For the last eight years, Cella (pictured Eclectus)
has shown a sustained interest in the young babies raised at SBBF.
Her interest in Eclectus babies is particularly evident.
Baby Season 2001, I decided to go ahead and let Cella interact
with baby Eclectus in new and increasingly important ways. Soon
after I relaxed my previous look but dont touch
rules, Cella was happily feeding and preening the chicks.
best of both worlds, I thought. A lovely companions influence
and my own dedicated competence will surely combine to produce
healthy, happy, well attended chicks. Cella spent time daily with
the youngsters who quickly became accustomed to her ministrations
and attention. We made a great pair of caregivers.
it came time for the two baby girls to fledge (please refer to
Seeing Clarity), Cella was a willing participant in
their fledging experiences. She used the opportunity to get in
better shape herself and soon after the girls fledged, Cella renewed
her own flying skills. She followed them whenever they took off,
she beckoned them to follow her, as she showed them the ropes
in the fledgling aviary.
they sometimes do, our parent Eclectus, Rosebuds and Mr. Ro, had
a second clutch. Upon their arrival in the house, these babies
were also greeted enthusiastically by Cella. Her recent experiences
with Clarity and Carmen made her an expert with Pierre and Fiona
(pictured) who became the honored adorable recipients of our mutual
it came time to fledge these two chicks, however, Cellas
enthusiasm for the task waned. She spent two months with the first
clutch, then 6 weeks with the next. At the end of those 14 weeks,
Cella showed clear signs of burn-out. Like a baby sitter with
too much work for too long, Cella began to fly back to her cage
in order to escape the rambunctious duo.
this same time, that is, late in the Baby Season 2001, we noticed
a similar burn out with Boo, our Greenwinged macaw. Normally,
Boo enjoys the fledglings who visit his playgym. However, as this
picture shows, enough is enough.
these experiences, I learned as much as Boo and Cella did. Baby
birds are a lot of work, and the work gets more vigorous and demanding
during fledging. While they are capable of helping with chicks,
my young adult psittacine birds are still primarily companions
with lives of their own. When they chose to help with parenting,
I accept their assistance with gratitude. When they are finished
with their chores, its time for them to be companions again,
pure and simple.