The Continuing Capers of Companion-ing Cotton

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Can you hear or see fireworks from your home? I used to live by the state fairgrounds and we got a perfect view of the fireworks out our window. Unfortunately they scared the hell out of Lucy. I would hold her and tell her it was ok but she wasn’t convinced. Maybe you could cover Cotton up if there will be fireworks. You don’t want him to thrash and injure himself or knock out those nice new feathers.
 
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Cottonoid

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Can you hear or see fireworks from your home? I used to live by the state fairgrounds and we got a perfect view of the fireworks out our window. Unfortunately they scared the hell out of Lucy. I would hold her and tell her it was ok but she wasn’t convinced. Maybe you could cover Cotton up if there will be fireworks. You don’t want him to thrash and injure himself or knock out those nice new feathers.
Good idea. I'm not too close to the big shows but there have been neighborhood fireworks every night for a couple weeks :/ So far he doesn't mind too much but I think the late night ones do disturb his sleep. I usually cover about 2/3 his cage at night with a blanket. I definitely don't want him to startle and fall!
 
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Cottonoid

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I had SO much fun volunteering yesterday! Lots of cockatoos and Amazons.

It was SO awesome having birds step up πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° Some of them have balance issues or arthritis so it was quite amazing seeing them just watch me and trust I would get them safely to their spot. Also a greenwing Macaw is quite a bit heavier than a cockatoo 😢😁

I started the same day as another volunteer and it's nice to have someone else there that doesn't know what to do or how to read all of the birds yet. We were given introductions to every individual bird, and appropriate warnings as to which ones we won't be interacting with yet ;)

It was a little sad to be away from Cotton all day but I think he liked it, ha.

Today he is finally starting to not run back in his cage whenever I come in the room after a few weeks of being scared of me.

PXL_20220702_232401167.jpg
 
May 2, 2021
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I had SO much fun volunteering yesterday! Lots of cockatoos and Amazons.

It was SO awesome having birds step up πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° Some of them have balance issues or arthritis so it was quite amazing seeing them just watch me and trust I would get them safely to their spot. Also a greenwing Macaw is quite a bit heavier than a cockatoo 😢😁

I started the same day as another volunteer and it's nice to have someone else there that doesn't know what to do or how to read all of the birds yet. We were given introductions to every individual bird, and appropriate warnings as to which ones we won't be interacting with yet ;)

It was a little sad to be away from Cotton all day but I think he liked it, ha.

Today he is finally starting to not run back in his cage whenever I come in the room after a few weeks of being scared of me.

View attachment 41704
Ahh, macaws and 'toos!? I'm jealous, that sounds like so much fun! And Cotton is looking VERY handsome today.
 
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Cottonoid

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....grumpy face fireworks grrrrrr

Cotton seems ok so far 🀞🏻
My neighbors decided to do fireworks yesterday, right after the birds were tucked in bed! ARGH, I feel your pain!
 
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There are a bunch of little feathers and a little blood in Cotton's cage this morning so maybe he's bothered after all.

Thunderstorm right now and he's just hanging out on a perch outside his cage, quiet. I put on his baby ringneck video that he LOVES so hopefully he'll come around.
 

Squeeing_Onion

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"Chicken" - Sun Conure, rest in peace, my precious friend.
There are a bunch of little feathers and a little blood in Cotton's cage this morning so maybe he's bothered after all.

Thunderstorm right now and he's just hanging out on a perch outside his cage, quiet. I put on his baby ringneck video that he LOVES so hopefully he'll come around.
Oh no! Poor Cotton :cry: Is he okay?

We've been lucky, neither Echo or Bongo is panicked by the fireworks so far but the big ones should be going tonight. Bongo isn't phased by them or gunshot or cannons (my birds go camping with me to historical reenactments), so she's totally chill -- which benefits Echo a lot. If she's not freaking out, he feels less need to.
 
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Oh no! Poor Cotton :cry: Is he okay?

We've been lucky, neither Echo or Bongo is panicked by the fireworks so far but the big ones should be going tonight. Bongo isn't phased by them or gunshot or cannons (my birds go camping with me to historical reenactments), so she's totally chill -- which benefits Echo a lot. If she's not freaking out, he feels less need to.
He seems ok - I can't even tell which feather or toe the blood came from. His plucking more could be unrelated to fireworks and just his plucking being what it is, too.

He spent the evening out on his playstand and hung out watching me while I cleaned his cage. It's a huge step for him to be out that far again so I'm really happy he wasn't too stressed about it!

Before he started molting like crazy he was super adventurous and really liked when I changed things up - he'd head straight out to whatever I set up for him. I've seen him lose his balance and catch himself twice now so I don't know if he's just more wary of exploring while his feathers are growing, or if I changed his favorite setup (I did :( ) or most likely, both.

He'll come back around.
 

Squeeing_Onion

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"Bongo" - Green Cheek Conure
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"Chicken" - Sun Conure, rest in peace, my precious friend.
For the past few weeks I've been working daily on proximity "training" with Cotton - mostly using negative reinforcement to move away a step when he relaxes his stance after I move toward him.

The last couple of days I've done the same but added clicker. And yesterday/today added giving bits of walnut in his treat bowl after clicking (so, click, pause a half second, then move forward to drop walnut at which point he moves away, I look away and wait for him to come back then start again).

Just now he let me get about 15 inches from the cage door and I was able to drop the walnut directly into the bowl instead of having to move past his comfort zone. This is the closest I've gotten since going to the vet so that's exciting.

He has always been very clear where his threshold is and that he is going to move this forward SLOWLY. In the last week however he's started only taking one step away then checking to see if I'm paying attention instead of looking at me like I'm not getting it and going several feet away. So fingers crossed I'm getting better at reading his body language.

I think that he's super smart and he definitely notices all the little missteps I make. When I set up foraging puzzles he looks like he's barely paying attention but then goes straight to them to check them out. Any changes in his environment he explores right away. So he's way ahead of me on any training session I attempt lol

He's figured out which sounds will make the dog leave the room when she's barking ;)

Forgive the double-post, but I had to share a funny story you reminded me of!

So, I'm an artist, and I sculpt. Well, I had a thing I was working on, so I spent most the day doing it. I like to craft by my birds (as long as the materials are safe), so naturally, I spent the day beside their cages both when they were and weren't loose in the house.

Hours later -- Mama calls me over. She was watching them for me, and Echo decided he wanted to check out what I was playing with all day! Little bugger almost ran off with one of the rune tokens I made (fortunately, already cured and hardened) and then... He took one look at me, right in the eyes, then snatched my ball of clay and flew off with it.

I had to trade him a seedball to get it back, and while you'd think that'd have doomed me, he hasn't done it much (and I don't usually reward for that, but dangit, I didn't want him trying to eat my clay! Eep!!)

But wait, there's MORE.
The next day when I checked his cage, picking up toys, I found something in his cage that was NOT a chew stick. Before Mama or I had even noticed, he'd stolen the tool I was using to sculpt with, waddled up and brought it INTO his cage, then was coming back out to get the clay!
 

Squeeing_Onion

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β€œEcho” - Indian Ringneck
"Chicken" - Sun Conure, rest in peace, my precious friend.
He seems ok - I can't even tell which feather or toe the blood came from. His plucking more could be unrelated to fireworks and just his plucking being what it is, too.

He spent the evening out on his playstand and hung out watching me while I cleaned his cage. It's a huge step for him to be out that far again so I'm really happy he wasn't too stressed about it!

Before he started molting like crazy he was super adventurous and really liked when I changed things up - he'd head straight out to whatever I set up for him. I've seen him lose his balance and catch himself twice now so I don't know if he's just more wary of exploring while his feathers are growing, or if I changed his favorite setup (I did :( ) or most likely, both.

He'll come back around.
Awww poor baby boy, he's got the best caretaker a birdie could ask for to help him through it.
 
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Cottonoid

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@Squeeing_Onion πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ I would LOVE to see what Echo was going to create!

Cotton watches everything I do, and he's ten steps ahead of me, and he's still young! He's a lot like my first dog that way, actually. It took a couple years to figure each other and then he was my best boy. Cotton is probably reading this, and just jotted down "best, eh.... we'll see who's best, the longer she waits the more she'll appreciate it when it happens. A good life lesson for this mere mortal."
 

Squeeing_Onion

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"Bongo" - Green Cheek Conure
β€œEcho” - Indian Ringneck
"Chicken" - Sun Conure, rest in peace, my precious friend.
@Squeeing_Onion πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ I would LOVE to see what Echo was going to create!

Cotton watches everything I do, and he's ten steps ahead of me, and he's still young! He's a lot like my first dog that way, actually. It took a couple years to figure each other and then he was my best boy. Cotton is probably reading this, and just jotted down "best, eh.... we'll see who's best, the longer she waits the more she'll appreciate it when it happens. A good life lesson for this mere mortal."
Hehehe xD

I love watching Echo puzzle things out. It's so cool to watch those little green gears whirring, and something about the way he processes information just meshes really well with me on a personal level.

I love Bongo to death and would move mountains for her, but she's not a bird I had one of those "special connections" with. She was a bird who was miserable who I brought home and she actually quite hated me for a while, until she decided she liked me enough to be my friend at some point.

My first bird was one I bonded with when we met. Echo? Echo is like that, though naturally in his own way as every animal bond is.

It was so cool in the first few weeks, when we would sit at the table in front of his cage and work with him. He'd come out to take a treat from us.... but first, he spent like five to eight minutes examining us from every possible angle. He'd walk up on top to look down at us, he went into his cage and down below to see our legs underneath the table -- and he was very clear about wanting to see all of us and know where all our limbs were. He doesn't like it when the hands are hidden, so putting them in pockets as I've heard a lot of ringneck owners advise wasn't working for him and I stopped trying.

Indian Ringnecks are starting to remind me of African Greys but with... Hmmm, something indefineably different about them. Grays are so serene and regal. Echo is more....

Idk, but i call him my sweet potato and my happy fat pear depending on how he's postured :ROFLMAO:
 

HeatherG

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Willow does a very nice bowling pin imitation when he’s alert.

Otherwise yea, he is a chunky pear.

I watched that video of cotton preening. Was he making those ouchy cries while preening? If so it sounds like it didn’t feel good at all!

I wonder if mom and dad parrot monitor baby parrot’s preening. β€œNo, not like that. You gotta HOLD the feather like this…”
 
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Cottonoid

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Willow does a very nice bowling pin imitation when he’s alert.

Otherwise yea, he is a chunky pear.

I watched that video of cotton preening. Was he making those ouchy cries while preening? If so it sounds like it didn’t feel good at all!

I wonder if mom and dad parrot monitor baby parrot’s preening. β€œNo, not like that. You gotta HOLD the feather like this…”
Bowling pin Willow! πŸ₯° Chunky pear is the cutest description!

Oh shoot, I always forget to mute the background noise when I upload those! The sounds are all from parrot town tv. Thank goodness not Cotton! He was quiet, neither happy sounds nor ouchie sounds.

Haha it would be great to see what they're saying to the babies, wouldn't it?!
 

kme3388

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Wow look at Cotton. He is doing magnificent. He has so many feathers sense I last checked in to see how he is doing. He seems like he has really came out of his shell. I've been avoiding the parrot forum a little just because Nico isn't doing so well, and is struggling. It's a little hard for me to read about other parrots floishing. I am so happy that Cotton is doing well though!!! :)
 

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