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View Diary: Dawn Chorus: She was not a refined woman... (193 comments)

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  •  I wonder if there is a socialization period (8+ / 0-)

    for birds as there is with cats?  I think that may be a uniquely mammalian thing... but some mammals socialize during a window and after that window shuts, it's much harder to get them to view humans as anything other than very large and potentially dangerous.  A couple years ago, we adopted two beautiful but completely feral grey tabby kittens, a bit on the old side - maybe 16 weeks.  The male, who grew into a big athletic cat, socialized and is now very affectionate and sweet, but he was a ferocious biting, stabbing little predator when we first got him. The female - she's a tiny little thing - is very attached to us, but she still will not permit us to touch her.  instead, she sits just out of reach and purrs. My wife, who never had pets (can you imagine living 48 years and never having a pet?) finds this all very interesting. The feral female cat quietly slunk up and sat on her lap for the first time the other day. She knows a warm place when it's January in Chicago, but she still won't be touched.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:11:20 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Socialization period is very important for parrots (8+ / 0-)

      In the wild, they rely on each other extensively for things like finding food resources, warning of dangers, etc.  The flock structure can be rather complex, as the relationships have years to develop and change with birds who live so long.  They have leaders, but it's not quite like the Alpha Dog - more like senior community members who other birds look up to.  (To put it in terms of this site, no Markos, but plenty of Rec List Regulars.)

      A new bird attempting to join a flock will be sized up by the others; it will study them and try to fit in.  Gradually, either it will fit in well and join the flock, or it will be driven out or move on of its own accord.  Since there's less option for moving on in a pet situation, then the period of adjustment is really crucial.

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