I just realized that this month, I’ve had Bobo for ten years. I don’t recall the exact date we got her; I think it was about the 9th or tenth of December, 2002. And, I also realized that it’s been almost 8 months since I last posted on Bobo’s Blog. She has starred in my other blog, “In Focus Daily,” a several times since the last Bobo’s Blog post here so I haven’t completely neglected her. A couple of days ago, Bobo did something new, and I took a few (well, lots of) photos. It’s probably nothing too exciting for most birds but Bobo seems to be interested in exploring new things. Her curiosity seems heightened for some reason.
She has suddenly decided to use a perch that she has shied away from since Ron made it about 9 years ago. Ron made this small tabletop perch for her out of eucalyptus from our tree, with a pine base complete with routered edges, and painted the base the “accent green” that we mixed ourselves to paint some of the doors and cupboards in the garage. I wanted to use the perch for when Bobo was on the table or when I needed to weigh her. Sadly, she has always shied away from that perch. I think she suffered through standing on it a few times when I was still weighing her and documenting her weight for the vet many years ago. In recent years, other than looking up at it or down at it, she has shown no interest. It’s been on my granite countertop, next to her cage for years and she hasn’t once tried to get on it. For some reason, I moved it to the window seat the other day and when I came downstairs after my shower, I heard her clucking and making noises, there she was, happily sitting on the perch.
And, as I write, I hear her clucking. And there she is settled back on her “new” perch.
A few minutes ago, I had an “aha!” moment. The jealousy between Mady and Bobo continues, each one vying for my attention. And when I pay attention to one, the other looks on with great interest and envy. When I went to the gym two hours ago, Mady was outside, despite the drizzle, and refused to come back in when I left, so she stayed in the yard the entire time I was gone. She was very happy when I returned and didn’t want to leave my side. Bobo was very jealous because I was not paying attention to her other than to have opened her cage door. After Mady settled down a little and curled up on her bed, I sat at the table to read the newspaper. Bobo was on her door so I beckoned her with the target stick. She immediately came down to the table, took an almond and went back to the cage door to eat it. After doing this a couple more times, she dropped the almond onto the table. I held the target stick again and she immediately ran to touch it and took the treat, moving to the edge of the table and taking a couple of bites and dropping it. She targeted several more times after that, taking the treat and dropping it. The “aha!” moment was when I realized she wasn’t targeting to get the treat, she was targeting to get attention from me. The treat was just part of the routine. I don’t know if this is a breakthrough or not. It is clear that she does it because she enjoys it and because it is a way to interact with me, without me invading her space too much. I find this fascinating. Now, how do I get beyond this point? All I want is for her to step up without maiming me when I need her to step up.
Yesterday I bought some English peas at the strawberry farm near my house. I hate peas but since the huge bag was only $1 I thought I’d get them for Bobo. Sometimes she’ll eat peas and green beans and sometimes she won’t. She seemed to enjoy these peas. She takes the pod off, nibbles it a bit, and then savors each pea. I didn’t think to get my camera until she was down to the last pea yesterday.
The jealousy continues. Both Bobo and Mady are competing for my attention. When one gets treats or pats, the other makes every effort to bring me back. I was sorry I didn’t have my camera in hand when Mady turned tail to Bobo’s cage door, stopped and wagged said tail in Bobo’s face as Bobo dodged and leaned to avoid the golden red “feathers” of Mady’s tail. I was surprised when Mady turned and put her face inches from Bobo’s beak and Bobo leaned away rather than strike at it with her beak, so I think we’re making some progress toward peace. Later, while Bobo came onto the table to target and get treats, Mady sat calmly by my side waiting, and not pawing at me, so she, too, benefitted and got her treat for being good.
I didn’t get any shots of Bobo and Mady together this morning but I’m still trying out my new lens and I love the colors it is capturing (this shot is SOOC). I also love the shallow depth of field: her eye is in focus and her beak is not. Not great for portraits but I’m experimenting.
A few minutes ago, while Mady lounged on the carpet near the TV and I sat at the computer, I turned around to see what Bobo was doing and was surprised to see that she was on the floor, heading across the room. She had obviously climbed down from her cage/perch of her own accord because when she is startled into flight, she makes lots of noise flapping those wings to get the lift they won’t give her because they’re clipped. I heard nothing. Of course I grabbed my camera and got down on the floor to document what happened next.
Bobo headed straight for Mady’s water and food dishes where Mady had been only minutes before. Mady got up and walked over to see what was happening but never once made a move toward Bobo. I think she was as surprised as I was. Maybe there’s a truce or maybe Bobo was just daring Mady. Even when Bobo made three return visits to Mady’s food dish, picked up a pellet each time, and each time rejected it as inedible, Mady just watched in awe. Bobo took the time to walk over to me and peck my leg several times and then walked back across the room to her cage. Then she changed her mind and headed back in Mady’s direction which Mady, by this time, had retreated to her spot on the carpet again. But the green creature’s foray around the floor was too much for Mady to ignore and she came right over and escorted Bobo as she returned to and climbed into her cage.
I’m using my new lens and I’m having trouble adjusting to the minimum focusing distance and because it was getting darker, I set the lens wide open so the depth of field is extremely shallow and sometimes I got just a foot in focus. But you’ll get the picture of this afternoon’s fascinating (at least to Mady and me) adventure.
Bobo gets on snits and retaliates when she thinks I am ignoring her. This morning I was working the crossword puzzle, then left the room for a few minutes and went upstairs. She called to me for a while and I whistled and clicked in response to her calls. I was gone about five minutes and when I came back into the room, she was already standing on the table. As I walked to the table, she raced over to the newspaper and started shredding it as quickly as she could. I grabbed my camera and this was the only shot I managed to get, not particularly focused and way too dark. Then she was over her snit and returned to her cage, smug that she had “showed me.”