Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Petey the Meyer's
"Battling trust issues"
Finally we get to Petey. The 13 year old Meyer's that has been with me since the beginning of last August. I was told Petey was a male, but based on some recent mating behaviors, I would guess that Petey is a female (and my vet agrees, although we can't be 100% without DNA testing).
Petey came to me through friends that run a home base rescue. They got her from one of her previous owners (he worked in a pet store in a another city and Petey came in for a wing clip and the owner at the time just left her behind and walked out). Not sure about much of Petey's life before that. In any case, she came to my friends' because of a mean streak. They've worked with her on the problem. See, Petey is a doll with men but will attack women (or any partner of her favorite person). I took her in knowing this problem.
The first month and a half, she was very sweet to everyone. She wasn't as affectionate with me as she was with my significant other, but she didn't bite. She was ok with my other birds. Then the honeymoon ended. The "devil" bird came out. She did bite me a couple of times, which resulted in me handling her with a perch, screamed like I've never heard a Poicephalus scream (bear in mind that they do have a reputation of being "quiet" parrots). She became less tolerant of the other parrots meaning she had to be separated from the others when they are out of their cages (my other birds can play on the same play structure without any problem). For a while I wondered what I got myself into (after a very bad couple of days). Then things started to look up. She screamed less, she was less nasty with me (mind you I still use the perch to move her around because she can still be a little testy, but I'm about to try using my hand again). I actually found out that Poicephalus birds tend to breed when the daily amount of light grows shorter (compared to other parrots that do the deed when the days grow longer). Seeing her attitude, she did look like a very hormonal bird. Hormones do go up and down and I figured she was in the high period. She's been calming down, thankfully, and this I can work with. Really, this poor bird does deserve to be given a chance. Also, the knowledge about parrots in general wasn't all that great 13 years ago and even if she did have the best upbringing she could have back then (which I don't know), I don't think it's up to par with what is common knowledge today. I have actually seen in the past week or two progress in our relationship. I like to think that I'm seeing her struggle with the idea of it being ok to trust me. She seems to want to come to me, and not for an attack, yet is still fearful. But I'm sure that having her see my relationship with my 3 other parrots is helping in a positive way the way she sees me. I'm not going to give up on her, although on one day I was willing to throw in the towel, because I think she's worth the effort.
Now, Meyer's in general don't have the same attitude as Petey. On the contrary, they are believed to be the best "family bird" amongst the Poicephalus family. They usually are quite willing to go see every member of the family without particularly bonding to one person and will even go to friends of the family. There's a saying about Senegals that goes "They love you to love them" whereas for Meyer's it's "They love to love you". They are also the least likely to speak in the Poi family, but that doesn't mean anything (Petey is my bird with the largest vocabulary of clear words).
Taken during her first week here
Petey and I