Moving is just no fun. It doesn’t matter whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone to pack and do all the heavy lifting for you, having your life in total disarray for even a short period of time is just maddening. Welcome to my world.
After searching, I finally found a place that will work for me and the birds. Even though I am the only human that will be in occupancy, I have five birds and four are different species which made finding the right space harder than one would think.
Most of my birds do not get along: the cockatiels (Tinky and DeeDee) are terrified of my umbrella cockatoo, Linus, and they cannot be housed in the same room with him. Linus will eat them. I know this and they know this – and for very good reason they are uncomfortable in his presence.
My quaker Libby, is very territorial. She does well sharing a room with other birds, but heaven help anyone who makes the mistake of landing on her cage. Even giant umbrella cockatoo toes aren’t safe from a bite. Libby is fearless and will take on any bird of any size when she is out of her cage. This means that she cannot be around the larger birds ever and must be carefully watched if allowed out with the cockatiels.
Theo, my goffins cockatoo, can share a room with Linus or the smaller birds – she is happy either way. However, she can’t be let out with any of the small birds because she chases them, and, for reasons that are unclear to me, when she sees Linus she immediately wants to breed with him– it is all she can think about. Linus does not hold Theo in the same high esteem and, frankly, gets annoyed with the shameless way she carries on.
When Linus is let out, he clings to the side of any other bird cages in the room and glares at the occupants within thinking evil thoughts. Should he climb Theo’s cage, or she climb his when she is out, she is so overcome with desire that she disregards danger and leaves her toes vulnerable to him. Awkward.
As it turns out, it is actually Theo that throws the wrench into this machinery. If I keep her cage in the room with the little birds, it would be unsafe to let them out, even with her inside her cage. I could see bloody toes in the future of any bird that landed in the wrong spot.
If she shared a room with Linus, neither could come out. Linus would aggressively climb her cage and Theo is too blinded by love to have the good sense to NOT climb his when she is out.
So, I have concluded that since there are only two rooms that the birds can inhabit, Theo will have a cage in both rooms. The large main cages belonging to both Linus and Theo will be set up in one room. When it is Linus’ turn for out of cage time, Theo will be moved to the room with the smaller birds where she will occupy a second, somewhat smaller cage. When the smaller birds are to enjoy their play time, she will be returned to the other room with Linus where both will remain caged. Problem solved…I hope.
Moving is tough, but when you relocate with parrots the puzzle becomes much more complex. Furniture placement takes a back seat to cage placement and even with finding a place to accommodate their current large cages, mine still managed to need one more. This is the first of many challenges I expect to be faced with as I settle in.
Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.