Here are the stories I collected from Alex’s first few months with us. As you’ll see, she learned to say quite a few words during this period. We also had to get used to calling her “she” instead of “he” – and there is quite a comical story to go with that as well.
Alex has this toy that he just loves – it’s called Birdy Man. It’s made of plastic, looks like a person and has “joints” at all the appropriate places. The legs and arms make clacking sounds when he plays with it. The toy hangs above a perch, and the feet of Birdy Man are just a little higher than the perch itself.
Anyway, Alex has been doing this really bizarre thing the last couple of days. He sticks his head between Birdy Man’s legs, and he’ll just sit there like that, with one leg on each side of his head. I don’t know why he does this, but, er, it looks *very* strange…..
Alex is feeling more like himself today after his visit to the vet yesterday. Last night when I was putting him to bed, he was so cute. He went over to his Birdyman toy and leaned his forehead against it like he was looking for some sympathy – “Boy, you wouldn’t believe the day *I’ve* had” type of thing. 😉
Alex is short for Alexandra! Yep, it’s true. The vet called with the Zoogen sexing results just this morning. And my little Quaker, whose favorite thing to say is “Good Boy!”, is really a good GIRL! I also had my sun conure, Lucky, sexed at the same time. Fortunately, I taught Lucky to say “Lucky’s a pretty bird” instead of pretty boy, because as it turns out he is also a she. At least Lucky is a somewhat unisex name. Then there was Frisco, my yellow-naped amazon, who I had for 10 years when I found out that “he” was a lady. I mean, REALLY! What are the chances of always picking female birds?! Geesh!
Happy Holidays from Shelly and the GIRLS! =)
Hi! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. On Saturday, I was walking past Alex’s cage when she started running back and forth on the bottom of her cage saying “Up! Up! Up!”. I stopped and asked her “Do you want me to pick you up?” and she said “GOOD!”. (I swear, this really happened!) Needless to say, Alex got her way!
Don’t you just love the way they laugh! Kinda sounds like a little cartoon character. I really believe that parrots have a sense of humor. Alex knows that I don’t want her to go after the buttons on my shirt. But it’s really funny that whenever she manages to get a hold of one, she laughs and laughs. Believe me, I didn’t teach her this because I definately do not laugh when she is trying to remove my buttons!
Alex was trying to tell me something when I was leaving for work tonight. Even though she said it twice, I just couldn’t make it out. She needs a little more practice, I guess. =)
Alex’s newest trick is “blowing kisses”. She has learned to imitate a kissing sound, and if I ask her to “blow me a kiss” or “give me a kiss”, she makes two little smooching sounds. She’ll even do this if I’m sitting across the room. It’s really cute.
Also, our household is still adjusting to finding out that Alex is a girl. My husband and I are still correcting each other when one of us says “good boy” or refers to Alex as “he”. So it’s understandable that Alex might be confused about the gender switch, as well. For the most part she is now saying the phrase “good girl” more than “good boy”, but she really cracks me up when she says “You’re a good boy-girl”. Somehow she came up with this phrase on her own!
Every night when it’s time to go to bed, I carry Alex’s cage into the bedroom and then in the morning I carry it back out to the living room. Anyway, last night when I was moving her, she said “Here we go! Here we go!” and then after her cage was set down “OK!”. She did the same thing this morning. It’s really cute! And yes, that is what I say to her when I move her cage. Well, along with some huffing and puffing and the occaisional “oops” when we run into something, but she hasn’t learned to immitate those sounds yet! 😉
Hi! Some of you might remember me writing that Alex has been saying something to me whenever I put my coat on and walk out the door, but I just couldn’t make out what she was saying. Well, this afternoon when I was leaving for work the words came out clear enough for me to understand. She said “Bye-bye. Bye-bye. Love you.”
The other night when we were getting ready for bed, I walked over to the wall switch (which happens to be right by Alex’s cage) to turn the light out. Out of nowhere came the loudest, high-pitch scream that I have ever heard from Alex’s lungs. You know, one of those “my ears rang for 5 minutes afterwards” screams! Very unusual for Alex.
And what was the problem, you ask? Well, apparently I had forgotten to put the cover on Alex’s cage BEFORE turning off the light, which is our normal routine. Bet I won’t make that mistake again. Who’s training who here, anyway?! 😉
PS Alex is currently working on perfecting her Yorkie growl and bark. The only thing that surprises me is that it’s taken her this long, since these are sounds *often* heard in our household. =)
Alex is working on saying “Time to go night-night”. This is what I say to her when I cover her cage at night. It started out with her just saying “Time. Time.” over and over. And then the phrase became “Time to go”. Then last night when I was covering her cage, she said “Time to go night.” Wanting to reinforce her efforts, I let her know how good she was. She got very excited and with wings quivering started saying “Good girl! Good girl!”. It was really cute!
Alex (QP) loves her water bottle. But (and this kinda goes with the territorial bird thread), when I change her water and go to put the bottle back on her cage, she tries to attack me and the bottle! She lets me put my hands in her cage while she is in it to pick her up, change toys and whatever without any problems, and she never tries to attack when I replace her food bowl in the morning. She only does this with the water bottle. Weird!
Whew! I think I can safely say that Alex has almost completely converted to pellets from her seed diet. Yeah! I tried to convert her a few months ago and wasn’t successful, so I let her eat 100% seeds for a few weeks before trying again to convert her – this time more slowly.
Well, it’s been about 2 months, and she is eating about 75% pellets and 25% seeds now (well, along with her fruits and veggies, of course). I started out by putting her normal amount of seed in the food dish with a layer of pellets on the top so that she had to pick through them to get to the seeds. Then every other week I would make a small change to the formula, giving her a few less seeds and a few more pellets (but always putting the pellets on top).
It’s working this time. I think the key was in making the changes more gradual and also putting the pellets on top of the seeds rather than mixing it all together. Another couple of weeks and she should be off the seeds completely!
Alex is still working on “Time to go night-night” (it usually comes out “time to go night”). I try to encourage her when she gets it pretty close by telling her “good girl!”. This afternoon she was sitting in her cage chattering away and practicing her human-talk. Several times I heard her say it right, “time to go night-night”, followed by a “Good! Good Girl!” – like she knew she had gotten it right! It was really cute. =)
Back to Alex’s Diary – The First Year