refused to fly, except the last 30 feet when he finally flew to my hand. I realized that Manzi must have been pretty scared when he did the circle flights and emergency landed in the grass. Sometimes I forget that he can be very sensitive. Because he wasn't happy with his last flight, he was hesitant to try it again and preferred to walk, which isn't an easy task for a parrot in thick grass. In the past, Manzi has gone really high up in a tree refusing to come down. Then he'll try, but miss me and go up in another tree. I thought Manzi was being a bit stubborn, or happy in the tree. It must be that Manzi is scared of his misses and hesitant to try again. This only happened when Manzi would first start to free fly outside. It has been a long time since he's free flown though, so he must be lacking confidence.
I am afraid to fly him without the leash with our winter coming on. We're already getting nights below freezing. I had hoped that I could free fly Manzi this summer since he has been doing so well with his recalls, but now I don't think that is going to happen.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Daisy again

I watched the little shih-tzu again. This time she interacted with Manzi in a positive way. They played quite a bit together. Last time Manzi stayed up high out of her reach, but this time he often flew to the ground and would run after her. She'd run away, then Manzi would turn around and let her chase him. He wasn't aggressive like the first time her interacted with her. Daisy was also very sweet about it. Once, Manzi did fly down right in front of her and she jumped on top of him and "mouthed" him. That scared Manzi a bit and he immediately flew out of her reach for a while. That scared me as well as I thought Manzi might get hurt, but after 10 minutes or so he was back on the couch running around with her.

When I first brought Daisy in, we filled up her food dish and Maui went over to it to check it out. Daisy could only sit back and watch. She didn't dare interrupt Maui:

After Maui was enjoying the dog food, Manzi came over as well. Maui did soak the dog food in water to make it softer. I thought that was neat that she knew to do that. Manzi's never tried that before.

When Manzi was minding his own business on the sofa, Daisy would sneak up on him and once I caught her in the action!

Manzi turned around to dare her to do it again.

So Daisy sat back and patiently waited.

Here's the two of them on the sofa together. They spent a good deal of time here:

Here is a shot of Manzi looking down at the corn-on-the-cob he just finished eating (spreading around my floor). Maybe he's thinking: Was that really my mess? Or: I wonder if there's anything left in that?
He's usually the clean one with eating, but for some reason he thought it was a good idea to drag the cob to the edge of his cage, eat it off the side, then drop the eaten cob on the ground afterward. It would be nice if I could teach the birds to clean up afterward.

Friday, August 9, 2013


So, Rocky was very popular with my friends, but not so much with the birds. Rocky is a 100-lb labrador, who I watched for an extended weekend. I took some photos of when I first brought him to my place. He did go look at the birds, but afterward he paid almost no attention to the birds. His owner told me he had never been around birds, but in general, Rocky has never paid much attention to any other animals, not even other dogs.
At one point, Manzi even jumped on Rocky's back. Rocky was startled, and Manzi flew off immediately. Maui was always standing at the edge of the cage waiting for Rocky to walk by so she could have a chance to reach out and bite him. Maui tried that all day long. Sometimes it was pretty funny because Rocky would walk by and then his tail would catch Maui and twice it knocked her off the edge of the cage to the floor. At that point, she'd run after him. Rocky wouldn't even notice and I didn't want him get any bites so I would call him away from the kitchen.
When Maui got swatted dog, she usually squealed and instead of being scared, it would just fuel her anger and determination towards getting Rocky.

Here is Rocky noticing Maui for the first time:

After a few minutes, he rested his head, but didn't take his eyes off them:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Manzi likes soap

A friend of mine gave me a specialty bar of soap and the other day I finally got around to using it. Manzi kept trying to grab at it, which can become a nuisance. In the past, he has tried biting the dish soap and I let him. Then he shook his head and never tried again. I figured the same thing would happen with the bar of soap. I held it out to him and let him "taste" it. He bit as bit a piece off as possible and for the next few minutes proceeded to eat the entire piece. I was pretty worried once I saw he was eating it and immediately tried to take it out of his beak. He is pretty strong though and wouldn't let me have it. I then put his beak under the water stream to wash it out (I did this gently), but he didn't mind at all. He still kept trying to finish it off.

My plan backfired and now Manzi wants the bar of soap more than ever. Maybe if I coat it in dish soap and then give it to him...

Tomorrow we're getting another dog. This time it will be a large labrador. I'll have him for 5 days. I heard he doesn't go after animals and is pretty elderly and lazy. I will try to get a photo of him with the birds.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Daisy and Flying

I watched a dog for 5 days. A little Shih-tzu named Daisy. She was really cute. The birds didn't agree. At first, they were curious, but when Daisy began to jump up on my lap whenever I sat down, the birds had enough of her. Manzi dived bombed her regularly and Maui chased her with an open beak. Fortunately, Maui is really slow and Manzi was still pretty cautious around her. So in the end, no one was hurt. At one point, Daisy walked too close to the cage and Maui lunged at her and lost her balance and fell off the cage. Daisy got excited and jumped towards her. Maui’s back was turned and I quickly pulled Daisy away.

Animals have a good instinct to know where another’s mouth is located. Daisy quickly figured out where the beaks were on the birds and knew to stay away from them. It was funny, when the birds were turned around, Daisy would sniff their backs and leave nose prints on them. The birds didn't like it one bit and would try to turn around quickly, but by then Daisy would back away. The birds also knew where Daisy’s mouth was and would run after her when her back was turned.

By the end of the 5 days, Daisy and the birds were almost always watching each other and trying to stay facing each other.


I've been taking Manzi outside flying. We've just done point A to B flights, but Manzi has been 100%! I am only doing up to 100’. I need to increase the distance. Anyway, he is doing fantastic, so I need to watch the weather and then let him free fly around when there are no storms coming up. I hope I can free fly him in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Manzi and Maui being friendly

I have had a few visitors recently, all of them animal people. The first set of visitors gave both birds treats right away. After 45 minutes or so, Maui was begging them for scratches and Manzi was performing his tricks. Within a couple of hours, both birds did quite a bit of talking.

Another visitor who came was also an animal person. He has been interested in getting a Grey himself, so I suggested he come over to interact with them. Maui didn't want him to hold her, but she did stay very near and never took her eyes off him. Manzi was standoffish for 15 minutes or so, but then he had enough and wanted to find out what the guy was about. Within 45 minutes Manzi was letting the guy scratch his head and  happily taking treats from him. Manzi usually doesn't let strangers scratch him. The guy did all the right things though and was interested, but not pushy with Manzi.

Having visitors who know how to handle animals is a great experience for the birds. They learn to go to strangers and not bite. It gives me confidence too that I will not get sued by someone over a nasty parrot bite.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Maui stuck

Maui was grabbing the doorway, hanging way down from her cage. I scolded her (she's no longer supposed to chew up my doorway), but instead of running and fussing like she usually does, she just stayed there. I got closer and she still didn't move. Then I held her beak to pry it off the doorway and she nearly fell. I realized that she had reached down to chew the doorway, but leaned too far and wasn't able to pull herself up with her feet due to lack of grip on the seed catcher. She was stuck and not sure what to do. I wonder how long she was like that. It could have only been a few minutes at most as I did hear her chirping away beforehand.

Sometimes Manzi gets stuck, but he bails rather quickly, by dropping and crashing.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring is here

Spring is quite lovely (although it did just snow again two days ago). I took Manzi outside twice already. The first time he was really irritated that I put on his leash and he pouted for 45 minutes. It wasn't until I began to go back inside that he realized where he was and began to hold his wings out for a flight. I brought him out again a few days later and he was a lot more cooperative. Outside he did some flying around, but I kept his leg leash on (there was a storm coming the following day and I didn't want to risk it). After the flight going so well, I am more encouraged to let him free fly. I will work with him for a couple weeks on recalls and see how he does. Today I did the first recall training I've done in many months and it was great. At first Manzi wasn't so sure, but within a few minutes he was flying to me rapidly after I'd call him. We only did about 10 recalls and he did really well through the last one.

I did some target training with Maui. She is great at that and will climb all over her cage to get the target. I need to start teaching her some other tricks. I think she has a lot more potential with trick training than Manzi. For some reason, whenever I do trick training with Manzi we have a 5-minute window before he begans breeding displays. Then training is over. Maui moves much slower than Manzi, but she is also a lot less stubborn and seems to "think" quite a bit more (she's more deliberate).

Hercules has been loving the outdoors. It is nice in that, if I put him far away from me, he'll slowly make his way back to me (chomping grass the whole way). I am almost finished with the patio, then I'll leave him out all day. I think he'll like that a lot more than my kitchen (I will definitely like it a lot more as well). Also, potty training him was highly successful. He hasn't had an accident in a while now. I just put him in the bath every other day with 1/2" of warm water. It also doesn't take him as long. Before, I had to leave him in there for 45 minutes. Now he usually goes within 15 minutes.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A week away didn't last

I left for a week to visit family. The girl watching the birds said they did fine, until the last day. Then Manzi went and scuffled with Maui (usually Maui is the aggressor). The girl was pretty scared and separated them right away with the ladder (previously mentioned; both birds seem to react to the ladder). Then she opened the cage and put Maui on a perch while she got the separator into the cage. When I got home, they seemed okay. I took the separator out and they were fine again. I put in again when I went to church the following Sunday as they scuffled a bit in the morning, but I haven't used it since.

They don't fight much when no one is around. It is just when someone is around, then they infrequently get in fights.

Lately, they have been sleeping together on the same perch as well. When I get in after dark, they are about a foot apart on the same perch. I'm not sure why they do that.

Anyway, I will leave the cage separator out for now. I have another trip coming up in several weeks, so I will try again. I was very happy with the girl's reaction as she took the right steps and was confident in handling the birds. Still, hopefully with them together for more time, they will work out their issues and this will come up less and less.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manzi being overly zealous in his attacks

I couldn't help cracking up yesterday at Manzi's expense. I was playing the piano and Manzi wanted attention. He flew to the top of the piano (I gave up a couple of months ago and let him stand there watching me). That wasn't enough for the rascal. He saw me move my music and he went for an attack. The stand holding the music up only goes about halfway up though and it was just sheets of paper. Manzi flew straight at the top of the sheet very aggressively. The sheet just flopped back and Manzi crashed right into the wall behind it and fell down behind the piano.

He left a dust mark on the wall and looked up at me from behind the piano like, "Please get me out of here!" I immediately obliged, but I still laughed. He won't be attacking my music any time soon.

Hercules' potty training is going very well. I put him in the bath every other evening and set the timer. It usually takes about 30 minutes, but my floor has been very clean since.

Maui has been obsessed with her old ladder. I figured I could use it to let her climb down the cage to the ground. She spent all of Saturday and Sunday by it, begging for scratches from the ladder, fluffing up threatening it, pushing it around, chewing on the edges. Even now she is standing right next to it. She is still too scared to actually stand on it, but she is really interested in it. I haven't shown her that in two years, so I don't even understand her reaction. At first she seemed clearly afraid of it, but she stayed right next to it. Now I'm not so sure.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Potty Training

Manzi is the only potty trained animal (besides myself) in my house. I have decided to potty train both Maui and Hercules.

Maui has already been getting the idea. I hold her on the couch and scratch her, then every 15 minutes place her on the perch that Manzi flies to in order to "go potty." Maui got the idea and would go potty, then step back up on my hand. Now I just need her to show me that she needs to go, like Manzi does. Manzi will either show me he needs to go, or he will just fly to the perch on his own.

Hercules will take a different method. He only goes potty 3 - 4 times per week. I heard sulcata tortoises can be trained by placing them in a shallow bath of warm water. I do still soak him sometimes in warm water and he does usually go potty at that time. I will put him in the bath every evening when I get home from work. I heard this may take a month or so for him to no longer have accidents. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hercules chasing Maui

Hercules has been chasing around the birds. Here is a fun video of him chasing Maui.

I found it amusing that Maui drank some of his water while running, then Hercules was distracted and drank some water as well.

Maui is much more tolerant of Hercules than Manzi and she will put up with being chased for a while. Eventually, she'll fly back up to the cage. I was impressed the other day when I saw Maui fly to the top of her cage from the ground 2' away. She had never flown straight up like that before. She is pretty good at flying, although she still doesn't choose to fly very often.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Zombie family

I have a zombie family of the birds, tortoise and me. These are on my car, in order of oldest to youngest. I beat Maui, but not by much. I couldn't find a tortoise, but I emailed a company and within a day they created a tortoise sticker. Now people will know what the name "Manzi" on my license plate means.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hercules' Poor Arm

Manzi did some minor damage on Hercules' arm. I went in the bathroom (which may happen from time to time) and did so quickly so Manzi couldn't join me. He has continued with his love/territorialness of the bathroom, so I do my best to keep him out as much as possible.
So, often after I sneak in the bathroom, Manzi will sit outside the door pacing and trying to look underneath (it looks funny. At just the right angle he can see under the door because there is a 1/2" gap). Hercules was in an aggressive mood and ran after Manzi. Usually, both Manzi and Maui run from him when he gets aggressive (he is a tortoise, so it doesn't take much to escape him). Manzi was already mad at me for locking him out of the bathroom, so he took on Hercules and got a quick bite before Hercules could tuck in. I heard Hercules tuck in quickly, so I did get worried and hurried out. Manzi did manage to pull a small scale of Hercules' arm. It was slightly red (no blood or anything), but within 30 minutes it was back to normal color. Here is a picture:


My 2nd camera came defective. I am going to buy another one soon. It will come with rotation ability and 2-way sound. That will give me a second angle on the birds. Sometimes I cannot see them in the cage (one may be behind a toy, etc.) so this will help. Once I get the new camera up and running, I will give access to those interested. Manzi and Maui have been getting along great. They are no longer fighting at all in their new cage and I have been leaving them overnight together. It seems they are in agreement, although not friends. They don't seem to stress or worry about the other either.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Manzi exploring door handles

Manzi has recently been landing on my door handles. His favorite one is to the bathroom door.

I got a bit too close to Manzi with the camera. He is daring me to get closer (by puffing up from an unscary 1lb pound creature to a potential 2lb creature!).

Here is a zoomed out picture to get some perspective. Also, you might notice that Manzi can just reach the trim of the door from the handles. Fortunately, he has not tried to do any damage to it.

Manzi and Maui have been together in their new cage for a while now and are not killing each other. I think it is nearly safe to say we've been successful. After 2.5 years of effort, they are finally together in one cage.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Maui on the attack

On Sunday Maui had had enough of Manzi and went after him very aggressively. It was right after Manzi was with me for a couple of hours. He can fly, so sometimes he will stay right next to me (there are perches for him all around).
After I put Manzi back in his cage, Maui went after him. I took her out right away and gave her attention, but she went right back in the cage and attacked him. I am surprised that neither of them were hurt as they were right up against each other biting crazily. Manzi was trying to run while keeping Maui's beak at bay, but she had him cornered. I quickly separated them, but I had to leave somewhere. So I threw some newspapers down and stuck them back in their old cages.

Then, Sunday night I kept Maui right next to me scratching her and talking to her for two hours. When I put them back together, all was well again. It has been fine today too.

Maui must have wanted to reassert herself after she saw Manzi and me together for a couple of hours. I need to be careful to give her enough praise and attention so she doesn't feel that she has to fight for my favor.

I am leaving out of town soon and don't want the birds fighting. Tomorrow I am going to split up the branches in the cage so I can slide the divider between the birds. I will leave that in while I am away so I don't worry about them fighting. It will probably be okay to keep them together, but I'm not sure I want to take that risk. Plus, the girl watching them doesn't handle them, so I'm not sure she would know what to do if they got into a fight.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Still good together

Manzi and Maui are still residing somewhat peacefully together. They haven't hurt each other anymore and are often perched quite close together (12" apart). I am hoping this is permanent and I moved their old cages into my storage room. I will give it another month, then I will sell Maui's cage.

Despite their getting along, they still have spats. I noticed that it occurs when I get home. Today, when I walked in the door, Maui saw me and ran over to Manzi and knocked him off the perch. Neither screamed or anything. I think it was Maui trying to assert herself in my presence. I will try to make a better effort to show her priority. I had to leave again and when I got back, I immediately took Maui out of the cage and scratched her neck. Afterward, I did the same for Manzi. I will keep that up so Maui won't get a chance to show dominance towards Manzi.

Tomorrow we have guests coming over with a well-behaved dog. I am curious as to see how the interaction goes. I imagine that they both might puff up at the dog, but that nothing will happen.

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