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Move over, MacGyver!

By Laura Doering

I can appreciate Susan Chamberlain’s take on “Macgyverisms” for bird owners. Why, just this morning I came up with one of my own. I was too sopping wet after showering to retrieve Gracie’s playgym from the downstairs bathroom, so I improvised a platform perch by turning over a plastic cup for my ’tiel to stand on so he could see himself in the vanity mirror. Gracie first tried — and failed — his own “Macgyverism” by standing on a bar of soap. That left him about 6 inches short of seeing past his crest to his full reflection.

This made me pause and reflect upon all the “Macgyverisms” I’ve witnessed in my flock. My cockatiel can improvise a mirror out of almost anything shiny or that offers the tiniest glimmer; lacquer vases, my coffee mug, the metal lining around the wipe board and, when all else fails, he zeros-in on his shadow to whistle to.

Ollie, the conure, uses the plastic center to what used to be a hanging treat stick as a back scratcher. Of course, there’s hardly a bird person out there who hasn’t seen some type of “Macgyverism” with their flock; just think about all of the “toys” your bird has improvised over the years!


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Move over, MacGyver!

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