Not a baby anymore...

Nani, 3 months old

Lately I've noticed Nani is making a lot of changes both physically and in her personality. She is more independent than when I first took her home, and definitely know what she wants (and what she doesn't). Of course, when she was 4 months old we could make her do just about anything. She was easy to remove from an area we didn't want her to be. Now it's not that simple. For example, the other day after Nani and I took a shower I hung a towel from the shower rod (like always) and she surfed all over it. Problem is, she wants me to stay in the room while she does it. It's a problem because if I go out to say...get dressed, she will start to screech for me to return. So when I came back in she just stared at me, so I figured she was done surfing. I put my finger in front of her only to have it partially bitten off after which she vigorously rubs all over the towel. "Ok, I guess you're not done" I say. We continue this "game" for several minutes leave, scream, return, attack, until mommy gets tired of playing and she turns off the light. Ahhhhh, now she steps up with no problem!

Anyway, physically I have noticed some changes in her appearance over the past month or so. Her little black eyes are starting to turn a reddish brown color. Caique's eyes are usually red when mature. *see below

Secondly, she has been molting quite a bit for a while now, and has recently dropped a few tail feathers. (don't be alarmed by the horrible condition of her tail, she plays hard!) The new ones coming in are quite yellow at the tips. Not all Caique's tails have yellow tipping but many do as they grow into adults. *see below

Her tummy feathers are a creamy white now too. She was a very yellow bellied baby, even more than most, and now most of that yellow is gone. I have a feeling after her next molt the tummy feathers will be the brilliant white all Caiques get as adults, we'll see.
So, my baby is growing up. Partly it's sad, but I am starting to see her real personality and the great individual she is becoming. She is a special soul and I am truly lucky to be able to share my life with her. :-)


MoonGoddess said...

She is so beautiful, molt & all. This is a touching post & warms my heart to hear how she is growing into herself. Such a blessing to be there for her baby stage & now as she becomes the true Nani.

Anonymous said...

Just ignore her when she screams. Returning only reinforces the behavior and you could wind up with an excessive screamer. :)
It is normal for her to test you as she ages. The important thing is to not give into it. When she bites or will not step up, make her step up. If you are afraid of getting bit put a towel over your hand. If she still will not step up, you may need to towel her and put her in the cage for a "time out". Allowing her to push you around now will only result in a screaming, biting, spoiled bird. No offense, please don't take it the wrong way, but it's the truth. Start now and you will never have that problem. :D

DoodleBird said...

Hi, thanks for your comment!

I'm not timid with her, if I really wanted her to come down I'd shut off the light sooner. But by lunging at me she is telling me she's not ready. It's bird language. Biting is not ok, but now I got the point and don't get my finger close enough for her to bite. I simply offer it to see if she wants to come, sometimes she does. It's not out of fear. If I make her do it she will either learn to bite harder to get her way or learn that a hand coming at her means something unpleasant will happen. Turning out the light is my way of making her do what I want. If she were in some sort of danger then that's another story. The best thing to do is ignore biting (I didn't pull my hand away and shriek in pain, I just slowly took it away and left which triggered her contact calls). The "game" was a one time thing, now I just leave for a while and she gets quiet, usually when I return to dry my hair she readily steps up.
In other situations I might handle things differently, but I feel it's important to be in tuned to what they are trying to tell us. She probably had given me other warnings before she tried to bite, and I just didn't recognise them.

Anyway, I really appreciate your advice because I may have given the wrong impression to readers who are thinking about getting a bird or are not experienced in bird keeping...that biting behavior is acceptable. It's not.

Mary said...

DB, not that you care what I think, but I think you're handling everything with Nani perfectly!

Her feathers really are gorgeous. I love it that you have taken these pictures and will be able to compare throughout the years.

I was just marveling this morning at Calypso's (14 y.o. BHC) feathering. In the 5 years we've had him, his tail has turned much more yellow and orange, and his cream chest has started to get yellow flecks. He's becoming even more distinguished :)

Anyway, sorry for rambling -- Nani sure is a beauty!

DoodleBird said...

Mary, of course I care what you think! Thank you so much for the compliment. I really can't imagine what Nani will be like when she's 14! But it's interesting to me that Calypso continues to change in appearance.

Beloved Parrot said...

I think Nani is gorgeous, ragged tail feathers and all. You can tell when a parrot is healthy and happy -- they look like Nani!

I often think if I ever get another parrot (probably never since I'll never outlive the four I have now) it would be a caique.

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Nani's Vocabulary To Date:

Pretty Birdie
Pretty Girl
What Are You Doing?
(variation) Whatcha Doin'?
I Love You
Thank You
Look At You!
Come Here!
Go Poo Poo
Uh Oh
I Don't Want You.