Thursday, 21 May 2009

Rainbow …

The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a Jay and which is a Sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.
Eric Berne (1910-1970)



A short time ago I penned a post that introduced you to Rambo, and I was pleased with the response from visitors who thought it was a hoot. One regular even coerced her family into watching the video and reported back that they all enjoyed it. That's the sort of feedback that a blogger thrives on!

I now have to declare that I got one salient fact totally wrong.


Rambo is now Rainbow. And that is official.

'Sexing' an Agapornis rosiecollis The Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis), also known as the Rosy-faced Lovebird, is a species of lovebird native to arid regions in southwestern Africa such as the Namib Desert. A loud and constant chirper, these birds are very social animals and often congregate in small groups in the wild. They eat throughout the day and take frequent baths.

Finding a pair of these birds for breeding is not easy because their sex is not easily determined. The sex can be determined by the pelvic bones which in males measure 1-3 mm while measuring 6-8 mm in females.

is a bit of a 'hit-or-miss' affair. So, getting it wrong is par for the course. Rainbow only started to show signs that she was a female when we observed her reactions to Barney, the dominant male, who also happens to be her 'grandfather' in human terms. Each time he showed an element of aggression towards her, she would crouch down with her wings spread, a sure sign of female submissiveness in the species.

At first we found all this amusing, but on reflection it is a bit of a problem. We know she is a 'special needs' bird, but since we aren't going to tell her that, she carries on with her life as if everything is normal. She craves company, and since the other birds tend to instinctively attack her, apparently knowing something about her is 'wrong', something that we are unable to identify, she turns to her humans for that company. It is fun to keep her amused for an hour or two, but she can be as demanding as any hyperactive child, with the added problem that we can't explain that we are tired, and that by forcibly returning her to her cage we are not being cruel. Or perhaps that is the easy part - not having to offer an explanation?

Nevertheless, she is the star attraction for all who drop in on us, especially family and close friends. They are all aware that we have her, and they can barely manage a cursory greeting at the door, before making straight for Rainbow's cage to invite her out to play. She is then carried about the house as if it is the most normal thing in the world to walk around with a tiny bird perched on one's head, shoulders, hands, fingers, whatever! And, of course, she absolutely loves the attention.

Here are a series of recent shots showing the grandson 'bonding' with the bird even though he wasn't too sure about it at first.


Oooops! The boy (Miguel) does not think this is a good idea! A bit more comfortable with the situation, but not 100% sure! "OK, I can put up with this!"
"Hey, this is fun!" - (love the way boy and bird are synchronized.) "This is much better!" - (the smile gives the game away.) "Let's share!" - (as boys and pets do all over the world!)
(click on any thumbnail for a larger image)


Regular readers of this blog will put it down to just another 'nutty day' at the 'nuthouse'!

We call it home.

Come back again, soon ...

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