Source for this image here.
I am very tired today!
We have been having such a wonderful week, with so many surprises, treats and exciting things happening. It has been very different from a normal week. Today was very eventful! We had many nice things to do, including breakfasting out, and then collecting our new wee bird. But even though I knew which little bird we were going to be bringing home with us, there was a surprise in store for me!
What do you suppose? Instead of just bringing home the sweet little female bird that had chosen me on Monday, we brought home two birds! It turned out she already had a mate, a sweet little bird that is also very tame, a little smaller than she is, with even paler plumage and fewer pearl markings, making him almost like a pied lutino. Once his pearling moults out, at about 6 months, this is how he will look. I really wasn't expecting to get 2 birds, but once we saw that they were already a bonded pair we didn't feel we could separate them. Fortunately, we have enough cage space, feeding equipment and so forth, to be sure that we can accommodate 6 birds comfortably (we have had as many as 9 at one time, though that is a lot of work!). I was just so excited that even though we were still right there in the shop, I had a few tears! It was just so exciting to bring them home and introduce them to the rest of the flock!
Now I was planning to write a post about how to introduce a new bird to an existing flock and indeed I still intend to. But today's introduction was totally unlike anything we had expected. The nursery cage was waiting already set up to receive our new arrival - in fact I had set it all up yesterday so that the birds could get use to seeing it next to their cage before it was actually occupied. When we got home, I quietly took the carrier with the new birds in it into the living room, and very slowly undid it and put the new little birds into their cage. The other birds were interested, and called to them, but weren't as agitated by their arrival as I had expected, based on my previous experience of making new introductions to the flock. Instead, they just sat and looked at them. The new birds were quite frightened, and very quiet (they had been very friendly and relaxed in the store, and the new little male bird was being very talkative. It's normal for new birds to be quiet for a few days whilse they adjust to their new environment).
However after about 10 minutes, maybe even less than this, they started to explore the new cage, and made it obvious that they wanted to come out. So I opened up the top (a top opening cage is definitely best, for cockatiels, though try to get one that also has at least one side opening for easy access for cleaning and feeding etc). Out they both came, and within seconds, had launched themselves (their wings are clipped, but they are learning to fly already and I shall let their wing feathers grow back) and landed on the big cage! It was so amazing to see. Just as if the existing birds had always known them! There was no fuss or agitation. They just climbed onto the cage top and settled down amongst the other birds. And that was it! No introductions necessary! Only minimal aggression as everyone settled down and adjusted to each other, and lots of curious investigating and chirruping to each other. They just got on brilliantly, right from the very start. As I write, they are all sitting happily together in the big cage, sharing perches and food bowls, as if they have always all been in one flock. It's amazing! I'm so happy - it's wonderful to see, and it is so wonderful to welcome not just one, but two beautiful new little birds into our home.
Thank you so much, my sweet family!
Tomorrow I shall share more with you about the fun things we have been doing, this very special week.