Willow’s spring thread

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HeatherG

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Oh, we are having spring here! A lot of naughtiness and biting and posturing. It can’t help that I was moving stuff in the living room today, which is very upsetting, and tomorrow I will vacuum!

Willow was in a cranky mood today. He was just not happy, did not want to be pet, though when I walked past his cage at 12:30 am (in the dark) he made kissy noises at me. I fed him and Jasper each a cheerio and Willow attacked the cage bars until he could feel the cheerio in his beak. Jasper was half-asleep and may still be holding his cheerio in his beak.

I feel bad when we have days like this. I miss my little love bug. Though he has been speaking a little, quietly, especially when I go to his cage and ask him to come out. I have also been saying “thank you!” With much enthusiasm each time I give either bird a treat or food.
 
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HeatherG

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We had a better day today. I have been treating both birds during the day, and Willow came with me to the backyard to plant a few garden plants and water them. Then we watched “The Wicker Man” which was quite entertaining (except the very end) and had a prominent character named “Willow”.

Willow was happy to let me pet him in the afternoon without buying him off with avicake. He got lots and lots of pets and even complained when i stopped petting him momentarily. _I_ got tired of petting and brought him back to his cage after the dvd was over.

Hopefully we are friends again. I think that going outside helped remind Willow that he does indeed like me and enjoys cuddling into my hand.
 

kme3388

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We had a better day today. I have been treating both birds during the day, and Willow came with me to the backyard to plant a few garden plants and water them. Then we watched “The Wicker Man” which was quite entertaining (except the very end) and had a prominent character named “Willow”.

Willow was happy to let me pet him in the afternoon without buying him off with avicake. He got lots and lots of pets and even complained when i stopped petting him momentarily. _I_ got tired of petting and brought him back to his cage after the dvd was over.

Hopefully we are friends again. I think that going outside helped remind Willow that he does indeed like me and enjoys cuddling into my hand.
Springtime can be so challenging. I glad that getting outside, and spending sometime together turned things around to a better day. I need to get Nico outside soon. Maybe that will help him feel better as well. I am just a little worried about allergies as we have a lot of pollen going on, and both of my birds are sneezing a lot. I don't want to make it worse.
 
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HeatherG

HeatherG

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Springtime can be so challenging. I glad that getting outside, and spending sometime together turned things around to a better day. I need to get Nico outside soon. Maybe that will help him feel better as well. I am just a little worried about allergies as we have a lot of pollen going on, and both of my birds are sneezing a lot. I don't want to make it worse.
Could you give them a shower afterwards and at least wash the external pollen off? That might help.

Yeah, we’ve had a difficult few weeks with me being sick or painful, changing the pellets, spring, me moving things in the apartment. I am so glad today was better. Willow wasn’t eager to come out, though; or he wanted attention but then got weird because I was near his cage. I have to stand at the perfect distance so he knows I want him to come out but he doesn’t feel like I’m trying to steal his nest or something.

Such a goofy bird. Today he was telling me “come here” from inside his cage so that’s a step in the right direction. Just didn’t think my very disabled Quaker would be super-outgoing and this perfectly healthy boy is so reserved.
 
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HeatherG

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A good day today, too.

I find that I just have to feed Willow SOMETHING when he comes out. So I hand fed him Harrison’s pellets until he was done, pellet by pellet. He quieted down and we’ve been having a nice visit and scritch. But now Willow likes his perching basket and doesn’t want to poop in it. He was trying to sit on the edge and poop out, on my lap. Quakers.

I notice Willow has been licking me less. I wonder why?

I am saying “thank you!” loudly when he takes a pellet from my hand. I hope he will start to say that, or even ask for a treat in that way. People really liked it when Lucy used to thank them for treats. It’s a very rewarding trick.

I just asked W, “can you say “I love you?”” and he made kissing noises and gave me a nibble. What a good boy!
 
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saxguy64

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Haha, my Baxter does kissy noises if I d, or if I ask her for kisses. So sweet. Buuuuuuuuut, most often when I say I love you, she replies with raspberries, and then laughs about it. :( Guess she thinks that's funny :)
 
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HeatherG

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Haha, my Baxter does kissy noises if I d, or if I ask her for kisses. So sweet. Buuuuuuuuut, most often when I say I love you, she replies with raspberries, and then laughs about it. :( Guess she thinks that's funny :)
Lucy used to like it if I blew a raspberry on her tummy. She would laugh like a maniac. I tried that with Willow and you’d think I mooned him or something! He was so. SHOCKED. ! Poor Willow.

I am usually more like Willow, though I have moments of Lucy.
 
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HeatherG

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Willow is showing more curiosity and bravery. Before, he was terrified of anything new. Now he is reaching out to touch explore and mess with some things. I’m so happy for him that he’s getting braver!

For example, he’s now climbing down into his play basket to get crumbs. He’s grabbing and shaking the grocery advertisement that lines his basket. And today, he went for the red cap liner on his medication bottle full of pellets. (He likes to be hand fed when he’s out and I stash some pellets in a recycled pill bottle. If cap is on upside down, it’s not childproof and lined with a red button.

So I am thinking of ordering some toys from bonka bird toys online: some spools in primary colors, sola or whiffle balls, some hanging gadgety toys, and a tiny shopping cart. I’m wondering if I should start clicker training? Willow is about nine years old and not as quick to pick up words or tricks as Lucy was. (I know it’s a failure of communication mostly.)
 

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Willow is showing more curiosity and bravery. Before, he was terrified of anything new. Now he is reaching out to touch explore and mess with some things. I’m so happy for him that he’s getting braver!

For example, he’s now climbing down into his play basket to get crumbs. He’s grabbing and shaking the grocery advertisement that lines his basket. And today, he went for the red cap liner on his medication bottle full of pellets. (He likes to be hand fed when he’s out and I stash some pellets in a recycled pill bottle. If cap is on upside down, it’s not childproof and lined with a red button.

So I am thinking of ordering some toys from bonka bird toys online: some spools in primary colors, sola or whiffle balls, some hanging gadgety toys, and a tiny shopping cart. I’m wondering if I should start clicker training? Willow is about nine years old and not as quick to pick up words or tricks as Lucy was. (I know it’s a failure of communication mostly.)
Clicker training would rock on so many levels! One of my first conures, Archie, was clicker trained to put rings around a series of pegs. He was a smart cracker!
 
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HeatherG

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Nectarines are on sale and Willow likes them a lot. So do I! We shared one for a lunchtime snack.
42AD9D3E-711C-415F-8D8C-544FA60E9C0A.jpeg
 
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HeatherG

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We had a nice morning visit and lots and lots of hand fed pellets. Willow could not get enough petting and would peck me if I stopped. Then he licked my nose for a while.

I am hoping that Willow is getting over spring moodiness and will continue to be sweet and affectionate.
 
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HeatherG

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We had another nice long early morning visit where Willow ate a bunch of pellets from my hand and then got lots of head scratches and kisses. He heard me being awake and started to ack-ack-ack in his cage in the living room, so I went and get him out and sat with him for 45 minutes.

I don’t know why Willow wants me to hand feed him but that is ok. I’m glad he’s ok eating pellets and not avicakes. He was giving kisses upon request and opening and moving his beak and tongue like he wanted to talk. He does that sometimes and it’s odd-looking. Maybe he is imitating my mouth moving when I talk?

I was starting to get a bad headache so I asked Willow to step up. He didn’t want to until I carried his basket over to his cage and then he started leaning towards it and hopped onto his door. He needed some food so I filled his dish and gave Jasper a quick scritch. Now I’m waiting for my headaches medication to work before I start my day. I don’t know if it will be ver very hot today—maybe we can go out, at least to water garden plants.
 

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Willow is really blossoming lately it seems!

It's supposed to be very hot here later today through tomorrow so I'm hoping to get outside in a little bit. Cotton's awake and talking to his finch friends who are eating breakfast outside his window :)
 
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HeatherG

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Yes. It seems like Willow is over the upset about changing his food. He is being bossy today but I understand. I think he’s mad that I had to sleep off my headache. Anyhow I have been petting him and giving kisses on top of his head and he seems happy about that.

We are practicing picking up the jingle bell ball. He is willing to pick it up and hold it for a bit and has even started shaking it! I know he isn’t upset by that because he shakes out his tail right after.
 
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HeatherG

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Willow’s training (like target training)

After we are relaxed, I take the jingle ball from within Willow’s basket. I hold it up a couple inches from his face and say “touch ball”. At first, Willow wouldn’t touch it. Then he would touch the ball tentatively and I would immediately say “good bird!” Now he will usually grab the ball and hold it. When he touches or holds it I say “good bird!”

So I am hoping to translate this to other objects: “touch _______. “

Like “lid” or “shoe” or maybe “feather”.

I wonder if I should repeat “Touch ball!” After he contacts the ball and Before I say “good bird!” It would remind Willow what he’s done right.

Or if the quick timing of praise is enough.

Any thoughts?

This is kind of how I did with Lucy and she actually had a working vocabulary and could ask for things. “Want drink, want some, step up, out, etc…”. I would say the phrase before giving her the drink or treat or stepping her up. Until she was very very old she asked for or told me what she wanted. It seemed to reduce screeching. She saved screeching for if I didn’t respond.

Does this training sound right? Is there something I ought to be doing differently? I am watching Ws body language to look for ok/not ok or agree/disagree.
 
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HeatherG

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Here’s a cuter photo of Willow enjoying nectarine. The nectarine is Beak-lickin’ good.
1A338734-2764-4B93-B149-C0662E26820C.jpeg


I had a cold and didn’t water my garden plants all week BUT they got wet enough in the storms last weekend so they didn’t die. Hopefully I will have other delicious things—cherry tomatoes, peppers, and beans—for Willow and Jasper to enjoy.
 

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It's such a bummer to have chronic health issues. I'm glad you can struggle through and find joy where you can and appreciate the little things.

Do you have a thread for your other parrot ? Msybe I've missed it?
 
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HeatherG

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It's such a bummer to have chronic health issues. I'm glad you can struggle through and find joy where you can and appreciate the little things.

Do you have a thread for your other parrot ? Msybe I've missed it?
I haven’t had a current thread for Jasper because I’ve been trying to decide if I should rehome him. I need to have a knee replacement, among other issues, and I feel like my birds don’t get enough time as it is. I don’t know what to expect.

But I have been enjoying my time with Jasper and as long as no one else is around, he’s a sweet bird. But if the scene is complicated AT ALL then he bites hard and is very quick about it. Willow is more portable—I can carry him into my bedroom and put him on his basket— but Jasper doesn’t like new places and bites.

It is a difficult choice and I wish I knew what to do.
 
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HeatherG

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Willow is snuggling with my nose and chewing on his foot at the same time. He keeps his nails short which is nice because I don’t have to clip them. I’ve never met a parrot who liked having its nails clipped.

Now he is up against my cheekbone getting his head scratched. And he’s back to chewing on his foot again.

My neighbor says their cat only grooms his feet in front of them when the cat is very relaxed. That’s it’s a friendly gesture. I wonder. Willow also chews his toenails when I ask him to come out and he seems conflicted.

Willow is so soft and warm and snuggly. (Yes, Jasper has had snuggle time, too, but I am more concerned about relaxing when Jasper is near my face. Willow likes to lick my nose and preen my eyelashes. I know that he won’t suddenly get mad about something and bite me.

What is so yummy about my nose? I have to keep Willow away from my nose if I have a cold or he starts cleaning my nostrils. That’s gross and can’t be good for him. But the top of my nose, that’s fine. And grooming Eyelashes is fine until he starts pulling them out.
 

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