Sunday, April 15, 2012

#14 Watch your toes!!!

The Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus roratus, is a parrot native to the Solomon Islands, Sumba, New Guinea and nearby islands, northeastern Australia and the Maluku Islands (Moluccas). It is unusual in the parrot family for its extreme sexual dimorphism of the colours of the plumage; the male having a mostly bright emerald green plumage and the female a mostly bright red and purple/blue plumage.
Kabouter (which means gnome/dwarf) on the left is a Vosmaer Eclectus.He is about 8 years old and I have had him since he was 6 weeks old. He has a great personality and talks quite a lot. He has quite a big vocabulary but like a child he talks when it suits him. His favorite sentence is "Dankie Mammie" (Thank you Mom) which he always says in the appropriate place! He is quite the showman and loves to "brag" or show off...especially when we have visitors! He is a fussy eater and as a result he always has problems with his plumage. If I put food in his bowl that he doesn't like, he makes sure that I see how he tosses it out of the cage!
He is the BEST watchdog we have ever had! According to the sound that he makes, I will know if Ruan comes home in the middle of the night, or whether it is  stranger at the gate. He also isn't very aggressive and will go to almost anyone. He is, however, very noisy! Anything (human or animal) that moves within his field of vision, he announces...rather loudly! 
He woke us up one night in the early morning hours (+ 4 am) and when we investigated there was a burglar climbing over the fence! Needless to say, he "saved" us an unpleasant incident!
He hates the pigeons and doves that land on the veranda where his cage is and will squawk until someone comes to chase them away! I have considered giving him away many times because he is so noisy, but have never had the heart to do it! He is quite a character our naughty, noisy Kabouter!

Now this Madam...she is a totally different story! Her name is Beauty (and I think you can see why!) She is going to be 18 years old this year and I have had her from the age of 3 months. She is a Grand Eclectus. My Dad (who was an avid parrot breeder for many many years) bought her for a male he had, but she has a very domineering personality. As a result of this the poor male nearly died of hunger as she kept him away from the food and Dad gave her to me. In the beginning the two of us got on really well, but then one day, when she was about 7 months old, I took her to the vet, who clipped her beak and since that day she tries to bite me every opportunity that she gets! When she comes out the cage she immediately starts scheming how she can get to me and give me a good bite! She has bitten me many times so that I bleed! And to make things worse, since Nico came into our lives, she has adopted him as her "mate" and is extremely jealous. When she is out of the cage I am not allowed to touch Nico, IF I try, she will immediately charge me! (And of course, I tease her all the time!) He can do anything to her, she will not even attempt biting him and she loves most men and will go to almost any man. But women? No ways! You can be sure that if you are a woman, she will take a chance to take a piece of flesh out of you!
Beauty also has a fairly big vocabulary but hardly ever talks. When Nico takes her out of the cage, she might say: "Hello Beauty" but very rarely  says anything. She loves my Mom and when my Mom visits, she will talk to my Mom, saying things like "Hello Ouma" (Hello Granny); Stop it; Hoe gaan dit (How are you). She has also never tried to bite my mother!  She is a very quiet bird, but I guess you have to be quiet if you scheme that much!! :)
Now this photo on the left is extraordinary! In all the years that I have had the parrots, they have never sat together in peace like this!
When I just got Kabouter, Beauty got out of her cage one day (they are in separate cages because of obvious reasons explained above) and got hold of Kabouter's one toe and bit it right off!
He thinks she is the sexiest bird around but she wants nothing to do with him! Today Nico decided that he would take them both outside for some much needed sunlight and took a chance and kept them both on his shoulders. I must just say, it didn't last too long! (long enough to take this photo!) He wants to court her but she just wants to attack him!

I can very well understand why old and lonely people have parrots as pets. They are like a companion and will talk back when you talk to them. They are much more intelligent than most people give them credit for and have extraordinary long memories! They associate certain people and incidents with what they have learnt to say and will normally "say" the right thing at the right time!
They are hard work to have as pets, because their cages need to be cleaned every day and they need fresh food and water every day. If they are "dunkers" (dunking their food in the water) like mine, they sometimes need fresh water more than once a day. They also want lots of attention but give a lot of pleasure back.
I just love my babies! (Even the b!tch that bites!)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Parrots mimic their owners. Their owners consider that a sign of intelligence - Marty Rubin

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