Kiwi’s Still a He

This is what a green-cheeked conure egg looks like next to one of our  chicken eggs.

Still an impressive effort for a tiny boy bird. After five years, “he’s” always going to be a “him,” I’m afraid.

The egg-laying has been accompanied by a whole host of new and interesting behaviors, including aggressive fan-tailed attacks at anything coming near the cage, two hours of weird creaking noises coming from the cage every morning (instead of loud “Hey, come get us up!” cheeping and obnoxious cage-door rattling).

It’s also brought on an obsession with getting grit…conveniently supplied by your favorite human’s shoe treads…

But we’re still awfully crabby. As one of my sons put it, it’s kind of like trying to handle a cage full of velociraptors…even though Kiwi’s buddy Piper isn’t broody, she’s happy to follow her friend’s example…unless you get her off by herself….

She’s actually been pretty lonely, since all Kiwi has cared about is nesting, and she’s been sitting on my shoulder “grooming” my hair and ear for me and begging me to reciprocate. We’ve moved their cage and tried to disrupt their light cycle in an effort to disrupt Kiwi, since (as any mom can tell you) laying eggs is hard work and it wears the birds out. We’ve been supplementing him with plain yogurt to make sure he’s getting enough calcium.

Sigh. I’ve known for a long time these were both hens, but I had no idea how hard the egg-laying was going to be. Over the weekend I was so afraid of his unpredictably violent behavior I didn’t even want him sitting on my shoulder–and he’s always been a really friendly bird. But last night when I put him to bed he said “Kiwi!” (the first word he’s said to me all week) so maybe we’ve seen the last of the eggs.


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