Over the last couple weeks, he has had only minor changes in his appearance. The black coloration on his beak has begun to subside, leaving only a small patch on a bright yellow background. His tail and wing feathers have completely grown in, leaving him fully feathered. He has definitely learned the finer points of his wings, flying where ever he pleased in our lobby and at home; so much so, that he had to have his wings trimmed to avoid flying out the door or into the waiting mouth of a hungry cat!
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
At 4 1/2 weeks, Wasabi has fledged! He has become very active, wanting out of his cage more, and consistently exercising his wings. He has been able to jump up to the edge of his open topped cage, and able to perch there while being fed, with out issue. His balance is vastly improved and he is beginning to learn the basics of flight, such as turning and landing, in short distances. He has graduated to an actual cage, although he still spends most of his time on the floor with toys and soft places to cuddle up. We will watch him as he continues to learn the finer points of having wings, and builds up his muscles, until it becomes a danger to have him fully flighted in the clinic. At that time, we will trim a few of his feathers, a few times a year, so that he isn't able to fly into the mouth of a hungry cat, or out into the snowy temperatures.
We have all become comfortable with calling Wasabi "he", but we have decided to him sexed. DNA will be extracted from a small blood sample, and analyzed at a lab. As in people, bird gender is determined by the sex chromosomes. Females have two different sex chromosomes (called “ZW”), while males have two of the same sex chromosomes (called “ZZ”). We should know in about 2 weeks whether our assumptions have been correct!
Monday, February 4, 2013
We do not know what sex our companion is. Lovebirds, as with the majority of parrots, do not have any sexual dimorphism, that is, visual differences to determine male from female. Because of this, the only accurate way to know is either DNA testing or surgical sexing. Without knowing, it has been a little bit of a challenge picking a name that fits, but that hasn't stopped several names being thrown into the mix; Franklin, Munchkin, Guacamole... but Stephanie came up with the one that seems to fit the most, Wasabi! He does have a bit of a spicy personality, after all.
Wasabi is now able to climb out of his nest on his own, and is beginning to explore his surroundings. With his new feathers, he doesn't need to be in an incubator during the daytime. Instead, he is getting to meet all kinds of new people, while residing on the front desk. He is very curious about new objects and things placed within his reach, but still prefers to be nestled somewhere cozy for his naps.
He is still being fed a formula that is made specifically for parrots, by syringe, every 3-4 hours during the day. Now, at night, he is able to go a little over 6 hours in between feedings. After eating, Wasabi thinks that it's time to play, exercising his wings and running around, usually without much grace. Next time you're in the office, don't forget to say hello!