Category Archives: Lovebirds

It’s official: My parakeet widower and my parakeet widow are now an item.

Parakeets Shelly on the left, female, and Ginger, male(4-3-10 I wrote this and forgot to post it. D’oh!)

I just came home from a ride with my hubby, and I checked on all my pets. I noticed that Shelly was sitting behind Ginger, propping him up. Ginger had his head turned around kissing Shelly. Awwww.

Ginger’s mate, Moonpie, died last week. (Goodbye Moonpie. We will miss you very much.) I was hoping he would not be alone too long.

Shelly, on the other hand, lost her mate, lovebird Pipsqueak, a year ago. She’s been fighting with Gumby, Beady’s mate. Since I only have two males, the females are jealous of who has them.

Ginger and Moonpie were the closest parakeet couple I’ve ever had in the ten years I’ve had parakeets. They totally were dedicated to each other, and totally relied on each other. I was very sad when Moonpie died, leaving Ginger alone.

Shelly has been trying to catch Ginger’s eye shortly after Moonpie died: Relationship issues in my parakeet cage – A pretty widow wants a recent widower

I’m happy that neither Ginger or Shelly are not alone anymore.

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Relationship issues in my parakeet cage – A pretty widow wants a recent widower

I blogged recently about my female parakeet Moonpie passing away leaving her male mate Ginger alone. (Goodbye Moonpie. We will miss you very much.)

Ginger on right with his lost love Moonpie. (Moonpie often stood behind Ginger to prop him up since he has crippled legs and can’t stand well.)

I mentioned at the time that Ginger was in a cage with three single female parakeets, and one of them would probably make a move on him soon. I was right. Shelly has made a move on him.

Shelly’s mate Pipsqueak, a lovebird, died last year this month. (Goodbye Pipsqueak. We will miss you very much…) Shelly is on the left below, with her lost love, Pipsqueak:

Shelly, parakeet on left, with her lost love Pipsqueak, lovebird

Shelly is being very sneaky! Shelly has been sitting on the floor in the corner of the cage. She is pretending she is sitting on eggs! She is trying to trick Ginger into coming to her and feed her (mouth to mouth) as male birds do when their mate is busy tending eggs or babies.

Apparently, Ginger is falling for the Shelly’s ploy. I’ve seen Ginger sitting face to face with Shelly on the floor.

This is making the other females in this cage upset, and there has been some loud squabbling …

I previously had to put another couple, Beady and Gumby, in another cage just by themselves. Shelly wanted Beady very badly, and was squabbling with Gumby over him.

You would not think that cute little parakeets could squabble over mates. But, they are hardwired by God to mate for life. When a mate dies, they want to find another mate to fill the void.

Human widows and widowers often marry shortly after a spouse dies, so it is hard to fault a little parakeet to want to find love again, also…

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Goodbye Moonpie. We will miss you very much.

As always, when one of my pets dies, I write a tribute as therapy…

Moonpie, in the picture on the left below, was the loving mate of Ginger, one of the crippled baby parakeets I adopted. Moonpie and Ginger were the sweetest couple. Ginger had a very bad case of splay leg, a condition where parrot-type birds’ legs do the splits permanently.

Moonpie   Ginger

Moonpie was the helpmate of Ginger in the truest sense of the world. Ginger cannot stand on a perch like the other birds. Ginger stands on one foot and holds onto the side of the cage with his other foot.

Moonpie propping up Ginger

Moonpie would stand behind Ginger so that Ginger could lean on her. They would stand like that for hours.

Here is a post I wrote about Ginger and Moonpie’s relationship: Love conquers all… 

Parrot-type birds mate for life. Of all the parakeet, cockatiel and lovebird couples I have had since I have had pet birds, Ginger and Moonpie were the closest. They were never apart.

Lately, they had been laying on the floor of the cage together. Birds do not like to be on the floor — they feel more comfortable up high away from the danger of predators like cats and dogs.

Even thought my birds have never lived outside, God wired them up with the knowledge of predators so that they could protect themselves. This post talks about the first time I saw them snuggling on the floor together: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow….

Anyway, so Ginger and Moonpie have been laying on the cage floor in a snuggle position for the last few weeks. Since Ginger does the splits constantly, the floor is the only place he can relax. When he lays on the floor, one leg goes directly to the right, and one leg goes directly to the left.

Moonpie was always right next to him, either laying her head on his back, or laying side by side. As I said, this is very unnatural for birds, but they had come to the point where they felt safe this way. Whenever I would come close to the cage, they would both move up to a “safer” area. But, I have been taking Ginger and snuggling him for a minute, and putting him back on the cage floor telling him he was safe there.

Moonpie and Ginger snuggling on the floor

Today, as always, they’ve been side by side. But, today they were exceptionally cute because Ginger had one of his crippled legs laying over and around Moonpie to protect her.

Moonpie had a long life. She is one of the last of three sets of babies that were “born” here one year about ten years ago. Their parents were Joy, a one-eyed parakeet I adopted and Davy an old man parakeet I adopted from a gentleman being sent overseas with the military.

At the most, I had 21 parakeets. Now I have just Ginger, Beady and Gumby (a couple), Shelly, Oscar and Freddie.

Freddie and Ginger were both featherless crippled babies I adopted after they had been abandoned from a breeder, apparently, because they were both crippled. This post has a section with more details about that and how I came to adopt them:

Please adopt homeless and handicapped pets

Beady, Gumby, Shelly and Oscar are the only ones left of all my babies who were born here. Beady and Gumby live in one cage alone. They have to be alone because Shelly wants Beady in the worst way, and literally fights with Gumby over him.

Ginger is my only other male. I named the crippled babies Fred and Ginger — you can’t tell the gender of parakeets until they are grown — I got them both wrong. Ginger is a boy and Freddie is a girl.

I feel very bad for Ginger since Ginger and Moonpie were so close. But, there might be a twinkling of happiness in store for Ginger. Ginger is the only male in the cage with Shelly, Oscar and Freddie. In the past, whenever one of my female parakeets have died, the other females make their move on the widower in no time flat.

Beady, for instance, is on his third mate. Parrot-type birds love to be in a couple, and I’ve experienced several couples form after the death of on the the couple’s previous mates.

Still, I can’t help feeling sorry for Ginger. He was laying next to her to the end, with his leg curved over and around her. Finally, he realized she was gone, and climbed elsewhere.

Goodbye Moonpie. Ginger and I will miss you very much.

Will Rogers said this about dogs, but personally, I feel it applies to all pets:

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."

As I said at the beginning of this post, writing this was my therapy to deal with the death of my little pet. I do not expect anybody to read this entire post. However, if you made it this far down Click Here.

Dear God, thank you for letting me be the guardian of my little Moonpie and for letting Ginger have such a loving mate.

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How to potty train a parrot … How to potty train a cockatiel … How to potty train a lovebird …

I have a video on My YouTube Channel showing that my cockatiel, Penny, is potty trained. I just got a comment asking me how I potty trained her. Rather than try to explain it in a YouTube comment, I’m writing this post and I’ll put a link in my YouTube comments.

Warning! This video shows a cockatiel going potty:

Potty Trained Cockatiel

I have had dogs ever since I was a grownup. When I got my first couple of birds about nine or so years ago, the “poop issue” was not fun. I just thought I would try to potty train Rufus, like I have potty trained my dogs over the years. Rufus has big poops, so it was worth a try. It worked!

I have potty trained several of my parrot-type birds since then. This is a list from, biggest to smallest, of my pet birds I have potty trained:

  • Rufus: African Grey Parrot
  • Peanut Boy: Timneh Grey Parrot (sadly, he is no longer with us)
  • Penny: Cockatiel
  • Candy: Lovebird

Candy, my Lovebird, is about three inches tall. My hubby got her for my birthday over the summer. She was potty trained in just a couple of days. She spends the time out of her cage on my shoulder. When she has to go potty, she runs down my arm and jumps on the potty perch. Then, they runs back up my arm and jumps up on my shoulder. This is the best case scenario! So, there is apparently no parrot so small that it can’t be potty trained.

So, how do you potty train a parrot? This post assumes your parrot is already tame and likes to spend time with you. Make the potty training process just another part of spending time with them.

In this post, the word “parrot” means any type of hook billed bird. They are all just variations of the same type of bird.

Decide where you want your parrot to potty. I made Rufus a “potty perch” out of PVC that fits over the waste basket in the living room. Penny and Candy, who are smaller, use a store bought stand that I put on the arm of my lazy boy chair over a paper towel. Decide what is a convenient potty place, and then be consistent.

Two important things to remember are “Patience” and “Repetition”. Your parrot does not want to sit in a mess. Parrots are programmed to sit in a tree and be far away from the mess. Parrots are very intelligent birds. If you patiently repeat these steps with consistency, you most likely will eventually have a potty trained parrot:

  • Step one: Observe your parrot. Every parrot does a certain thing when they get ready to potty. (Rufus wags his tail and Penny moves her whole body side to side.)
  • Step two: When you notice your parrot is getting ready to potty, put him/her on the potty perch.
  • Step three: Say “Go potty”, or something you decide on. Be consistent and always say the same thing. They have to go potty, so they will eventually.
  • Step four: Tell your parrot “Good bird”, or something you decide on, after they potty. Parrots are social animals, and you are part of their flock. They want your approval.
  • Step five: Take them off the perch and put them back on your shoulder, or wherever they spend time with you. This shows they were on the perch for one thing, only.
  • Step five: Notice how often your parrot has to potty, and put them on their potty perch more often than that. (smaller parrots potty more often than larger parrots)

Do this all the time they are out of their cage and with you. With patience and repetition your parrot will eventually associate the words “Go potty” with the potty perch and the act of going potty. Keep trying and don’t give up! You will be surprised what your parrot can learn if you give it a chance.

Good luck! Please report back with your progress.

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Filed under African Grey Parrots, Cockatiels, Lovebirds, Parrots, Pets

Now playing: A recording of my parrot, Rufus, talking to himself….

My African Grey Parrot, Rufus, talking to himself

Rufus, an African Grey Parrot, talks a lot, but only when he is in a room by himself, for the most part. In order to get this recording, I set up our portable phone to “Intercom” and went into another room. Then, I held up my cell phone to the house phone and set it to record.

Rufus is a character. He’s very good company when I’m the only human in the house all day, which is most of the time. I also have other birds: Cockatiels Penny and Jonah, Lovebird Candy, and Parakeets Beady, Gumby, Shelly, Oscar, Moonpie, Ginger and Freddie. Having a houseful of birds makes it noisy, but I like it. I like hearing God’s creatures.

My parakeet’s especially, make a lot of noise. But, the noisier the get, the happier they sound — The parakeets just sound happy to be alive. They make the most noise at sunrise. The rest of the birds were napping when I got this recording of Rufus.

Here is the one and only time I have caught Rufus talking on video:

He said “What’s up” right at the beginning. Then, the naughty bird decided to get on the parakeet cage. I know from (many) past experiences that Rufus is going to lift up the wire holding the parakeet’s water bottle. He loves to watch things fall…. He will also pull a parakeet’s tail if one is sticking out of the cage. At the end, I have to stop the video to put Rufus back on his Boing-Boing and coil it up shorter so he can’t reach next time.

So there you have it – another peak into my boring life… Don’t worry, I like my boring life just the way it is.

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My parakeet, Gumby, is trying to hatch some jelly beans, again….

Yes, really.

Gumby and Beady want to have a family. But, they are brother and sister. I have to take their eggs away so they don’t hatch. I hate to do it, in fact I make my hubby do it for me.

Gumby Beady
Gumby Beady
 

A couple of years ago when she was first laying eggs, we happened to have jellybeans in the house. I noticed at that time that they were the same size as Gumby’s eggs.

As an experiment, I switched her eggs with the jellybeans. She did not even notice. She just kept sitting on them. So, we’ve been using this system ever since.

If you take the eggs away, birds will just keep laying eggs and their little bodies get wore out. You have to put in a replacement in order for them to stop mating. There are (expensive) fake parakeet eggs that you can buy online, but white jellybeans always work for Gumby. She sits on them for a few weeks. When she stops sitting on them, I take out the jellybeans, and things go back to normal.

Gumby only lays eggs when she and Beady are alone in a house, rather than with the other parakeets, like they usually are. They have only been alone in a cage for the last two weeks, but they did not waste any time trying to start a family!

They don’t have a nest – she just kicks all the food out of her bowl and sits in it. So, last night my hubby took out her eggs, and I put three jellybeans in her food bowl. She looks very happy and content.

I wrote what follows as a draft a few weeks ago. I never got around to posting it, but I’ll put is here to explain how Beady and Gumby ended up in the honeymoon suite:

—-

Time to shuffle the parakeets again… A pretty widow has her eyes on a married man……

I have seven parakeets. Once in a while, they have tiffs, and they fight. As a Pet Mom, I have to make sure that all of my pets are safe. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen several of my parakeets having fights, but I never could tell who was the instigator.

Parakeets are cute and little, but they are strong fighters. I catch them on the bottom of their house (“cage” sounds so mean) clamped onto each other with beaks and claws, rolling around all over the place. Then, I have to reach in, pry them apart, and put one in another house.

Over the years since I’ve had birds (parrots, cockatiels, lovebirds, also) I’ve had to keep certain birds apart for various reasons. I don’t like anybody having to be alone in a house, and I always end up with a roommate for whoever is starting the fights.

This morning, I think I found out the problem…..

One of my mixed matches of birds, a pair I put together when one didn’t get along with anybody else, was broken when Pipsqueak, my last lovebird, died. Pipsqueak’s widow, a parakeet named Shelly, has decided she loves Beady.

Well, the problem is that Beady is married to Gumby. Gumby has taken Shelly moving in on Beady for too long, she says, and has started trying to right this wrong. So, this morning, I put Gumby, the instigator, and her husband, Beady in a house next door to the rest of the parakeets. Shelly will have to admire Beady from afar.

Calling parakeets “married” might sound funny, but in the parrot world, that’s the way it is. Parrot-type birds all mate for life. Beady is in love with Gumby now, but actually, he has been a widower a couple of times.

Beady’s first love was a one-legged parakeet I talked the manager of PetSmart out of. I try not to pay for handicapped birds – I just promise to take care of them for life, and I do.

Miss Piggy (who I named after the joke about the pig so good the farmer couldn’t eat all at one time) was alone in a cage at PetSmart, on the floor in the corner, since they didn’t know what to do with her.

Beady loved Miss Piggy, and would bring her food since she couldn’t get around very well. They were a very sweet couple. When Miss Piggy died, my old spinster parakeet named Ziggy moved in on him. They were together happily until she died a few years later.

But, Beady loves love, and now he is with Gumby. And, as I found out this morning, Gumby is fiercely protecting her marriage with Beady against the pretty widow, Shelly.

So, now all is calm in the parakeet houses again. Whew. I can stop coming in in the middle of the night to break up fights.

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Love is cuddling a cold, wet dog

I’ve mentioned before about my boy dog, Belty, whose kidneys are shutting. down. I’ve been spending as much time as I can with my good boy. Since neither one of us is very healthy, our quality time is mainly snuggling in the lazy boy chair or in the bed.

Belty modeling the first afghan I ever crocheted

It rained very hard last night, and Belty came romping in at bedtime, feeling pretty good for a change, after being in the rain. We have a doggie door, so our dogs can go in and out all day and night as they see fit.

Sitting around in the house with sick Mom must be pretty boring. Going outside on a rainy night must have been a nice change of scenery. Plus, there are mice that hang out in the plants around our goldfish pond.

Mice are fun to try to catch! He is too good of a boy to really catch a mouse, though. He just likes the chase, if he is feeling good that day…

He is used to little, quickly moving things. He has never touched one of my birds, and I have all sizes from teensy lovebird to Rufus, our parrot. Candy, my lovebird will jump right on Belty’s head, back, butt or feet, and he will just look at me as if to say: “Mom, get this off of me!”

But, he would not hurt anything. He has been my good boy for more than 10 years. I know my boy…

So, anyway, I was in bed doing a Sudoku, and in comes Belty after being in the rain, and he jumps into my lap.

So, what are you going to do? The room is cold, the dog is wet. Decisions decisions… Well, you cuddle him, of course!

I mentioned a few blogs ago about the Dear Abby or Ann Landers letter from a woman long ago. Women were complaining about their hubby’s snoring. She had said that she wished her husband was alive so she could hear him snore. That one letter years ago helps me put a lot of things into perspective…

I’m going to have plenty of time after Belty’s kidneys totally shut down to sleep in a warm, dry bed.

First things first.

Love is cuddling a cold, wet dog in your bed….

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