Saturday, June 24, 2006

David's Story Part 15: The New Bird (Update)

I have a series of emails to Mary talking about David's second bird, but I can't find anything that I wrote to anyone about the first bird.

When David had been put up for adoption he insisted that it be clear that he was gay. He did not want to deal with anyone who was not okay with that. It also said that he had chosen to separate from his brothers in order to increase their chances of being adopted. A gay couple from another state saw it and sent a letter with a check to his social worker. They said they were not in a position to adopt him, but that they admired him and wanted him to have something. David agreed to put most of it in savings, but he took some and combined it with allowance to purchase a cockateil whom I suggested naming Alcibiades. (David did ask me to suggest names, and he did describe the bird as beautiful and full of himself). Some time later:


David wants to get a new cockatiel. He says it is because Alcibiades (current cockatiel) is lonely all day without him. I think that is part of the reason, but I think it is also because he wants a white one. We have told him that he can get one with his own money. I wanted him to buy a second cage in case Alcibiades gets defensive of his territory. David does not think he will need one, so we have compromised. If he does, I will buy it and take it out of his allowance.

David has been doing pretty well, by the way. He has not been moaning about being grounded. I think he accepts the consequences as normal. Now if he will just start doing better in English. He has not been doing work there at all.

We stopped by the breeder's house yesterday. There was a lovely female lutino...still pretty yellow (they get whiter as they get older). She was very docile and unfortunately had lost her tail feathers (which happens with young birds). David put a deposit on her and will have enough money by Sunday to get her.

I am going to have him call around to thrift stores this afternoon and see if we can get a second cage cheap.

We picked up the new bird this evening (technically yesterday). Like I said before, it is a young, female lutino. David named it "Angel." We decided to introduce the birds somewhere that was not Al's territory. We covered the kitchen table with newspapers, put down a dish of food and one of water and let her settle. Then we brought out Al. It was love at first sight. All started whistling like crazy (amusing all of us by starting with a cat call). Angel just watched him as he posed, jumped and sang. She decided that she liked him and moved close. Within half an hour they were preening each other.

Al seemed determined to challenge each of the boys to a whistling contest. It was like he thought he had to prove to her that he could whistle louder and longer than anyone else.

David tried to take the Angel out of the room to see what would happen and Al whistled very, very loudly until he brought her back.

David thought that getting Al a friend to keep him company would make him be a bit quieter. Maybe in the long run, but only after he has sufficiently impressed her. He was louder tonight than he has ever been.

NO. I do NOT want David to breed them. I do not want baby birds. The birds do share a cage, and will continue to do so. I read that birds are less territorial if they have a sleeping cage and a play cage, so I might still pick up one if I can find it cheap. The people we bought the birds from said that though the Angel might lay eggs, they will not hatch without a proper nest. (Otherwise the parents are not successful in keeping the eggs warm). The baby birds at the breeders' house were horribly noisy. They were hand feeding, which is why Angel is so sweet, but no, I can't imagine wanting to do that. I also can't imagine David being willing to put up with the noise.

One of the main reasons he got Angel was the hope that Alcibiades would be quieter.

Much later:
Last night David's birds mated...on top of the cage in the living room for over 5 minutes. Brian found it to be very silly. I have been trying to do some research and apparently even if they mate the female might not lay eggs if she cannot find an appropriate nesting spot. Or then again she might.

No one is really clear about that.

Update: for a comment on David's decision to separate from his broters and the social workers' willingness to accept it see:

What Does It Mean?

David's Story Part 16: Thanksgiving
David's Story Part 1: The Beginning

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