The rules are easy, just post 10 things that recently made you happy! Then tag 10 (or six or whatever) people and force them to post this meme on their LJs. Because it is good. Everyone needs a little happiness once in awhile.
Yeah, how's that regular updating working out for me?
Micah's had an interesting month.
First of all, Micah became a pretty damn excellent flier. She's become very independent now, and flies where she wants to go quite frequently. It's very nice, because she's gotten into a routine where she'll actually fly to her boing to poop before bed, and then eat a little bit and put herself to bed. It's nice to not have to ferry her around everywhere.
How-EV-er, we got a little intruder. The Intruder is a natural flier, having never been clipped in his whole 5 years. He is the same species of bird she is, a gold cap conure. The entire flock decided HE WAS A DEVIL BIRD. Screamy, yelly, bitey, attackey! Hates strangers, didn't like being in his cage, didn't play with toys, didn't use perches. HOY. He annoyed the crap out of her.
They don't hate one another, but they aren't best pals either.
I used a lot of mixed tense regarding the Intruder because we clipped his wings last week and the change is remarkable. He is no longer as loud, he cannot fly to attack people, he likes the cage we got him (he didn't like his cages really, and it was tough to get him to sit in them), he sits on perches and he plays with toys. He has taken after Micah in that if there's nothing to do with the people, there is defaulting to sleeping. Not what I want, but it sure as hell is better than defaulting to screaming.
They flew together at their first week at fly group and it got Micah to fly more because she was competing with him a bit. Since then, though, she's been back to her old habit of flying like a woodstock helicopter or something. Not the most confident of flights. A few scuffles over who gets to sit on what where.
Since he's had his wings clipped, he wants to be more friendly with her, attempting to snuggle up to her several times and asking to be preened. They're both very new at this kind of interaction so it's all a little shaky and rough, but that's ok. No one's lost an eye yet. Ha. We'll definitely be watching THAT stuff pretty closely. Please, darling, not that close to the eye!!
However it is so very sweet to see him try to snuggle her. Sometimes she's not expecting it, so when he pushes in to snuggle her, he nearly body-checks her off her perch.
Micah's fuzz is actually very slowly progressing, but it seems stable. She's got some nice thick down on one side of her. So, maybe ever so slowly we'll get more down on the other half of her chest and over her legs. I can only hope, considering the vet says there's more chance that she won't grow any more feathers due to damage to the follicles. :( I'm still pulling for down, at LEAST.
Micah's real parents Jennifer and Neil came by this month and were able to say hi and love on the nirds. The Intruder bird tried to bite Neil several times. :/
Jennifer and Neil got to come to flight group for a few minutes. It was brief but nice.
Micah has been going to Matthew's office with him... he even has a cheap cage there to settle her in, which she loves. Apparently, she has an all new love interest. She displays for him, tries to make or display a nest in the corner of the cage, that kind of thing... She's always happy to see him. Unfortunately, she was just so excited, she pooped. A lot. So... Yugh. Apologies, Matthew's co worker.
The thing that made me think of wanting to say anything is that when I walked downstairs to get a glass of water, Micah greeted me in this tiny, happy "grefrooforofrroo" noise. She tends to give me a happy noise when she hears me come down the first time. However, if I push it and try to hang out next to her cage or talk to her, her noises get angry, "FWEEEEEEE!" The devil bird in the cage next to her squeals angrily at me, too. Let sleeping birds lie!
Micah hss lots of news, but I only have the energy to talk about one thing today.
Today she actually interacted with another bird! She usually completely ignores any birds not in flight. She yells her head off when the macaws are flying but is otherwise very nonplussed by her fellow flighted creatures.
Today she hung out a bit with a nanday conure. She's hung out with this conure before and hardly even acknowledged his presence before. Today, well... It wasn't the very best interaction ever. She reached over with her beak open, like she wanted to chew on his feathers. Then she noticed his toes, and asked, with a beakful of toe, "Do your toes taste good?" The correct answer, of course, was, "OFF MY TOES, BITCH!"
She also reacted to a blue and gold macaw. She does NOT LIKE Jessie. The feeling is mutual, Jessie wants to Kill All Conures. Micah flew to Debbie and Jessie was with Debbie. Micah landed on Debbie's shoulder and then squeak-bonked at Jessie. Ha.
Oh one other thing. Micah flew "down" today. I forgot about the idea that "down" would be different than "up." Up is easy! Down, not so much. We should practice flying Micah down the stairs or something. So next week's fly group, hopefully we can get her to fly down from the loft area several times, so she gets used to flying down. That'll be important if she ever flies up into a tree.
I also heard about a sixty acre soccer field with roads that are miles away from the soccer field. It seems like it'd be a great place to teach Micah about these funny things called "drafts" that happen outside. Wind!! :O Birds can go a lot further with a nice draft, so hopefully we can teach her how to handle changing drafts.
Basically, I want to fly her in a lot of different situations and get her recalling in as many situations as possible so if anything should ever happen, I could recover her easily.
Plus, the last thing I'd want is for her to fly away into a situation she didn't know how to handle. One huge fear of mine is her flying out into a heavy automobile traffic area. Cars make weird drafts, and I'm not sure she knows how to handle cars, other than trying to get into them to go places. There's really no way to practice dealing with cars, of course, but we can practice dealing with drafts.
It's a very scary world for a little companion bird who has never lived in the wild! Outside birds know how to handle cars, drafts and predators. Little Micahbird doesn't know any of these things. :( Poor little Micahbird depends on us to keep her safe. Sometimes that makes me feel funny.
Funny like, it's such a huge responsibility. It's so bizarre to me how we have taken a wild thing and made it totally... well, we don't make it not wild, she's still a wild animal. But we've taken away all the advantages to being wild. And I feel funny-weird because, well, what if I can't keep her safe? What if something happens and she gets away from me somehow, in spite of all I'm trying to do to keep her from getting away? I can hope that all the things I've tried to teach her are enough to keep her safe...
But I feel like a parent sometimes. It's scary. I'm not going to do it "in real life" with a real baby. No way.
All right, now we've stopped talking about birds.
More about Micah and her attack-bird antics later.
I didn't do it! I'm not really locked up here most of the time but for reasons I do not disclose, I really enjoy being in here and refuse to come out on my own, even if the door is open, I know how to fly, and I really need to poop. Did I mention, I refuse to poop in here?
I got new food recently. This stuff is too big for me to chomp normally, so I have to hold it and chew it piece by piece.
This video shows Micah flying to her cage and to her boing. We still have to work on recall and other commands as well as give her practice on flying in a straight line with more control and landing with more control, she's already worlds away from where we started.
Her first flights, when we could convince her to let go of our hands (mind you, we started out having to literally toss her into the air because she had NO idea what we wanted from her), was wild and panicked. I felt horrible in the beginning, to tell you the truth. She was obviously scared. Who would have thought flying would scare a bird? But she was scared, and her panicked flights were totally off the wall. She was EVERYWHERE.
Then, landing, well... she didn't so much land as hover over something until it either came to her or she slowly managed to lower herself onto it. This is a great alternative to simply smacking into things and I'm grateful she was able to do it, but it wasn't at all what I would call "landing!"
Now, she has learned that when we put her on our thumbs, we're going to ask her to fly somewhere. She's still really dependent on us to put her on her thumb, unless she's got an URGENT need to be somewhere else. I've been working on making sure she knows that when she is on my index finger she STAYS there, and we're also working on ways of teaching her that it is ok to fly from, say, her boing to her cage when we tell her to. Really, I just want her to fly where I tell her to, so if something bad should happen and she flies outside when I don't intend her to, I can recall her from wherever she's gotten herself.
Already, she has learned what I mean when I say, "fly to your cage," "fly to your poo palace," "fly to your boing," and "fly where you want."
If I just say, "go! fly!" she will usually fly to her cage or poo palace. She will also fly where I point.
The most interesting part is that it appears it is not just coincidence that she flies where I ask her to, evidenced by what happens when I tell her, "fly where you want." When we were at fly group, she desperately wanted to fly to Debbie, but I kept asking her to fly to her poo palace. She would sometimes fly straight to her poo palace and sometimes fly over to Debbie, consider her briefly, then readjust her course and continue flying to her poo palace. Then I said, "fly where you want!" She flew straight to Debbie and landed on her!
Of course, once when I said, "fly to your poo palace," she inexplicably flew to the big perch with the blue and gold macaw that would definitely love to "kill a conure". The macaw was a good bird, though. It scared the bejeezus out of me. I kept asking her, "why? why? why did you fly there? why?" She's never flown to that bird or that perch before. Sheesh.
Anyway, she's doing really well with the flying and I hope she'll continue to improve and by summertime she'll be recalling or just flying when we tell her to, where we tell her to. It would put my mind at ease a bit, knowing that she might fly down to me from a tree or wherever she might get herself. I guess she's flown to a tree before she came to live with us, and fire fighters had to rescue her! Silly bird. I bet she loved the fire fighters, though!
In other news, one of the green winged macaws flew onto Micah's perch for no good reason (it was "visit birds who probably won't like you landing next to them" day I guess), and I ran over, yelping, and someone said, "Oh, Molly won't hurt Micah!" I said, "It's not Micah I'm worried about!" Sure enough, though Molly was whisked away quickly, Micah was pissed and was going to "kill a green wing." Micah, you are a little bird. ....With a sharp beak. The Macaws have big strong beaks, but conures little beaks are sharp, sharp, sharp!
Good thing this doesn't happen often and we're always watching these birds closely. We kinda have to, with the Eclectus always almost literally underfoot.