Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
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Playgym for bourkes
Many descriptions of bourkes claim that bourkes do not play, but with Stanley the issue is not that he would not like to play, but if he is not playing he cannot navigate his environment in order to play.
Physically, bourkes cannot do all the things my other birds can do. Stanley can't hold treats in his feet and eat, and that is not for lack of trying because he has tried to figure out what everyone else is doing and can't. He also cannot climb cage bars, and his cage has horizontal bars everywhere, so that is not the issue. He cannot climb ladders either. Basically, I guess he can't climb.
To get from place to place Stanley must be able to hop or walk. He has no fear and will explore any place he can reach.
This makes getting a play gym Stanley can enjoy a challenge. The best we have right now is an acrylic thing made of a bunch of connecting ladders. It has two ladders that run horizontally, and whichever one you put him on he can play back and forth on, but that is it. He cannot get himself from one level to the next. We will put him on a level and let him play for a bit, then move him to another level.
That playgym is wonderful for Elisa, lineolated parakeet, and Shira, green cheek conure. Elisa navigate it as if she is a spider climbing a wall, and any of you who have linnies will know what I mean when I say that. They have the most entertaining way of moving of any bird I've ever known.
Shira hasn't been home long enough nor on that particular play gym long enough to have developed her own style there, and she is still learning to play independently (meaning she still tries to fly off and get to me every few minutes no matter what playgym she is on), but when she does play there she seems to be able to do whatever she feels like doing.
I tried hanging a boing from the top level all the way down to the base of the playgym because I thought Stanley might be able to get from level to level that way, but he won't try it out. He has boings in his cage and uses them easily and without hesitation, so I don't know if I just didnt get it in the right place to be useful for him or what, but he won't use it for that purpose, even if I put him directly on the boing.
Stanley has been with us the longest of all of our birds. He is our only male bird, our smallest bird, our sweetest bird, and the only one with no annoying vocalizations or habits, so he is also the most spoiled. It is driving me crazy that I can't set up a stimulating place for him to play when he is out with us.
I'm still trying to figure this one out.