Thursday, August 10, 2017

New Aviary

This past weekend my brother came over and we built an aviary for the birds outside. It is 14' x 9' x 9' tall. I just put some dowels in it today. I have seed and water dishes in it. I am installing a bird bath. I also bought a large roll of thick rope, but that won't arrive for another week. 

Often times Maui is the one who's afraid during moves, but she is the brave one in the aviary. She quickly stood on the perch, ate seeds and went to the water dish. Manzi just stood screaming, hanging onto the side wanting me to get him out. In this photo, Manzi finally calmed down enough to stand on a perch for the first time. He still won't eat in the aviary.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Maui is back and ready for summer

Maui had a tough year last year, but she's doing so much better. We bought a kiddie pool for the back yard, and I thought I'd let Maui have a bit of a swim. She was a lot more skeptical than I anticipated (she usually loves her baths). It may take a few tries before she splashes around in it on her own.

Last year I didn't think she would make it out, but slowly over many months, she began to perk up again. Now she's back to holding her ground with Manzi and bossing him around.

I was also afraid to take her outside because she is fragile and easily goes into seizures, but she did just fine. She was happy to play in the backyard and was very interested in all the songbirds. With Spring here, they are singing in full force and that seems to entertain my two.

Manzi is doing well. I've been taking him around more and eventually would like to let him fly around in the backyard. I still need to get him a lot more acquainted with the neighborhood so he doesn't get lost. I do notice the older Manzi gets, the less accepting of strangers he is becoming. He was my social guy, but he's becoming more and more hesitant to go to strangers. I don't know if that is age, or just because our life circumstances are changing, which affects all our interactions.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Birds doing well

Manzi and Maui are doing well. Maui has really surprised me. She's perked up back to her normal state (like she was over a year ago). She's gotten so feisty again that she's begun to challenge Manzi quite a bit and put him back in his place. A few days ago she bit his foot and chased him off when he was following her!

We have a new dog, Ella. She is not very interested in the birds. As expected, Maui absolutely hates her. Despite Maui feeling better, she's still not up for chasing after the dog. Instead, she just threatens her if the dog gets too close to her cage. I have had to save Ella from a nasty nose bite a few times already. Ella doesn't realize that Maui's beak can do serious damage. Ella is still just a puppy though. She is a Old English Sheepdog cross and supposedly has a very low prey drive, so she should be little threat to the birds. Despite that, I keep a very close eye on them if they are ever out together. Manzi on the other hand is pretty curious about Ella. He will get close to her to check her out, but luckily he does have some hesitations and stays somewhat cautious. After first he didn't want to go the ground when we brought Ella home, but he's already lost that fear and is fine flying down the hall (the one he likes to protect). Ella isn't allowed down the hall though and if Manzi isn't down the hall, he's out of Ella's reach. So for the most part, Ella just ignores Manzi.

Here's a photo of Ella and Hercules:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Birds and Baby are Safe (from each other)

Our baby can now crawl and she is fascinated by the birds. She constantly goes over to their cage, pulls herself up to standing and reaches for the birds. Manzi and Maui usually stay away from her, but if Maui is at the bottom of her cage working on her boxes, then she puffs up and aggressively tries to bite the baby.

This could result in a very bad situation all around. We have been blockading the cage, but that has been stressing out Manzi quite a bit. Maui seems to care less and still does her own thing, but Manzi will stay at the top, far corner as far away from the blockade as possible. Finally yesterday we bought some plexiglass and covered the bottom couple of feet of the cage with it. We attached it to the outside of the cage, so the birds can still climb around without problems. It took a $20 tool from harbor freight, $50 worth of plexiglass, and about an hour of time.

Our little girl can no longer put her fingers in the cage and the birds no longer have the ability to teach the fingers the power of a beak.

The birds did not appear to be bothered at all by the plexiglass. It is very clear so I don't think they even see much of it. Maui didn't like my husband attaching the zip ties, reaching inside her cage and she ran after him trying to keep his fingers away!

Maui has been doing great this week. She's hanging upside down as I'm typing this. She has been tearing up her cardboard vigorously and is standing nice and straight when perched.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Copying the baby

I was worried that the birds would copy our baby's cries. They never copied anything until recently. In general, they don't pay her much attention at all. But these last couple of months she began to notice them more and more. Last week, our girl who previously only made one sound, began to make a higher pitch "chirp" whenever she saw the birds. She began to try imitating them. She only made that noise when she saw them. Within two days of our girl doing chirps every time she saw the birds, the both Maui and Manzi began to imitate her "chirps". So the birds imitated our daughter's imitation of them. It is hilarious because now they make that noise when ever they see her. So that encourages her to make the noise even more.

I bought some new toys and toy parts to make toys for the birds. Manzi was particularly interested in this loofah-like toy. So interested in it that within a few minutes he began regurgitating for it (a common breeding behavior). Usually Maui is the only one that encourages her toys to scratch her neck, but with Manzi's new toy, he would take the bell in his foot and help it to scratch his neck.

Maui did not like her new toys as much. She loves yucca wood, but she ignored the rest of them.

Hercules is gaining weight fast. Here is a picture of him:
Those are the legs of a table that he is under, not a chair (just for some size comparison). He now weighs 45 lbs!

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