How I love to see Moriarty greet me in the morning.
When he hears me enter the room, if it is not too early, he will jump to the mid-height perch at the front of the cage and peer under the cover at me. I open the blinds, lift the covers a bit, then put my face up to him to say ‘Good Morning, Sweet Pie’…. taking care not to get my nostrils in biting distance!
Since Bezukhov’s flight to Rainbow Bridge last July, Dalai has continued to stay in the Silver Villa, favouring bedtime on his own, rather than having to share with Perry & Lennie. Possibly a part of this is because he likes to retire to bed earlier than the others. Bezukhov was always mindful of Dalai’s preferences, whereas Perry & Lennie are a bit more ‘animated’ at a time when Dalai is less appreciative!
So far, there has been one exceptional bedtime, that strangely occurred at the end of Day 45 of their recent medication. I am still unsure whether that was a coincidence!
The evening of the 14th January, Dalai was already locked up but at around 20:30 he indicated he wanted to come out. Sometimes he would like a last fly before bed. But on this occasion, instead of going back into the Silver Villa, he went into Perry & Lennie’s cage! The few weeks prior, he had been spending time in their cage during the daytime (usually in the morning) but this was the first time he went in at bedtime.
Needless to say, I left their doors open for awhile, in case Dalai changed his mind. He did actually poke his head out the door a couple of times & looked at the open doors of the Silver Villa & seemed to contemplate returning, but twice turned around to go back into Perry & Lennie’s, so it was definitely a conscious decision.
Certainly he upset the apple-cart as he investigated which position he wanted to rest in, including upside down on the ceiling! Meanwhile, Lennie was still trying to kiss him every two minutes, despite Dalai jabbing him away. Perry was just trying to find a peaceful spot & actually came out on the landing platform twice, seeking calm.
Dalai finally, very astutely, came to rest on the purple swing (he has the same in his cage, though he does not sleep on it), which is not used by either Perry or Lennie at bedtime. This brought some calm. I felt confident enough to lock them in & put their cover over.
I stayed up extra late but did not hear a peep out of them, but all the same I still thought it best to get up a bit earlier in the morning! The next morning, all was well!
Despite Dalai’s overnight stay being relatively calm (after the initial surprise) he has not repeated it. It is anyone’s guess as why he has not! For now, he seems happy sleeping on his own in the Silver Villa.
It is 8 weeks since we lost Bezukhov. I think of him all the time & miss him.
Dalai, Perry & Lennie are coping well without him. There are some videos at the end of this post.
Dalai appears to be ‘top bird’. He always thought it before, but I think Bezukhov’s presence put a question mark over it. Lennie still runs around after Dalai. Perry is easy-going & just goes with the flow & if the flow means that Dalai calls most of the shots, then so be it.
At the time of Bezukhov’s death, both he & Dalai shared the Silver Villa & Perry & Lennie’s home was the New Villa. Since Bezukhov’s passing, Perry & Lennie spend all day in the Silver Villa with Dalai but come bedtime, things revert to how they were.
I have been prepared for them all sharing overnight but this has not happened yet. It seems that Dalai still wants his own space at bedtime. He does tend to retire to bed quite early & has his last feed early too. Bezukhov liked to get in several feeds before the cover went over but was mindful of not disturbing Dalai.
As the evening draws in, Dalai usually gives a sign that it is time for his visitors to return to their own home. He will vacate the Silver Villa & most of the time both Perry & Lennie follow him out, which gives me the opportunity to close up the Silver Villa & then allow Dalai back in alone. I was concerned that maybe I was unconsciously causing this situation so experimented by not closing up the Silver Villa. What resulted was that Dalai got increasingly tetchy as his bedtime rapidly approached. He would beak anyone who sat on the same perch as him & generally made himself unpleasant to be around! One evening, I heard a shriek as Perry flew out & landed on the plant pot stand. When I went over to investigate, I noticed Dalai had a blue feather in his beak! His solo bedtime was overdue!
So things are sorting themselves out. Reflecting on how things have been, I wonder if myself & Bezukhov were the most strongly bonded, given that the others have been coping much better than I have.
When Perry & Lennie arrived, they spent a few weeks in quarantine (click here to read that post). On the 9th December 2016, they were wheeled into the lounge, to the opposite side of the room from their new friends (hopefully), Bezukhov & Dalai.
After some initial surprised chirping, Bezukhov & Dalai quickly reverted to ‘indifference’.
Perry was so shocked, he started panting & was rooted to the spot. Lennie took the changes in his stride. As you can see from the video below, Lennie attempted to calm Perry by chewing his toes:
After a short time, Perry began to loosen up & they both started to settle into their new surroundings:
From the photos below, you can see Perry & Lennie’s new position & also how Bezukhov & Dalai carried on as normal!
Perry & Lennie in the lounge
Bezukhov & Dalai eating corn
Dalai eating corn
Perry & Lennie watching Bezukhov & Dalai at the window
In the photo above, the perch he is sitting on is still in the same place in the Villa, in the front doorway. In fact all is how he left it, so I can easily picture him in all perching spots. This particular spot reminds me of a specific occasion last summer.
I was out all day & came home after their bedtime. Bezukhov, Phineas & Dalai were in bedtime positions in the Villa, but because my sitter was still there they were not locked up & their front door was still open. When Phineas saw me, he sleepily got off his swing & made his way to that perch. I approached & held my hand out to him. He regurgitated to my finger. It was only a quiet, brief session as he was tired, but it made me feel so loved, missed & needed. That little action by my beautiful little grey man seemed to say, “Where have you been today? I have missed you. Here’s some regurgitated seed I have been saving for you. Glad you are back home. I’m going back to bed now I have seen you.”
So, this Christmas (& every day in fact) I am thinking of Phineas. I am also thinking of Cagney & hoping they are having fun together over by rainbow bridge with Atilla, Raspy & Thomas.
When we lost Phineas, Bezukhov made it clear he considered the Silver Villa Phinny’s domain. Though Bezukhov & Phineas originally moved into the Villa at the same time, its location was/is the same as the Ferplast, which was definitely Phinny’s home. If you recall, when Phineas arrived, Cagney & Bezukhov did not want him to sleep overnight with them so Phineas had a cage all to himself, at least at bedtime. So it seems that by location, Bezukhov regarded the Villa as Phinny’s.
Bezukhov found it difficult to go in the Villa without Phinny’s presence. He quickly decided that bedtime would switch back to the Manor. Dalai followed him there.
During the day, he avoided the inside of the Villa. On top & around the outside of it was fine, but he was not comfortable going inside. It took a couple of weeks for him to venture inside to drink the water or chew the iodine block but he generally just took what he needed & then got out – he did not linger. Gradually, as Dalai spent time in the Villa, Bezukhov’s visits got longer & over the following weeks Bezukhov began to sit in the Villa & even eat in there. He now appears quite relaxed in there, but bedtime is still in the Manor.
Bezukhov & Dalai eating in the Villa again
Bezukhov & Dalai sitting on Villa feeder
Note: Check out the difference in feet colour between Bezukhov & Dalai.
Since Dalai has joined the flock, bedtime has become unpredictable. Sometimes Dalai will voluntarily join Bezukhov & Phineas in the Silver Villa where they are ready for bed. Other than those odd occasions, it seems that Dalai does not want to go to bed. At least he does not want to go to bed in a cage.
Dalai tends to settle on the plant pot stand that is positioned in front of the Villa. If it gets late & he is still snoozing there, I will give him a prod & he goes into the Villa with the others. However, quite often, Bezukhov & Phineas will join him on the plant pot stand. They may have gone into the Villa for bed but when they see Dalai settled outside, they probably think that if he is not coming in to them, they will go out to him. On these occasions, eventually, either Bezukhov or Phineas will retire to the Villa for a proper sleep & Dalai follows them without much, if any, prodding.
Bedtime on the plant pot stand for three sleepy birdies:
As previously posted, Dalai left his quarantine cage on May 11th. That evening, when it came to bedtime, there was a bit of chaos. Dalai did not want to go into his own home so settled on a perch on the outside of the Silver Villa, where Bezukhov & Phineas were already inside sleeping.
He showed no signs of going into any cage – bear in mind he had a choice of his own quarantine cage, the Silver Villa & the Manor. As a last resort, I had to catch him in order to get him to a place of safety for bed. He is not finger tame so the simple act of putting my finger in front of him freaked him out, so we ended up having a mad chase around the room. I eventually caught him (boy, can he screech like he is being murdered!) & popped him back into his own cage.
The following evening (12th May), Bezukhov & Phineas retired to bed as usual, in the Silver Villa. Dalai fell asleep on a perch on the Manor. As it got late, I gave him a little nudge & to get away from me he flew into the Villa. So, that was their first night all sleeping together.
Naturally, I set the alarm extra early to check on them the next morning. All was well but I let them out early anyway. Interestingly, Dalai went straight to his own cage & had a long chat with his red mirror.
The following evenings Dalai decided to sleep in his own cage. It is worth noting that his cage is alongside the Villa & at night I put the cover across both cages so they can see each other. There is a perch in the Villa that lines up nicely with where Dalai sleeps in his cage & either Bezukhov or Phineas will sleep there if Dalai is not in with them.
Since then, Dalai has gradually increased his overnight stays with Bezukhov & Phineas, & we are now at a point where he sleeps with them every night. In fact, he rarely even goes into his own cage any more so I am considering removing it. I still try to get them out early the next morning as I find that Bezukhov gives me the hint by quietly waiting on the platform perch (where the small door opens) to be let out. Dalai is less subtle & when he wants to come out he has a tantrum & sometimes pushes past Bezukhov on the platform perch in order to be out first!
Going back to last October, you will know that I removed the new cage, the Silver Villa, & reinstated the Ferplast as Bezukhov was unwell & it was thought familiarity would help his recovery. The Silver Villa stayed in the room, but was shunted to the corner (the playgym, once again, in my bedroom).
This arrangement worked in that Bezukhov gradually got better. The existing problem though, was giving him his medication. As he was back to sleeping overnight in the Ferplast with Phineas, it meant that was the location for the morning medication chase. Over the weeks, catching him got so difficult that I was led to a new idea; I opened the small side door of the Ferplast & moved the cage up to the big open door of the Manor, draping a sheet around the open areas around the edge. The plan was to chase him through the little side door, into the Manor & it worked!
Although flushed with the success of my idea, I knew that it was a one-off. Knowing Bezukhov, once he worked out that ‘escape’ through the side door would just mean he still got caught in the Manor, he simply would not go through the door. By this time, (mid-November) Bezukhov was back to normal, health-wise, so I decided, for my own sanity, to (once again) replace the Ferplast with the Silver Villa, there & then.
So, as from November the 18th, both Bezukhov & Phineas returned to sleeping overnight in the Manor! This meant I had to open them up as early as possible in the morning because by then, Bezukhov needed some respite from Phineas.
They continued to ignore the Silver Villa & at most, sat on the top to eat from the pellet pots there. Into December, Phineas started sitting on the top of the open door – it was a shorter flight to the window perch from there. On the 16th of December, Phineas was sitting on my hand, contemplating a jiggy (it had been awhile) so I gradually moved him into the Silver Villa. He sat in there & preened for a bit although I think that was largely because he did not know how to get out, even though it has a large front door. I had to go in the other room & when I came back he had returned to the Manor.
Here is Phineas on his 16th December visit to the Silver Villa:
Now it is just Bezukhov & Phineas, sleeping arrangements needed to be renegotiated. This has been a delicate & complicated operation & a settlement appears to be in sight. The table below summarises the comings & goings. The added notes give some explanation, though I doubt any real insight into the workings of a budgie mind.
Bezukhov seriously considered staying overnight in Phinny’s cage. In the end, it did not happen but I sensed Bezukhov would prefer to sleep next to someone (even Phineas) rather than alone in the Manor.
Bezukhov experimented by sitting in Phinny’s cage after he had eaten. Unfortunately, at one point Bezukhov did not get out of Phinny’s way fast enough & was pushed to the floor of the Ferplast. Being a sensible toyboy he decided quite quickly that sleeping overnight with Phinny was NOT an option… so he returned to the Manor.
Bezukhov again considered sleeping overnight with Phineas. However, I thought it best he stayed overnight when the next morning was not medication morning, so I encouraged him back into the manor but he was restless. I imagined the following evening the probability of him staying overnight in the Ferplast was high, but I was foolish thinking I could predict their movements!
For some reason, they both stayed out late which was unusual for Phineas as he tends to go to bed relatively early. Anyway, they both landed up in the manor, so I quietly locked them in. Phineas seemed a bit surprised but he was tired so settled quickly. Unlike the previous night when Bezukhov was restless on his own in the manor, he seemed ok with Phinny in there with him. Just to be sure, I set my alarm for extra early the following morning… In fact, I set my alarm for 3am to see the blood moon (very nice!) but then set it again for early morning…
Normally I hear them chirping before I enter the room but it was silent, until I entered, when Phineas was clearly in need of some attention (regurgitation and/or jiggy-jiggy). Bezukhov was looking shell-shocked & had an expression that seemed to say, “What have I done, Mama?” I immediately got Phineas out (he willingly jumped on my hand) & transported him to his own cage. If budgies could sigh, then Bezukhov gave a massive one! He was then able to chirp (he was dumb struck before) & preen & eat.
I really felt for Bezukhov this evening; he spent about 30 minutes getting comfortable in Phinny’s cage but then sat on the perch outside looking lost, like he did not know where his home was… However, he decided to persevere with the Ferplast. Phinny was already in bed on his ttmss swing so it was a good time to go in the cage – when Phinny is too tired to be troublesome. Bezukhov was looking a bit worried though & unsure where to settle. The doors were still open in case of a change of mind.
As I covered them over, Bezukhov made his way to the swing next to Phinny’s. He sat there normally for a moment, but then climbed to the top & was balancing precariously there (reminded me of dear Cagney as the two of them would often sit on top of swings, especially on a swing their pudding was sitting on). Bezukhov then started to stretch across as if to sit on the other side of Phinny’s swing which made my heart go in my mouth, especially as Phinny noticed & leaned across with his beak open…. Bezukhov, being a sensitive & observant soul, thought better of that idea & settled on his swing in the normal fashion.
Another night in the Ferplast. Bezukhov experimented with roosting positions. He sat on the corner perch behind the ttmss swing, looking longingly at the free side of the swing (Phineas was already snoozing on the other side). Bezukhov took some time to psyche himself up to sit there, but he finally did! The two of them were on the ttmss swing! Bezukhov did not look entirely relaxed but at least the mirror in the middle afforded some protection from Phinny, & potentially it was the safest place to be in the cage. Phineas looked slightly put out because he could not slump like he usually does due to Bezukhov’s weight levelling out the swing.
Once again, they both settled in the Ferplast for the night. Though it is now Bezukhov’s preferred location for sleeping, he is still not entirely relaxed; he keeps having to look over his shoulder. He was preening at one point & did not get out of Phinny’s way quick enough so Phinny pushed him off the perch. I opened the cage doors again in case Bezukhov thought the Manor would be a better option, but he stayed in the Ferplast.
As usual, they both settled for bed in the Ferplast. Unusually, Phineas sat on the other side of his ttmss swing, the side he never sits on, so he could stretch across & shake the other swing that Bezukhov was trying to sleep on…
I decided to swap the positions of the Ferplast & the Manor. Bezukhov appears to have moved into the Ferplast, at least for the overnight stays, & this makes it difficult catching him for his medication in the morning.
Because of the change in position, the Ferplast was ignored & they both spent most of their time in & on the Manor. Phineas was totally confused as all his routine regurgitating spots were in the Ferplast! During early evening, whilst they were both in the Manor I locked them in. Bezukhov was restless as he clearly did not want to share the Manor with Phineas. I put my hand in, hoping Phinny would jump on & perhaps I could transport him into the Ferplast but he just came to the nearest perch, stretched across to bite me, then returned to the loft area!
So, Phineas was annoyed with me as I upset his jiggy & regurgitating routine & Bezukhov was annoyed with me for locking Phineas in the Manor with him! They did eventually settle down for the night but not without Phineas first hitting Bezukhov on the head.
After the biting from Phinny the previous night, in the morning it appeared we were friends again, which had to happen in order for him to do the hand-jive.
They both decided to return to the Ferplast for overnight sleeping, despite the cage being in the wrong location.