Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

What’s New In My Zoo?

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I hope to post an update about my parrots every Friday, complete with pictures.

Orpheus, a very young male red fan (hawk-headed) parrot, Deroptyus a. accipitrinus,
who lives with me (December 2007).

GrrlScientist, 2007 [larger view].

Orpheus has been busy this past week, destroying or trying to destroy nearly every material object that I own and behaving in an aggressive manner towards me, so — sadly — I clipped his primaries to prevent him from flying freely around my apartment. It made me sad to take away his gift of flight, even though this is only a temporary deprivation, but the improvement in his mood was nearly instantaneous. Further, like all pets, he needs a job, so I plan to clicker train him to perform tricks, and thus, he must be clipped so he will focus on the tasks at hand (learning new behaviors) rather than flying all over the place and chewing up my curtains, for example.


Despite being annoyed with me for clipping his wing feathers, Orpheus was happy when I returned home last night, and sat on my knee while I took picture after picture of him. When parrots are relaxed and happy, they often will signify that by sitting next to you or on you while scratching and fluffing their feathers. Orpheus also did this, as you can see below, dropping his “dandruff” all over my knee — it was a good thing that my laptop was closed to prevent this “dust” from getting inside. This image was taken without the flash;

GrrlScientist, 2007 [larger view].

Even though the above image is a bit blurry, i like it because it gives a sense of the movement and life in this sweet parrot.

The image below was taken with a flash.

Here, surprised by the flash from a previous picture, Orpheus pauses momentarily from his head-scratching, foot up, and looks at the camera.

GrrlScientist, 2007 [larger view].

As you all might be able to tell, I have probably learned everything I can about how to use this camera by simply playing with it. Now, I need to spend some serious time reading the manual and, you know, actually learning how to use its special features such as optical zoom and image stabilization.

Comments

  1. #1 Bob O'H
    December 20, 2007

    In the final photo, isn’t he saying “No photos”?

    Bob

  2. #2 "GrrlScientist"
    December 20, 2007

    you think?? i thought he was offering to give autographs.

  3. #3 Tlazolteotl
    December 20, 2007

    What a cutie!

  4. #4 Annie
    December 20, 2007

    Oh, he’s gorgeous! That adolescent stage behavior is one that most dogs go through, too. But it’s typically when they no longer look puppy-ish, haven’t been obedience trained,and then start destroying everything in their realm. It’s also when they are most likely to be abandoned by owners and land in shelters. I think your strategy to begin his education is a great one. And the photos – thank you from me, too to your camera benefactor. We are all enjoying the photos!

  5. #5 Bardiac
    December 20, 2007

    Wow, what a wonderful bird!

    My Conure used to wake me by preening my eyelashes. Mmm, talk about a lovely way to awake. It’s amazing how those sharp, strong beaks can be so incredibly careful and gentle.

  6. #6 carolyn13
    December 20, 2007

    He’s beautiful and such a ham!

  7. #7 biosparite
    December 20, 2007

    I had no idea hawk-headed parrots are so colorful. Wow! Judging from the pictures, I would conclude this bird has a mind of his own.

  8. #8 The Ridger
    December 20, 2007

    Wow. How colorful he is. I like the flashless one – the expression on his face is sweet indeed.

  9. #9 kozmetik
    December 22, 2007

    He’s beautiful and such a ham

  10. #10 geciktirici
    December 22, 2007

    he’s gorgeous!How colorful he is..

  11. #11 art minier
    December 29, 2007

    You have done a very excellent job starting out..but then your fudging look at the subject…I do feel as you the motion of the bird is told by by the blurred picture. I have marveled at the memory and intelligence of the dogs with clicker training. I do feel it lacks in one area that
    I am sure can be controlled in birds.
    I hope all bird owners would concentrate on the command to return to the owner when called….Keep up the good work but if your worried about dust….Don’t worry…;o)

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