When it came to choosing this month’s coverbird, we were divided. We were selecting a species to go along with our “Energized!” feature on high-energy birds (page 28). Half of the editorial staff said a caique, and half lobbied for a lory. It was hard to argue against either selection, because both are notoriously active birds. (That’s not to say that other birds are perch potatoes. I’ve met plenty of marathon-dancing cockatoos; conures that could climb and slide for hours; cockatiels in nonstop hopping/whistling mode; canaries bounding back and forth, and so on).
So we opened up the cover selection to our online community at BirdChannel.com. Caiques led the votes the first week, then lories made a striking comeback, edging ahead by a few percentage points. In the end, the lory prevailed; thus our cover bird, Alfie, a rainbow lorikeet. He really did have energy to spare on the photo shoot day ... as did the caiques (which posed with a lory for one of this issue’s posters). I played with the caique pair until they were ready for their close-ups. I didn’t notice the track marks they left on my arms until I was back at my desk. The long dashes were foot slides and the dots were beak pinches as they slid and climbed their way up and down their human playgym — me!