Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Changes

Charlie is our 21 year old White Fronted Amazon that we adopted last year.  He is the second WFA that we have had.  I adopted Merlin as a 34+ year old bird with health problems who passed away after two years.  I adopted Charlie knowing that he "prefers men".  He clearly prefers my husband Rick, and the two have formed a close relationship.

Almost exactly in tune with the Spring forward time change, Charlie began to change in some ways.  He seems restless, bored and frustrated some of the time.  He calls to us much more often.  He calls with a cute, "woo woo" whistle, and we respond with the same whistle.  I increased his foraging opportunities, changed his toys and am trying to make sure he gets plenty of sleep.

Today, I was hanging out in my bird room/office and working on the computer and he began to make a loud whistle sound.  Not a scream, but a loud whistle, that is not a sound I want to hear all the time!  He continued with it for a while and I ignored it.  After a little while, I left the room.  Partly because I needed to go into the other room, but partly because I wanted him to recognize that when I hear that, I go.  Once he was quiet and making quieter noises, I came back in.  He didn't make the noise anymore, but was still restless.  I realize that he is needing some more mental stimulation and possibly exercise.

After I came back in, I did a little training with him.  Nothing big, just a little work on stick training, to which he is was very into.  Then, I moved a bottlebrush stand, that I use for one of my other birds, over to him.  I moved it close enough so that he could reach into the food cup from his cage.  I put some treats in there. He did not get onto the stand (I don't think) but he did take the treats and step onto the seed cup a few times. After about 30 minutes of this, he quietly went back into his cage and is grooming and getting ready to nap.

I realize he needs something, he needs more to do and think about.  Here is my plan:

  • Increase his training sessions
  • Start teaching wing flapping for exercise
  • More foraging opportunities 
  • More toy changes/rotations
  • More shower/misting training (he doesn't like it, but is getting more comfortable with it and I know he needs it)
  • A new stand of his own to put near his cage for another play to forage and play
  • As soon as the weather is good, I will be working on getting him out into the aviary for sunshine, fresh air and a little flying around