Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quicksilver the African Grey Parrot and the Laundry Room Cupboard Battle, Part 2, the Washington Heights Red-tails and a Trio of Water Loving Species

As those of you, who visited the blog yesterday will remember ,  Quicksilver being a mature African Grey male, is drenched in hormones and he is bound and determined to guard a "cavity",- in this case, a shelf in the laundry room. (If you haven't seen yesterday's blog, scroll down and read the first part then come back up for this one.

You will also remember I ended up nailing a blanket across the entrance to the laundry room, while holding an umbrella over my head to avoid parrot dive bombs.   The laundry room  doesn't have a door hence the blanket so Silver couldn't go back in, inhabit a shelf "cavity", and do fly outs at my head some more..

Well, Silver got up this morning, looked at the blanket over the door and decided revenge would be sweet.  So periodically he landed on my desk, my nightstand, where ever and attempted to chew paper, books, pens, bobby pins...anything he could get his beak on out of sheer pique. 

I covered the desk and it's contents with a sheet.

I also covered the keyboard of the computer with a towel.  He once popped every single letter, number, whatever, off the keyboard.  Sure they'd pop easily back on.  But who knew exactly where each one went.  I had to have a friend take a picture of her keyboard and give it to me so reconstruction could occur. 

Silver says, "Want carrot".  I get him a carrot and put the carrot and the parrot on his play area by the window so he can watch the outside birds at the feeder while he eats.

He appears unimpressed but decides to eat the carrot anyway.

Suddenly about an hour later I look at Silver's play parrot.

The bottom of the blanket over the door is in a different position.  The little bugger has gone under.

I go to the laundry room and there he is sitting as above, with one foot on a box of Arm and Hammer and the other on a can of Resolve carpet cleaner in a bottom shelf, looking baleful.  

He does not fly at my head.

Fine.  I leave him there.

  I go back into the laundry room to check on him.
11:25:42 AM  Well, my my, he's gotten the cupboard door open, he's hanging by his feet...and staring at me.
 11:25:48 AM  Silver puts his head down, and appears to be attempting to slide his feet toward the unattached corner of the cupboard door.  He loves the top shelf of the top cupboard best.
11:25:58 AM  He looks at me again.  I guess he doesn't want me to see his technique.  Fine.  I head for the living room.

11:44:45  AM   I return.  Silver is hanging from his beak feet scrabbling for purchase.

Is he stuck?  Did he go up the side of the door but now that he's no longer in reach of the side while his beak is on the top of  the he having a problem?  His expression is either very intent or...
11:45:03 AM   I come round the door for a different angle.  His feet continue to grope for purchase.  Is his beak stuck?  Maybe.  I better get him down.  I get the perch stick and put it under his feet.  They grip.  He turns around and flies at my head.

Stuck or not he didn't appreciate the help.  He is on the dryer now, feathers on end, glaring at me, crouched for another pounce.

I leave the laundry room.

2:13:07 PM  I return to the laundry room.  Silver is still, or back on the dryer, one foot up, dozing.

I say, UP.  He steps up onto my hand nicely.  I take him to his cage for a nap.

And while he is napping I decide I have to do something so he doesn't get stuck on the cupboard door again.

While Silver is sleeping I take the perch stick, actually a length of PVC pipe, and zip tie it to the handles of  the cupboards.

OK, I know it isn't foolproof.  Conceivably he can even stand on the pipe and clip the zip ties off with his beak. Zip Zap. Though he couldn't stand there and clip the second one...likely anyway.  It would take awhile...

With a parrot there isn't much that is parrot proof.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

In the meantime,
Red-Tailed Hawk (7956)
Photo courtesy of

Rob Schmunk, of Morningside Hawks took a trip over to see the Washington Heights Red-tails and yes, there has been a hatch.  For more click on the link under his photo above.

But while I was looking at the photos I noticed that Dad has a very long cowl.  The length of it over the front of the shoulders of this hawk is somewhat rare.

                      Photo courtesy of
See how the color of Dad's head continues down past his shoulders?  The only hawk in Manhattan that I know of with this characteristic is Isolde, one of the Morningside Park hawks at the Cathedral Nest of St. John the Divine.  And the Mom of the Washington Heights nest appears from the photos to have the physicality of Pale Male's line.

All conjecture of course but we do know now that Red-tailed  Hawks do tend to come back and nest in or near their original natal territory. 

 And Last But Not Least...Wisconsin Waterfowl...taken near dusk.
And I will be the first to admit my waterfowl identification skills are rusty...Blue Winged Teal...

  And the mystery birds of the day, two little shore birds...
This one?
And this one?  

Both taken near the end of the day on the Mill Race of the Sugar River, Brodhead, WI

Anyone want to take a crack at them?

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne 


Karen Anne said...

Birds only defend their nesting area, I am guessing? Any place you could cede to him for the duration?

-- et -- said...

Perhaps the mystery birds are sanderlings?

palemalemarcher said...

My guess,Solitary sandpipers

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Karen Anne,

The common wisdom is to try and avoid allowing them to do anything that will increase their hormone level. Try not to allow them paper to chew,use cavities,etc.

But Silver has just become terribly hormonal this year anyway. Yesterday I tried giving him another set of shelves upstairs where there is little or no other creature traffic. He would have none of it. He wants the laundry room shelves. Perhaps part of the criteria for a "nesting spot" is that as he is waiting for a female is that there has to be a possibility of her showing up. Hence upstairs doesn't work as no one is there? In actuality as he's never seen another African Grey in the flesh since he was three months old, it isn't even clear to him, what he is looking for. And the laundry room seems to have whatever criteria he's presently working under. Sigh.