Photo Credit: Dale Thompson

I knew she had been lonesome all by herself, even if she was surrounded by her own kind. Hearing the sounds of other birds and feeling their presence is very different than having your own “man”. Grandpa Steffen lived with her about four years and also died in the autumn of old age symptoms, verified by a necropsy. Grandma loved going through the mating motions with him, but by now she had quit laying eggs altogether. Every so often I would put an infertile egg or two from another Eclectus under her, and I noticed she would sometimes set on them, but every so often the eggs would magically disappear. This indicated to me she was no longer totally accountable, and could not be trusted to foster any more fertile eggs again. However, she still liked to hang out in her nest. She was again a widowed gal for most of a year. I had another single, old wild caught Vos guy who I put in with Grandma, about two months previous to her death. He was the third man in her life, and he was big Grandpa Wilshire, or Big Willie for short.

The minute I introduced Willie to Grandma he was very shy, but she went right up to him, started preening his face and neck and wanted to feed him. She was so thrilled to have a “man” in her life once again.
Grandma and Willie were very happy as a pair for several months, eating together and roosting side by side at night-time. He would always wait for her to eat first, so I gave him his own bowl to reward him for his politeness and make sure he got enough food as well.
Big Willie and Grandma always sat close together, and during the last few days she had with him, he would try to feed her. He noticed she wasn’t able to keep her food down, and was trying to help her in any way he could. Big Willie is such a gentleman. Toward the last, when I brought Grandma in the house, Willie sat like a lump for days afterward. In fact he really didn’t perk up until I introduced his very young five-year old new mate to him. He now seems happy and fulfilled again. Who knows, they may even have fertile eggs?


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