Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Category Archives: Lennie

Lennie Milestone: On my finger!

Some of my recent posts have been about milestones Moriarty has achieved as he settles in. But milestones do not need to be about the young or those in new, developing situations, they can also apply to the old, or those in well-established routines.

Take Lennie, for example.  From some point early on (post-quarantine days) he decided he needed to be wary of me.  He will always give me a wide berth – sometimes very wide!  His only slight exception will be if millet is involved.  Ordinarily, this would be a great training tool but since Lennie is very overweight, I decided it best not to encourage more millet-eating just so I could get near him.

So, you can imagine my surprise when, on the 1st of May, he voluntarily landed on my finger!

Alas, it was not a new-found acceptance of me but a need to not miss anything with Perry & Moriarty!

Lennie

 

Perry & Moriarty were on my hand, in front of Moriarty’s cage, flirting & running up & down my arm.  My other hand was beside them (between them & the cage).  Their flirting intensified & Lennie made his way over to the top of Moriarty’s cage to investigate.  I could see he desperately wanted to join Perry & Moriarty but was holding back as they were on me!  Nevertheless, I kept my free hand out, positioned where he could easily fly down to it, thinking he will never come, but he wanted to join in the fun so much that he actually flew down onto my finger!  He was not there long as he realised pretty quickly that this was an out-of-the-ordinary event & he did not want me to get the wrong impression!

Still, it was a nice feeling & nice to know that even when habits & routines are well-established, an occasional leap into unknown territory is possible!

Lennie

 

Reusable cage bottom liners

For a long time I have used newspaper to line the bottom of cages.  In recent years I have stopped buying newspapers & also not had easy access to free newspapers, so then started buying packs of ‘chip paper’ or packing paper.  This paper was particularly nice as the light, plain colour made it easy to check poop quality.

However, as I was using up the last pack I questioned if there was another cheaper way to line the bottom of their cages.

Lennie, Perry & Moriarty

I remembered I had an old shower curtain that was washable.  I cut up a trial piece & was pleasantly surprised with how it worked.  It is a light colour with faded swirls, so poop (& blood that it later had to cope with) is easily seen.  I thought it might be a bit slippery if Perry fell down on it but it seemed ok & no more slippery than anything else.  I cut up the rest of the curtain & got 6 ‘bottoms’ out of whole thing.  After some washing (either hand or machine) the edges started to fray so I hemmed them.

Having 6 means that I can have 4 in use, one drying & one to be (hand) washed.  When I take the last one away, I have 4 clean ones to put in (1 dirty one & 1 drying).

I bought another cheap, washable shower curtain & made another 6 for Dalai’s cage.

They lay nicely on top of the padding (fleece & towels) & are easy to roll up when you take them out.  Then I can scrape the poop off into a bag & put it in soak ready for a quick hand wash.  They dry very quickly.  And, as alluded to above, blood washes out well!

 

 

 

The Koothrapalli Effect

Moriarty & Lennie

Moriarty & Lennie

Moriarty & Lennie

For those familiar with the US TV show The Big Bang Theory, they will know what I mean by the Koothrapalli Effect.  In summary, one of the show’s characters, Raj Koothrapalli, had an inability to speak to or around unrelated women – a medical condition known as selective mutism.

So, why am I bringing this up here?  Lennie has been suffering the Koothrapalli Effect with regards to Moriarty!  This was very frustrating, especially in the early days.  Moriarty would be tweeting & chirping through the bars & although Lennie was showing a response (feathers raised, eyes dilated, beak tapping etc.) he was mute!  It must have been off-putting for Moriarty, especially because at the time Perry was not interacting with him.  Sometimes, Lennie would chirp but he would turn or move away from Moriarty before making a sound!

It was interesting that for a time, Moriarty got into the habit of walking about or sitting on top of the cage, above where Lennie was, & would listen to all of Lennie’s chat, knowing that if he descended down the side to be in front of him, Lennie would go silent.

Fortunately, over time Lennie has loosened up.  It began with the odd chirp inadvertently escaping whilst Moriarty was close (Moriarty would be so excited when that happened!)  Now, you would not think there had ever been a problem!

I am including some videos below to show the various interactions, silent & otherwise.

 

Silent Lennie:

 

Chatty Moriarty, grumbling Perry & silent Lennie:

 

Lennie still mute even when actually going over to visit Moriarty:

 

Moriarty circling above a chatty Lennie:

 

Silent interaction:

 

Mutism?  What mutism?

 

Further fresh grass deliveries

After the first delivery, more & more came!  All gratefully appreciated by Perry, Lennie & Moriarty!

 

~

 

 

Thank you, rosebudgie!!

 

Moriarty Milestones: See-Saw Swing

The see-saw swing is one of the most popular toys here.  There is one in Perry & Lennie’s cage & also one in Dalai’s cage.  Moriarty does not have one in his so his first encounter was when he was out & about.  He ignored it for a time but after a little encouragement & tapping on it he finally, tentatively climbed on.  Unsurprisingly, it was an instant hit with him!

 

 

The see-swing does, of course, require another to be sat on it for it to be used to its full capacity, so I am pleased to report it is used by both Lennie & Moriarty.

Moriarty & Lennie on the swing

 

Moriarty Milestones: Wild Grass

It is very possible that prior to Moriarty coming here, he had not had wild, seeded grass.

When the first grass of the season came through my letterbox, courtesy of very kind & generous follower, rosebudgie, my first thought was “wow, what an amazing surprise”, followed quickly by, “I wonder what Moriarty will make of this?”

 

Lennie wasted no time & tucked in immediately.  Perry was a bit reticent, like he had forgotten what fresh grass was, but this did not last long & he too, tucked in.  This left Moriarty, a bit bemused, wondering what his two friends were doing!  He circled around for a bit but eventually curiosity got the better of him & he tried it.  Unsurprisingly, he found he liked it.  Then he was running around like a demented fly, trying to eat all pieces that were pegged up!

 

Thank you, rosebudgie.  The fresh grass is much appreciated, especially by newcomer to the experience, Moriarty!

 

 

Shift in flock relations

My last post on relations within the flock was awhile ago (click here).  Since that post at the end of December, things have moved on.

Perry appeared disinterested in a possible new friendship with Moriarty & I put that down to him just simply not wanting a new friend, or perhaps him not feeling too well.  However, something changed mid-January.  It is likely Perry began feeling better from all the ‘abscess‘ health drama that happened at the end of December/beginning of January.  It also indicates he was not feeling right in the lead up, hence shunning Moriarty in those early days.

Either way, on the 17th January 2021, Perry began to flirt with Moriarty through the bars!

This was an unexpected development!  Whilst I was pleased to see Perry engaging with Moriarty, it unfortunately meant Lennie taking a step back from his friendship with Moriarty, which was a shame as it had been developing well.  It also meant Lennie was effectively rejected, which is never a nice thing!!

Moriarty & Perry’s bond grew over the days to the point that each morning, when I unlocked Perry, he was straight over to Moriarty’s cage to say hello.  The first time, he overestimated his flying ability & landed on the floor, so from then on I gave him a little help to get over there.  His activity levels definitely increased!

The next step was Perry & Moriarty meeting without bars between them.  This happened with just the two of them, in Dalai’s cage, on the 30th January.  This meeting was highly animated with Moriarty even putting his foot up on Perry’s chest a few times!  You would think they were long, lost friends just reunited!

This friendship has continued & currently all three are together during the day, but still back in their respective cages at night – I think Perry & Lennie still appreciate that rest from young Moriarty.  Though the stronger friendship now appears to be between Perry & Moriarty, when Perry is resting, Moriarty is happy to interact & play with Lennie.  If Lennie is also resting, as a very last resort, Moriarty will turn to me for entertainment!

Some videos:

Perry & Lennie visiting Moriarty

 

Moriarty visiting Perry & Lennie

 

Eating together (almost) harmoniously

Operation Getting the Flock Together

Since presenting Moriarty to Perry & Lennie on the 8th November, we have embarked on a gradual introduction programme.

The first priority is to ensure that Perry feels safe & protected.  His health issues have highlighted extra vulnerability in particular with limited mobility.  I decided at the outset to ensure his cage is a safe haven & therefore to not allow entry to Moriarty.

Of course preparation is key.  Before letting Moriarty out, I needed a way to encourage him to go back in!  I had noticed that Moriarty does not eat much during the day & although he likes millet, could leave a fresh piece untouched all day until evening time.  It seems millet would not be an adequate enticer.  Enter the green peg!  Yes, he seems attached to a green peg.  This would be my means of control!  With that decided, after giving Moriarty a week to acclimatise to his new surroundings, I let him out on the 15th of November.  Perry & Lennie were locked in.

Moriarty strolled out onto the door platform to greet the green peg.  He was immediately intrigued by the curtains just by his cage & stepped up on my finger where I could take him closer whereby he had a good chat.  He returned to the peg on the door platform.  He then plucked up courage to have a fly!  He did several laps of the room & then landed on Dalai’s cage.  He again returned to the green peg.  I ushered him inside so we could all recover!  Perry & Lennie were a bit shell-shocked at suddenly seeing this mad green thing zooming around the room!

First time out:

 

Unfortunately, because I was closely monitoring Moriarty’s adventures, there are few photos/videos.  Plus, the days have been so dark, photos look pretty bad!

We proceeded with short outings, building up to 30 mins to an hour (depending on when he would voluntarily go back inside his cage).  These would happen up to three times a day.

I will detail some of the outings in further posts.

We have got to a point where Moriarty regularly visits Perry & Lennie.  Perry finds it stressful when Moriarty is prowling around on top of their cage so I put a line of curly paper along a perch that Perry usually sits on.  Moriarty is indifferent to curly paper, though he likes crinkle paper.  For a time, he avoided the curly paper meaning Perry was comfortable beneath.  It was not long before he started chewing it though, so I switched to a covered strip of lino which, so far, he has not paid attention to.

Once secure in knowing Moriarty was not crawling about above him, Perry could relax & have a grumble, a snooze or a preen.  Sadly, he has chosen not to interact with Moriarty & I think his general well-being has coloured that decision because under normal circumstances I am sure he would have been very welcoming.  Fortunately he is not jealous that Lennie is pursuing a friendship with Moriarty.

 

Lennie & Moriarty have lots of beak taps & flirty moments through the bars.  When Moriarty is locked in, Lennie now regularly visits him.  Admittedly, millet played a part in prizing him out initially, but gradually he has become more confident & routinely goes over to Moriarty’s cage & sits on the visitor’s perch.

On the 11th of December, we had another milestone where Lennie & Moriarty met ‘in person’, i.e., without cage bars between them!  That will be detailed in another post!

I am very proud of Moriarty.  He has an easy confidence that helps enormously when he is negotiating new surroundings.  I am also very proud of Lennie.  He has summoned courage to come back out of his cage & to jump & leap ‘into the unknown’ (as far as he is concerned).  Though Perry appears to have opted out of a new friendship, he has graciously allowed Lennie to forge ahead without displaying anything negative, such as jealousy, to hold him back.

I have three very different, but amazing boys!

 

Home adjustments

Perry’s mobility is gradually being compromised by his growing lump.  With this in mind, I made a few adjustments to their cage to help him get around easier.

Lennie back home, Perry still in Dalai’s cage

The first hurdle was for Perry & Lennie to vacate their home so I could go in & make the changes, so I was on alert waiting for an opportunity.  As ‘luck’ would have it, on the 24th October, I was scraping some poop off a perch with my fingernail (a not unusual occurrence) & Lennie decided this was a scary thing & shot out the cage.  He landed over by the window.  He made it back to the nearest safety, which was Dalai’s cage, in two stages, which, although it does not sound great, I was quite encouraged by, given his flying problems.  I then got Perry & put him in Dalai’s cage also.

It was a relief to have full control of their cage & the first thing I did was give it a thorough clean!  The main change I made was to have a perch run the full length of the cage at the top, hopefully giving Perry an easy walk from one end to the other & therefore easier access to the top level.  I also moved the water bottle from the salt lick perch up there.  The only slight issue is when he has to jump down to the seed pots but I have also lowered the triangle perch that he jumps down from.  There is also a rope perch at mid-level that I also adjusted.

Perry & Lennie

The bottom was already padded, but I added more padding.  Most of the time, if he falls, he usually lands on the sisal rope perch that is stretched from the bottom-level to mid-level, but occasionally the padded bottom comes in handy.

The added advantage of the extra long perch across the top-level is that it makes a cross-junction with the branch perch.  I did not realise at the time, but that is a particularly good thing as sometimes Perry struggles to turn 180 degrees on the perch, so the cross-junction allows him to turn 90 degrees at a time.

All the changes were well & good but would be useless if not accepted by Perry & Lennie.  Lennie was the first to venture back in & managed to avoid the long perch for a bit.  However, by the time Perry strolled in, Lennie had broken in the long perch.  I may make some further adjustments later on, but for now, all seems well.

Perry & Lennie

 

Happy 4th Adoption-day, Perry & Lennie!

It was four years ago on this day that I brought home these two beautiful, blue birds.

Happy adoption-day, Perry & Lennie!

We love you lots!