Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Elektra (left), a 5-year old female Solomon Islands eclectus parrot, Eclectus roratus solomonensis, and
Orpheus (right), a 1-year old male hawk-headed (red fan) parrot, Deroptyus accipitrinus accipitrinus.

Images: GrrlScientist 4 July 2008
[Elektra, larger view and Orpheus, larger view].

Orpheus, especially, is camera-shy, and always manages to turn his head or turn his back on me when the camera comes out. But Elektra seems to be getting more comfortable with the idea of having a camera in her face, although she does sometimes become camera-shy when the flash on .. but she also does try to ham it up for the camera — which is odd since she doesn’t know what I am doing!


Since it is a holiday in the USA, I know that my serious book reviews and “science-y” stuff will likely not be read except by my three overseas fans, so I am saving those essays for next week. But since I have been sadly remiss in writing stories about my parrots for you to enjoy, here’s a little something about them for you today.

During the past three or four weeks, my neighbors have been familiarizing my flock of parrots to the experience of huge explosions occurring with no warning. The numerous lightning storms that have beseigned NYC these past couple weeks have also desensitized my birds to huge explosions preceded by sudden flashes of light. So I think my birds are ready for Independence Day!

Because Elektra just turned five years old, she has been exposed to these sorts of shannanigans several times now, so she is relatively calm about everything. However, Orpheus, who just turned one year old, has yet to really experience a Fourth of July, so he’s really quite nervous (He is more nervous than Elektra is anyway, so this is hardly surprising).

The yellow-bibbed lories (not pictured this time) seem to be fine, although they are obviously very interested in all the racket, and sometimes are compelled to join in.

All of my parrots — especially Orpheus and the lories — are in various stages of moult right now, so their plumage is not looking as nice as usual. Because of this, Orpheus asks that you forgive him for not looking his best right now.

Comments

  1. #1 llewelly
    July 4, 2008

    Conceivably Orpheus understands that certain behaviors – ‘hamming it up’ result in more attention from you, and she does what she does to get more attention. I’m sure you can think of ways to test this notion.

  2. #2 Tziporah
    July 5, 2008

    GrrlScientist, I greatly enjoy your flock pictures and stories. I’ve read in other sources about home parrots who enjoy having their picture taken so much that they flop themselves into a scene with other parrots who are being photographed.

    Elektra looks so sweet I want to kiss her on he top of her beak. Orpheus is a beautiful love.

  3. #3 The Ridger
    July 5, 2008

    You’re focusing on her – what more does she need to understand? Gorgeous birds!

  4. #4 Mitch Rezman
    July 7, 2008

    Your birds look lovely. We have a 16 YO RingNeck parrot who’s been a plucker for many years in spite of all our efforts. He still looks beautiful to us

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