Sunday, 29 January 2012

Goodbye Blondie...

Unfortunately Blondie has passed away. When the lid was off of her cage last week, my feet startled her and she flushed up and hit her head on the underside of the desk. I am very angry at myself for letting this happen because this is something I should have anticipated - I have seen many quail do the same thing over the years. I took a weeks' break from the bird training and even wondered if I wanted to continue it. I have decided that I will continue to work with Brita. I have done a few sessions with her now and she is indeed a very different bird to work with - she is more wary or indifferent of new things and definitely more wary of what's going on around her. She burns out faster than Blondie and is not as fast, and always tries to cheat by trying to find out where the food went. She also insists on picking up a lot of the little granules of food that she spills. She is coming along, though. As a matter of fact, I got her to the point where Blondie was in half the time (but this may be because I too am learning!). What happened to Blondie was a terrible reminder for me to think about things. I had a quail once named Barbara who did the same thing. She didn't die but did damage to her inner ear as her ear was bleeding afterwards. A few months later she started to fall over and eventually could not get back up and I chose to put her down. Hard roofs kill quail. I take every precaution to build their cages appropriately but didn't think about the environmental factors. Under the desk, the desk itself is like a big roof. With animals, a lot of learning has a lot to do with context. I suppose it is the same for people too.

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