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Can birds smell predators eg Cat Urine?

Bevolson

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Bev Olson
Can my birds smell the Cat urine in the adjacent garden.
and asking why Bill might be refusing to go to bed at dusk.


The story:-
Yesterday when I returned from the back garden, having been away from the house and the birds for 2 hours my oldest budgie Bill, two and a half years was 'flighty'. This was not in response to me , or my dog, or his budgie friend Blue. It seemed random.
The house had been locked when I was away , so that no visitors would enter and leave doors open while looking for me.
My old dog had being outside with me sleeping in the sun on her pushchair. (Yes that's right she has arthritus.)
So what happen during that time to scare Bill ?

Bill afraid of the dark?
At dusk.
Bill would not settle in the cage. Hell he would not go into the cage. His younger friend of one year had been settled for an hour.
Bill had the option of using an open second cage but lately he had been sleeping with Blue.
Consequently Blue became disturbed by the super vigilant Bill flying about like predicting an earthquake or something and Blue had followed Bill out of the cage and up to the ceiling perches.Twice.

I confess before I went to bed I followed Bill about the lounge telling him to go to bed. I know harassing him was wrong.
I felt guilty this morning thinking Bill would have lost all trust in me.

But he was better than ever at ' touch the chopstick with his beak . I click. Then he samples millet.'
Touch training.

I deliberately avoided training.
But at 11 am Bill made it clear to me he wanted to play. He does that by following me about and positioning himself in a usual training spot.
I am lucky.
And lucky for me he jumped off the roof from the top of the Cage down onto my wrist and then he proceeded to shuffle sideways to my fingers to take the reward.

The jump from a height to my wrist was pre-empted by Blue coming over to basically 'get in the way.'
I was surprised because I had not even touched his beak. It was his idea.
Bill outsmarts me.

All progress seems to unfold with Bill taking control this way. Since I have relaxed a bit more Bill initiates things.
So I began to take advantage of him 'sitting on my hand' to click and treat him into the cage and onto the perch. I asked him to 'step up.'
OK
He dosn't watch the same videos as me but he did it anyway.

Bill keeps me humble.

He flew away before I could fathom how to reward him for leaving the cage.
Which he was bound to do right?
It is stupid and funny.
I am often standing about thinking about what the hell just happened.

I would like to get him to 'step up ' and 'step down.' Then I could ask him to go to bed nicely couldn't I.

It could still have been a battle going to bed tonight. I wrote in my diary that it was not until the last train was leaving the station that Bill went to bed.

I left a doorway size gap in the covered cage where Blue was sleeping and then Bill flew inside the cage.

Can birds smell cat urine?
Do they care?
What startled Bill?
Is he really scared of the cage or not really?
Is Bill worried about the position of the cage(s)?
Could Bill be afraid of our neighbours cat?
There is every opportunity for puss to look in our windows at the birds.
The cages are now right next to the windows of the front garden which reeks of cat urine.
Our neighbour's cat is a gorgeous animal who thinks he owns my newly aquired home. He came in and sprayed when the first person with the key opened the door.

Your thoughts?

Bev

Once I watched a documentary where lab rats had been modified to not recognise that cat urine meant predator. The rats lived very short lives.
I cannot remember the point of the experiment. It must had a human sequlae to generate funding. I got stuck on feeling sorry for the rats.
LOL
 

Bevolson

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The photo shows Bill’s little eye looking out at the camera. (Sorry Bill)
It shows his friend Blue and the almost covered cage that Bill decided he would occupy for the night.
It shows how much I am enjoying them and it’s a bit like new baby photos.
Someone said about my baby album, “yeah but it is all the same baby.”
 

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Bevolson

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Just looking at my own photo here woke me up to the fact that I had just now covered their cage so gently and not wishing to disturb them after their late night.
But ...
I neglected to close the cage door under the covers and I left heaps of millet poked in the cage bars ( in the vain attempt to Lure Bill to go to bed.)

Door is shut now and the millet taken away.

I see the birds would have been at risk of house mice or rodents in their cage.
Maybe Bill has experienced late night visitation from mice. All this use of millet makes a b... mess.

Posting is like reflecting. Very useful.

Bev
 

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fashionfobie

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Hello :) /wave at Bill.

I have to say I am a little confused by your first post. Were you away on a holiday? Sometimes these interruptions in a bird's routine can be enough to change their behaviour. Bill should come to trust the routine again once you have settled.

In regards to smelling cat urine, I am unsure how a parrot experiences the smells of predators. Generally parrots have a much poorer sense of smell than humans. They determine a lot more via their amazing eye site. However I can't say that means they don't smell urine.

From your post though it seems more likely that Bill was just frustrated/ confused by a change in routine. Take it one day at a time and let Bill do things on his terms, it will help in rebuilding any damaged trust.

I hope this help address your question. Sending Bill warm vibes :heart2:
 

Bevolson

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Thanks to Avian Avenue forum I found the Pamela Clark lectures and related video of ‘Target and Station’ with a gentle woman and what I think you call Toos
Cockatoos
Of course the training is the same but different and a good thing to know because basically the underlying principles are enriching the birds life.
See that ? !!!
My language and confidence is growing through knowledge.

Of course birds smell better than us.
The photo is of Bill having just refused another training session.

I love the way the author of the book I have ordered starts with the first page honouring the bird’s skills and how a bird she was trapping for research outsmarted her using its intellect and its highly sophisticated sense of smell.

Our New Zealand national bird has huge nostrils right at the end of its beak.
I have felt the thrill of following a scientist into a wild part of NZ bush enclosed by a predator fence. She was weighing a baby Kiwi. OMG
 

Bevolson

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Thank fashionfobie
I do have a problem with run away speech and I am very excited on the newly found forum and bird interest.

I am on a steep learning curve
Pamela Clark mentioned new information out about birds and parrots having great powers of smell.
So I went looking.

Thanks for your kind reply
 

Bevolson

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Bill is teaching me and I hope I am understanding his lessons.

He still will not go to bed. Yet he is asking for training 'enrichment'. Pam Clark's words.
It seems that Bill forgives me for bossing him to go to bed each night.
And...
My reality is the house will not be safe for the birds to free range soon.

Interesting to hear Pam Clark talk about 12hrs sleep not being 'a real thing'

I think she said our birds need our guidance.
This Pam said in relation to the fact that they were wild and free and we have confined them to fit around us. She talks about giving them control when most control is ripped away from them. And they must have bird companions, even if the other bird is not all that compatible, they still need the other who will belong to their shared understanding.
Pam Clark is much more eloquent than I am.

I really like that my grandson appreciates these vital understandings of Parrot's needs.

However in the near future my 'new residence' will be full of grandkids and my husband too so doors will be left open.
Unfortunately the birds will not be residing in the living area (which I have used for them to get to know and trust me )
They will have a large conservatory and still have lots of time with me.

Bill will 'step up' now every time.
He has shown me he is not interested in stick or click.

I do use the chopstick and clicker at the very beginning to establish that he does want to 'play'.

I show him the treat in my right hand and I move the treat to my left hand where upon he steps up for a brief mouthfull.

I will see how it goes.
Neither bird is the least afraid of me.
 

Bevolson

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My diary this morning.
I usually feel nervous before I start a training session and end up laughing at Bills diversion tactics regarding how he manages young Blue while he trains makes us a threesome.
Bill has to manage Blue and me.
Once I watched Bill take Blue away to munch on Mint stalks with him.
He came back to me quickly to continue the training session.
This happened another day as well.
 

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Bevolson

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Everyday Bill shows me his star quality.
Today this photo was taken by grandsons mum.

I was so excited I could not remember how to work the iPhone camera.

My grandson had just felt Bill on his bare skin, and he did not over react.
Good boy.
I have not seen the grand boys for a few days and the birds are completely unfazed by their noise and activity.
I think the parakeets understand these little people are young and they extend out the kind of acceptance an adult would not get from these birds.
Flapping hands and talking loudly and moving jerkily and even jumping off a chair nearby.
Crikey.
Impressive intelligence which I know we can see in other animals at times.
 

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Sparkles99

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Ah, millet. Never underestimate the persuasive power of millet. Looks like everyone's having a great time! :heart:
 

Bevolson

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Safety from the cat and I think a likely fear of the odour of cat
Safety in a small room from a household of tentdwellers.

Yesterday
The parakeets moved from their living room dining room kitchen situation on the ground floor ( beside the garden the cat toilet in.)

They are now 2 floors up in a little bedroom away from the neighbours cat.

My daughter helped me shuffle cages up the stairs and transfer the birds.

We had prepared a ceiling display in the bedroom/avery similar to what they had before in the lounge.

I had no idea how easy or difficult for the birds this transfer would be.

With a bit of very good luck the older bird Bill sensed the mood of change in us and he retreated into a cage.

It was 1700hrs. A quiet time when they usually take naps.
He was transferred in a locked cage up the stairs into the biggest cage waiting for him in the bedroom/avery.
My daughter stayed with him oferring a millet stick through the closed cage, which he took.
So we presumed he was not scared.

I went downstairs to collect Blue with no idea how that would go either.
I believe the younger bird Blue had witnessed Bill's rapid departure with us . I believe Blue was subdued. Very quiet. Maybe fearful so I was quick. Blue rode the outside of the little cage all the way up the stairs to join his friend in the bedroom/avery

This could’ve gone badly because the grandkids had doors open despite briefing them.

I put youtube relaxing music on for them and I guess for me.
And about 1900hrs they both flew back into the big cage and went to sleep.
Wonders will never cease.

Today.
At first this morning they were cautious and flew away from me but now at the end of their first day in the bedroom Avery they are very bold.
I have given them fresh air all day through the safety of a good screen
I thought of this because of my new knowledge about how well birds can use their sense of smell ( even using smell when they perform the feats of migration)

Today Bill has done some touch training

Young Blue has feasted on seed bells from the supermarket (bribes) treats that I placed around their new playpark.
Blue has explored all the ceiling branches and spent the day shouting at the sparrows who came to look in at us from perches on an old TV arial out side the floor to ceiling window.

I have eaten three meals in the bedroom /Avary with them and watched some youtubes.

I see Bill recruiting me for more engagement but I would rather wait until tomorrow.
 

Bevolson

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Birds of a different kind.
I wonder if I will see their ducklings.
They go somewhere else to roost.

From my conservatory I have a view of the redundant swimming pool which brought in the wild ducks.

Their are possibly hundreds of gold fish which I feed in the morning before the ducks turn up

One day we will make an Avery in the conservatory
 

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fashionfobie

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The birds entertained by sparrow on the TV ariel
I am unsure if I am missing something in this picture, but I do not see a fly screen. I would be very carefully opening a window whilst the birds are out. They could easily hop to the window sill and fly off. Like I said, I may just be making a mistake in how I am seeing the image.

I love the duck picture. Very cute!
 

Bevolson

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You are an Aussie you know your fly screens but believe me there is one.
Thanks for replying
Your Kiwi friend from down under.
Bev
 

Sparkles99

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I like the redundant pool of goldfish!
 

Pixiebeak

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I'm not sure birds detection of predators by scent. Billions are killed annually by cats in the usa.


I once had my caged burds outside , I always stay with them. But this time I stepped inside to plug in my phone and stepped back out , only 5 feet . When I stepped back out a large stray cat was just about to jump on the cage! They had not been alerting to a predator no alarm calls, oblivious to the cat! I have a fenced yard and had never seen a stray. It obviously had been watching us and had waited for its opportunity ....
 

Bevolson

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I'm not sure birds detection of predators by scent. Billions are killed annually by cats in the usa.


I once had my caged burds outside , I always stay with them. But this time I stepped inside to plug in my phone and stepped back out , only 5 feet . When I stepped back out a large stray cat was just about to jump on the cage! They had not been alerting to a predator no alarm calls, oblivious to the cat! I have a fenced yard and had never seen a stray. It obviously had been watching us and had waited for its opportunity ....
Thankyou
I'm not sure birds detection of predators by scent. Billions are killed annually by cats in the usa.


I once had my caged burds outside , I always stay with them. But this time I stepped inside to plug in my phone and stepped back out , only 5 feet . When I stepped back out a large stray cat was just about to jump on the cage! They had not been alerting to a predator no alarm calls, oblivious to the cat! I have a fenced yard and had never seen a stray. It obviously had been watching us and had waited for its opportunity ....

Pixiebeak
Thanks for your input.

Amazing that the way birds use their ability to smell is so very new to science.

The garden outside my dining room window reeks of cat urine.
I do not smell it from my dining room table with double glazing and no open windows.

We know about dogs. I am always impressed how my blind and deaf dog can smell another dog in my yard from inside with shut doors and windows

So we maybe have no evidence specifically on cat pee and birds.
But my birds are happy in another location.

And the book , ‘The Secret Perfume of Birds ‘ on the first page talks about the author trying to tag and test a bird. She speculated the bird could smell her trap. Whereas the birds mate was easily captured by the same net.?

The new book The Secret Perfume of Birds: Uncovering the Science of Avian Scent Danielle J Whittaker will be an easy read for bird lovers.

I have ordered it.

My horribly stinky front garden has a lot of balcony rails for the neighbours cat could observe the ‘new budgies in residence .‘
The cage was right up against the glass.

Danielle was motivated to write about how well birds use their smell because the vetinary world and science knew little or nothing I think she said.

I return to rats and their smelling ability from my first post which I have looked at again now.
If you wish ask Google-
‘Brain parasite may strip away rodents fear of predators-not just cats’
Toxoplasma gonddii

You can ask me to reference this properly if you want.
LOL

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