Family Squabbles

Although my two cockatiels have lived side by side for more than 15 years, they still squabble over territory. My husband would always call Carlisle “the bully,” but I’ve noticed Natty Bird going after Carlisle plenty of times. I would have to say that they are equal opportunity bulliers. Natty Bird will chase Carlisle out of Natty’s cage, but other times they are both sitting on perches at the top of the cage napping. Sometimes Carlisle chases Natty off the shared playgym at the top of their cages, other times they are both up there eating. This past weekend was especially strange.

Natty and Carlisle were calmly hanging out at the playgym when Carlisle decides he wants to be king of the cagetop and chases poor Natty off. Natty flies across the room to the door frame and lands. I don’t allow Natty on the door frame since he looks at it as a big chew toy, so I wave him off of it. He flies back to the cage top where Carlisle chases him off again. He flies back to the door frame where I try to get him to step down, but instead he flies back to the cage top where Carlisle (I swear, he has a twinkle in his eye at this point) chases him off again. He goes back to the door frame. This happens several more times until Carlisle is almost bored with the “game,” I’m exasperated and Natty is tired and flies to the floor. I pick him up and put him in his cage. Not too long later, I look over at the cage and they are both napping in Natty’s cage. Go figure. I don’t think Carlisle and Natty Bird would have ever picked each other out as best friends but, like all families, they didn’t get a choice. It certainly makes our lives more interesting.

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