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Chipper


Chipper I bought Chipper in May (of '98) a few weeks after my first bird, a tiel, died.  The tiel had decided that he only liked me, and would bite anybody else in the family. (I think we could have fixed this if anybody had been motivated enough to work on it, but given the bird's attitude, other members of the family didn't see why they should bother.)  My teenagers also complained that the tiel was too loud (!).

So I wanted a pretty quiet bird (also that means he can come to the office with me on a semi-regular basis) and was anxious to get one that would not intimidate my bird-shy family. Chipper is non-intimidating just because he is so small (less than two ounces, smaller than a tiel).

He's going on ten months old now and has a delightful personality, feisty and playful.  I often see him swinging upside down from a bell, trying to remove the clapper (be sure to check that they are solidly attached when you buy toys).  He likes to tunnel through an old t-shirt sleeve and play peek-a-boo.  When we laugh he joins the clamor.  He loves to do tricks, his favorite being a somersault around my forefinger.  Very bold and aggressive and assertive compared to a tiel, a lot more "physical."  At this age he still likes it when we have company over, and will go willingly to strangers.  He's quite flexible about diet and trying new foods although often he would rather play and interact than eat.

We took him to Minnesota with us at Christmas.  He weathered the 12-hour drive and the strange houses in fine form and even consented to do his tricks for my brother and sister-in-law.

Although he often gives the impression of a perpetual motion machine (he's the only creature I've ever met who fidgets worst than my teenage son) he used to like to sleep in my lap when he was little.  Now he likes to sit cradled in my hand (like an ice-cream-cone) and will often doze off that way in the evenings.

The "pluses" of green cheeks are that they are not-loud, wonderful little clowns, and very interactive.  They are also not big chewers.

I would say the "minuses" are that they move so quickly and like to mouth things, so I can see the potential for one to develop into a nipper. (Although with such a small bird it's easier not to be intimidated, and thus prevent/cure nipping.)  The other "minus" is that they don't have very clear voices.  Everyone in the family agrees that Chipper is talking--but most of the time, we can't tell what he is saying.

Chipper

Photos and text by Marti Steussy.  Submitted in 1998.

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