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Greenwing Macaws Join Flock in the Bird Hall

Today is a really exciting day here at the bird school. As you know I had four Greenwing macaw parrots in my bedroom – unflighted / handicapped birds which could not be safely placed in the bird hall. Miss Lizzie’s horribly mauled flight feathers have been growing back over the past two years, since she moved in with me. These things just take forever.
Since her flights have almost completed their growing back in a few weeks ago, Lizzie’s flight efforts have been vigorous. She progressed from “hand flying” exercises, to little jump flights onto my bed, until finally she is now able to take a little turn in my bed room. Time for her and her mate Sam to move into the flight hall. Only there does she have the space and incentive to become a truly proficient flyer.
Sam had lived in the hall for the last few years after being literally pulled out of an outside aviary during a snowstorm. I had moved him into the bed room to introduce him to Lailah, an older Greenwing macaw hen. Cupid and Sam had other plans though and he fell madly and mutually in love with Little Lizzie instead who is really much to young for him being only three years old. But, hey, as long as they’re happy …
Anyhow so today is the big day. First I grabbed Sam and moved him into the bird hall onto a low perch. Then I got Lizzie and placed her right besides him. Initially both of them were thoroughly intimidated. Lizzie ducked every time one of the smaller birds flew over her head. I had practiced with her visits to the bird hall over the last few months, but she could tell that this was different, I think.
It is always tricky to place new birds into the territory of established birds, but this is the set-up I have. All the prior introductions of the birds on neutral ground, visits to the bird room etc. can still be for naught when placed into the older guys territory. So I was watching them like a hawk.
After some initial skirmishes (Jack, be a good boy!) all the birds settled down fairly quickly. By now it was almost siesta time which helped, of course.

I had left the door to the bird hall wide open as a possible escape route, just in case. Just now Lizzie got startled and flew the entire length of the bird hall, through the door into my living room and all the way to the far end of my open space ground floor. She finally landed on my window sill cushions. Very smooth Lizzie. Best spot in the house to land on. 🙂 Also a very good first flying effort. The distance she covered is almost 80 ft. Not bad at all. She will need to practice her curves and landing though. 😀
Low and behold, after a short breather she wanted to go back into the bird hall. Not as scary anymore, huh? This bodes rather well for a great future in her flock. 🙂

Lizzie just did her first real upward flight, incentivized by Jack, the stinker, who is now sitting with me now doing his “I am a baby and totally innocent” routine. Yeah. As if! So Lizzie is now hanging on high up in the chains from which I suspend the perch beams from the ceiling. Initially she landed at about 20 ft height, but then climbed upwards to about 26 ft. She is now sitting there inspecting her surroundings with somewhat of an ooops-what-now? face. 😀 Poor girl. She’ll figure it out. If worst comes to worst I can always go up on the gallery and get her. But I don’t think it will be necessary. She is so feisty and curious, she’ll figure it out by herself which she needs to do eventually anyways.

About ten minutes later she did manage to fly all the way down and landed rather inelegantly on a flower pot. I went in to rescue her figuring that maybe she had had enough excitement for a day. So I took her into that living room and gave her some pine nuts. Lizzie would have none of that, though, like a little child she insisted going back into the bird hall and was only happy when I put her back on her huge beam.

I told you, she’s a feisty one. 🙂

At last Sam was done with his siesta and joined Lizzie on her big log. The spent the reminder of the afternoon grooming and cuddling as did Jack and Scarlett. How sweet.