Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pale Male's Nest, Thompkin's Square Red-tails and Quicksilver the African Grey Parrot Goes Berserk in The Laundry Room

Photo courtesy of www.palemale.com/

Octavia feeds the eyasses.  One is upright these days and her whole head is visible.  Two can be seen just right of One.  See the bit of top of head fluff above the twigs and between them as well?  As to a Three, only time and getting taller will reveal her if she's there.

Some hawkwatchers guessing by early feeding motions suggest that there might yet be a Three in there.

 Stay tuned!
Photo by Francois Portmann /http://fotoportmann.com/birds/

One of  Francois' beautiful nest cam shots of the Thompkins Square Hawk Nest.  Mom not only sits the three eggs she also does a little interior decorating at the same time.
 When we last saw Quicksilver the hormonal African Grey Parrot he had set himself up in the top section of the lower laundry cupboard.  Grey's are cavity nesters and Silver is doing his best to attract a mate.  

And I keep interfering.  When I got him out of the cupboard and put him to bed last night, I took the cloth off the shelf and hid it.  

Do understand I'm not being mean.  Silver does not have a mate and  the more hormonal and "nesty" he becomes, the more likely he is to be miserable, loose control, and dive bomb  someone, i.e. me.

Therefore I am attempting to rid his areas of anything that could make things worse.  

Chewing paper activates the problem so I'm placing towels under his play and food areas instead of the usual paper.

I also keep taking Silver out of the laundry room but can't keep him in his cage all day.  Plus he is flighted because there are two cats in the house, and a periodic Basenji, all who are his buddies...but hey, one never knows when "play" might get weird  and I don't want him to be a sitting duck.

I put him in his play area in the bow window with all sorts of goodies and toys.  I start to do some work.

CRASH!!!! Tink!  Thump!


A cap, bits of chewed  toilet paper, a light bulb, silver polish and the Crash...no doubt the big aerosol can of Lysol.

Yup.  Check out the top picture. The Lysol is prominently displayed on the center shelf...

Where it no longer is.  Now the prominent display is a Grey Parrot.  He's on a different shelf than he was yesterday.

I get him down on a stick, amidst much beak clicking and feather ruffling, and put him back in his play area.  

Unfortunately the laundry room does not currently have a door.

A little later, though I'd not heard any crashes, I went to check on him anyway.

He was GONE.   I hadn't heard any wings so he must have walked past me.  Quite stealthy of him to have figured that out actually.
Alright how did he get the closed cupboard open?  And  the stick perch isn't long enough to get him.  He doesn't look all that amiable actually.

 See how ruffled up his neck feathers are and how he's crouched?  He's not going to give up easily.

How did he get all the way up and into that cupboard?  His wing span is wider than that and it isn't as if he has to practice flight niceties.  He flies from one perch to another.  His flying isn't the same as an outside bird who has learned all the tricks, finesse, and fine points of flying because it is a matter of survival.

In a previous picture the door is ever so slightly ajar.  Did he climb the toilet paper or just chew on it for awhile?  He may have gotten to that bottom shelf and then flapped or crawled his way up?

I come closer.

 Silver looks down at the dryer, one of his favorite places to perch, and says "Want Up".

Why doesn't he just fly down there?  
 He looks at me and says, "Want UP!",  more forcefully. The perch stick isn't going to reach.  I'll have to climb up on the washer.  What if he flies at my head again while I'm standing on the washer?
Silver cocks his head and makes a kissie noise at me.  He's trying CHARM? 

 Then I realize he is nervous about flying out of the cupboard. The space is too narrow.   I push  the door open further.

Before I can even get the camera to my eye, I shoot blind, and Silver does a curve very close to my head and heads for the dryer. 

 Silver lands and says, "Want some dinner", so I pick him up and take him to where he wants to go. I close the cupboard. No problems at all.  He eats dinner.

There are no more pictures because before long things got very wacky. 

Silver ate and seemed perfectly happy talking away in his play area.   

Eventually I realized that things had gotten quiet.  I went on the hunt.  Of course he was in the laundry room. This time he was  hanging from his beak then he'd scuffle his feet up onto the handle and try to open the door of the cupboard with his beak.  It wasn't working this time.  

This is a frustrated parrot.

I got the perch stick and put it under his feet.  He got on it and immediately launched himself at my head.  I ducked and turned off the light in the laundry room.  Not dark enough yet.  He keeps swooping at me.  Every feather on end.  He's not biting or anything yet.  Just bombing me.

Okay!  THAT'S IT!  I get the umbrella and put it up.  Mistake.  I've forgotten how much he hates umbrellas.  He is really crazy now.  He stands on his cage and screams he is so angry.  But TA DA he is no longer flying at my head.

This is better...well sort of.

I keep the umbrella up, drag a chair over, go and get a blanket, hammer, and nails. This takes a lot of juggling and likely looked completely hilarious.

Wish I had video.

Here I am standing on a chair,  in the doorway to the laundry room attempting to balance an umbrella on my shoulder to protect myself from hurtling parrots, while holding the blanket up to the molding, and pounding nails into it to cover  the doorway while the parrot in question screams two feet away, at times interspersed with the sound of  the smoke alarm, in abject frustration.   

It took awhile but...   
 TA DA!  I took down the umbrella.  Silver quit screaming.  Put the other goodies away and by the time I got back Silver was quietly standing on the top of his cage, that's his cage cover on the right of the photo.  He looked at me and said softly, "Tired".

Poor guy, I'm sure he was.  I didn't feel much like a spring daisy myself.  But he got docilely on my hand on command and I put him in his cage to sleep.

I told him it was time to go to sleep and that he was pretty and very smart and he had pretty toes and that I loved him and he should have a good sleep, like I do every night.

And for the first time ever he said softly, "Love you",  back.

We'll be keeping that doorway covered for a good while to come.

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

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