On March 17, 2013, Cheeky broke out of his shell and into the world.
He is stretching a wing as all parrots do when they are delighted by something.
He is foraging in Rita’s food bowl,
But he pauses to stretch for me because I am talking to him.
A couple of months ago
I placed him on Rita’s large play stand beside my desk.
At first, he really did not want to step onto the play stand.
Apparently, he was reluctant to trespass in Rita territory.
With my encouragement, he soon began to taste her food
And wander around the play stand.
Now, I often let him play there
When Rita is on her Java tree on the porch, of course.
The last time he was here on The Parrot,
He was having his first molt.
Now, he has all of his blue flight feathers
And, he has learned to fly.
He still plays on his stand on my desk.
This was supposed to be a Cheeky/Granny portrait.
The reflection from his cage created a kind of mist around him.
Since he is something of a mystical little fellow,
I thought it was an appropriate portrait for him, after all.
When I first allowed him to sit on my shoulder as I walked around,
He often flew down in a random fashion and landed on whatever was nearby.
One day as we sat on the porch, he simply flew off and circled the lamp next to my chair.
I was surprised, but I reflexively held out my hand.
He was able to turn in the air and negotiate a perfect landing in my palm.
He had learned to fly and to land wherever he chose.
A major milestone for him.
He still plays on my desk during the day.
If he’s in a playful mood, I have to shove him out of the way in order to type.
My keyboard looks a lot like the floor of a bird cage.
The only action he can initiate is to climb onto the bottom of the monitor
And open the monitor settings.
I have discussed this with him in detail. But, he only pretends to listen, I think.
This is Cheeky’s birthday portrait.
He is doing what he most likes to do in the world.
I don’t usually wear glasses at home, so it’s a real treat for him to find them on my head.
Since he often hangs onto my clothes as I move around the house
He can climb onto my head via my ear and down onto the glasses
Where he sometimes just sits and preens his feathers or my hair.
Cheeky’s cage is behind me as I work at my desk, so I can’t see him.
But, he has learned that the outside of the cage is his territory too.
And, he has learned to stay there.
Just as Rita does.
When I see him sitting on his cage door,
I am amused because he reminds me of Rita.
Such a little bit of a thing behaving like a big parrot!
Cheeky is no bigger than he was months ago.
He is an adult now and won’t grow any bigger.
He still weighs 68 grams.
This picture gives you some idea of how tiny he is.
The chair is small and the distance to the cage is about six inches.
(Parrots consider anything within reach of their cages to be their territory too.)
Cheeky has learned his behaviors well.
He has earned a real measure of freedom to do his thing.
He is flighted and I don’t plan to clip his wings.
There is a chance that he will have an accident, but I feel that he is safer with flight ability.
As long as he continues to fly only near me and to come back to me when I hold out my arm,
He can fly to his little heart’s content.
It is incredible that a tiny little creature like Cheeky
Could process and recall so much information and learn so many things.
He is as intelligent and sensitive as his big boy counterparts.
His personality is very much like that of a big Macaw.
His voice is that of a songbird.
His companionship is priceless.
Happy Birthday, Big Boy!