Bottom of his cage. Not breathing. Tuck.
I had gone to visit my parents and help them out with a few things. The drive to their place isn’t too bad but enough to make me crash there for the night instead of drive back home. When I missed Mr. Awesome’s call the next morning, I assumed it was to wish me good morning, but the statements above were about all I could decipher at first from my very upset husband on the other end of the line.
My first response was relief that Mr. Awesome was okay, and that no horrible tragedy had befallen our parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Then came sadness and disappointment.
As mentioned in the last post, the budgies and us had a solid routine down when we brought Willow into the mix. Her addition to our flock didn’t seem the phase Robin and Tuck much, other than Robin seemed to make a point to establish his position as top bird in the house, flying up to and past Willow just to let her know what’s what. His interest in her soon waned, however, and all five of us settled into a nice groove of daily existence. Everything felt so nice and complete. But now Tuck’s passing left a vacuum in our little feathered family, one that I was sure would need to be filled, and quickly.
After talking to Mr. Awesome on the phone, I jumped in the car as soon as I could and got home. Mr. Awesome was sad, Willow was affectionate, and Robin was acting pretty much as normal. I thought I could see confusion glaze over his little face every now and then, but then wondered if I was just projecting emotions onto him that he wasn’t actually experiencing.
For the next few days we kept our eyes on Robin to see how he was doing. This was a bird who had never been away from other budgies in his life and now he was alone. At first he didn’t seem to do too badly, but as the moments of confusion (sadness?) that we noticed early on began to increase and he became increasingly obsessed with his reflection in mirrors, we decided we needed another budgie, stat.
So named because he’s a brave little guy, he caught Mr. Awesome’s attention with his playfulness.
Things were pretty hectic for a few weeks. Getting two new birds adjusted in the house at once isn’t easy. At first Robin didn’t seem to pay much attention to Arthur, and once he started to it wasn’t all positive. Robin had picked on Tuck quite a bit, but Tuck was big enough and sassy enough to stand up for himself when need be. Arthur only being about five months old and a smaller, American budgie, we were concerned for his safety, and kept an eye on Robin’s aggression.
After experiencing problems with wing clipping when we brought home our other budgies, we elected not to clip Arthur’s wings. It was apparent that he could fly, but didn’t have much control or concept of how to steer or change his elevation. This resulted in several quick catches and rescues.
Enter Flight Master Robin. Early on it was clear Robin wanted Arthur to go flying with him, but the concept was confusing to his new companion. After a while Mr. Awesome and I started noticing that Robin would fly several circles in front of Arthur, demonstrations of how the whole wing flapping thing was to be done properly.
One morning I sat at my computer with Robin and Arthur perched next to me on Mr. Awesome’s computer monitors. Robin did two or three quick circles, starting and ending perched next to Arthur. Finally, Arthur did the circle himself, a bit slower and less confident, but he successfully made it back to where he started. As best as I could figure, I had just witnessed a flying lesson.
Arthur’s flying skills have improved, the result being Mr. Awesome and I are breathing a bit easier. Arthur has learned to step up and is a sweet little guy.Robin seems to have worked out whatever issues he had with him, and is now being quite congenial with his new companion. Robin still enjoys his time with the budgie in the mirror, but it isn’t nearly as frequent or long lasting as it was before Arthur arrived.
Once again our little flock is beginning to feel complete and we are establishing some sort of equilibrium. I praise God for it.