Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

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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?

 

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

Power Couples: Lennilai

Dalai & Lennie

This is an interesting coupling.  On the face of it, Dalai does not like Lennie much.  Lennie, however, loves Dalai.  Lennie follows Dalai around, hoping for crumbs of affection.  If he persists, then he will eventually get Dalai to engage in a flirty session.  At the height of flirting, Lennie will regurgitate to Dalai & Dalai (greedily!) takes it.  Almost immediately after Dalai has taken Lennie’s regurgitated seed, he will signal the flirting is over & Lennie is relegated back to the sidelines.

Dalai & Lennie appear to have a “fairweather” relationship, dictated by Dalai.  Yet, despite Dalai not particularly liking Lennie (unless it suits him at that moment), I think the two of them have a lot in common.  When they do the flirty-flirty-flirt dance, they appear very much in tune with each other, mirroring each other’s actions beautifully.

In some respects, Lennie does not endear himself to Dalai because he gets jealous quickly & if Dalai is flirting with Perry, Lennie will try to disrupt them.

 

Power Couples: Perrylai

Dalai & Perry

Dalai & Perry appear pretty equal in their relationship, unlike the other pairings.  Dalai loves Perry.  Apart from the obvious flirting sessions, this can be seen by the way he allows Perry to sit & eat with him from the same seed pot.  The only time I have seen Dalai behave ungentlemanly towards Perry is when it is approaching bedtime & he wants the perch & cage to himself, otherwise, Dalai allows Perry to get away with a lot.

They have a special kind of ‘smooch’ they do, that looks like they lock & intertwine the bottom, hooked part of their beaks (captured on video below).

 

Perry has a lot of time for Dalai.  During a flirting session, Perry will regurgitate seed to Dalai.  That said, if Lennie is flirting with Dalai, that is okay with Perry – he is not the jealous sort.

Dalai also likes to preen Perry’s head, which can be seen in the video below.  If you watch to the end you can see Lennie’s jealousy rearing its head & also see a glimpse of our beloved Bezukhov.

 

 

Power Couples: Lennikhov

Bezukhov & Lennie

The relationship between these two reminded me at times of when Phineas first joined Bezukhov & Cagney.   Lennie instinctively did not like Bezukhov because he perceived that he was in the way of him getting to Dalai (similarly, Phineas viewed Bezukhov as a barrier to him getting to his beloved Cagney).

Lennie would chase Bezukhov out of the way & most of the time Bezukhov would stay clear but if he was too slow, Lennie might pull a feather or two.  As with Phineas, Bezukhov was extremely patient with Lennie & never appeared to hold anything against him.  In fact, there were times when Lennie would go to chase Bezukhov off & Bezukhov would stand his ground & attempt to engage with him.  Lennie would be surprised by this reaction & actually would respond to Bezukhov & there were many occasions when they did have a flirt.  I believe that if Dalai was not viewed as the ‘prize’, then Lennie & Bezukhov would have been good friends.  It is testament to Bezukhov’s good nature that they did have some good times together.

You can see them flirting in the video on the “Power Couples” post (click here).

In the video below, you can see an interesting exchange, rarely caught on video.  Bezukhov is flirting with Perry & Lennie goes to interrupt but Bezukhov stands his ground, puffs his chest out & takes Lennie by surprise:

 

Power Couples: Perrikhov

Bezukhov & Perry

Bezukhov & Perry had a lovely relationship.  Perry clearly respected Bezukhov.  Bezukhov clearly had a soft spot for Perry.

Bezukhov was usually the one to instigate any flirting – I think Perry did not want to overstep his bounds with his elder by starting a flirt first.  Often they would sit together & Bezukhov would twitter away & Perry would gaze up at him, taking in every chirp, cheep & tweet, not even interrupting.  I could only assume that Bezukhov was imparting golden gems of wisdom that Perry wanted to concentrate on.

Bezukhov liked to preen Perry’s white head & also regurgitated to him.

 

Power Couples

Note: I started writing this post some time ago, when Bezukhov was still with us.  I have decided to continue, with some reworking of the text.

It has been some time since I have commented on friendships & relationships within the flock.

Lennie, Perry, Bezukhov & Dalai

On the positive side, all is well & all are friends.  On the ever-so slightly negative side, Perry & Lennie still live separately from Dalai (& Bezukhov when he was with us), though they have outside-cage time together.  When Bezukhov was around, their time together was largely monitored, but since his passing, there is less ‘argy-bargy’ (for want of a better word!)  It would have been nice if they all lived in harmony in the same cage, but I was content for them to have daytime together.

As far as individual friendships, it is & was, as complicated & confusing as ever, though this may well be par for the course where budgies are concerned!

Bezukhov & Dalai were good friends even though they were very different in character.  Bezukhov was easy-going & did not like conflict or court conflict.  Dalai believes he is the leader but whereas a true leader would always act for the benefit of the flock, Dalai, it has to be said, is mainly out for himself!

Perry & Lennie have been living together since their quarantine days.  They too are very different from each other but get on well as cage-mates.  Perry is pretty calm regarding friendships & relationships, whereas Lennie is a bit highly-strung & also can get jealous of others!

When all four of them mixed, we got different temporary couplings:

 *  Strength of coupling

In a series of posts I will attempt to describe each of the couplings in more detail.  In the meantime, enjoy this video of the four of them:

 

 

How we are coping post-Bezukhov

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, Perry & Lennie

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.

Perry, Lennie, Dalai & Tweety Pie

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.

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It’s complicated

So, where are we now with flock friendships & relationships?  It has been over 6 months since Perry & Lennie joined Bezukhov & Dalai.  I would like to say that things have settled down & they are all living nicely together…. but although all is well, the two camps (blue & green) still sleep separately, & time out together is still supervised.

The reasons for the lack of integration are many & varied, hence the simplified description of “It’s complicated“!

However, I will attempt to list the ‘fault lines’:

  • Ages

An obvious cause of friction is that Perry & Lennie are young & Bezukhov & Dalai are older.  Yes, Dalai is not much older than Perry & Lennie, but they still have that childlike, exuberant way about them that Dalai has grown out of.  Lennie is also like the Duracell Bunny – he can just keep going.  Perry likes to chill out & will take a nap occasionally during the day, but Lennie is currently happy to keep going.

  • Immaturity

Lennie is clearly more immature than Perry even though they are the same age.  Because of his babyish behaviour, he can come across a bit mad & crazy.  To Bezukhov’s distaste, Lennie’s behaviour can also be unpredictable.

  • Social Skills

Continuing on from the above two points, Lennie also appears to have social skills that are a bit wanting.  He will directly fly into another’s face.  Lennie also performs the ‘bottom wipe’, which is a new maneuvre (to me) whereby he flies so close over one of them that he all but wipes his bottom on their head!  He also will fly to land on the perch where another is sat, not alongside, but the very same spot.  He does not understand about personal space!  Another of his ‘lovable’ quirks is that he will grab a piece of food out of the other one’s beak!

  • Friendliness

So as not to make it sound like Lennie is the problem (!), Perry also does not help things because he is happy to be friends & flirt with all, which in itself is a lovely thing, but it can, & does, cause jealousies!

  • Unfriendliness

Dalai is also not exempt from being part of the problem.  He is still ‘jabby’ with his beak & does not suffer fools gladly.

 

Good-hearted Bezukhov is the best behaved.  He does not court trouble.  He does not welcome chaos or anarchy.  He appreciates others’ boundaries.  And yet, out of the four, Bezukhov comes off worse (hence my supervising whilst they are all out together).  I am not sure why that is the case, but can only repeat….. it’s complicated!

 

Phinny no-mates

Phineas still adores Cagney.  As soon as Cagney moves, Phineas is there, right in front of him, following behind him or above him on the bars.

Cagney, did you call?

Cagney, did you call?

Cagney does not feel the same way about Phineas.  If truth be told, I believe Cagney gets frustrated at not being about to move without having to push past Phineas.  Sometimes he cannot eat because Phineas is trying to kiss him at the same time.  As nice as it must be to have such attention, it must be wearing to have it all the time!

Phineas tries too hard with Cagney.  He does not know when to stop or to hold back.   Add to this, that he chases Bezukhov away as he wants Cagney all to himself.  This action in itself would not endear him to Cagney as Cagney is very fond of his mate Bezukhov.  It certainly does not endear him to Bezukhov.  There are times when Bezukhov stops Phineas in his tracks to engage him in a conversation.  Phineas seems surprised by this & although he tentatively gives Bezukhov a listening ear, does not appear to respond or further the conversation.

Bezukhov is particularly wary of Phineas as there have been about 3 occasions when he has not run away quick enough & Phineas has grabbed him by the wing or the head (when leaning over the top of the cage).

Probably unsurprisingly, Cagney & Bezukhov have not wanted Phineas to sleep overnight with them.  They make this quite clear.  During the evening, as it comes to bedtime, if Phineas sits in Manor loft area, both Cagney & Bezukhov will vacate it.  Read more of this post