Our newest flock member, Maverick, is a lovely boy. I have to say again, we’re so happy to have him join our flock – but the experience is bittersweet. His owners, as I mentioned, had to give him up for personal reasons, and so while we’re excited, it’s still heartbreaking to imagine. I know I’d be devastated in the same situation.
Maverick has spent the day settling in and getting to know us. We left everyone this morning with breakfast and toys and went to class; upon our return, we sat with each of the birds for awhile. Mavi was excited and looked pretty aggressive; we let him calm down a bit, then opened his cage door. Out like a shot, haha. He’s been a bit stroppy – not wanting to step up, testing us, and pushing the boundaries. Also doing this strange motion like Mishka’s beak-hammering, but slowly and deliberately. Maverick is a lot more willing to step up nicely for me, though, and, in fact, if I’m in the room that’s where he wants to be. I have a feeling that more time will give him confidence in stepping up for us.
I left him and O. alone to get to know each other while I blog. Maverick gets 15-20 minute intervals out of cage, followed by some time back in cage to relax with either of us near by (which he is happy to do). Apparently during his time out, he climbed up O.’s shoulder and was quite happily preening, but bit when asked to come down – not hard, but grabbed a beak-ful of skin and ground his upper and lower mandible.
O. didn’t react and gently removed him. I think shoulders have to be off-limits for him until he’s happy enough to step up for us.
Although Mavi has been testing the boundaries, we haven’t had much issue with returning him to his cage (a known issue in the past), at least not yet. I have plans to touch train him in and around the cage and onto our hands. We’ve also briefly practised just setting him inside the cage on the front perch, shutting the door, offering a treat, and then letting him back out after a minute. We also fed him some pomegranate seeds while he was on his cage top.
I love watching him eat with his feet – neither of my two smaller parrots do. In so many regards, he’s nothing like the other two. His body language, his personality, his size. We have a lot to learn. Apparently these African parrots also have a dominant figure in their flocks. Huh.
The other birds seem to be okay with him, though they can only hear him. I make sure to give them extra snuggles and attention so they’re not jealous. Mishka had a nap on my hip, and Ptak foraged around on the floor for a solid half an hour before he became distracted and tried to lure me into the bathroom for a shower. I should probably go give him one…
Anyway, it’s off to read some more about Senegal flock behaviour!