We all know that my two puddings have always been keen on finding a nesting site. If my sleeves had not been too tight, I am sure they would have been happy to lay an egg or two in there.
After Raspy popped out her first egg she seemed obsessed with possible nesting sites. I considered getting her a nest box. When we saw Mr Vet over her 2nd (later to be absorbed) egg, I asked him if he thought a nest box would be a good idea. He encouraged me. That day, I went out & bought a nest box.
The next evening, I attached it to the Ferplast, where Raspy & Bezukhov were staying. Raspy did not seem to take much notice of it initially. In fact, Beady-Eyed Atilla discovered it first! I then had a problem. Atilla wanted the nest box!I had covered it up so it was not too obvious but Atilla saw through my little trick.She even saw through the other two covers I threw over it!
By the next day, Raspy had also discovered the nest box, but this time from the inside of the cage. (I kept the cage door shut so Atilla did not enter the nest box through the proper entrance – I doubt she would have budged had she got in). Raspy got used to the nest box pretty quickly & claimed it as her own. She would even (from inside the cage) give her sister the evil eye when she was clambering all over the outside of the box.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
Sometimes Raspy would sit inside the box for a little while. Bezukhov never entered the box (that was clearly Raspy’s territory) but he would sit on the little perch outside the hole & either preen himself or give Raspy a kiss through the hole.
Unfortunately, after a couple of days of making herself at home in the nest box, Raspy became ill. After her operation, Ms Budgie Vet suggested I put 5 dummy eggs in the nest box in the hope Raspy would think she had laid them & would not need to produce any more eggs.
Sadly, Raspy never recovered enough to enter the nest box again.
Being sisters, the girls do have a strong bond. They are however, quite competitive with each other & neither will take any nonsense from the other.
Now that Atilla has her new party trick, I suspect also that Raspy is a little jealous. Atilla holds her nerve well when exploring t-shirts & jumpers. Raspy is far more tentative in her sleeve explorations & has not yet gone as far as Atilla, though judging by her efforts, I doubt it will be long before she catches up.
The other day, Atilla was in my sleeve & Raspy came to the perch where it was all happening & unfortunately, before I had a chance to move away, she grabbed at Atilla’s gradually disappearing foot. Atilla gave quite a yelp, backed out my sleeve & limped across the top of the Ferplast to a place where she could safely investigate her foot. After that, she retired to the Manor & kept her foot tucked up underneath her for awhile. I did not see any blood & am happy to say that after an hour or so, she was back to normal.
The day after, Atilla was having another rummage in my sleeve whilst Raspy was chewing my other sleeve. Atilla then made her way down the inside of my t-shirt & I’m afraid to say that Raspy jumped on her sister as she emerged from the bottom. I do not think that even that incident dampened Atilla’s pleasure at having successfully negotiated the dark, armpit bend once again.
Yes, Atilla has decided my loose, green t-shirt has sleeves ideal for sitting in. She has been in & out of my sleeve that many times today that I have lost count. After the first few tentative times climbing in, she got confident & was throwing herself in, scrabbling about, turning around & poking her head outside for air before going back inside again.
Thanks to Raspy’s “help” with the camera (chewed buttons & tapping soundtrack) we have a little film of Atilla in my sleeve: