A friend for Captain Beaky

Due to the fact that I will be leaving home in just under a years time, I decided that it would be a good idea for Beaky to have a friend (as my mum will be looking after him when I leave and she won’t have the time to spend giving him companionship).

As he has been living alone for five and a half years, introducing a new bird would be a risky process and initially I was unsure of what species I could get – however I eventually made up my mind and a week ago I bought a rosella.

His name is Rockhopper (Rocky) and he is an Eastern rosella (Platycercus eximius). This particular colouring of his feathers is referred to as ‘rubino’.

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Rocky is only six months old and is currently moulting, so does look a little scruffy at the moment: in the spring time he will become a lot neater! He has not really been handled and is a little wary of humans, often heading to the far corner of the aviary, although he is showing interest in us when we are nearby which is a promising sign.

My main aim at the moment is to gain his trust and also to introduce him to Captain Beaky, who is temporarily living indoors. The following photographs show our progress so far.

For the first couple of days when I entered the aviary Rocky would panic and flap about, falling off his perch and then crawling into the corner to hide.

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Whenever this happened I offered him the perch which I sometimes use to pick up Beaky, tapping him lightly on the tummy with it until he stepped up. Then I could move him to a higher position where he would feel safer. Gradually he has learnt to step up every time that the perch is offered to him, and now does so quite willingly.

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I have also tried feeding him from my hands a few times; mostly this has been unsuccessful but he did take some dandelion leaves from me! This is an area that I will work on once he is more used to me being around him.

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Captain Beaky has been paying a visit to the aviary each day in his travelling cage so that the two of them can take a look at each and meet with a barrier between them. For the most part this has been absolutely fine, there was just a tiny bit of hissing from Beaky during their first encounter when Rocky got too close.

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Today I made the decision to be brave and as they were both so relaxed I let Beaky out into the aviary with Rocky. They kept a bit of distance between them but otherwise they were both quite relaxed – Captain Beaky became bored within the first few minutes and began tucking in to Rocky’s food!

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Hopefully it won’t be long before they’re living together permanently 🙂

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