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Parrots Can Agree To Disagree

By Laura Doering

After reading this month’s “Small Birds” column,  I was reminded of a budgie couple I once knew. Years ago, my father had a pair of non-hand-tamed budgies that were the best of friends ... most of the time. I was amazed by how verbal they were with each other, and it seemed like they were in a constant state of chatter. I knew something was up when the chatter hit a certain pitch and, sure enough, I’d see one leaning back and the other leaning forward to peck.

I could only guess what their spats were about — perhaps one hogged the treat stick or preened the wrong pin feather; or maybe one was sick of doing all the preening and expected some grooming in return. No matter what their beefs with each other were, they eventually made up.

The most entertaining squabble I’ve witnessed involved two caiques that were hatch mates. I was at a bird conference and picked up an apple to eat. A white-bellied caique hopped from his playgym onto my hand, and before I could say, “Hey, that’s my apple,” he had a beak full. His brother saw what was happening and jumped on my hand to get a piece of the action. The first caique apparently did not want to share my apple, and soon I was hosting a WWE-type smack down on my hand. The apple tumbled to the floor, and both caiques were in hot pursuit of it as it rolled past me. After I recovered from a debilitating fit of laughter, I cut the apple in half, which immediately put them at peace.

There’s bound to be some squabbling between bonded birds, and I would love to know what exactly they “say” to each other to make up. It seems, though, that they often simply move on.

 **For the full issue, pick up the March 2011 issue of BIRD TALK at your local retailer or by purchasing a PDF download here.**

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