Our short-term addition: BANDIT (Umbrella Cockatoo)
Posted 12 July 2011 - 06:03 PM
We'll be his 3rd home - his first owner bought him as a living room decoration and soon found that she didn't like loud home decor (and not loud in the colorful sense!). So she gave Bandit to one of her employees, it was her first bird. I've talked to this lady and she has great intentions, she TRIED... but she just doesn't have the ability to take care of him correctly. To her, ANY screaming is unacceptable - ANY biting is unacceptable. The way she tells it, Bandit is a lot like Sammi (vicious! mean!) The sad thing is Bandit bonded closely with her 9yo son who likes the bird but was scared of him - so it became a game for Bandit to chase the son around and nip his heels. I am a bit concerned this will happen with my 8yo son, but luckily my son is pretty experienced with large birds so he should be OK.
So the current owner sent Bandit to a boarding facility so they could help find him a new home. In the meantime I knew a guy whose U2 just passed away. So I tried to help by putting the 2 together - only to find out the guy doesn't want another U2. So of course I've already seen Bandit and to be honest, Bandit almost immediately accepted me. No aggression whatsoever other than open mouth and hissing, but when I firmly told him to "step up", he literally JUMPED onto my arm and then cuddled against my chest as if to say "thank you for being firm with me!"
The professionals at the boarding shop put it nicely: Bandit has never been taught how to be a bird. He's 7 years old and has never been taught what's acceptable behavior and what isn't. But they also made it clear that they simply don't have time to work with him like he should, and after talking it was decided that our home would be a better "foster" home. So, I've decided to give it a shot- 1 month of rehab, then re-assess the situation. It's actually a good time, since my wife and kids are in Michigan for a few weeks on their summer vacation - so I can work with him without distractions. The HOPE (and I know this is probably unreasonable) is that after a month, he'll be far enough along to go to an EXPERIENCED forever home. I'm part of 2 big parrot owner groups totaling almost 200 people so I don't think it will be a problem finding him a home.
So, in about an hour I leave to go pick up Bandit. I'll of course get pics and make a post of the first couple hours of interaction with him. Wish me luck
Posted 12 July 2011 - 09:28 PM
Here's a pic of him at the store:
Then 2 of them on the fake tree outside our house:
You can tell from the pics that he's really in near-perfect feather. He has 2 pin feathers on his crest that I'll work on and should be "out" by tomorrow.
I'm very excited!
Posted 13 July 2011 - 04:20 AM
I already have a ton of fun stories - I got home at about 7pm tonight with his "new" (used) cage that I got for $100... it's a great cage 41x32 and only used for 3 months, it looks brand new. Pet Bird Cages: EZ Care Freeport Bird Cage at Drs. Foster and Smith
Anyway, I figured it was nice out, and the cages all needed cleaning and since I was going to power-spray the new cage I might as well bring at least 2 of them outside. So I go grab Sammi and Charity and put them in the tree that they climb around on in front, then grab Bandit and put him in the tree. INSTANTLY he's climbing UP UP UP, to the very top. This is not a big tree, only about 20' tall but not big enough to climb... so I go get the 8' ladder and pull down the branch and start bending it down.. and down comes the branch until it's 2' above our roof... BOOM, down jumps Bandit onto the roof... and he struts right to the top, turns around and yells, "HELLO!".
So now I know what I have to deal with. He has his "flock call" which I can mimic with a whistle so I kept calling him and he kept calling me, happy as heck to be up there. My ladder won't reach the roof so I backed my Durango up, climbed to the roof of that, then to the roof of the house. Walked over and he stepped right up and we both climbed down.
I get the cages cleaned up and bring him in and put him on top of the cage while I start attaching the $80 worth of toys I bought for him today. He's watching, sliding back and forth, trying to get my attention then he climbs into the cage onto the perch that goes all the way across, and starts "sliding" back and forth, bobbing his head - he REALLY likes this cage and seemed very happy.
So here's a quick video with his "flock call". It's not loud - not even as loud as our Sunday conure.
And here's this bad, bad bird who nobody wanted:
I know that some may not agree, but I'm really "pushing" him - I need to find out his limits or what supposedly makes him bite... but I haven't found it yet. I've carried him by his torso, I've held him upside down on his back, I've let him hang on my finger upside-down... I've put my face right in his face (yeah I know that's dangerous!)... NOTHING.
Later I'll get the video of the tree and the other 2 birds who had NEVER gone higher than a few branches high.. but then after seeing Bandit, they both went right up to the top too! Luckily Sammi and Charity come back down on their own!
Posted 13 July 2011 - 04:25 AM
I just put 3 wiffle balls on top of his cage and he threw them on the floor within 15 seconds... not gonna play the "pick up balls" game, uh uh, I'm smarter than you!
Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:26 AM
Bandit, on the other hand is a holy terror!
- In less than 30 minutes he caused 10x more damage than all the other birds combined on my home-built "tree". He's actually gotten one of the screws almost completely "dug out", and he has split one piece right down the middle.
- I bought a $10 chew-toy,it's some type of softer, round woody plant type thing, almost like bamboo except not hollow (the name escapes me). There are, um were, 3, 6-inch in diameter and 2.5" thick pieces on this thing. I put it in with him, 20 minutes later one of them is GONE... and I mean tiny pieces on the pan of the cage.
- There's a wooden perch in his cage (came with the cage) that I guess he's decided is a toy and not a perch. He has gnawed off about 1/2" of the end of it. It's not manzanita but it's a hard wood! This took him less than 30 minutes.
- I ended up picking up ONE of the wiffle balls - no joke, 3 minutes later it was totally destroyed.
I'm going to have to learn to make toys, I guess!
Posted 13 July 2011 - 05:17 PM
He seems to have done very well overnight. I covered him and he was quiet and calm all night, even while I prepped the morning fruits/veggies he didn't flock call or anything (until I picked up the sheet).
Posted 13 July 2011 - 10:59 PM
Oh and a quick update:
I had to go get a couple screws for the play top of his new cage.. so I figured I"d take him to Home Depot with me. He LOVED it. He actually talked a little but was calm in the car ride (rode on the top of the seat next to me), then had no problem on my arm walking around the store.. AND... he was totally calm when a couple ladies pet him. I was very hesitant about it but I put my hand between their hand and his beak so it would be ME getting the bite - and NOTHING. He actually puffed up for one of the ladies!
I'm a firm believer in "socializing" parrots and all of our birds are social or working on it- Looks like Bandit is going to be easy to socialize!
Posted 14 July 2011 - 01:51 AM
Posted 14 July 2011 - 04:46 AM
Posted 16 July 2011 - 08:42 PM
FYI, Bandit is still a GREAT bird... no problems whatsoever other than chewing that homemade tree stand...
Posted 17 July 2011 - 11:04 PM
Then I had to get some rabbit food so I went to Petsmart, where he met 4 kids and all of them had no problem petting him (I kept my hand between him and them of course). Also met 2 ladies and a couple guys and puffed up and let them pet him.
Later I was looking for some treats and he moved so his back was against my chest then looked up at me and started beaking my chin - just very light "preening" and licking. Then he moved back to my arm and started dancing back-and-forth. VERY happy bird!
I know I've said this, but it's beyond me.. the old owner said all he did was scream and bite, and I haven't seen EITHER of these behaviors- it's been almost a week and I've really pushed him as a test. I'm beginning to think that the major change in life also made a major change in his personality (for the good!).
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