Saturday, April 12, 2008

Definitely overdue for an update! Just seems I don't have much time for the computer lately. ;-)

Magnus is great! He is quite chatty and if his parrot chatter is any indication of how much he speaks human, I am in trouble!

He lands fabulously now - he has a few landing spots and he knows where they are. I coax him to come to me and he does, nine times out of ten...landing perfectly every time. Sometimes he flies to me without me calling, which is fine. That's why I wanted to keep him flighted so he got to make some decisions on his own. I just am discouraging him from landing on my head! If I hear him coming, I hold up my finger and he lands there no problem, then I tell him "come to me, good boy!" so he starts to learn the connection between the words and his actions. We've not started any formal flight training just yet. Soon, though.

He tells me when he's ready for bed, too. If its getting close to bedtime, and someone is on the steps to go upstairs he goes right to them for a ride up there. We went to the vet on Thursday morning and she said he needs to go to bed closer to 7 (he'd been going by 9). I am going to am for 8pm. The other night he went to bed at 11 because my husband couldn't get him to go upstairs, (I wasn't home) and he was definitely grumpy the next day.

The vet visit went well. She started out seeming a little critical of the fact that I ordered a bird "on the web", but as she heard the answers to her questions and actually saw Magnus her opinion changed. She was very, very impressed by the breeder and how she raised him. She even wrote down her name and website, and told me to make sure I told Sherri how happy she was. She was thrilled that I did my homework and let him stay flighted, gave him a sepatate sleeping cage, encourage foraging, etc.

Sherri was right about how he plays! He makes me laugh. He has a Beady Ball attached to the arches on top of his cage and likes to attack it. I've seen him flip upside down a couple times, screaming at it. This afternoon, my husband was like "Get him! He's stuck! He's stuck!" I just laughed - he wasn't stuck, he was playing. It took a while for me to convince him, but he really was playing. It was funny!

He has this foraging treasure chest and I put some dried pasta (which he loves!) in it and he got it open the very first time he tried! I was amazed! He didn't even bother with the toy, until he saw me put those snacks in there. Little bugger!

He really enjoys foraging. I wrap little pieces of nuts or pasta or whatever up in unbleached cupcake papers and tie it with string, putting it around the cage or on top of the fridge for him to find. He goes crazy! Loves it, no matter whats in it.

I also made this foraging mix in a bowl. Dried bananas, mango and strawberries, goji berries, pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, dried pasta and alphabets, and sprinkled with some herbs - he loves it! It's good for when I'm going out, to keep him occupied.

He does great in his Aviator Harness, too. Yesterday I took him out in the yard, and he was so busy watching the birds, and listening to them chirp. He walked around on the grass and perched on the fence. He also flew a little, and didn't have any problem - although, I do want to get a longer lead for him to go further and fly more. (No outside pics, sorry!)

Friday, April 4, 2008

First things first, his name is Magnus. :)

I've been a bit busy, this is my first chance I've had to update.

The trip to get him went well, overall. There was a traffic jam on the turnpike though - a dumptruck smashed into a concrete wall that poured over onto a road below. It was pretty backed up for quite a while...

We found our way to Cargo City and went right in. I told them I was there for an African Grey, a bird. The guy was like "An African bird? I didn't know Africa has birds." When he came out with him, he was like "Oh, I thought it said BIRO". I was like ??? Whatever. They had my bird and they gave him to me, that's all that mattered.

In the car, we talked to him for a minute, then my three year old convinced me to let him out (it didn't take much convincing, I will admit). So he came out and everything was okay for a minute, but then he made a honking sound that I knew meant he wasn't happy, so he went back in, and we were on our way home!

My son fed him snacks through the slots on the side of the carrier and sang Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all the way home, to "help him feel safe". Which, apparently worked, because he was calm for the ride.

When we got home, I put the carrier inside his cage and he came out right away. He had a couple flying adventures and I had to hold my hand up so he could land, or the kids would point him to the huge sphere I made, hanging in the living room. He needs to work on his landings, though. I think once he gets used to where its safe to land, he'll be fine. I will have my husband hang a few more hooks around so he has a few choices.

We've been doing well, I think. He wakes me up (much, much earlier than I'm used to, I might add ;) ) and he poops, eats and plays on me while I get on the computer (although that doesn't last long). Then the kids come down and he plays with them, and/or goes on the cage. I'm really impressed that he can entertain himself the way he does. We've gone out both today and yesterday in the afternoon to give him some peace, and when we come home, I say hello, scritch him a bit and open the door to his cage. Then he just plays on top. He does let me know when he wants me though, calls out and twice, he flew over and landed on my head!

I've had to stop wearing my wedding ring, because he wants to chew it. It's the only piece of jewelry that I wear (well, wore...) and he's started to take an interest in my glasses.

I am surprised how gentle he is, and how smart...already! Before he takes anything from my hand (toy or food) he will look at me and make a questioning noise, like "is this for me?". When he steps up, he is very cautious - checks out how steady his spot is first. I love when he wakes me up in the morning by stretching his wings out and looking over at me, and doing it again and again until I talk to him. Very sweet!

He plays all over his cage, but generally likes to stay towards the front. On top of his cage is a tray with all kinds of little plastic things - old bristle blocks, lids, blocks, etc. He really seems to like digging around in there.

I just love the soft cooing sounds and noises he makes. He definitely has alot to say! He took a shower today, and was super cute - he kept trying to catch the water with his little talon!

We are making lots of progress in only a short time. I would never leave him alone in the room with my cat, but we are at the point where the cat can at least be in the house while the bird is with me. He doesn't seem interested in him, unless he flies or flaps, or drops something and then he just comes to attention and watches him for a second or two.

He makes a sound like a bicycle horn sometimes. I asked some bird people and they think he might want some warm mushy food, and that seems to be it. I've actually planned on offering him something warm (oatmeal or something) before bed, and he likes it. Then my daughter reads him Five Little Monkeys and puts him to bed. It's cute. :)

I'm sure I forgot something, but that's all I have time for right soon!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Well, his trip is halfway over...he is in Atlanta now, waiting for his flight to take off to Philly. Take off is scheduled for 12:15, about the time I am leaving for the airport.
Our Baby Grey Bird is coming home TODAY!

He is in the air...right now...on his way home, as I type this. He left at 7:30am and I am tracking his flight on Delta's website. :) He has a lay over in Atlanta for three hours, before his flight to Philly. He should land here around 2:14pm.