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Mustrum Stepped Up!


Strolling the yard
Washinton, DC
Real Name
Okay, it wasn't the most graceful of step-ups but he did let me get first a stick and then my finger under his feet (separate occasions, we didn't switch perches in mid-lift) and the second time he let me move him over to the bowl where the mini spray of millet was waiting for him. Getting him to step off and go have some millet is still a bit of a work in progress, but, honestly, I'm amazed that we're here.

And that it was Mustrum is surprising in itself. Esmerelda's the brave one about going out of the cage, even if it's just to hang out dozing on the open door. Mustrum by contrast thinks that cages are optimized for his needs and comfort and so some days doesn't come out at all. When he's out, he's pretty motivated about coming over to see if I have anything interesting (I usually do) in the way of treats. But just by virtue of being out more, Esmerelda's the leader on points for coming over for a bit of millet. She also thinks I make a good climbing range (when I'm sitting with my feet propped up, not when I'm in any way mobile) and that my Kindle must be tasty or why would I spend so much time staring at it? So, I would have thought Esmerelda would have been the first one to see the value in recruiting me as an on-call local taxi service.

And, to make it even more of a milestone, both Mustrum and Esmerelda flew several circuits around their larger enclosure, something Mustrum at least has always thought was too dangerously radical to do outside the cage.

I'm sure the next couple of days they'll both be like, "yeah, no that wasn't us. We don't leave the cage *ever*." Still, it's such amazing progress for them.

For those who can't tell the players without a score-card, Mustrum and Esmerelda are the bourke's parakeets who joined my quaranteam mid-October of last year. I'm sure they weren't hand-fed, and bourkes don't have a reputation for being super interactive, so I'd accepted that they might not want to be touched.


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Sounds like wonderful progress :)