I often say that Shade is as close to a perfect bird that I'll probably ever have. She's quite good with people, she's independent yet likes her one-on-one time, she's relatively quiet, she knows when I feel down and does try to cheer me up.
I've often also explained how she is when hormones season is upon us..and given how she's been these past few days, these days are here. But I always found this typical of her in the Fall and Spring and there's no denying that we are in the fall anymore when the drop of temperature and it being so dark in the morning and getting dark very early now.
Shade isn't very much trouble during this time, but she is definitively more grumpy, which, given how she's giving obvious body language clues, is much easier to deal with than my flock of hormonal males when they get going.
Shade is normally pretty good when it comes to me going in her cage all the time - in fact, when she becomes Ms. Grumpypants she's still good with me entering her cage and even scratching her head. However, what does change is her stepping up. When she does not want to, and this only ever happens during these times, she makes it clear so it's easy to avoid the nip that would follow should I try to force her to do so.
Would you guys mess with this bird?
What she is sitting on in that picture is her (shallow) bowl in which I normally put foot toys. While she's normally quite the prolific wood chewer, when hormones are higher this becomes threefold - she's going through wooden toys very quickly.
In fact, here is the mess that was waiting for me in her cage after I came home from work today..(and this is the result of only ONE day of wood chewing..)
Foot toy bowl
Bowl that formerly contained her breakfast
Bottom of her cage
Is it the ingrained notion that this would be time to build a nest, possibly. In fact, I did remove her deeper foot toy bucket because I caught her the other day in it chewing up some wood (and readily stepped up when I wanted to take her out). But as far as "parenting" birds are concerned, she's rather selfish so I'm not too concerned with possible eggs. She's much happier with trying to get Zuri to feed her and then flying away if he gets any ideas...I am monitoring her weight (well all the birds weight) daily and have read that a quick hike in weight might indicate an egg - so far, she's been very stable, even having lost a gram at tonight's weigh in.
She's still very sweet. In fact, she was sitting on my shoulder for a good 20 minutes earlier this evening. In "normal" times, she would probably want to stay there longer, but over the years I've been observing that she is slightly more distant during these times but will revert to her much more affectionate self soon enough.
I might have been worried has this been the first time, but given we've been through this a few times before, it just appears like routine.