Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A New Home for Keen and Izzy?

After a lot of deliberation, my wife and I decided to give away our lovebirds. We're first trying with Craigslist.

With little Smiley in our lives we simply don't have time to play with the birds as much as we used to and they are slowly becoming less sociable. They are also afraid of Smiley, which further prompts them to be high up when outside their cage, instead of on our shoulders or the back of my wife's recliner.

Perhaps in a few months, when Smiley is done teething and not as clingy, we will get a young, unbonded male lovebird (that can bond with my wife instead of another bird). That is the best type of lovebird pet and what we originally planned on having, but we adopted Keen and Izzy because a friend was moving and the birds needed a new home.

UPDATE: Well, that was quick. Within an hour I received an e-mail from a nice gentleman who breeds birds locally and gives the young to the local "companion animal" program for the elderly and disabled. He will take good care of Keen and Izzy and provide them with the mates they so dearly long for. He will also give us a young, un-bonded male when we wish (when Smiley is done teething with its occasional "hold me so much" days) so we can have a pet lovebird the best way. That is a much better outcome than I had hoped for.

UPDATE: Because Craigslist will remove the ad after thirty days, I've archived it here:

We have two lovebirds, sisters born in October 2004, named Izzy and Keen. We would like to give them to a suitable home.

Free with them are their cage and its accessories, seed mix, and a partial bottle of vitamin drops for their water. The cage has a sliding partition allowing them to be separated during the mating season months when they become territorial about their own sides of the cage. (During those months they are still friendly towards each other when outside/on their cage.)

We adopted the birds from a friend when they were about a year old and had already bonded to each other.

A year ago they were very friendly, preferring to perch on the back of an occupied recliner or ride on someone's shoulder to be near people. With a new baby in the house we have had less time to play with them and now they are slightly less friendly: they are afraid of the baby and now prefer to watch us from the curtain rods or windowsills. We would like to give them to a suitable home that has more time to spend with them, so they re-socialize and are happier.

They have spent time with wings clipped and unclipped, and are happy either way. Currently the wings are unclipped since they fear the baby and feel safer above him. Before the baby we would often keep their wings clipped, their cage open in the evenings, and a fuzzy blanket beside their cage: they would explore the living room while we had dinner and we enjoyed our evening, then put themselves to bed inside folds of the blanket when they got tired.

Both birds enjoy shredding paper and eating peas and corn. They have noisy periods of talking to each other, but almost always quiet any time their cage is covered. They enjoy spending Summer daylight hours (i.e., when we are at work) with their cage outside on a deck/patio if a towel is draped along the half top to provide shade.

Both birds respond to "up" when on/outside their cage and a finger is placed to their chest: they step to perch on the offered finger. They usually respond to "no" with a finger shake when exploring a place they are not allowed (in our house, in the small space between the fridge and the cabinet above it); when they are feeling too ornery for the finger shake to be effective then taking hold of a broom works as a potential threat.

Please note that birds are disturbed by any change in the environment, especially change to a noisy and busy place. If your home is festive and full of guests during the holiday season (i.e., without a quiet room) we will request that you wait until January to pick up the birds.

Finally, note that the ideal lovebird pet is a male adopted very young so it bonds to its human owner. This pair of females would be great for someone breeding lovebirds (both lay eggs each Spring and Fall even without a mate) but as pets are second-rate since they will never become as sociable as would a young, unbonded male. On the other hand, second-rate but free has some merit.

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