Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Feeling Some Feels

Moving Mango into my bedroom has been an adjustment for everybody, to say the least. Here are some things that are going on:

1. Mango screams A LOT MORE. She has an all-out screaming tantrum literally every single time I leave my bedroom and nearly every time she can hear anyone's voice in another part of the house. Those two events happen a lot in our house, so there's a lot of screaming. I have been about 95% successful in not opening the door to my bedroom or paying attention to her when she's having a meltdown to show her that screaming doesn't get her any kind of attention at all. The other 5% of the time are moments of sheer desperation, like when I'm running late for work and my glasses are on my bedside table... I can't exactly wait the 5-10 minutes for her to shut her beak and settle down. Obviously my goal is 100% ignoring when she's screaming, which I'm finding very difficult when she's located in the room where 95% of my earthly possessions reside.

2. That being said, she gets A LOT more attention than she used to. She steps up for me inside her cage close to 100% of the time now, and she now steps up for D, steps from my hand to D's hand, and barely bites D anymore. She also gets a lot more shower time, which is a bonus for both of us (less dust/dander in my bedroom... and she loves the shower).

3. The downside to all that additional attention is that she started acting a bit.... breed-y. There was a time last week when for about three days straight I couldn't take her out of her cage without her trying to mate with my hand. I discourage this behavior by distracting her with something like moving my hand away, making her step up, doing a quick touch-training sesh, or just picking her up and setting her down somewhere else. She seemed to pick up the not-so-subtle hints pretty quickly, and now she just does some mild dancing/showing off as opposed to full-on trying to get it on with my hand. Don't get me wrong... I know my hand is extremely sexy. But still. Not ok.

4. I have no segue for this. Loki hasn't gotten much attention in the past two weeks. I've been horrifically busy and I'm lucky if I get to sit with him for 30 minutes at a time. Thankfully my roommate and D have been spending some good quality time with him, and I feel horribly guilty about it all. I keep telling myself it's only temporary, it's only temporary, in a few months D and I will have found our own place and Loki can be in an area of our house where he sees people all the time. But that doesn't stop me from feeling horrible right now. He's still being a champ with touch-training, still won't step up for anybody, and seems to have lots of mood swings. Some days he's super talkative, actively reaches out for head scratches and love, and generally seems happy to see people. Other days he's grumpy and just sits fluffed up on his perch, and will give a warning hiss or fake-out-bite (like he goes to bite, but doesn't actually make contact) if anyone tries to touch him. And it genuinely seems like mood swings and not his preference of one person over another, because he'll react the same way with every person that day. He is going through a bit of a molt, particularly on his head feathers, so that may have something to do with it. I'd be grumpy if I had giant quills erupting from my scalp too. Sigh. I kinda feel like a failure with Loki, but my hands are totally tied as long as we're living in a house with cats. Neither of them can be in an area of the house where the cats can roam (which is everywhere except my bedroom and the bird room).

5. Loki seemed to be a little confused for the first few days after I moved Mango out of the room, but since then I think they've both been happier without each other. Loki doesn't have any bird to hatefully stare at or hear all day, and Mango doesn't get hated at (yeah I said that). They also don't call to one another, which to me is further evidence that neither cares about the move. Most birds will alarm-call at each other when they're separated, just to keep in contact. These guys? Mango only screams at me, and Loki now only has one 5-minute-long yell every evening as the sun goes down. Other than that he's extremely quiet besides occasional babble-greeting-noises when he's in the mood.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Nobody Puts Mango in the Corner!

... except me. I put Mango in the corner.

Crammed in amongst all the other furniture.

Just as a little experiment, I decided to move Mango's cage out of the bird room. I'm thinking that perhaps maybe... just maaaybeeee.... if Loki isn't in the same room as the Evil Fruit Rainbow Bird, his focus will be better. So D and I moved Mango's cage into our bedroom.

Yup. Like, right next to the bed, because that's the only place it will fit (damn seed skirt!).

Last night was our first night with the new change, and we made sure to cover Mango's cage with a sheet. D would roll over. Mango would start moving around, which would wake me up. Then D would wake up. Than at random times throughout the night, Loki would just start screaming. 11:00 PM. 12:00 AM. 2:00 AM. 5:00 AM. That woke my roommate up.

Birds. They are loud little people.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Everyone Thinks Mango is Sooooo Cute.

And they're totally right.

She's been a real little rainbow nugget of joy to have around. She still gets pissy and territorial at times, but for the most part she's extremely sweet and willing to learn. I've learned all her favorite places in her cage. There are "step-up zones" and "no step-up zones," and I'm actually ok with that for now. If she wants to act a crazy fool when she's on the grape vine perch, and then wants to step-up when she's on the rope boing, that's ok. We're working on it. She loves coming out of her cage, so more often than not she's waiting impatiently on the rope boing, making little clucking and mumbling noises, until I come over and ask her to step up.

Well, at least SOMEONE likes the new pellets.

She hasn't picked up touch training as quickly as Loki because she's extremely A.D.D. and loses focus really fast. We do training in short, 5-minute bursts several times a day. She still lacks some confidence when it comes to balance, so she's not willing to chase the stick everywhere like Loki will, but she gets a little better every day. She'll allow me to set her down on almost every surface, including the floor, countertops, my bed, and various perches. She hardly ever balks. She's also getting better about stepping up from my shoulder. She even stepped up onto my roommate's hand directly FROM my shoulder. I feel like a soccer mom who is telling her captive audience every single time Little Susie kicked the ball during the game. These are small accomplishments, but I really couldn't be prouder.

Also, she learned how to use a ladder.

I know that I'm going to find a training method that will work with Loki, and he's going to gain confidence and be just as bold, adventurous, and sweet as Mango. I want that to magically happen tomorrow, but I'm willing to wait however long it takes for my boy to come out of his shell.