Carly & Piper active, in the air and otherwise!

Posted by Raz on Apr 29th, 2012
2012
Apr 29
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Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It has been 7 months since my last blog post.

Carly’s beach flying was on a bit of a hiatus for awhile after I discovered last fall that there were two nesting pairs of Peregrine falcons whose territories overlapped right around Scripps Pier (our usual starting point). So we have been flying a bit around the Cuyamaca College campus — with Piper — and hit the beach again this weekend on a beautiful warm day after a kelp tank dive (see the nice new Kelp Cam!)

Instead of flying by the pier, where there are fewer human distractions, I let her fly around La Jolla Shores area where there is less likelihood of falcon distractions. Lots of pigeons and seagulls there, and fortunately the crows that had been abundant and always harassing her were no longer around. But instead of getting lots of exercise in the air she chose to do just a couple trips and then spend time visiting with people. What can you do? You can lead a bird to the beach…. She met a nice family of surfers who had just been competing in a girls competition — ages 8 to adult — and enjoyed a lot of time being adored. A new trend? Girls??

Carly & Piper's love nest.

Carly & Piper's love nest.

On the home front, breeding season has been highly active! Piper (4 years old) has still not quite figured out the mechanics, but they are working on it daily. I don’t know about other Grey couples, but this one is not shy about when or where. Carly has been in full nesting furor. I had to put up a sliding door to block off the kitchen because she was so determined to make use of the kitchen cupboards. I think I have successfully set up an area around the cage that is keeping their interest with lots of stuff to chew on and crawl inside: bottlebrush branches, bamboo cuttings, baskets, a wooden nest box, and other goodies. Right now Carly is over there chewing while Piper is keeping watch. When I walk up he does a very fierce display of floofed feathers. At least I think it’s supposed to be fierce.

The nest watch.

The nest watch.

This morning I was biking through Balboa Park, and the San Diego Bird Rescue group was there as usual on Sundays. They have a very nice 7-month old Grey named Siri (great name for a Grey!) who is up for adoption. From what I have heard them say about training it seems the group is on the right track. They have an application process for adoption that includes a home visit, discussion about the responsibilities involved in having a parrot in the home, a visit to their aviary to find a good match, and classes on caring for parrots for those who need them. They directed me to the web site for more info — I asked if they offered classes for other parrot owners — but the web site doesn’t say much. I’d like to know more about how they operate, and their facilities, training methods, etc. It’s nice that they bring a group out to the park to be outdoors and be around different people. (All clipped of course…)

Siri, age 7 months.

Siri, age 7 months.

San Diego Bird Rescue at Balboa Park.
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Carly’s Spring Thang

Posted by Raz on Jan 18th, 2009
2009
Jan 18
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I know, it’s hardly spring by any measure, but Carly is into nesting mode again. She spends much time shredding paper and crawling into small spaces like the nooks in bookcases. I can hardly open a cupboard without her trying to fly into it. I have to leave stacks of newspapers on top of her favorite places so she doesn’t shred books and files. I packed my Christmas presents with the piles of finely shredded newspaper she had created.

I have decided to start training some new tricks. It’s been a long time since we have done anything new, and I hope it will give her some more mental stimulation in a good direction, as well as more opportunities for positive reinforcement in general.

A strange thing happened last night when we started one of our new tricks. Part of it involves incorporating a turn-around and when she would get to that part instead of turning around she began to crouch low, hold her wings out from her body slightly, and make low grunting noises. Never seen this before. It looked a lot like a mating type behavior. sigh

When she was heavily into her nesting behaviors last year, she went through a phase of snipping the feather tips on her belly. (I’ve heard this called a “brood patch” that some birds make where their body will be in contacts eggs when sitting.) It went on for a few months last spring, and she has started that again too. I’m hoping some more bathing and getting a humidifier in here will help a bit. Oddly, it’s not something she does when she’s alone or not getting attention. It’s often when she is doing her regular preening, while hanging out in the evening on her perch or my laptop. Very distressing to see a beautiful fresh feather tip land on my keyboard.

Wendy calls her “one of those oversexed young girls.” Ah, adolescence….

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