Well, I’m very glad I got that new, extra-large cage set up when I did, because when I made calls to find more parakeets–namely male ones–I found a mom and pop shop that had some. They couldn’t guarantee that they were males, but when I went to take a look, the lady showed me how their upper beaks were turning into this pink to purple color, that most likely would turn into the typical male blue.
They’re too young to breed yet from what I understand, and if they were female, they’d be too young to have those ceres turning brown indicating maturity, anyway.
So, I am 95% sure I have two new male parakeets in the cage. The color struck me, which is why I’m not gonna be too disappointed if one of ’em ends up female (which means I’ll need to get a couple more males to compensate for the sex gap, and I certainly have the room).
I can think of only one time (when I wasn’t thinking about getting any) that I saw parakeets that looked splashed with colors. One day at Petco, there were a bunch in there that looked like kids watercolors had been splashed on them. There were hues of blues, purples, splashed all over white and the typical parakeet markings in black or dark gray.
They were all gone the next time I went in there, unfortunately.
Neither are the traditional mostly blue or green parakeets. The one that struck me first I’m calling Dusty. He looks like an inverse version of Sky, in that all the areas Sky is NOT white, Dusty actually is. The rest of him is light blue front, yellow and white wings, but all over there’s this yellow-tinge, like the way clouds look as a dust storm is settling down, casting everything with a yellow filter. It makes him look.. well.. dusty in comparison. He’s cute as can be, though, and quite friendly and curious, at least initially.
The other is probably the most unique one I’d seen. I named him Cream, because he looks like he’s that off-white cream color with some black markings on the head and the upper wings. When I took a better look, I noticed some gray patches on the lower belly. I’d never seen a white and gray parakeet before, and I figured Cream worked well (the gray made me think of Earl Grey tea for some reason, which I always put milk in, so in some odd sense it works for me). He was practically a statue on the bottom perch for the first 10 minutes or so of being in the cage, so much so I was able to pet him without nervous movement (heavens, I’ve missed petting birds–they’re so soft and sweet). Eventually, I guess he figured out the rest of the birds weren’t gonna pick on him–and Cream went down there like a wingman (guess they bonded a bit in that packing box on the drive home)–and he joined the rest and mingled.
Dusty on the left, Cream on the right. Light’s not that good, but I finally got a pic of them not flying around.
I started thinking on the way home from the pet store how funny my naming scheme would work out if I had the sexes of the birds correct. I now have 2 named after food (Pickle and [ba]Nana), 2 named for weather-related reasons (Sky and Dusty), and 2 for colors (Aqua and Cream). And if they mated according to the categories… that would just be funny as hell to me.
And when Cream was grooming himself, Aqua reached over and nibbled at him a bit, coming up with a stray feather I guess. I thought that was interesting. Guess she was being helpful!
I spent the past two days cleaning up and changing out some of the toys and perches I put in the cage the first time around while getting paperwork and playing phone tag over house-issues (cleaning was preferable, but just as draining). In the cage, because it’s so big, it was tough figuring out the best place to put all the seed cups where they were easy to find and access without being too high or too low. I finally realized I had to move one across the cage from the rest to help them spread out, and in case they need the breeding boxes, there’s a ready food source next to the other one, as well as a natural wood perch close by. I think I moved them at least 3 times a piece. At least they weren’t gonna starve and just watched me. I clipped some leaf lettuce to the bars and they tackled ’em. And the broccoli heads I pinched between the bars were a hit, too. Now, though, they seem happy with where all 3 cups are.
I have a huge branch that was my parrot’s with plenty of branching-off fingers for the birds to sit on, but it wasn’t as stable as it was before. I think the screw it’s mounted to that mounts to the cage is cracking the wood and I need to get the gorilla glue and repair it or something. And I figured it was a bit too bulky and too far across the cage, so I replaced that branch with more rope-log bridges and perches that cling to the walls so there’s plenty of room to go back and forth without hopping or flying into obstacles or each other. They are quick and can move out of the way fast enough, but I wanted them to have the room to spread their wings and get out of the way. The top of the cage is crowded enough with coconut-huts to rest in, a couple sand perches, a couple of natural shred-able toys, and a multi-armed perch I found that hangs from the flat top (they grew to like that one the most after the log and rope bridges, I think).
So, just before bed tonight, this is what the “feathered family” looked like:
On the top wood perch is Aqua, pink perch is Nana, sticking his head up from the coconut shell is Pickle (he hates his picture taken, I guess). On the bottom, from left to right is Cream, Sky, and Dusty.
It makes me feel good to see them all interacting, and with the addition of fresh food and a bigger space, I think even the ones that won’t let me touch them will eventually relent if I keep it up. At least, it’ll make training easier in the months to come. They’re so fun to watch and talk to, and on a bad day, a few minutes every time I pass by the cage to say hello and talk makes me feel as good as when the dogs cuddle on the couch with me or we play outside.
Might be “alone,” but not feeling it right now…