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Progress Report: Mika Settling In

July 8, 2008

The long weekend was the perfect opportunity to give Stewie and Mika lots of attention and out of cage time … simultaneously. I’m constantly reminded not to rush them — so far their introduction hasn’t been the smoothest process — but we made a lot of progress if you keep in perspective that animals can sometimes takes months to warm up to each other.

Mika’s and Stewie’s cages are now set up on opposite sides of the room, so they can see each other without being too close. For the last few weeks, they’ve had separate out of cage time and Stewie has been reinforced for staying on his side of the room. He’s been pretty good about leaving Mika alone, but I don’t give him opportunities to go to her. (Recall that last time he bit her, she was “safe” inside her cage. And despite now being partially clipped, Stewie still flies across the room and back very easily! His latest wing clipping barely slowed him down.)

Over the weekend, we let them both out at the same time and each birdie got one whole human to pay full, undivided attention to them for hours at a time.

Mika had the security of two people running interference in case Stewie wanted to “visit” her (i.e., fly over to knock her off her perch). DP seems to adore Mika — he feels much more at ease with Mika’s deliberate personality than he does with the flightiness of my sun conure — and I think the feeling is mutual.

Stewie, in turn, could be confident that even with Mika out of her cage he didn’t have to fight for my attention or defend what he perceived to be his. I kept his attention away from Mika by working on his tricks, feeding him snap peas, inviting him crawl up my sleeves and letting him do all the usual stuff he finds so entertaining.

Being able to spend 3-plus days giving both birds lots and lots of attention was fun and satisfying. I feel less stressed out and am not worrying about shortchanging either one of them. Stewie has settled down tremendously. And I think Mika is a pretty happy girl too. What do you think?

Mika the pionus parrot playing with a foot toy

Mika likes foot toys, so she can have all of Stewie’s unused ones.

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