Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Scroll down for 8/27/20 updated responses
Christopher G. writes:
I have a question about bird behavior, and I thought it might find a home in the birdie brunch.
We have a four-year-old green cheek conure and a three-year-old Hahns macaw.
We keep them in travel/sleeping cages in our bedroom at night, with the doors unlatched so they can come out in the morning whenever they want.
Recently, at night, we have found our green cheek to have left her sleeping cage and nestled into a tight space between the two cages, underneath the towels that cover the cage.
She seems to prefer this arrangement instead of being perched in her cage.
There have been no changes to her cage recently.
I am inclined to allow her to sleep where she prefers, but also don’t want to encourage nesting activity if that is what is at stake here.
All other behavior seems normal, we’ve been spending much more time with them the past four or five months.
Curious to hear your opinions or insights.
Hey Chris good to hear from you brother .
I was thinking about you recently but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Kudos on the Hahns, a species far too overlooked providing a pet birdkeeper with “small macaw” basically the best of both worlds.
Most people don’t realize Hahns “macaws” are the size of sun conures.
I remember your GCC.
You are right about nesting activity.
Is there a way you can “pin” the towels to the cage walls so she can’t get under them?
It’s a bird wanting to be a mommy.
I talk about that here:
How Pet Bird Keepers Get The Lighting Thing Wrong
With regards to thinking about you recently, I don’t know if you’re following our adventures having moved to Lowell Indiana last spring.
Your contact information on the back of a business card floated up when I was arranging my desk last week.
At one time we spoke about you doing work on the bike.
The KZ wasn’t running and discharging and leaking oil.
I knew if I stuck it somewhere it would Fade Into Oblivion.
So when we moved I dropped her off with Danny who I’ve known for 20 years at https://www.amcat.net/gallery – some of his custom builds.
He’s a 20-minute country drive away.
He’s repurposing the KZ to a bobber.
Shorter handlebars, drop the swingarm by 3 in just by changing out shocks, cut out four or five in from the rear fender, and installing a single-seat, all-new LED lighting.
Going from a stock 130 to a 150 rear tire.with white walls by the way with fire engine red Wheels. Gray hammertone motor, black paint red and white pinstripes – no chrome. No rear pegs no Center stand
I can go on I get giddy just thinking about it.
Here’s a look at the beginning of the design phase.
Love to see some video of the expanded flock.
Our family has grown too.
3 rescue birds at Windycity Parrot ~ video
Christopher G. responded with:
Hi Mitch, good to hear back from ya, saw it in the brunch today.
Your KZ sounds like it will be a fun bike, definitely a head-turner. Whitewalls on red wheels.
Classy bobber look!
My steel flock has grown, also… in addition to the 81 GS1100, I got an 81 GS550, and 2003 ktm 525 EXC supermoto, the 74 Sportster 1000, and 2 70’s Honda’s (CL350 and a CJ360). Whew!
And yeah, I guess you never met our little boy, mister Chimichurri, the Hahn’s.
He was kind of a pain in the ass for the first year or two.
Very skittish, nervous, apprehensive to try anything new.
Really disliked change or anything sudden.
Would bite out of fear a lot, and was pretty hostile to any visitors in the house.
2020 has been a breakout year for the guy tho, lots of time and attention spent with him has really blossomed his personality, and it’s truly a gift to be able to be friends with him.
Very perceptive, fun, goofy.
Working on his tolerance of new things, and getting him outdoor cage time where he can see our neighbors on the sidewalk while I work on motorcycles in the garage.
They are both enjoying maximum out of cage time, and our apartment is the bird palace.
Check the video for proof and to meet our little buddy.
The GCC, pineapple zone, or PZ, is also a sweetheart.
They compete for attention, and she takes any that she can get, and always wants more.
I think she continues to bond with me more and more, though I am keen to avoid any sexual stimulation by touching below the neck.
She loves a skritch, though, and always has head/neck pin feathers she is looking for help with.
Ideally, the two birds become friends and assist each other with it, but that’s probably a decade away…
Aside from just trying to find a covered space between cages, she sometimes will post up in the living room behind a set of speakers on top of a bookshelf, and try to roost there.
Not covered or particularly dark, she just prefers it and will defend her decision to sleep there with an aggressive bite and super puffed feathers.
It’s not every single night, though.
We recently painted our bedroom a much darker shade and she had been much keener to spend the night in her sleep cage, the room is significantly darker in the evening/night.
I assume that helps her, even though we cover the cages with towels.
Always thinking about these knuckleheads and trying to provide them with the best life possible.
It takes a lot to listen and learn their body language, and it definitely helps to have a sounding board for these observations.
Overall I am confident that we are raising two well-adjusted parrots, given the circumstances of city living that they didn’t ask for.
Ideally, by the end of the year, I would like to have them trained to tolerate, and maybe even, gasp!, enjoy a flight harness so they can accompany us outside (and on vacations!) without being bound to a cage.
Great to hear back Chris.
Motorcycles like parrots and potato chips have a single thing in common ~ you can’t have just one.
I like your new motorcycle flock.
Never had a Harley but have access to friends rides.
I bought a Honda CB 350 1969 new.
Road it to Tucson, Arizona and hit a cow at 70 miles an hour (stone-cold sober) walked away with a broken jaw.
The girl on the back who was the first date got bruised but that tarnished the relationship.
I had an 80 something Yamaha XS Eleven (shaft Drive) that matched up to your GS1100 which at some point morphed into living room furniture as my family grew in my ex-wife grew impatient.
No, I never met Mister Chimichurri.
I watched the video couple of times he is a great bird (they both are).
I advocate for Hahn’s macaws a lot because everyone thinks all macaws are 3 feet long.
The Ultimate List Of 43 Macaw Species With A Focus On Large Macaws
It looks like you’re doing everything right.
What I’m sure you’re saying is a new dynamic with both birds.
Our ringneck and cockatiel never dunked their food until they started watching the Quaker.
The ringneck is quite verbal with a vocabulary of about 15 or 20 words.
Keto our ringneck talking and whistling ~ video
The cockatiel came from an abandoned house situation and was silent for the first month we had him.
Now he wolfs whistles and says pretty bird about 25 times every morning 6 feet away from my bed.
Because I’m a bird person I think it’s a beautiful sound and it doesn’t bother me at all but the point is he learned it from the ringneck.
You are giving your birds lots of enrichment opportunities and keeping them flighted will reduce hormonal behavior and keep them healthier much like you or I going to the gym.
It’s impossible to worry about every little behavior with the bird because are always 10 steps ahead of us.
This parrot beat 21 Harvard students in a classic memory game
Yes, colors can have a profound impact on any bird’s behavior.
We had a guest blogger who came home one day and her sun conure absolutely freaked out.
Turns out the problem was her new fluorescent color manicure.
Once she removed the nail polish the bird was fine again.
When birds get aggressive in defending their position the bird speak is “leave me the fu*k alone I’m thinking about having babies”.
It’s not a real problem until eggs start showing up.
More of a problem showing up during a molt you have to be very, very conscious of a top-level nutritional program providing a lot of protein and calcium.
I know what you mean about the birds getting together being about a decade away.
Our place in Indiana is an old house (1928 historic) where we offer retail on the first floor and live upstairs.
I like to do much of my work in silence plus I can no longer listen to the news without getting angrier so we take all three birds down to three cages where they can entertain Catherine and customers.
The daily migration process is nothing but comical and we are working it out.
My goal is to have them fly back and forth to their cages nonstop but that’s probably a year or two away.
I have not created quite the labyrinth as in your place but this was a project from last winter originally intended for all three birds – only one was fully flighted at the time, the ringneck.
Now I pick each one up ( except the ringneck that because he still bites) and shuttle them around the room watching for what landing targets they are going to hit next.
Chili is protective of HIS play stand, we’ll see how this all plays out
It’s really fun and rewarding to watch.