No – it’s not Zekey. It’s our elder child – our 10-year-old green cheeked conure, Amelia. I’ve heard lots of stories of pets being pretty significantly thrown when a baby is introduced to the family. And I fully believe that birds are just as demanding of their owners’ time and attention as cats or dogs (if not more so). But I didn’t expect our feathered trouble-maker to be quite so affected by the arrival of little Z.
We don’t clip Amelia’s wings, so she pretty much has full reign over the house. She formerly kept to her few favorite places: her cage, the large metal picture frame over the couch, and the top of the blinds leading out to the porch. She caused minimal damage in these spots and the poop was manageable. (poop is not something we’ve had to get used to with Z – we were well versed in it long before he arrived.) Now that Zekey’s here however, and we are pretty focused on someone other than the bird, Amelia has expanded her territory to get herself noticed.
She now lands on whatever surface is closest to where we are, and she watches everything we do. If there’s nothing convenient for her to land on, she does these low “fly-bys” which are kind of startling, especially to anyone who’s not used to having a bird around – which is most people. Guests beware. We actually couldn’t find her the other day… finally heard her gnawing away at something and discovered her in between the slats of our living room blinds.
She’s started destroying pretty much anything she can get her beak on. She chews a wooden picture frame hanging over my desk, and when we chase her off of there she nests herself in a tissue box below the frame and rips up every tissue in the box. She grabs other things off the desk too – pens and pencils, computer cables, phones, money, calculators, Dave’s physics homework…
And if anyone in the house has food? Forget it. She’s all over it. We’re used to her sharing our cereal, pasta, rice, and chips and salsa. But now she dives into whatever we’re eating – lands on the edge of the bowl, plate, cup – and helps herself. She almost landed on the stove the other day.
The good news is that she hasn’t actually tried to attack Zeke. She seems pretty afraid of him – and flies away whenever I try to introduce them. Zeke doesn’t really seem to notice Amelia – which is probably for the best at the moment. Dave and I both fear the day when he becomes aware of the bird and wants to pet her. She will bite him and it won’t be pretty. But for now, we try to remember to give the bird as much love as possible and hope that we don’t lose our entire security deposit on things the bird has destroyed around the house.
PS: The turtles and fish seem to be adjusting just fine.