During the winter, Garuda Aviary completed Phase 1 of the construction of our African Grey and Goffins Cockatoo habitats. Phase 1 includes the completion of the basic structure and the “private suites” for the twin habitats.
Phase 2 for these habitats is the completion of the “common areas’.
So you may wonder, why build a specialized structure with private suites and common areas? Why not just keep parrots in conventional, single occupancy cages?
The answer is that in nature, parrots form and live in highly interactive flocks. That interactivity is what helps a parrot deal with any situation. A parrot that doesn’t have a coherent social structure supporting it is far more prone to anxiety and depression. That is the reason for the common areas in the new habitats. These are areas where the occupants can socialize with other parrots of their own kind.
The reason for the private suites is to facilitate safe integration. When a new parrot is introduced to a pre-existing flock, that flock may not welcome the newcomer right away. They may not hurt the newbie, but they may hoard resources away from him or her. Resource hoarding is the most common method for rejecting an outsider.
Our protocol for integrating a new parrot into the existing flock looks something like this;
The new bird is placed in it’s private suite, which is equipped with feeding bays, perches, toys, etc. After a week or two to settle into the new suite, integration can start. For gradually increasing supervised intervals, the newbie can venture out of his or her suite, enter the common area and begin to socialize. When it’s time to eat, the new bird is returned to it’s suite. This ensures that resources are not being hoarded away from him or her.
In time, the flock will accept the new one. Eventually they will all eat together amicably in the common area.
This protocol, (plus the vigilant supervision we provide) ensures that a new parrot can be integrated into the flock without risk.
Very soon the common areas will be the hubs of activity in these habitats. There will be updates and more pictures. Watch this space!