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This was her yesterday. She is eating well and she also slept well again overnight. (Heard her ruffle her feathers a few times when I walked into the

This was her yesterday. She is eating well and she also slept well again overnight. (Heard her ruffle her feathers a few times when I walked into the

62 Posts
8 September: Yep, definitely still has something going on and definitely not releasable yet, even though she looks good.

9 September: Let me clarify that...
I let her fly again yesterday and deliberately pushed it a little. But only a little. After that, she was clearly less bright and it lasted a while, for the first time. That is not normal. This morning, however, she was pretty energetic so maybe the main conclusion needs to be that she is badly out of shape. She flies well, does not show signs of tiring.

She is into a full molt now; the surroundings of the cage were covered with little feathers this morning. (I vacuumed on Sunday.) She had already made such an unbelievable ton of new feathers that this undoubtedly took a lot from her body. So that's all very positive.

She does continue to drink a lot and there is too much green, which seems to be biliverdin...? (Her droppings aren't smelly, btw.) Mea culpa, I can't rule out that I've fed her too much cut-up almond flakes. Yes, I've stopped giving them to her; she loves them, she's into easy fats, which is not surprising, but she and I also both noticed that small suet pellets that she instantly went for in one of the foods gave her the runs. (I started to remove them but noticed that she avoiding any that I overlooked. We were in lockdown when I got her and I had to make do with the foods that I could get. That mix has small seeds in it that my previous long-stayer really liked.) If you combine that with not doing a lot of flying...)

That said, all of this could be a sign that something IS wrong. (It reminds me of that the health-compromised quaker parrot that I had.)

I can't be sure about what was happening with her gut the other day. I can't rule out that what happened was the result of old worm damage. The drinking gives me the idea that maybe she is flushing her intestines, deliberately? Who knows.

She sure is one very intelligent bird, constantly adding things up.

This also means that I need to make sure that I communicate well with her because she is trying to please me - at the same time sometimes "gets back at me", LOL, by depositing poop in impossible locations so that I need to go clean the dish (one of my formerly feral quaker parrots did that too for a while; she was a rascal who also did things like press her butt against the bars of the open cage so that she could aim her poops at my shoes when I sat reading, always only my shoes) and often trying to figure out what I want from her and trying to anticipate my moves. (And see if she can beat me to them!)

Bird logic is extremely logical in a mathematical way and it can cause them to draw the wrong conclusions. I've been saving her dropped feathers and showed them to her yesterday. She really seemed to like that. She certainly does not want to be treated like a piece of furniture, this one. A remarkable bird.

She purrs happily when I give her new food and she also "purrs" her annoyance. ("I have had enough of that now, thank you very much!" and "No, I do not want that!")

She looks soooooooooooooooooo much better than when I got her.

But, yeah, she'll be staying a little longer (and I won't release her if I still see her go less bright after flying). I want her to be in the best shape possible if/when she goes back into the open. (If she gets back to super duper shape, I'll let her decide that. As she came in via the window, she'll have no problem leaving via the window. She also knows there are no sparrow hawks or other threats lurking for her on the roof here.)

(One thing I've seen her do since I got her is little wing lifts. They can be greetings, but they can also be a sign that her respiratory system is not in top shape I read somewhere a long time ago. They could of course also be just a habit she has.)

She smells okay. Anyone who's had and handled birds for a while surely knows what I mean.

And OMG, I just had her resting calmly in the palm of my hand the way I've seen pigeons do in many videos. (She had been toying with a feather and managed to get it stuck to one of her nails so I decided to help her get rid of it.) That's a first for me and pigeons! Awww. I must be making progress in my pigeon-handling skills.

62 Posts
Okay, progress!

1. She is now really starting to bulk out (putting on padding). Probably an indication of how much energy goes towards making feathers. She has had to make such a huge number of feathers.

2. It dawned on me that I probably was not feeding her right. Because of the pandemic and also because she had trouble eating large-sized grains such as most corn kernels, I had been feeding her stuff that she liked and that was easy for me to get. But it likely was not really proper pigeon food... I was able to order 12.5 kilograms of pigeon mix about a week ago. To my delight, she is now able to eat lots of the larger grains as well and that saw a quick return toward normal droppings. (Not everything is in order yet, but I am no longer concerned much about her gut health now.)

3. That said, her bill, which seemed to be returning very slowly toward a normal beak seems to have changed a bit again, but it's hard to tell. I need to keep photos around for comparison, of course. (20 Sept: Okay, this is probably because I started using a ramekin on top of her bricks - in addition to other dishes - because there was the occasional dropping near the food that I used to deposit on top of the bricks. She does love the ramekin, but it means that she no longer does a lot of eating from the bricks and that this was clearly helping wear her the tip of the bill down. Will use the ramekin for pigeon mix, placed in corner of cage, and the bricks for hemp seeds etc.)

4. She can puff herself up to giant size now - very impressive, holy cow - when she does not want to be disturbed but on the other hand, purrs like a kitten, almost, ha ha, when she does allow me to take her out of the cage and I preen her new face feathers.

5. Most of her feathers have caught up now and she is going through a normal molt now.

6. 20 Sept: Right now we still have good weather and it is very tempting to release her - that is, give her the option to leave - but I am not confident that she is in good enough condition yet. There may be something respiratory going on, which might resolve itself because her immunity undoubtedly was impaired for some time. It could be that she is simply out of shape - she is - but I need to be sure and, also, I would like to see her bill closer to normal before I release her. I have learned to trust those instincts over the decades.

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My current super smart and wonderful rehab bird (end May 2020 - present)
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