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In Reply to: RE: Day six of owning a Congo African Grey parrot, and I am stressed. posted by cfraser on September 16, 2012 at 19:24:01
Wonder how they react to music. Do they pick up words from the songs. Any preferences to particular music; Lady Gaga?! How about attention span?
The first i noted about my Greys musical interest was he was sharply shaking his head every few seconds. I knew he didn't like the music. More modern Jazz. rather complex.
Playing Beethoven piano sonatas great, no problem,
Jazz trios playing bop no problem.
Stereolab, not only head twitching but alternate wing twitches...
Right now play Properbox Fats Waller four disc set, no problem.
Since the bird probably has never heard music before coming home with me, I assume he will gradually get used to music.
But lucky for him i am not a death metal freak.
My bird loves VERY heavy music, which I rarely play these days. He was "brought up" with classical/jazz radio on all day though... Many women dance with their birds. Yes, the birds do seem to like it, but no way I'm doing that.
My bird doesn't learn words from anybody but me. He sometimes understands (to some extent) stuff he hears on the radio, especially weather reports, based on his response. My theory is that they don't understand "words" per se, like we do. Our understanding of words makes it quite easy for us to understand people with different accents and extremely different voices. I think birds only relate to the sound. For instance, my bird loves it when I whisper. He doesn't understand that the words I'm saying are the same as when not whispering: they are different "words" to him.
Greys are not cuddlers, like larger macaws and cockatoos typically are. You have to keep patting them to keep them from fidgeting. One reason to know if they're male is you shouldn't really stroke the backs of males once mature or near, it sexually stimulates them and is a bit unfair...
Yes, the wing-flapping is good exercise, I encourage it. I do not and have never clipped my birds. It's a personal choice, there are as many arguments for as against. I have plenty of flying room, but the Grey doesn't do house laps the way say the cockatiels did. IIRC the Grey flight feathers will not be fully grown again (after baby clipping) until after 2 years old. It is probably a good idea to have a baby clipped, almost all are, certainly if from a store. My bird is physically very small, but weighs 510g, so lots of compact "muscle". He was the exact same size when 10 weeks old as at 10 years old, but ~50g/2oz heavier now.
Hell, I don't even like to keep the bird in a cage, and I never even latched my Grey's door until he was ~2 and was getting too bold. Before then, e.g. he'd come and sit by the house door (like a puppy) when he heard the garage door open. It was obvious he had never been there very long...
Your next hurdle is going to be bath time! Babies aren't too hard, they usually sit there looking stunned, but eventually they will resist a bit. And more eventually they will tell you when they want a bath. They are very dusty, and a bath only "lasts" a few days before they have that chalky look again. Mine likes freezing cold water, so getting him to bath is harder outside the winter.
I know if a bird has not been near runningwater or a pool of water they can be hard to get INTO the water. So I have been taking my new guy into the tub with a few inches of water and just sprinkling him a bit.
He seems OK with it.
My last guy love to have thumbsex. Always left hand. Probably an average of once every two days for the last 16 years...
A few times he would go for a week without wanting sex. Other days three times a day.. He certainly enjoyed it. Watching him twist up in orgasm was fun. And i was pleased he was happy.
PS I am obviously not embarassed to mention it. Birds have a right to sex as much as anyone.
Perhaps if it was a female bird I'd be less turned off by either...
Nope, still not interested. :)
My male cockatiel had no issues, he'd just jump on the nearest female one during "that time". Then they'd pretend to look after the eggs, he was never happier than when sitting on eggs (that never hatched).
Inside his box on the floor, he had chewed out the bottome, I tape more, chew tape, so it was a nest, he sat on the comb in there every day for years.
I wished his next life he could raise a family..
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