Edited to add Klara's comments.
The other day Klara left me a message, asking for advice on what she can do to keep her very territorial Pacific Parrotlet from being such a terror. Here's part of what she said:
I myself have a three year old male Pacific Parrotlet and he is SO, SO territorial! It's not just a seasonal thing, either, it's year round. He gets 12 hours of sleep every night, but that doesn't seem to help change his behavior.
Was Peanut ever cage territorial? I tried giving my bird one whole room at one point, thinking maybe he was just territorial over small spaces, but then he got territorial over the WHOLE room... just wondering if you have any tips for me and whether there's a way I can get around this. It's not fun to hang around him when he's being all bitey and nippy. And when he bites, he will hang on and not let go... when he finally does, he will grab another part of my hand or toes or whatever, repeat.
In fact, I've gotten too scared of him lately and haven't been handling him much - I just let him out to do his own thing, never really getting into contact with him.
I couldn't really help her, since Peanut was always very gentle. Neither Bruce nor I can even remember more than a handful of times he tried to bite us (once was when I was trying to type on his keyboard when he was using the computer — really, what
was I thinking!?!).
But from what I've heard and read about other parrotlets, Peanut's behavior was atypical. Most of these tiny Masters of the Universe are feisty and more than capable of drawing blood. Don't laugh, many owners of big parrots dread bites from small birds — they're tiny but pernicious.
So if any of you readers have first-hand experience in handling tiny territorial tyrants (suggestions, good web sites, etc.), can you please leave a comment for Klara? Thanks!
Harley hasn't been playing much with foot toys
lately. I think his habits have changed since we've moved to the new place. He has more space here, more places to be, more windows to look out of, more scenery changes. I'm not sure why that translates into fewer toys-held-in-feet-and-destroyed, but that seems to be the case. Instead, he likes to stand on things and destroy them:
This is a duffel bag with one of those 4" x 6" kraft boxes in it, cut to resemble a "kleenex" box. The box is occasionally chewed, and it conveniently holds up the side of the duffel bag so Harley can get inside it, and stand on and chew up the real
attraction: an Airport/Facility Directory (pop up a photo here
, or read more about the book and why we let Harley chew them up
). The bag does a pretty good job of containing all the book spit balls — remember this disaster
? (Picture pops.) We simply empty the duffel out when Harley can't fit inside anymore.
I'm sure part of the attraction in this case is the nest-like enclosure of the duffel bag, and letting him chew in here all the time could elicit aggressive behaviors. But we haven't noticed any really bad behavior. Just the usual poops on the rug.
Harley also loves luggage, and "helps" Bruce pack every week. I'll get pictures of that soon. But for now, here's a photo of Harley going hunting in Bruce's computer bag:
He was lucky: he found a power bar! And ate it! Way too much sugar for a bird, but we let him have a few bites as a reward for all the hard work.