Given that this will be be my 100th blog post this year, I thought it was fitting that this particular post be "the one", so I'm going ahead, even if it won't be how I originally envisioned it.
Although I can't remember the exact date, May marked the tenth anniversary since I first brought Piper home (the 17th stands out so it may have been on that day). Even though there was already two Lovebirds in the house, and possibly an African Grey or two as well, he was the first parrot that was entirely mine. All the other birds belonged to my parents.
I remember vividly going over to the breeder's with my mom, excited to see (and it was only to see and possibly play with) baby Lovebirds. But Piper had another idea. Both him and a clutch sibling were on the breeder when we entered that room and the moment he saw my mom and I, he flew to me, while his sibling remained on the breeder. He nestled himself under my hair just behind my ear and that was it - he chose me. I had been considering a green cheek conure from a local pet store at the time, if only to get the poor thing out of there, but I am very thankful that Piper did what he did that day, resulting in him coming home with me, as the more I learned about Lovebirds and conures, the more I knew that the former were much more a fit for my personality.
Since he had been weaned for some time (and had actually had one other family for about a week), he was ready to come home on that day...but I wasn't. Given I didn't know what parrot I would get, I hadn't purchased a cage or toys or food. The breeder had an extra cage that she was willing to lend me while I bought my own and we had food fit for Lovebirds at home, so we had a temporary solution.
I set his cage in my room for that first day, totally taken with him, and worrying that he wasn't eating enough (which he was). Although the addition of every one of my flock members was exciting in its own right, none really could compare to what I felt with Piper; he was my first parrot and that just makes him extra special.
I believe the next day (or it could have been the day after), we set off to one of the bigger pet stores in town that actually sold large parrots and a plethora of accessories (this chain no longer exists) where I could find a suitable cage, perches, toys and food. Because this particular store was about to move in a bigger space (just a few steps down from where it was located at the time), they were selling gently used cages that had been used to house some of their birds (instead of moving it all). I got a pretty decent deal on that cage (being a student at the time) and was able to get a few (new) perches and toys at a nice discount rate (again, they rather sell than move).
Piper quickly became friends with the other two Lovebirds, who would actually bicker to be closer to Piper. And as Piper liked being on me, I often had all three, since they would follow him everywhere. And although Piper has a splayed leg, he was the quickest of the three to get anywhere even by running!
When I moved in with the Boy, he got separated from his two friends, and got to properly meet Shade (they both lived in different rooms in my parents house). I was a little concerned at first, but Shade was ever so nice with Piper and they could be let out of their cages at the same time without any issues.
Piper does well with everyone. I had a friend come over once, when we were still living in our first apartment, with her two young kids. I trusted Piper and Shade around the kids. While Shade was gentle and would perch on their hands nicely, Piper crawled over them, never giving a nip, played with them (the kids would roll a small cat plastic ball that Piper would run after and shake it). They referred to him as "the one who loved us" - he had obviously worked him charm on them. And while he is friendly with all, ultimately, I am the person he prefers and will seek me out when he just wants to cuddle.
One would think that I prefer Poicephalus parrots over Lovebirds, owning six of them and just the one Lovebird but I wouldn't say that is the case. I would say that Piper has likely ruined owning any other Lovebird, as I don't think I could ever find another quite like him and they may suffer from being compared to him. With the Pois, I can get different species but I never had any interest in masked or Fishers Lovebirds, only the Peachface.
While I never really celebrated Piper's "gotcha date" (not remembering exactly which date it was), here is to our ten years together and I truly hope there are many more to come.
The few baby Piper pictures I still have - loved how dark he was back then. I know I took many more, but between all the moves and using different computers, and not storing pictures in different locations - something I truly regret now - it appears I can't access them anymore.
One of my favourite pictures of him - he was two years old and a few months here.
And a few pictures of the two of us that I really like!
He loves wet hair and to cuddle!
How can someone resist this face?
I could keep posting pictures - there are so many I enjoy - but I'll finish the post with another of my top favourites, and one that emulates how he sees himself; he may be small, but in his head, he is a mighty bird!