Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

At 11pm on Saturday the 3rd of September, I peeked under their covers, as was routine, to check all was okay before dropping the big cover down further.  Perry & Lennie’s cage liner on the bottom had been changed about 2 hours earlier, so I was surprised it did not look clean.  When I looked closer, I realised it was blood.

Everywhere.

I spotted Lennie’s tail feather laying across the seed pot.  He had lost his other one a couple of days earlier, which seemed odd to me as it had only just grown in.  He had lost both tail feathers just weeks ago (click here to read that post) so I was not expecting the new ones to drop so quickly.  I assumed this was a blood feather problem.  Had the bleeding stopped or was it ongoing?  I took the cage liner away to reveal the clean one underneath so it would be easier to check.

blood splattered bottom cage liner
Blood splattered cage liner
Lennie’s fallen tail feathers

Then I saw a big clot drop.  I knew I had to take immediate action.

Three pet carrier cages
Carrier cages

Under the flight cage, I have three small travel cages for emergency evacuation (one each in red, white & blue).  The one on top just happened to be the red one.  Cornflour was put into a wide container.  I caught Lennie & basically covered his lower section in the cornflour, not really knowing where the site of the bleed was, & then placed him in the travel cage with a cover over.

After a few minutes I checked to see if he was still bleeding.  It was difficult to judge how much blood had dropped because the base of the travel cage was red, but I could see blood mingled in with the white cornflour that had fallen off him.  I doused Lennie again in cornflour & put him back.  He was still bleeding so I carried on dunking him in the cornflour (literally, I dunked him in & ‘bathed’ him).  I discarded the red travel cage & alternated between the white & blue one.  That way, I could wipe around the one not in use, so each time he was placed into a clean one, making it easier to judge blood loss.

Continue reading “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”

Seasonally Confused

When I mentioned to the vet that the birds were moulting again, she said they were clearly ‘seasonally confused‘.  What a good & descriptive phrase!  It may well apply to humans too, particularly in the UK, with our extremely changeable weather!

Here, we have had a series of mini-moults.  It is never long before there is another flurry of feathers.  Right now though, they are going through a ‘proper’ moult, with tails lost, wing feathers lost & pinny heads.  Not to mention a bit of grumpiness.

However, despite looking like he has been pulled through a hedge backwards, Lennie is the one who tends to stay upbeat through it all, possibly irritating both Dalai & Perry more than he usually does!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tail length

Tail lengths

Someone once observed that Dalai had a long tail.  This has prompted me to measure them & here are the results:

  • Dalai:           13.1 cm / 5.1″
  • Perry:           12.3 cm / 4.8″
  • Bezukhov:     12.1 cm / 4.7″
  • Lennie:         11.8 cm / 4.6″

 

Note that I had to unbend Bezukhov’s tail to get the true length!

Dalai’s tail certainly looks long as it is thin too.  I am surprised that Lennie’s tail is the shortest of the four.

Dalai & Lennie are the best flyers, so clearly Lennie’s ‘short’ tail does not hamper him in his flying ability.

Perry, Lennie, Dalai & Bezukhov

 

Toggling a Tail

Like normal budgies, Perry has two tails.  Normally they are the same colour but Perry is the first budgie I have had whose tail feathers are different colours.  He has a white tail & a dark blue tail.  He toggles them so each day is a surprise.

Here he is displaying his blue tail:

Perry’s blue tail

Perry displaying his white tail:

Perry’s white tail

 

Sometimes he manages to display both at the same time:

Perry’s two-tone tail

 

A Short Tale

This is a short tale about a short tail.

Once upon a time (about a week ago), handsome Prince Bezukhov had two tail feathers.  However, Bezukhov was moulting & the tail feathers worried about their future.  They were right to worry because one day, Bezukhov’s friend Dalai “helped” him remove one.  The tail feather was sad at the bottom of the cage.  Some days later, the remaining tail feather dropped out & was reunited with the first one who was now living on the coffee table.  They resignedly watched as new tail feathers started to grow in their place.  The prince will soon look handsome again as his odd, short tail morphs into lovely long tail feathers.  The end.

 

 

Tail pulling

Both Bezukhov & Dalai have bent & chewed tails.

My first thought was that Phineas was the culprit, mainly because his is the only tail that is still straight.  Also, if a tail is waved in front of Phinny then he will tug it, to the point that whoever’s tail it is will almost unbalance & fall off the perch.  It seemed the likely scenario.

However, over time I have witnessed another culprit…. Dalai!  One time, when Bezukhov was minding his own business, I saw Dalai on the ttmss swing below him, purposefully swinging across & grabbing his tail.  The striking thing was that this was done in the name of play.  Bizarrely, Bezukhov appeared to just go along with it & did not seem to mind Dalai grabbing his tail & almost hanging off him.

On another occasion, Phineas was on the landing platform & was tucking into a slice of apple that I was holding.  Dalai noticed this but was torn between wanting to eat the apple too (flock mentality) & not wanting to eat it because I was holding it (not tame) so in the end, pulled Phinny’s tail as if to physically drag Phinny away so no one could eat the apple!  This took Phinny by surprise but he was too big to budge so Dalai gave up.

Whole again

A few months back I reported that during the tussle of catching Bezukhov for his every-other-morning medication, his tail snapped (click here).  A few weeks ago, I came across a strange looking feather on the floor.  It took a few seconds for me to realise it was the stumpy part of his tail that was left behind.  I reunited it with the upper part of the tail that snapped off.

 

 

Snap!

Last week, during one of our every-other-morning medication battles, I heard Bezukhov‘s tail snap.

Ouch!

What's that doing there?
What’s that doing there?

During the struggle, his tail obviously got into a position I did not think it was in & as I moved him towards my chest, I heard the loud crack of it breaking.  I quickly smoothed it down as I could see it sticking out at an alarming angle.  When he had successfully avoided taking the majority of his medicine I put him back in the Manor & hoped the tail damage was not too great.

Over the next few days his tail continued to stick out at strange angles.  Bezukhov would twizzle his bottom & it would stick out sideways.  Then he would have a little preen & it would be put back in place again.  It was also floppy which was particularly noticeable when he was flying as it would hang down.

It must have been hanging by a thread as it finally broke off.  You can see by the photo below that the break was about along the tail, as compared with a previously moulted tail.  Fortunately, his other tail is still fully intact.

Broken tail
Broken tail

I said ‘Sorry‘ to him countless times for breaking his beautiful tail.  Hopefully he does not hold it against me…