My baby splendid parakeet (aka scarlet chested parakeet), Isaac, who is only ten weeks old, is developing a mischevious streak as wide as the green on his back.
I am experimenting with housing Isaac with my bourkes parakeet, Stanley. Stanley is older and much larger than Isaac. He's sweet, but he will retaliate when provoked.
Stanley makes designs with his vine balls on the bottom of his cage. This is a long-standing behavior. He will make a design and leave it in the cage anywhere from five to ten days. He spends a lot of time on the uppermost perches appreciating his designs. Some day I will post pictures of a few of his designs. Some of them just look random to me, but some of them are quite symmetrical.
It didn't dawn on me how having to share his space with another bird might hinder his ability to appreciate designing, and I have been seriously considering separating them simply for that reason, but I am still seeing how this cage sharing goes. Stanley seemed kind of depressed about it at first, but he is now playing as much as he ever did, and he really also seems to enjoy doing things with Isaac, so I have them together for now. They get on well for the most part, after a few days of establishing "rules".
The first fight I noticed them having over the vine balls occurred when they were playing together on a towel on my daughter's bed. Stanley was fine with Isaac playing with all the other toys, and they even had a bit of a game together with one toy on a string, which they pulled back and forth between the two of them. The vine balls were another story.
Stanley immediately arranged the vine balls in the shape of an "S", then went about exploring and doing other things. Isaac just wanted to play with a vine ball, so he moved one. Stanley put it right back where he had it in the first place. Isaac went back and rolled it out of place with his head. Stanley moved it back into its original spot with his head. Isaac thought that was great fun, so he started running around grabbing all of the vine balls. At this point I feel Stanley got really frustrated, because he just picked up every single vine ball and very deliberately dropped them one at a time off the side of the bed.
After several days together in the cage, Stanley has finally gotten to the point where he will only get mad at Isaac when he moves the vine balls. He will chase him all over the cage whenever he touches a vine ball.
Yesterday I noticed that Stanley had made a new design that morning. (Stanley always does his art projects in the wee hours of the morning, when there is just barely enough light for me to kind of see what he is doing.) It happened to by a symmetrical design this time. It was much later in the day, and Stanley was playing happily with the other toys, and he and Isaac were actually attacking the same toys and seeming to really enjoy one another in the process. Stanley was engrossed in attacking the back of this toy, and while he was doing that Isaac waltzed down to the cage floor and moved one of the vine balls about two inches. He looked up at Stanley on and off during the whole process, and when he was finished moving the ball, he went back to playing with the other toys.
I said, "You are fixin' to get in Big trougle, little bird." However, things didn't play out exactly as I thought they would.
Stanley continued to play with various toys. He likes to make the rounds and attack everything while he is playing. He eventually got around to the perch where he likes to view his artwork, and when he saw that it was disturbed, HE became disturbed. He paced back and forth on that perch, looking at the ruination of his project, and then he located Isaac and went for him. I thought he would attack him, but, instead, he got right in his face, making beak to beak contact, and just stared him down for a bit. After that, he went down and put the vine ball back where it belonged. He then went back to Isaac and again made beak to beak contact with him. At that point, Isaac fed Stanley. He is still a baby, and I kind of took it as an act of contrition.
Isaac waited until Stanley was asleep a bit later. (Bourkes sleep a lot during the day, and their natural sleeping and waking patterns differ from the splendids.) As soon as he was sure he was asleep, and he looked at him on and off the whole time he was doing this, Isaac saunterd on down to the vine ball and moved it twice as far as he had moved it the first time. Then he went about entertaining himself while Stanley slept.
When Stanley awoke and realized the vine ball was moved even further, he went right after Isaac with open beak. No problem for Isaac, though, because Isaac can climb the cage bars and Stanley either can't or just won't. Isaac scurried up the side of the cage where there are no perchs so Stanley wouldn't follow, and watched as Stanley tried to get to him to give him what for.
I don't know if Stanley was ever able to get even with Isaac, but I kind of hope he did.