Days 9-11 – Parrots Have Bad Habits.


Day 9: Worst habit.

You might think ‘worst habit’ and ‘parrot’ would automatically equal something along the lines of chewing, biting, etc., but all that is really only a fact of life. (That’s not to say sometimes I don’t wish parrots were less voracious chewers!)

Ptak’s worst habit is getting underfoot. The little monster likes to romp around the floor. We have to be very careful where we step – check before you move in this house – not only for fear of accidentally crushing him, but for him chasing our toes.

Mavi’s worst habit is bullying the other birds. It’s explainable by instinct, but it does limit who can be out with him.

Mishka’s is flying at our faces when we serve food. She goes a bit crazy when we are in the living room. I figure that she regards it as her own space, plus Pip’s in there – and Pip is her ‘mate.’

And Pip’s is trying to make an escape when we open her cage. Sometimes it’s okay, but there are certainly times when we can’t let everyone or anyone out.


Day 10: Birdie schedules.

Wake up. Sing the songs of their people. Make sure the human is alert so she can serve breakfast the right way. Not the wrong way.

Wait impatiently whilst cage is cleaned and papers are swapped. Inspect breakfast when it’s served. It’s probably wrong. Reject it.

Play in cage. Get hungry and go to bottom to see what can’t be salvaged.

Eat some food. Fling liberally against walls by shaking your head. Delight in the plop that fresh fruit makes against the floor. Make pellet soup in water bowls. Watch as the human fetches fresh water. Promptly drop more pellets in. Maybe they’ll react differently this time.

Play vigorously in cages until human comes for outside-time.

Outside! Try to chew everything that the human touches. But not the toys. The toys aren’t for chewing. The human spent too much money on that toy to ruin it! But the couch… the couch is good for chewings.

Be stopped from ultimate mission of decorating the couch! Pretend to be thoroughly engaged with an empty crisp packet. Nope, not interested in the couch anymore. Sneak closer to target. Now drop! Chew!

Be retrieved. Play casually on cage, then go bother other birds. Try to bite off their toes. Laugh at how they dance and yelp!

Be retrieved again and plied with food in another room. This time the food is okay. Begrudgingly eat it, but only from a shoulder. Fling some into human’s ear and neck for good measure.

Relax whilst the human cleans up.

Bath-time! Reject because the water is too wet today.

Be cajoled into a light misting instead. But only briefly. The spray nozzle is suspicious this afternoon. Tomorrow it’ll probably be okay. It’s just now.

Preen on human’s shoulder.

More play-time! Initiate by launching off human’s shoulder, careening around the room, and crashing into the human’s face. Ignore upraised hand. It was no good. For good measure, bite the hand. What? The human still has another one to feed you with.

Supervise chores. Help by making more messes for the human to clean so that she is not bored.

Dinner time! Yay! Food! Make a great, piggy mess. Halfway through, with your feet, face, and beak covered in your meal, run knee-deep into the human’s food and help yourself to what’s in the middle of the plate. Only the middle. The middle is where the human stashes all the tasty things that she doesn’t want you to have. Have this belief confirmed by the human’s reaction of horror.

Nap-time in the cage. Assuming the door is left open, nap for 10-25 minutes, followed by a little preen session, followed by letting the human know (very noisily) that nap-time is over. If door is closed, refuse to do anything but cling to the bars and shout hopelessly.

Pre-bedtime cuddles. Sit on the human’s knee and look cute. The treats will follow.

Bedtime! Resist! Flap madly around the room in an effort to avoid this most horrible of horrible times. Why can’t there be more treats? More play? More cuddles?

Trick the human into giving you a second bedtime cuddle. Reluctantly go into cage, plied only by a single hemp seed.

Vow to accept only two hemp seeds for your efforts tomorrow, no less. Forget because hemp is delicious.

Mutter to self until well after the light’s turned out.



Day 11: Something the birds do that makes me smile.

The birds are constantly making me laugh. They’re little clowns! As frustrating as they can be, they bring a lot of joy into my life as well.

Pip always makes me smile when she greets us in the mornings. She has a distinct ‘hello, good morning, feed me!’ call that coincides with the exact moment she thinks we’re awake. There is a reason why we call her Pippo the Hippo.

Speaking of songs, Mishka has actually just started to experiment with the theme of Caesar III (game). I don’t play it that much – so it’s quite impressive. She started singing it out of the blue a few days ago, and I thought perhaps she was just having fun. Singing is serious business to her, though, and the next day when I was playing and the theme popped up, she leapt onto my shoulder and screeched it into my ear. I spent a good few minutes having a laugh.

Or there’s this moment of hers:

Mavi, of course, is just adorable. He has learnt ‘I LOVE you, Mavi!’ and now blows kisses when you tell him you love him too.

When sleepy, Ptak likes to wiggle under your blankets or the collar of your shirt. As he’s a nippy wee thing, I was quite cautious the first time he did this. But he just squirmed under and fell asleep nestled against me.


Bobo sings, too, but in a much more human way than Mishka. It never fails to make me laugh watching one of his videos.


P.S. Thank you all so much for your continued contributions to my ‘get the birds home’ fund – we have raised $185 so far! If you’d still like to help, I have gifts to offer: details found here.

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