March 16, 2012 @ 12:00 PM


Parrot Fever
Spring is near.  The snowdrops have flowered, the crocuses have poked their bright green heads above the ground and I awake to the trilling sounds of the outdoor birds.  Their melodies are livelier, louder…pretty-little sing- song tunes to attract their future mates and define their territories.   Geese have paired, chosen their nests and are feeling the inherent urge to procreate. 
This spring fervor spills over to my indoor birds as well.  When I arrive home, the flock calls are revved up, their need for individual attention rises and they are…well…a little nippy!  You know the signs! 

Indian Ringneck and Amazon
Skylar and Andy are proving to be the challenge this particular mating season.  Skylar, a shy, reserved Indian Ringneck has decided that Andy (Double Yellowheaded Amazon) is his new best friend! 

Skylar’s an odd bird.  He came to us six years ago when he was five months old. He was very freighted of humans.  Just walking by the cage sent him into a panic…flapping and flaying off the walls of his cage.  It took months and months of gentle, reserved approach to gain his confidence He is much calmer now and is a happy, healthy member of the flock. 

A few years ago, he developed a friendship, of sorts, with Billy, following him around like a younger brother, getting into trouble and mimicking Billy’s actions.  Billy never paid him much attention. This spring though, Skylar is fixated with Andy. Why this year?  What sparked the fascination?  I haven’t a clue.  Andy has lived with us for over 2 years and Skylar never showed interest.

Every evening, Skylar is anxious for release from his cage and immediately heads into the next room to meet-up with Andy.  They walk around aimlessly, talking, and posturing.  Sometimes they climb to the top of Andy’s huge cage to play with his toys.   It’s a comical scene, a small little Ringneck going beak to beak with this large Amazon three times his size! 

The difficulty is trying to corral them back to their cages when playtime is over.  Any other time this isn’t a problem.  A simple step-up command is all that’s needed. However when the two are side-by-side, one will charge while the other tries to nip!  I play cat-and-mouse trying to coerce one or the other to step-up.  I’ve suffered a few pinches, squeezes and near misses! 

I’m extremely happy that they are friends and that they entertain themselves for hours but I will look forward to the end of the “fevered” season for the flock.  It’s a ritual of spring, I know, and it will disappear as quickly as the weather changes in Indiana!