Everything is a toy - a journal by Nico and I

sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
I thought it would be fun to start a journal of Nico's daily activities! Nico is around 6 months old now, and I think he's settled into his life with me well. A lot of the posts will probably be reposts from my Snapchat stories, which I won't ask anyone to follow because a lot of my stories also include random tidbits of college life in Bellingham.
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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9/2/18 - Today's favorite toy: Mommy's favorite guitar pick.
Today is the third day of Potty Training Attempt #2. Only one accident in the past three days, which is amazing considering he eats and poops A LOT. He seems to know that he needs to poop for M to let him off the "potty perch", but he got tired of playing a couple of minutes ago and fell asleep on the potty! Nico is definitely the rambunctious type and is constantly moving, M put him back in his cage thinking he'd want a nap but now he's hanging upside down and playing on the swings in his cage.
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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[ame="https://youtu.be/Qhz9lCCDheU"]Nico wants my guitar pick… - YouTube[/ame]

Here's a clip - I apologize for the video quality, it was taken on a cell phone and Nico isn't helping the performance go smoothly…

-M
 
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Terry57

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I'm so happy you started an ongoing thread for Nico!
He sure is interested in your pick..lol
Your voice is gorgeous, I really enjoyed that.
 

Scott

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What a great idea for a new journal, and yes, your music and voice is wonderful.

Are you currently a college student, and if so is Nico with you in a dorm? I ask because we frequently have younger members confronted with the prospect of college and potential separation from their bird(s).
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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Are you currently a college student, and if so is Nico with you in a dorm? I ask because we frequently have younger members confronted with the prospect of college and potential separation from their bird(s).

Yes, I am just about to start my third year at college.
>Living situation: Nico and I are absolutely not in a dorm, I lived in a dorm my freshman year and that is no place for a bird (I had a roommate, grimy room, plenty of germs, and people yelling up and down the hallways constantly). I waited until the last quarter of my sophomore year to consider getting a bird. I am lucky enough to be living in a students-only apartment building where I have my own room and decently thick walls. I know I will be living in this apartment for at least another year, and if/when I move I will always be in a place where I have my own room.

>Daily life: Due to pretty debilitating anxiety I usually take a slightly lighter than average course load, and take courses in the summer as well to make up for it. I'm definitely not the partying type and I'm kind of a homebody, so as a college student I think I spend a lot more time with Nico than a high school student or a working professional would. I take around 4 hours of classes a day, and I have club activities (3-ish hours) twice a week, but other than that I'm almost always home and my friends enjoy Nico's company so evenings are often spent at friends' houses. My family is well-off enough that my parents help pay for my time at college and for Nico's needs, and right now they don't expect me to maintain a job outside of school for money and want me to focus on studying. I do have a later bedtime than most would recommend (lights are dimmed at 10-11pm, I myself go to bed at half past midnight usually) but Nico is an extraordinarily resilient bird who will fall asleep wherever and whenever (he's fallen asleep at a karaoke night!) and I do have the room darkened and quiet at least 12 hours a day so I don't really worry about him not getting enough sleep.

>Future plans: I am going into Special Education, which means my teaching certificate will only allow me to be in Washington State for the foreseeable future. I plan to work in the Puget Sound area, so Nico and I will be taking a 2 hour drive if that works out.

>Separation: Unlike many of the kids on this forum who assure people that they are going to be at a college close by, I live two states away from my parents and I see them four times a year (Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, and a couple of weeks during the summer). Instead of the typical "young owner is away at college so the parents take care of the bird" I have the "Nico is part of my college life, my parents have never met my bird in person, and I must find him accommodations when I go to see them" situation. Last time I went away Nico stayed with one of my close friends, but since I always take a short plane ride to my parents' place (2 hours) right now I'm hoping to get Nico an ESA certification by my college's student health center so I can take him with me (my parents have a decent-sized bird cage ready for if that happens) for Thanksgiving. My plan B would be to have him board in a place I found in Seattle, but I'd have to get blood work done for him to do that and my vet recommended I try not to do that when he's so young.

Nico is a well-adjusted bird, which helps immensely. He's okay with reasonable amounts of noise, being in a travel cage and/or flight suit, new people and places, etc etc. He also only really screams when he's hungry (I swear he always eats like he's never seen food before) or when I leave the room ("come back Mommy!"). And of course he sleeps whenever and wherever he feels like it, no matter how loud or bright the surroundings are. He is kind of nippy sometimes, especially since he's been molting lately, but I'd say he's pretty good with people. He hasn't gone through puberty yet though, so fingers crossed!
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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9/3/18 - Today's favorite toy: a colorful swing in his cage that has plastic beads on it in the shape of pacifiers. M initially worried that he'd be able to break them and choke on them, but turns out they are unexpectedly hard to break. He likes to swing on it, chew on the pacifiers, let it swing around and snap at the beads, and of course - hang upside down from the swing!
Potty training is going relatively well, no accidents today either so far! One issue we're facing is that ever since he started molting he's been pretty nippy, even with me. Especially today, can't tell if his biting is "I don't wanna sit there" "I need something to chew on" or "I'm angry"… Perhaps he misses his diaper (flight suit) still?
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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9/3/18 - apparently his favorite toy today is a plastic bottle cap. I got this for free from an uber and he likes it way more than the toys I buy for him... I think this sums up what parront life is like! And he also likes sitting on top of his travel cage (cat carrier) better than the two playgyms I got him...

Also if someone could teach me how to fix this photo-sideways thing and teach me how to embed images that would be much appreciated. I may have been born in the tech generation but I’m horrible with technology!
 

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sweetpeamusic

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9/4/18 - Today's favorite toy: Still the same plastic bottle cap. It's the only toy he'll play with if it's in sight, but he also loves to take it to higher ground, juggle it between his feet and beak, drop it, and wait for me to hand it back to him. He's too lazy to go pick it up off the floor himself… just stares at it and then looks at me until I go get it.
Today Nico finally broke the piñata toy I bought him a while ago. It's been in his cage and he's been chewing at the paper fringes for a couple of weeks, he seems to not get bored of it so I kept it in there hoping he'd get to the treats I put inside. It seems he finally got down to the cardboard surface of the piñata and managed to crack open the top of it. This also unfortunately meant that the twine knot that tied the toy to his cage fell through the crack and the whole thing landed on the bottom of his cage with a huge thud! I managed to loop the twine through another toy so that the "knot" is bigger and shoved it back in. Hopefully it'll keep the piñata hanging for a while longer… He's back at it, just chewing away!
-M
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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9/5/18 - Today's favorite toy: the fretboard on Mommy's guitar.
Me and Mommy went to a friend's house last night, and M brought my favorite bottle cap with us… and lost it! That means we gotta find me a new one. We went on a walk downtown to find a store that sold water bottles and also allowed animals. After around an hour we finally found a Rite Aid that allows pets, but they didn't sell reasonably-sized water bottles with the kind of cap I wanted! Mommy refused to buy me a gallon jug of water to carry home because she was "only carrying a small bag" and "it's too much water" and excuses excuses… so she bought a bottle of lemonade with a cap I liked, but I can't drink lemonade and I was getting thirsty. So on our way home we passed by a Jimmy Johns convenience store (for readers thinking "what is that?" M thought the same thing) and it said "No Animals" on the door but the employees saw me and said it was okay… 'tis the power of Nico Bird, mwahahaha. We browsed for a while because Mommy didn't know that I also like white bottle caps and not just clear ones (how did she not know?) and we left for home with TWO bottles, lemonade and water, both with the awesome cheap plastic caps that are so much better than the toys I have at home. Now I's just waiting for M to finish the liquids inside and wash it out so I can play with the caps…

-Nico
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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9/6/18 - Today's favorite toy: the strap on his travel cage.
Nico was cranky today. He's definitely molting and is very sensitive about physical contact. He usually loves being pet, but he's taken to screeching, nipping, and in extreme cases flying away if I pet the wrong spot or try to take care of a pin feather. And then comes back for more a minute later. Most of "playtime" today was spent preening, being interested in whatever I was eating (no mac and cheese for you, my friend), and making frustrated noises because he wanted attention but also didn't really want to play.

-M
 
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sweetpeamusic

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9/9/18 - Today's favorite toy - the new bottle cap from the lemonade bottle!
The past two days a friend has been staying with us so training has been pushed back. However now he's moved into his dorm, it's back to business! On top of potty training, M is trying to teach Nico to "shake", aka lift his foot and put it on a finger. So far he's doing great, he already understands the "lifting foot" requirement but always accompanies it with a nibble, lol. He seems to love training, he loves getting attention and food! An interesting thing about Nico is he doesn't seem to care what kind of treat he gets during training. Of course yogurt is at the very top and is the best treat by far, however he is just as happy receiving his regular pellets as a reward as he is when he gets other treats (dried mango, sunflower seeds, millet, etc). He also is such a Velcro Bird that he comes and steps up to Mommy without expecting any reward other than a "good boy". M likes getting him some exercise by putting him at the end of our hallway and asking him to walk to the other end. He's come to expect sunflower seeds for wearing a flighsuit, though.
 
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Laurasea

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Beautiful amazing you both!
 

Sunnyclover

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Aww so cute. However, I'm not sure I would call a "velcro bird" a bird who steps up on command without a treat. I would call that a "trained" bird. All 3 of my Conures wouldn't even consider not stepping up...my guess is that I'm mommy and if mommy says to step up it's likely going to be a positive interaction. Your bird might be a velcro bird but that means more like if they are out of cage...they are WITH you ON you and that's where they're most happy and if they have a choice to be with you or somewhere else they'd rather be on your shoulder. Thought I'd clear that up.
I have 3 potty trained Conures (they were trained in less than 24 hours and very very rarely have accidents) and I would like to mention that if you are potty training your baby you might want to stop using a flight suit and get a harness because it's really confusing for them. So if you have potty trained them to go on command or in a certain area then if they're in a flight suit...what should they do? Break the training and go while in a flight suit on your shoulder or lap? But isn't that what you're trying to to avoid your bird doing while not in flight suit? Do you think that they somehow know they have a diaper on? They don't...they just know they have a thingy on them that you put on them for some reason...know what I mean? So confusing for a baby bird whom you're trying to potty train.
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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Aww so cute. However, I'm not sure I would call a "velcro bird" a bird who steps up on command without a treat. I would call that a "trained" bird. All 3 of my Conures wouldn't even consider not stepping up...my guess is that I'm mommy and if mommy says to step up it's likely going to be a positive interaction. Your bird might be a velcro bird but that means more like if they are out of cage...they are WITH you ON you and that's where they're most happy and if they have a choice to be with you or somewhere else they'd rather be on your shoulder. Thought I'd clear that up.
I have 3 potty trained Conures (they were trained in less than 24 hours and very very rarely have accidents) and I would like to mention that if you are potty training your baby you might want to stop using a flight suit and get a harness because it's really confusing for them. So if you have potty trained them to go on command or in a certain area then if they're in a flight suit...what should they do? Break the training and go while in a flight suit on your shoulder or lap? But isn't that what you're trying to to avoid your bird doing while not in flight suit? Do you think that they somehow know they have a diaper on? They don't...they just know they have a thingy on them that you put on them for some reason...know what I mean? So confusing for a baby bird whom you're trying to potty train.

Yeah, he also loves to cuddle and would prefer to always be on my lap, my shoulder or on top of my head. He also toddles around on the floor trying to follow me everywhere.
I do agree that it's confusing using both a flight suit and a potty. The ideal situation would be for him to understand that when he has the flight suit on he can poop anywhere, and if he doesn't have one on he uses the potty. Many of the people I hang out with and establishments I take him to request that he wears a flight suit, and I would prefer that he stay acclimated to it. I would assume it would just take him longer to figure out the rules of potty training and flight suit-wearing if I continue this way, but I'm willing to keep trying to see if he understands that (and I believe he does… he has had very few accidents so far) and it wouldn't be that big of a deal if he ended up being a un-potty-trained bird that poops everywhere, haha.

-M
 

Sunnyclover

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Black Capped Conure -North- Hatched 10/10/18
Well good luck with that! I truly hope your bird is able to tell the difference.
I'm not sure which establishments you're taking him to but I literally take my birds everywhere. I take them to the grocery store, bakery, the gym, restaurants, Walgreen's, dry cleaners, TJ Maxx and many many more. I have never owned a flight suit and used harnesses only or nothing and no one seems to care or say "you must put your bird in a diaper! Or leave". Like how do they even know what a flight suit is? The places I go have zero idea about birds and how often they poo or that they need anything to poo into or not? Just curious because I've never run across this issue. People I understand dont want to be pooped on or their house pooped on so i get that. However, if you successfully potty train your bird you will find the need for a flight suit has gone down to zero. All my birds will go (if they need to ofc..I would never force them) wherever I say they can go. If that means we're out at the grocery store and I know it's about time for a poopy I will go into the bathroom and they will go or I can simply just put a Kleenex down as ask them to go off my finger into it or if I'm at someone's house a sink is always a great spot and ect the list of convinces goes on. All my birds have their own way to tell me they need to go too so that really helps if they have to go sooner than planned or I'm not paying attention. I just wanted to let you know it's possible to have the best of both worlds and no flight suit needed (which honestly I've never been a fan of in general).
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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9/10/18 - Today's favorite toy- A napkin from our outing.
Nico and I took a trip downtown to eat at his favorite restaurant. The staff and other customers always shower him with attention, he's not required to be in his travel carrier, he gets free food, what's not to like? I had a very greasy (in the best way) sandwich while Nico got free strawberries that he flung around more than ate. The restaurant was preparing to remodel and was asking customers to decorate their new sign, so of course we left a Nico Bird drawing with "Nico Approved" written under it. Some friends came over to hang out, and we showed off our new "shake" trick, although it seemed like he had a little bit of stage fright since he was in the living room with other people instead of alone in our room he did great. I managed to capture it on video without him getting distracted (it's hard to film when you don't have a cameraman and Nico has a love-hate relationship with his own image) so I will be posting that soon.

-M
 
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sweetpeamusic

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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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9/25/18 - Today's favorite toy: the piñata (making good headway!)
We took a brief hiatus from this journal (I had a depressed couple of weeks :/ ) but now we're back and classes start tomorrow! I do take light course loads, so I will still be home a lot of the time. I took Nico to campus for the Info Fair yesterday(clubs will try to introduce themselves) and we got a lot of stares, haha. Fortunately Nico is super great about being pet or stepping up to strangers so he definitely became everyone's little sweetheart. Yesterday was also my birthday, and we wore matching shirt/flight suit to celebrate. The birthday party last night was a little too much for him though, so he went to bed early. A friend gave us a crocheted little figurine of Nico! It is very cute, but Nico is a little wary of it.

-M
 

ChristaNL

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All are rescues- had to leave their previous homes for 'reasons', are still in contact with them :)
Belated congrats on your birthday :)
(yea, being depressed sucks, glad you seem to be doing better now)

to skip back to the flight-suit thingy: I think it's very polite not to risk poop-accidents in other peoples homes, on their clothes etc. so well done.
Yea, they look slightly ridiculous (so do aviators), but we also got used to fake-wolves-with-ropes-around-the-neck (dogs on a leash).

I love reading about your adventures.
 

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